Date: January 30, 2014
Days Spent on Project: 348
Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC
Person I would have sent it to: Burke B.
Burke was also in the year below me, when I went to the Yale School of Drama. Again, another lighting designer, I had the chance to work with him once at school; when I was a third year student (and he a second), we both designed for a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He did lights, obviously; I was asked to design the set.
I was actually really proud of that design; Athens was cool, rigid, slick, and the Forest was a release of that. It was kinda epic, and after the budgeting process my work had been extremely reduced in scale. Lesson learned, always design for your means, kids!
A few years later, Burke and I would work together once more; he and I were asked to participate in the Seoul Performing Arts Festival in South Korea. He designed lights for the premiere production of Elfriede Jelnik’s Sleeping Beauty. I was cast in the role of Prince. (I’ve acted internationally, gang.) It was a crazy, interesting fun experience. I’ve travelled abroad before sure, but visiting South Korea for a week was intense.
Burke is still designing for theater. He’s even married to Kate C. now, one of the costume designers in my class at Yale.
Music I listened to while sewing: I couldn’t think of what I wanted to listen to this morning… so I just chose The Great Gatsby playlist on Spotify. Rhapsody in Blue is playing currently.
Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Two design meetings yesterday. The production of Pippin is becoming more clear to me, and I think it’ll be exciting to draw at the very least.
I’m designing costumes for another web-series now. Again, no pay and no budget to speak of… but it’s work with a good production company and one of the producers is a friend and it’s more potential work contacts and another credit and more experience and something to work on for a few days and…
Have you ever thought that your career isn’t a career?
I’ve being designing costumes “professionally” (meaning I’ve received payment for my work as a costume designer) since I was 21. (That’s 13 years, in case you’re curious.) I’ve invested in a graduate program; I have an MFA in Design, which is practically a terminal degree for my line of work. I’ve worked in New York, in regional theater, at summer stocks, for TV (even internet TV!), I’ve worked outside the country, I’ve worked on Broadway, and so on and so forth…
…Yet to BE a costume designer, to call yourself a costume designer (Heck, to call yourself any kind of theater artist), you have to take jobs that sometimes pay little, if anything.
Most people who work at something without any kind of financial compensation would call that a hobby, right? A diversion? A side project?
But, considering this is what I’ve been doing with my adult life, and I’ve invested in it in so many ways, it’s gotta be more than just a hobby… don’t you think?