Block 506: November 1, 2014


Every person I’ve seen today- even a kid or two- looks slightly hungover this morning. Maybe too much candy last night?

Date: November 1, 2014

Crane: 506

Days Spent on Project: 621

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: Have to go back a bit in time. I forgot to dedicate a Crane to Sue S.

Yeah, I forgot about the wardrobe crew on Fela when it transferred to Broadway; as my first experience with a Union Wardrobe Crew on Broadway, how can I forget some of those people?

Sue was hired in the summer of 2009 to be the wardrobe supervisor for the show. She was in charge, of taking a very demanding show- physically on the dancers, which also meant physically on the clothes- and maintaining it throughout its run. Because the budget for the show was a bit tight, we didn’t have the money to have duplicates made of everything. Each piece in the show was unique and one of a kind, and wasn’t made with the intention that it would have to be copied.

On top of that, we used a lot of “African prints” that I purchased at the African Market in Harlem on 116th street, a lot of cheap jewelry, and some very one-of-a-kind unique vintage pieces from Africa. Some of the clothes couldn’t necessarily be duplicated without a lot of money. Oops.

(My first lesson in trying to get everything made for a show like that- always have duplicates because someone will split the crotch of their pants during the middle of a show and (surprise!) dancers sweat a lot and clothes don’t dry very fast…)

Anyway, Sue had a huge disadvantage with this show, and she kept it together for as long as she could.

I did come back, in the late Spring of 2010, under the order of the designer to go through all the racks and inspect the state of things. I was then ordered to freshen everything up… The Tony Awards were around the corner.

Sue had her hands full, and didn’t have an official assistant for the production; as the Assistant Costume Designer on the show, I came back for a month to help her out.

Comparing this Fela experience to the experience I had with Eddie/Jen on Come Fly Away, I learned so much. Good wardrobe teams require people, skill, money (yes), and some pre-planning on the design team’s part.

That pre-planning is something I’m trying to work on here in Portland.

Music I listened to while sewing: I’ve got the 1995 London cast recording of Ain’t Misbehaving on this morning. Trying to find my way in to that musical review for work… what’s the draw of a piece like this?

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: I’ve decided I want to see theater that activate all five senses.

Sight and sound are cool and all, but what about taste, smell, and touch?

I keep thinking how visceral things would become if an audience could smell something cooking if a scene were taking place in a kitchen. (What if you smelled the sugar of that pudding that Mrs. Cratchit made in A Christmas Carol? What if you got to taste that wassail that the carolers wanted? What if what if what if?)

I also thought of a name for my hypothetical theater company that I’m going to start (ha) that will try to create immersive works.

I have an itch to scratch with that genre, and I can’t get rid of it.

Anyway, remember that Tumblr account of mine? This morning, there were 5000 followers. (!)

Happy Saturday.

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