Monday, October 18, 2010

Time Compressed Pt 2

The insanity isn't over yet! Thursday had just as much crazyness to offer, though with decidedly less email marathoning.

Thursday, October 14, also hidden behind a wackily formated link to

Time Compressed Pt 1

The last five days have gone on FOREVER. "Whirlwind" doesn't even begin to cover it. Here's the basics starting Wednesday, as that's when the crazy took off.

Wednesday, October 13, hidden behind a wackily formated link to

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tech, Incomplete

Unphotography images of the week:

The Historic theatre is getting ready to receive the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. The stage is matte black, three electrics are dropped and fully hung. There's a cream canvas crate downstage center with a stack of large printouts (they're light plots and associated paperwork for the hang, but the camera can't see so closely). There's a single work light on and it's focused downstage center, perfectly illuminating the canvas crate and paperwork. Anticipation.

Costume shop, a wooden table with an off-white sewing machine and various accoutrement including 2 seam rippers and a curved razor. On the right side of the table is a pile of white lace that the observing viewer might recognize as Hesione's final dress in Triumph. On the left side of the table is a pile of pink, white, and grey fabrics all swirled together. These were once the flowers that decorated the dress. Now the dress is a pile of lace and the flowers are just scraps. Cessation.

Just Working Through Things

ETA: I didn't actually manage to cross post this entry when I wrote it this past weekend. Better late than never?

Tomorrow is the final performance of Triumph of Love. I haven't really processed that yet.

For someone who has had many of the same friends since 1st grade, the fleeting nature of theatre is sometimes really scary. In less than 24 hours, Triumph will be a collection of memories.

Part of me is looking forward to the time I'll have to myself. By working standard shop hours (10-6 Monday through Saturday) I'll have a chance to see more theatre in the community. I haven't seen anything other than my own show in either May or April, so I'm looking forward to remedying that.

My body is also tired. My back is sore from doing the hand laundry in an unfortunately low and deep sink. My head is tired of my ClearCom headset and the associated brain squeezing. And I have bruises in the shape of Hubert's heels on my knee thanks to the quickchange.


This cast is amazing. The show is fantastic fun both to watch and to work. I have lots of quick and fast changes for lots of people (six out of seven cast members have at least one quick or fast change). I get to hang out in the traps and hand props up to an actor. I get to release spring-loaded poppies. I get to be regaled with stories from my actors' youths. And I get to watch this amazing show night after night.

I'm not ready to say goodbye!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Unphotography, Part The First

In a universe parallel to this one, there is a version of me experiencing the same year as a theatre intern, living in the same theatre, wandering through the same sets of wings. The significant difference between the two of us is that she has, somewhere along the way, picked up an amateur photography habit and isn't too shabby. She uses that skill to document her (my? our?) life in a series of snapshots highlighting the surreal, unexpected, and downright wacky juxtapositions that come with living in a theatre.

The first focuses on a pair of beslippered feet standing at the edge of a stage. The feet are attached to a pair of pajama-wearing legs, behind which the seats of a darkened theatre are visible.

The second is a long shot of those same feet and PJ pants, now with the rest of the human attached. She's pictured from the back, walking across the stage (now farther upstage, not far from a dropped electric hanging a few feet from the ground). She's surrounded by the stillness a recently darkened theatre; there are bits of spike tape on the black stage, piles of scenery in the wings beside her, an RP screen hanging but not fully adjusted, and various lighting instruments waiting to be hung. And she's carrying an overstuffed basket of laundry.

Another photo shows five people, all dressed in black pants, black long sleeve shirts, black socks, and black shoes enjoying the air with upturned faces in a patch of dandelion-filled grass while the sun beats down with fresh spring intensity.

The final shot from today is a look at the matte black floor of the stage right wing space. At right the bottom of a boom and the lighting instrument attached to it are visible. At left there's the base for the upstage leg pulley. The focus of the shot is a giant yellow spike tape X labeled "Magical Spot of Quick Change Awesomeness."

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My Life: Awesome

Working late in the shop for Triumph. It's a... sizable show. We're not at the point that we're scheduling 16 hour days yet, but the costummiere and I are goofing around and sewing things well into the night.

I have nearly, as predicted on Tuesday, built a hat. I'm tacking the lining in, and have about another hour of work. And then it will be a hat! Hooray! Hat!

Buuuuuut the reason I started this entry (while in the shop, rocking out to Pandora's Owl City channel) was to share a moment of awesome.

James (a former intern, now employee) just brought us eggplant parmesan. That he'd made from scratch. And just pulled out of the oven. Because he could.

He knew we were working late, so he brought us steaming plates of nommy nommy awesome.

How cool is that?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Another Opening, Another Show!

Opening night was AMAZING.

Our afternoon (final preview) audience was brilliant, so I was a bit afraid that the evening wouldn't be as strong. But they were OUTSTANDING. There were two sustained laughs of more than 12 seconds (usually, a sustained, rolling laugh will last for 5 or 7 seconds)! And they were right there with the characters, getting the wit, not just laughing at the slapstick. The actors fed off that energy, so it was a wonderful show all around.

I'll actually be sad to leave these guys, as much as I'm looking forward to Triumph.

Gaaaaa! I love my job and I love my life!

/broken record

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Maybe the sleepiness is why I can't stop giggling!

I keep planning blog posts about this crazy sense of unearned good luck that seems to be following me around (not complaining, universe!) and how theatre has shifted my understanding of concepts like "normal," especially "day off." Neither of those posts has written itself, clearly.

Instead, I've thrown myself head first into two shows. Start work at 10am, finish around 11:30pm, grab an hour for dinner in there somewhere. Not a bad thing, not by any means. Da had its first proper audience tonight, and man I'm proud of this show. I do pretty much nothing other than smile pretty at the actors and occasionally lend a hand, but it's a damn good show and the audience tonight agreed. Today also happened to be first rehearsal for Triumph, a show that (if the world continues to turn in my favour) will be one gigantic quick change. Aaand of course fittings for Triumph will be starting soon, which means me hanging about in the shop for even longer.

I'm not complaining, by any means. I know these hours won't last forever, and I'm gonna squeeze every waking moment of awesome out of my life.

Speaking of awesome, a story
I've just had an idea that tickeled me so much that I giggle every time I think about it.

The background: Triumph is an exceedingly whimsical show, and the costume shop gals have collectively decided to have dress up themes for the next 3 weeks while we work to get the show up. We wrote down ideas, folded them up, stuck them in a cup, and plan to draw one each day. Today's theme was Glitter (and sparkles and sequins and the like). A pretty straightforward theme. I'm generally glitter-less, so I borrowed a heavily sequined teal tank from my roommate, and paired it with a black hoodie, teal sparkly earrings, dark jeans, and grey clogs.

The theme for Wednesday (tomorrow) is Song Titles. At a loss for ideas, I thumbed through my iTunes library until struck by inspiration.

I'll be wearing a heavily sequined teal tank from my roommate, and pairing it with a black hoodie, teal sparkly earrings, dark jeans, and grey clogs.

My song? "Yesterday" by The Beatles.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Should Be Asleep. Am Not Asleep.

I just made the mistake at properly looking at my calendar. WHOA.

I had today off (well, Sunday. It's technically Monday by now), and that's my last day off until APRIL. In the intervening time, I have:

Da design run
Bus Stop strike
Da tech week
Da opening
Triumph first rehearsal
Triumph pre pubs

Toss in there a small handful of meetings and basics like laundry and grocery shopping.

Oh yeah. Also, working in the costume shop 6 days a week when not on a show and running Da once it opens.

Let the insanity begin!

ETA: No, wait. I have one more day off this month. That makes 3 whole days off in March!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

More Theatre. More Flailing. No Surprise!

I sat down to write this while listening to Mountain Goats (Sunset Tree, "Pale Green Things") but whoa, not the right music or brain place. Instead, a transition. Muse! The Resistance.

Yeah, that's better. For flailing about theatre, at least.

Theatre is awesome. I love seeing it, I love hearing about it, I love reading it, and most of all I love making it happen.

And I really, really love my job. As wardrobe crew, I have a few basic responsibilities:
1. Make sure the costumes/wigs stay clean and mended.
2. Make sure the actors look how they're supposed to on stage.

But my actual duties are rather more complex. They break down more like this:
1. Make sure the costumes/wigs stay clean and mended.
      A. Do laundry every night
      B. Brush/set/tend wigs however often is necessary
      C. Keep dressing rooms supplied with whatever is needed-- cotton balls, bobby pins, and tissues are hot items.
      D. Be prepared to fix anything and everything at all times
            i. An actor rips his pants and has 45 seconds before he has to be on stage? Safety pins to the rescue!
            ii. An actress pops the strand of beads on her dress? That's what the needle and thread are for. No need to take the dress off.

2. Make sure the actors look how they're supposed to on stage
      A. Do everything possible to make the actors feel comfortable, confident, and attractive in their costumes.
            i. Actors, as a general rule, have rather low self-esteem and are VERY critical of themselves. You would be too if it was your job to get stared at by hundreds of people 8 times a week and if your getting jobs was in no small part dependent on how you look.
      B. Do pretty much whatever is necessary to keep the actors in the right brain-place
            i. This covers everything from providing tissues to having a steady supply of hair pins, to being a shoulder to cry on as necessary.
            ii. This task necessitates an ability to--for lack of better phrasing--read people accurately and quickly.
            iii. Consider thinking beyond costumes for this task-- have a cup of water and a throat lozenge ready for the actor with a scratchy throat, a tissue for the actor who tears up on stage, and a sweat towel for the actor always wiping his forehead.
      C. Perform all actions without playing the role of servant.

In short, as wardrobe crew, it's my job to keep the actors pretty while figuring out what everyone needs 5 minutes before they need it and then provide it, without looking like I'm fetching whatever people need.

And it's the coolest job EVER.