Block 542: December 7, 2014


Super weird dreams last night. Super, super weird.

Date: December 7, 2014

Crane: 542

Days Spent on Project: 657

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: Tim C.

When I was a young teenager, with my friends Elizabeth and Adam and Vicki, I discovered the movie Priscilla Queen of the Desert and it kind of changed my life. The change wasn’t drastic- like moving 3000 miles across the country- but suddenly I was aware of ABBA and drag queens and lip syncing and gay men in Australia and realized that (adult) gay men also felt alienated. Big lessons!

That the clothes were outlandish and spectacular also cemented an interest in the film. The clothes and the costumes MADE the film.

So, when in the late summer of 2010 I became aware that Priscilla would be coming to Broadway, and the same designers who dreamed up those costumes would be attached (after the productions in Australia and the West End), I really wanted to work on it. It seemed like my teenage self needed to make that connection. It seemed like a part of my (gay) life would come full-circle. What a goal. What an accomplishment.

And, in the month of September in the year of 2010, I met Tim- one half of the team who created all those iconic looks. I would never meet Lizzy- she wasn’t scheduled to do any work on the Toronto leg (Tim would do it all). I believe she may have come over to visit the show when it arrived on Broadway.

Tim came to visit us once for a series of fittings on new costumes/designs that were being built at Tricorne (remember them?) during September. He would later return and stay with us for the entirety of the production time in Toronto.

So, as an adult, as a person, I’ve had the experience of meeting someone whose work fascinated me as a young teenager, whose work possibly sent me down this path that I’m now currently wading in. And that’s an interesting experience. You learn a lot. You hear stories of the past. You work as a team, long hours and stressful situations. And you’re a part of something that your younger self would have wanted and envied.

Would the 16 year old me have believed that I’d be recreating those costumes just 15 years later?

Sometimes is a great experience. But you do learn a helluva lot. And sometimes you wish you didn’t learn so much.

Tim and Lizzy won the Oscar for their costume designs in Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Tim and Lizzy would also win the Tony for the costume designs when the show opened on Broadway.

(So, I technically have two Tony awards on my resume. That still floors me. I HAVE worked on productions that have been recognized as great.)

Music I listened to while sewing: Beyonce is giving me realness still.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: I think I’m amazing and capable and worthy of so much and could do so much, but I also consider myself an average person.

I don’t necessarily think waters will part for me. I don’t think I’m the kind of person who attracts attention. I don’t know if I have that magnetism that certain people have.

But I still think I’m capable of amazing things. I think I have ideas that are good. I think I can make awesome things happen.

But I also think I’m average. I’m ordinary.

Is this how everyone feels: a unique blend of pride and ambition and humility?

When I walk my dog around Portland today, and I cross paths with someone, am I passing someone who’s also capable of amazing and good things?

Are we all?

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