Block 400: April 11, 2014


Can you believe I’ve made 400 already?

Time flies.

Date: April 11, 2014

Crane: 400

Days Spent on Project: 418

Person I would have sent it to: Jay B.

My first year at the Trinity Rep/Brown Consortium, Jay was hired as the props designer for that entire season.

While I can’t say he always brought the best props to the table, (I feel like he would admit that too), he brought the entertainment to the table.

And, again, that’s one of the best lessons for working in theater. At the end of the day, would you go drinking with these people?

Jay was only with us for that first year; he left to go pursue something other than production- acting. I think he’s in Chicago now?

Music I listened to while sewing: Today, I’m back to the Ye Olde Trusty Dancefloor Music Playlist on Spotify.

I was up (and thinking sadly) and 5am after some wicked weird dreams, so this helps.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: So, last night’s dream found me in the house I grew up in, in Brownsburg, Indiana. I was styling/dressing an actor/performer (as a hipster?) in my kitchen, next to the island where the stove was. Everything wasn’t going well; every costume note I gave was met by criticism by the actor, and then by my assistant and the first hand and then the makeup and hair person there as well. As they went to finish styling his hair, and proceeded to trim off length of the actor’s hair, I stopped them saying the length was great for the character. The actor, in turn, blew up, yelling at me. The rest of my team threw up their hands and walked away. The next thing I knew, we were all walking up the stairs in that house, me following the entire group (who would each individually turn around and shoot me death-stares). I ended the dream walking into my childhood closet and crawling underneath the clothes rod. I closed my eyes in the dream and woke up in my bed; The Dog was in bed on my pillow and I was curled up on the edge of the bed.

What do you think that means?

Before I went to sleep, I spent some time looking through a Tumblr called “Show Nuff,” which posts pictures of really unfortunate publicity shots from amateur theater productions. I think it’s hilarious, validating, and also somewhat sobering. There’s SO much theater out in the world! And, well, there are so many, um, unfortunate costumes out there!

Going through the galleries usually boosts my confidence in my abilities and my training.

But, last night, it also seemed vaguely mean. Isn’t it kind of quintessentially New York to mock (albeit maybe lovingly in our weird NYC-way) things that don’t look good?

I texted a friend about it. He told me to calm down, saying that the pictures were taken out of context. We don’t know their resources, their location, etc.

A friend also forwarded another Kickstarter campaign going underway for a production that wants to happen sometime later this year. They’re trying to raise just under $4000 to fully mount and realize an “immersive” theater experience- a dinner party taking place in the early 20th Century where the guests would be people like Gertrude Stein, Picasso, etc. Great! Fantastic! I want there to be more “different” kinds of theater experiences out there.

While I think Kickstarter and Indie-Gogo are great tools for crowd-sourcing money (I’m debating about starting one to finish the next phase of this project), it’s sobering how many projects are out there. How do we get our projects noticed and supported? And if no one supports or donates, does that mean your project is any less “valuable” than another that gets its money?

I’m especially worried about the question of production and production values as I head into this summer with The California Project and then also Pippin. If The California Project is awesome and great, do we try to do it on a slightly bigger scale? To do that, we’d need money; how do you raise money to do a production?

And with Pippin, with a cast of 22 MINIMUM and a budget of $2500, how to you dress a period, “fantastical” musical and not have the resulting production and/or publicity photos NOT wind up on something like “Show Nuff?” I’m cutting any wigs outright. A lot of the sketches and looks I drew are gonna get cut or rethought or simplified.

It always seems to come back to money, doesn’t it?

I’m almost certain there was never any money in theater, but was it always this tight?

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