Block 538: December 3, 2014


Busy today; first time I’ve had to sit down at my computer!

Date: December 3, 2014

Crane: 538

Days Spent on Project: 653

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: Hannah T.

I was hired to be the (Union) Assistant Costume Designer on Priscilla Queen of the Desert, somewhat unaware of the number of people who had come before me, assisting on the various incarnations that the production had undergone. I knew that the show had played and toured Australia. I also was aware that the show was currently playing the West End- and unfortunately would close around the same time it would open on Broadway.

So, for each production, there were entire other teams trying to recreate the vision that the costume designers had dreamed up.

Hannah was the UK me.

When we arrived in Toronto from New York in late September of 2010, she had also just arrived from London, ready and willing to make the show ready for another continent of audiences.

I have to say, while we were in Toronto and working together, I’m not sure how well we got along. Maybe it was a little professional jealous there. She already knew what all the costumes should be, what they were intended to be, all the problems that would (and did) come up. She even could tell how people would react to it all. She had lived the experience before and, this should be telling to me, the experience wasn’t that different than what had happened before.

Regardless of the location, the money, the needs, the people, the time, the drama behind putting theater on never change; it’s a good lesson to learn. And re-learn.

But I did enjoy her, and I’m glad she was there, even if she and I weren’t the closest of working friends during our time in Toronto. I should have made more of point to get to know her, because she’s really an interesting and fun person. She’s grounded. She works hard. She has a very British, dry sense of humor and outlook on life, which I’m learning to appreciate more and more. She does a lot of crafty work and projects. She stays in touch with people she likes. She’s a good person. I wish I had allowed myself– been allowed– to understand that while we were in Toronto.

We stay in touch through Facebook, and she’s been incredibly supportive of this project. I enjoy that.

Music I listened to while sewing: Spotify again. It’s on shuffle, so nothing very special is sticking out today.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Today I feel like I’m somewhat back on track.

A friend of mine from grad school is in Portland today. She’s been interviewing with a local college, in the hopes that they’ll offer her a professorship as their Scenic and Costume Design professor. Out of anyone I know– well, the designers I know– she’s the perfect choice to teach college theater. She would be an awesome teacher. She’s smart. She knows how to draw and paint. She has a lot of great experience on great productions. She’s worked with good people and all the personalities that come with that. I hope she gets the job offer.

She’s been looking, secretly I guess, for a way out of New York, as well. Much like my journey in the past year (is THIS really worth it?), she’s wondering if there are other things out there.

I would be so happy if she got the job. She’d have to be here in January- so again a very quick move out here from the east coast. It would be nice to have another person here that I shared *some* kind of history with. It would be so nice.

As we met for an early morning coffee and talked for an hour and a half, I felt myself revert a little bit to my mannerisms that I had back out east. I talked a little faster. I gestured more. My voice was a little louder.

I didn’t realize how much I’ve changed my mannerisms in the past four and a half months. Maybe it’s that I don’t have *my* group yet. Maybe it’s that I don’t have *my* place here yet. Maybe it’s that I don’t get this city entirely yet. I don’t know exactly what it is, but I’m slowly changing here and I guess I was unaware of that.

It’s not all bad. No. It’s not. But, it’s something to think about.

So, because of this… I feel like there’s some kind of hope for Portland and me? Maybe there is an opportunity in all of this.


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