Block 461: June 11, 2014


Pippin opens tonight.

Date: June 11, 2014

Crane: 461

Days Spent on Project: 478

Location: Conway, Arkansas

Person I would have sent it to: Andy J.

Andy was another one of the artists, craftspeople, and designers who worked in Martin’s Costume Shop/Studio. I met him back in 2008, when I was working on the first incarnation of Fela!, and we rented a fitting room/office from Martin.

He was always really nice. Unprovoked, he gave me his phone number. Unfortunately, the only time I was bold enough to use it was during Fela! tech and I texted him a question about some masks he built for us.

A missed opportunity.

I’m not sure what Andy’s up to these days. He was there through 2009 and into 2010, and I saw him as we prepped Fela! for its transfer to Broadway and then London. I even saw him wandering around the Flatiron district one day, and I made a point to stop and talk to him. He was designing dance costumes for a friend, I remember that.

I wonder what happened to him.

Music I listened to while sewing: Back with Robyn and Royksopp!

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: This is the day I’ve been waiting for… Pippin opens!

And I should say that I’m excited to celebrate the work and company, but I’m more excited to get on a plane tomorrow at noon so that I can get myself to Virginia and see my dog. Then, once the reunion is done, I get to “relax” and try to figure out what’s going on in my life.

Unless something amazing happens, I’ll be in Virginia for a few weeks. I’m not rushing back to New York. It may also mean that I take a break from this project (for real) because I’m going to run out of Cranes that I made before leaving NYC in April. We’ll deal with that day when or if that happens.

And, as much as I’ve gone through this experience in Arkansas and wondered why I’m here, I have to be thankful for the three friends I’ve made here. I’ve had the chance to get to know two great Chicago-based costume designers and a set designer; once we started hanging out and venting about everything, this experience became more enjoyable. I hope to see them and work with them again in the future, because I have enjoyed the “design process” with them.

And, yes, I have enjoyed designing this production of Pippin. Am I completely satisfied with it? No, not at all. I feel like a lot of things *could* be better, and I *wish* they were better. Given that I had my first design meeting/discussion back in December, and the time and research and books I invested in throughout this process, I wish it were slightly more than it is.

After The California Project, and now this, I really don’t understand why I don’t try and direct something. I could do it. I know I could. I enjoy the design process and thinking of ways to tell a story visually. I want to work on productions where the story is told visually, and everything on stage is a part of telling that *one* story. I would like to work on interesting stories. I would like my design to be used as a part of the story-telling process, instead of just a way to dress people interestingly. I would like to work with a team of people who tell the same story and use their work to tell the same story clearly and directly. I’d like to work with people and on productions where the goal is to tell the story effectively and interestingly, and NOT to just do things on stage that might seem interesting. And I do think there is a definite difference.

But, first, let’s open this show tonight, pack my bursting suitcase, and get myself out of here.

First things first.


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