Block 534: November 29, 2014


Opened our second Christmas show last night; on to January!

Date: November 29, 2014

Crane: 534

Days Spent on Project: 649

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: Shall we back to doing this (somewhat) chronologically?

If I’ve gone through Fela! and Come Fly Away, that takes me up to the summer of 2010, right?

At the Tony Awards that June, I sat towards the back with Fela!’s production team, witnessing how Memphis was winning all the awards that we were nominated in. During the breaks in the ceremony (for the commericals being broadcast across the country), we’d be treated to commercials played on a giant screen at Radio City Music Hall, usually advertising shows that were just being announced for the following Theater Season. (I saw the first commercial for Warhorse and thinking: “Really?” Nevermind that when I saw the show at the Lincoln Center, I was reduced to tears about halfway through…)

That’s when I saw it, and realized the rumors were true: there was a commercial for Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Yes, the movie was being (had been) turned into a musical in Australia and had just opened in the West End. Having such a connection to the film from high school, and those summer afternoons spent with Adam and Vicki and Elizabeth watching it religiously, I turned to Amy next to me and said: “We have to figure out a way to get on that show.”

Fast forward two months, when I got a phone call asking for an interview to work on the upcoming Toronto, pre-Broadway production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert.


Amy had recommended me, when a friend of hers had graduated into the position of Associate Designer.

The first person I met on that production is the person I’ll have the hardest time talking about, so I’m not going to discuss him as I open that chapter.

We’ll dedicate this one to Rick K.

Rick was hired as the Associate Costume Designer for the Toronto production; he would run the wardrobe department there and then transfer the entire production to Broadway’s Palace Theatre. At that time, I learned he was stepping down (another job was offered?) to focus on something else.

Now, I’m not saying that should have been a sign, but it foretold a lot of what was to come.

Anyway, after interviewing quickly and agreeing to start work the next week, I didn’t get much time to work with Rick on that production. He showed us what was in process, gave us paperwork, and ran some fittings that were already on the schedule. It wasn’t until a year and a half later that I would get the chance to work with him again… when he was hired to run the wardrobe department on Newsies and its Broadway run.

SO, I did eventually get to work with him. And I am– especially here in Portland– very admiring of his work as a wardrobe supervisor: he knows how to maintain a show, run a crew, assign duties, and do the work without seeming overwhelmed by it all. He takes care of things.

He’s a great wardrobe supervisor, and you can trust that he’ll do a good job making sure your clothes look as good as they should and can.

Music I listened to while sewing: I’m taking a Kesha break today, and I’m onto my Lounge and Soft House playlist on Spotify. I especially like “Lovely Sweet Divine” by Eelke Kleijn.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Our Christmas shows are up and running, which means I’m the next designer to step up and keep the shop busy.

Last night, at Opening, several people commented on the transition to Portland The City. It seems that’s actually very common to hit a wall when you move here, dealing with a bit of frustration and alienation with the culture.

I’m sure there are some people who move here and fold themselves into the scene easily and nicely, but I’m learning there’s a contingent of people who question the what’s and why’s and oh my god’s of it all. I fall into the latter group obviously.

I was comforted last night; I was told that there comes a point when it does feel like your city and your place and you’re a part of it all.

Maybe that happens with any cross-country move that you do quickly, for a new line of work, by yourself, as an adult in his mid-30s. Maybe it’s a more common feeling than I’m giving credit for?

Anyway, I was told that Portland will allow you to pursue your outside interests; you can have hobbies or a side career or a passion that can be pursued. So maybe there’s hope for it yet.

Who knows? Okay, I’m going into work to color sketches. Maybe I’ll go shopping for a jacket or some more flannel shirts. Or boots.

3 thoughts on “Block 534: November 29, 2014

  1. I love the cranes. Each day I look forward to my notification that there is a new one. I keep thinking “oh that’s my favorite” but then I think that of the next one too. So at this point, this one’s my favorite. Thanks for sharing them and you journey!

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