Block 256: November 12, 2013

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Sleep No more last night. Trip Number 7. I was pushed deep into the woods.

Date: November 12, 2013

Crane: 256

Days Spent on Project: 269

Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC.

I moved into this apartment a year ago today.

Person I would have sent it to: Margret F.

Over the Winter Break during my senior year, I drove down to Louisville, KY to interview with the costume shop manager to discuss a possible internship for the next season, my first year after college.

After that interview, I drove the 2 hours back to Indianapolis. There was a message on the answering machine from Margret; she was offering me a Journeyman position, not the internship, for the next season.

This was awesome. It was actual a paid job. Heading back to Kenyon for my last semester, I knew I had scored a chance to work with a great regional theater for a year, and I would actually be making (very little) money.

Margret, besides being the manager of the shop- a full time job in itself, was also one of the head drapers. She was the first person I worked under who could look at a sketch and pattern out the garment by hand, not looking for a pre-existing pattern. To this day, I’m amazed by her skill at it; several people I work with need to take the time to figure things out on a dress form (“draping” the pattern) but, after a conversation with the designer about period and details in the sketch, she could actually draw out the pattern on paper.

You always wanted Margret to be your head draper on at least one of your outfits.

For two years, I worked under her. I learned a lot in that shop… I learned about flat-patterning, how to operate as an assistant in a shop, about astrology (she could also read cards), and how to quilt. Margret was the first person to inspire me to quilt.

I was intrigued. She could throw together a quilt top in what seemed like a few days, as intricate as they are. I get the sense those projects were one way for her to blow off steam.

Kinda like what I’m doing with this.

Music I listened to while sewing: I’ve got Lady Gaga’s new album ArtPop playing this morning.

I didn’t know why I was worried. I should just trust; she’s actually a great music artist. It’s not the explosion that Fame Monster was, but you get the sense that she’s taking a small evolution with her work.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Where to start?

I took my friend Chris to Sleep No More last night. Of all my friends, I’ve been wanting him to experience it; as a director, I thought he’d get a thrill about the scope of the piece, he’d be amazed about the detail, the chance to be surrounded by a theatrical world. And, when we left, at close to 11pm last night… myself covered with spatters of blood (that’s never happened before!) and content… he was effusing about the show. So, there’s another convert.

Before the show, we had about an hour to catch up, which was helpful. He and I both discussed a similar feeling that we’re trying to wrestle with: How long can you hold on? He and I have had very interesting years- or 18 months, in his case. He took an un-paying internship with a great regional theater for a year. He just arrived back in the city in July.

How long can you convince yourself that being paid nothing has no reflection on YOU AS A PERSON, but it’s just a sad reflection on how people treat Artists and The Arts in this country?

I’m wrestling with this conflict. I’m trying to understand that when people say “I can pay you $100 for three months of full-time work,” it’s not that they disrespect me. It’s just the way it is. It’s just the steps I have to take. I have to remind myself that this is a part of the process and you have to do it. I’m telling myself that some people don’t and won’t understand this.

I find it amusing to think I’ve been given the opportunity to fly to LA for a weekend (for work, in a way). I think I’m the poorest person in America that’s taking a cross-country flight for almost 72 hours.

Smoke and Mirrors.

Anyway, more interviews today for more work. Yay.

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