Block 387: March 29, 2014

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A very saturated Saturday morning to you.

Date: March 29, 2014

Crane: 387

Days Spent on Project: 405

Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC

Person I would have sent it to: Remember Crane 366? I dedicated it to the Dean of the Drama School, James?

And remember he was the director of the final Yale Repertory Show of my third year, and that was the show that I was assigned to design costumes for? And remember that I mentioned James had to sit out the final week of tech and previews of the show because of sudden, severe health problems?

Today’s Crane is dedicated to Mark R., the director who was flown in overnight to take over the helm of that production of All’s Well. And, overnight, it seemed that the costumes I was bringing to the production went from being successful to just barely being tolerated.

I really did learn a lot from that production; having to rethink and re-defend choices you had made months before and then redesign and repurchase and remake some items really teaches you something. Having to do all of that in the final weeks of your graduate schooling, and being terrified that this abnormal process would handicap your chances of getting that MFA, really was a roller coaster.

I learned sometimes you shouldn’t be concerned with the budget, but giving the best product that you can. I learned that every director has their own relationship with a play, and every single one will leave their fingerprint on a production. I learned the process isn’t open until curtain call on Opening Night, and sometimes you DO have to work up until the very end. I learned how important it is to REALLY have a conversation about who the characters are with the director before you really design something, and then to constantly revisit those impressions through the process. I learned to have a strong belief in what you choose, what you design; you have to know why you chose something, why that idea is RIGHT for your specific production.

As crazy as that show was, it really was such an incredible design opportunity for me. Very educational, in design terms and personal terms.

Music I listened to while sewing: I have someone named Ulrich Schnauss on this morning. Something relaxing, somewhat upbeat and uptempo, all electronic.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Successful day yesterday at a dance rehearsal in New Jersey. Had the chance to meet the dancers (16!), watch the movement, hear all the music, and talk to the choreographer about the scope of the piece. He has a very specific idea for the work, which is exciting. Now I just need to figure out how to translate it into clothes that they can afford!

Anyway, read an interview with Joan Rivers online last night while I was trying to put myself to bed. Really great read, and it made me want to watch that documentary of hers from a few years back… Towards the end of the article, although she’s discussing advice for female comedians, she says this:

“First of all, don’t worry about the money. Love the process. You don’t know when it’s gonna happen. Louis C.K. started hitting in his 40s; he’d been doing it for 20 years. And don’t settle. I don’t want to ever hear, “It’s good enough.” Then it’s not good enough. Don’t ever underestimate your audience. They can tell when it isn’t true. Also: Ignore your competition. A Mafia guy in Vegas gave me this advice: “Run your own race, put on your blinders.” Don’t worry about how others are doing. Something better will come.”

I think it applies to more than comedy.

Time to get the day started.

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