Date: December 12, 2014
Days Spent on Project: 662
Location: NW Portland, OR
Person I would have sent it to: Candice D.
After I worked at the Public Theater in the winter of 2011, I went out to dinner with a new friend at the time (Chris M.!). We went to Grey Dog in Chelsea, had an overly salted meal, and talked about the state of the world and theater and New York.
He mentioned his day job: he worked as a secretary at the Manhattan School of Music, scheduling classes, rehearsals, and so on for students in their Opera department. He mentioned they were just starting production on their spring show: a relatively little known opera called El Amor Brujo/La Vida Breve. He talked about having met the designer recently.
A week or so later, I got an email from a friend (Sarah C.!) who told me she was needing to back out of a job assisting a designer on an opera “way uptown.” So, in that late winter, I trekked across Central Park from Second Avenue, over to the west side of town, and took the 1 up to 116th Street. I hadn’t been in that neighborhood since 2008, when I met a designer (Marina D.!) who would hire me to work with her on a “small musical called Fela.” We met at a Starbucks then.
That late winter day, I walked into the Manhattan School of Music and met Candice.
She’s a costume designer, another graduate of the Yale School of Drama, whose work I was familiar with. I had seen her sketches, and then the costumes, at Eric’s costume shop in New York over the years. Her sketches were always so incredibly loose and specific. They had a lot of energy and intensity. They didn’t seem labored at all, even though I know she works on them quite a bit. (They are everything my sketches aren’t, in other words.)
Candice hired me right then and there, and I started working on a “small” (yeah, right) student opera with her. That one show would turn into two other shows that spring, and then a few more in the following years. I was actually supposed to be working for her this past fall on a show at the Roundabout in NYC, but then this job in Portland called. I actually really regretted telling her that I was leaving New York and couldn’t work for her. I couldn’t stand to call her… I emailed her instead; she replied with a quick reply. I hope she hasn’t forgotten about me.
She also LOVES my dog, even though she can never remember his exact name.
I like her work. I love her taste in fabric and clothes. Her style is amazing, again effortless and casually worn while not being casual. As much work as it is to assist her, I enjoy her projects.
There are times when I realize I knew some really amazing people in the city, and I just left them there. I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to all of them since the move was so quick. I don’t know if they would have cared to hear my goodbye. I’m not sure they would have noticed or cared.
I left some really amazing people in the city.
Music I listened to while sewing: I have the musical Side Show on this morning.
Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Why try. Why try? Why, try! Why: TRY. Why… try…
Seriously, what is the point of even trying here?
I’m angry today.
My parents have frequently commented that I don’t sound like I carry that same anger with me that I seemed to in New York. I don’t know if that’s true. I think it’s being replaced with a frustrated consternation, such as wanting to throw my hands up in the air and ask: “Why? What is the reasoning?”
I’ll gladly be a team player here, but again, that IMPLIES THERE ARE OTHER PEOPLE ON A SINGULAR TEAM. You can’t be team players if there are five different teams fighting over the same ball on the same court with two hoops to aim at.
It makes NO sense.
In a way, at least New York was cut and dry.
I don’t get it here.
But, there: I left some really amazing people in the city, and I’m having a hard time reconciling not having them here. Who is here that I can look up to or whose work will excite me? Yes, I’m romanticizing my life “there” (remember, sir, it was not easy and you were not comfortable… as in living comfortably), but there were outlets there.
Jeez: Eric just posted one of his latest costume creations on Facebook… custom beaded paisley designs on really gorgeous fabric. Crap: someone just got cast in a Broadway show. Wow: is that a series of Opening Night pictures? Wait: pictures of the Met’s exhibits! Wow: the windows at Bergdorf look like that this season?
I posted a picture of some of the clothes that are being built here in Portland for *MY* January show last night. Immediately after, someone posted about their designs for the Rockettes.
I don’t get it here. I don’t get it there either, I guess, if we’re gonna be honest about my life.