Block 576: January 13, 2015


I referenced The Lion King today. No reason.

Date: January 13, 2015

Crane: 576

Days Spent on Project: 694

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: Hugh H.

When we started working on Newsies, for the Paper Mill production and then the transfer to Broadway, Hugh was a draper we worked with at Carelli’s who was in charge of building the Medda Larken outfits. For Paper Mill, she was seen in a Edwardian corset with ruffles and flowers and bows- bare legged with custom Victorian boots. For the Broadway transfer, when the character was “reimagined” the costume became more glamourous. It was very pink and very brocaded and glittery. Suddenly Medda’s act got a little more sophisticated, I guess.

It was really great to see Hugh work with those two different designs; seeing the attention to all the seams, the boning in the corset, the way it needed to be quick rigged. He paid special attention to all the details and the fit. Those clothes just looked great.

I also learned from him about fabric transparency on stage. Yeah, in real life, chiffon and organza is a breath of nothing and very transparent. On stage, with directional stage lighting, those two fabrics will almost go opaque. I learned from Hugh that to keep something sheer… you have to use a net.

I saw Hugh make a straw hat from scratch. I saw them make fabric flowers. The teams at Carelli’s were worth the price. I wish I remembered more of the people who worked there. They were all really skilled and helped do beautiful work! There were so many people in that operation back in 2011 and 2012.

Unfortunately, Carelli’s downsized after that. They were once a two story loft space with lots of areas to work. Sometime in the past two years or so, they lost the upper floor and had to condense their operations. It’s really unfortunate that NYC squeezes long time tenants and artists like that.

I guess that’s a big strike against NYC.

Music I listened to while sewing: We’ve got “No One Knows You When You’re Down and Out” on in the shop right now! I love that the people in this shop listen to old jazz of their own volition.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: I’m having one of those triumphant moments when I feel like I survived my first design here in Portland, when I see more shows barreling down towards us but I feel like they’re under control, when I feel more confident in my shop managing skills… So, I feel okay right here and now.

I’m choosing to not focus on feeling a little insecure about my place in Portland, whether or not this is MY place. Portland is weird, yes, like everyone says, but it’s not weird like you expect it to be.

Anyway, as much as I enjoyed the opportunity to design here and as much as I want to keep designing here, I still have worries about designing here. Can I handle it? Can I be good enough? Am I good enough? Is it too much work?

I still believe that I’m good enough to design here. I still believe I’m good enough to manage this shop. I still believe I’m good enough that people should accept me here in this theater building. I still believe that I’m able to do this work.

I still miss my NYC friends. I still miss parts of New York badly. But, I’m also understanding that the parts of New York I’m missing… some of it is romanticized. My life is a lot easier here, and I’m beginning to realize that might be okay.

I still want some good friends here. I still need that.

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