How the executive producer of a Macy’s Parade spends his Sundays
Will Coss oversees the design, construction and execution of Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. The annual live-action extravaganza – which, due to the pandemic, was produced last year for television only – involves 300 pounds of glitter, 200 pounds of confetti, 240 gallons of paint, and 15 giant balloons in the air. ‘helium. This year’s parade, which begins along Central Park West in Manhattan and ends in front of the Macy’s flagship in Herald Square, will once again welcome crowds. “I have to say that the excitement of how the season is progressing and how it’s going is something that I really enjoy,” he said.
Mr. Coss, 41, came to Macy’s after a career in production with Nickelodeon, Vice and MTV. He lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with his wife, Mary Coss, who owns an event production company, and their daughter, Mila Rose, 3.
Part one For a while and until the parade, Sunday has been a two-part day. We used the first half as daddy-daughter time. I wake up around 6:30 am, brush my teeth and do a bit of stretching before entering Mila Rose’s room to wake her up and turn her on for the day.
BAGEL FIX We leave early for our Sunday bagel at Broadway Bagel. Mila Rose makes an egg bagel with cream cheese. Being the native New Yorker that I am, I get bacon, eggs, and cheese on everything. It was a scroll. Growing up, the roll was the classic New York sandwich. But these days I can enjoy a bagel in the morning. The whole thing gives it a little more flavor.
OUT OF THE RACE Last year I was in the Formula 1 race. When the pandemic started, my wife and I were on a Netflix show called ‘Drive to Survive’. It really deconstructed the process for me and helped me understand what’s going on on the track. I got hooked. Now Mila Rose is doing it too. If there is a race, we’ll go home and watch the race. If there is no race, we’ll head to the Central Park playground and do about an hour of swing and slides. Then we will observe the ducks and birds and take a short walk. My weekdays have been long so I really enjoy the time spent with my little girl. She is my life.
SALSA IN FATHER NOL’S WORKSHOP The second part of the day is the preparation of the parade. Now that the schedule is accelerating, everything is on deck. Sometimes I go to the studio in Moonachie, New Jersey, and spend some quiet time in my office. Most of the time, I have a lot of meetings and conversations. On Sunday I can reflect and plan for the week ahead. I could put on some music, either a jazz or salsa playlist – I’m Puerto Rican and from the Bronx – or not. Before I leave, I like to walk around the studio and see everything. It’s a bit like Santa’s workshop. You realize that everything you see on the streets of New York during the parade comes from this installation, and it is magical. As a kid from the Bronx who always wanted to create things, I feel really lucky to be here.
TINA, BARRY If I can, I try to get home in time for dinner with the family. Dinner is a floating plan. Sometimes we go out or sometimes we prepare something or my mother-in-law will come and she will prepare something. After dinner we’ll sort of switch to traditional bedtime stuff. But my daughter likes a song or two before the transition. She is a big fan of “Proud Mary”. There’s a specific live performance by Tina Turner that she’s watched a few times, and she knows the dance, the whole routine. She’s going to grab her microphone and get started. She also listens to Barry Manilow. I don’t know how she clung to him, but that’s just what attracts her. She likes “I can’t smile without you” and “Somewhere Down the Road”. I try to stay away from “Copacabana” at bedtime.
TV DATE From 8 am, I spend some quality time with my wife. This is an opportunity for us to update ourselves on the day, talk about the week ahead and watch TV. Right now, we’re not completely done with “Only Murders in the Building” on Hulu. There’s Steve Martin and Martin Short, and these two together are pretty dynamic and engaging. It’s also a New York-centric show, so you see a lot of familiar neighborhoods and places. At 10 or 11 o’clock we are heading towards bedtime. I try not to think too much about the coming week before I go to sleep. The last thing I do is kiss my wife goodnight.