Ambrose Price hasnt a clue as to how to complete the often daunting challenges he faces on his reality show, The Decorating Adventures of Ambrose Price, which makes its Logo debut on Monday, October 5. On each episode, the giddy, self-taught decorator is given a task and must use all available resources (mostly seasoned pros -- definitely not how-to books -- he doesnt read) to master the mission.
From Toronto, where the show is taped, Price filled us in on planning a baptism, meeting Oprahs decorating demands, and what he wouldnt do to become a decorating superstar. Turns out, not much.
Out: Whats been the most challenging event for you to plan so far?
Ambrose Price: Every episode is a challenge. There are tight deadlines and it tested my true ability to design. And youre doing it on national television, so that doesnt make it much easier.
You cant just give up.
I have to do it. But when Im doing the show, Im always like, Oh my god, how is this going to turn out? Oh my god, Im going to make a fool of myself on national television. My show is not staged; it happens exactly as you see it on television. Theres none of this, Oh my god, I screwed something up -- we have to do it all over. If I screwed it up, its on tape and thats it. But back to your question of --
The most challenging event?
There were a few instances where I was challenged. The event planning episode, which will be launching on Monday, was actually quite a challenge. Ive done events before on a much smaller scale, and not to the capacity of the events I had to plan on this show, so it was a challenge to make sure everything was on time and to make sure the clients needs were being met and to make sure everyone was happy in the end. Youll see on Monday.
Thats the baptism episode.
Yeah, and Im like, A baptism?! When they told me what event I was doing, theyre like, Oh, youre doing a baptism. I said, Oh my god, what am I supposed to do -- tie a bow around the holy water? [Laughs.]
During that episode you remark that planning events in your hometown of Newfoundland is a little different than in Toronto -- how so?
Newfoundland is much more of a casual thing -- you just send an invite and everyone comes. Its just so easy breezy. But here in Toronto, you have to spend a week on the menu, and then you have to do rehearsal dinners, and you have to run everything past the clients -- a centerpiece or a sample of the music. Its just really, really detail-oriented, whereas in Newfoundland you get hired to do a little shindig and its like, you just do what you want -- and its so easy. But to plan an event in larger cities, it takes months. Its like a production, for Gods sake.
Also in that premiere episode you get some advice from Preston Bailey, who plans events for Oprah. Which celebrities would you want to plan events for?
Well, obviously Oprah. But I would love to plan an event for Joan Rivers, because I just love her. I love her, love her, love her! I love her personality, and I just think shes hilarious, so she would be number 1 on my list. I would love to plan an event with Martha Stewart. That would be a lot of fun as well.
Oprah -- really? With such little experience, wouldnt you want to go with someone less demanding?
You know what? I take on anything. I dont care how demanding they are [laughs] -- I just go for it.
Where do you draw the line: A schools Halloween parade? An orgy?
Yeah, Im not going to be out planning that [laughs.] You know what? Ive just been contacted by my high school back in Newfoundland -- I find this very flattering -- but the 12th grade class, theyre planning their prom, of course, for next year and they want the towns celebrity to help them out with it, so Im going try my best to help them with it. Its something I wouldnt normally do, and I have a very busy schedule, but I think itd be fun just to give back to my ... peeps.
Did you go to your prom?
Yes, I did go to my prom.
With a guy?
Oh no! With a guy? In Fortune, Newfoundland? I dont think I wouldve left the prom walking if Id have done that [laughs.]
Everything you do on this show is foreign to you; its all a learning experience. So what are you good at?
Well, it's hard to say [laughs.] I like to consider myself a jack-of-all-trades because I can dabble into everything, as you can see from the show. Even when I dont have any experience, I excel and Im like, Oh my god, where did this come from? For instance, I did a show on cake decorating, so since Ive done the show Ive decorated many cakes. I love it, love it, love it! When it comes to my strong suits, Im very, very good with planning events. I always have been. Even in Newfoundland, Id always put on a really good event.
You studied math, though -- right?
I did. Can you believe that? [Laughs.]
Do you ever apply it to what youre doing now?
No, no. I always dreamed of being an architect -- thats what I wanted to do.
Well, youre sort of being an architect -- an architect of cakes and baptisms.
I am. Can you imagine if I became an architect now with the experience and exposure I have? Id probably become a good architect, wouldnt I? We should do a show: The Architect Adventures of Ambrose Price. Could you imagine? Go design a high-rise condo -- now!
Does being a gay decorator make you more qualified than if you were a straight one?
I honestly believe that gay event planners do very well for themselves, and I think its because gay men have that accommodating personality where we want to pull out all stops, but at the same time have fun with it. Thats what the clients like. Most of my clients are women, and they always say a gay man is a womans best friend. I really think its an advantage, but there are a lot of great event planners out there.
How would you say youre different from the others?
I wouldnt say Im different than anybody else. I would just say I offer a little extra TLC.
[Laughs.] Oh, no! No! Im not getting down on my knees or anything.
The Decorating Adventures of Ambrose Price airs on Mondays at 10 P.M. ET/PT on Logo and at