Block 275: December 5, 2013

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Am I really getting close to 300 already?

Date: December 5, 2013

Crane: 275

Days Spent on Project: 292

Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC

Person I would have sent it to: Chrystal W.

After I finished working on the Siti Company’s production of Hay Fever in the winter of 2002, Actors Theatre launched into full-out prep for the Humana Festival. I had no idea what to expect. That year, how many plays were there going on at once? 10? 11? I can’t remember; the whole experience was a blur of play after play, rehearsal on top of rehearsal, fittings one after another, and actors and designers and shopping and building all the time. But it was amazing; you could feel some electricity in the air, as the Theatre geared up for it.

Chrystal was the first designer, of only two, that I was asked to assist. From California, she was my first exposure to a designer based on the west coast. The show I assisted her on, Finer Noble Gases, was going to be the edgy, dark play for the Festival: a bunch of drugged-out guys, former band members, on stage in a trashed apartment, maybe some hallucination, a little girl abandoned, the threat of violence, and crazily enough someone “relieving themselves” on stage.

That was an interesting design challenge to tackle. How do you realistically show an actor using the restroom on stage, when the stage is IN THE ROUND. Yikes. We bounced around several ideas. A prosthetic member? A hidden balloon? Tubing? In the end, after much discussion, it actually happened live in front of the audience.

Theater.

Chrystal was great fun. She had a great sense of humor about it all, and became the Idea Of What LA Costume Designers Would Be for several, several years.

I don’t actually know what’s happened to her, or where she’s gone in life in the past 11 years, which I find sad and surprising.

Music I listened to while sewing: I’ve got Fort Fairfield on this morning. It was either that or YouTube some Alexander McQueen runway videos…

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Nervous. Anxious. I have an interview with a designer I want to work with this afternoon. I emailed under the guise that I wanted to talk about his career, his design process, his work… when I really just want to work with him.

That I have a bit of a head-cold this week isn’t helping my nerves much.

I’m trying to make more things happen!

Here we go!

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