Block 598: February 8, 2015

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Trying to keep myself busy and focused this weekend. There’s a lot to get started and accomplished here.

Date: February 8, 2015

Crane: 598

Days Spent on Project: 719

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: Brian V.

This one goes out to Brian, and it kinda proves how small the New York theater scene can be.

When I was working on the Sleep No More Party, back in October of 2013, I recognized his name from the emails that would arrive frequently about schedules and expectations.

Brian was an actor that I had worked with in Connecticut (on a production of MacBeth, of all things) the summer previously. He was also an actor I had worked with (strangely only through email) on an Internet web-series that I had costumed (for no fee or budget) earlier in the month.

That web-series was one of those situations where you said, “Hey, you’ve given me no budget to buy anything, nor are you paying me any money… I can talk to actors about what to bring, but I’m not at a place where I can work for 2 weeks, 14 hours a day, for no money.” Brian’s costume was the easiest: I asked him to provide a pair of gym shorts, sneakers, and a button down shirt for one look. The next look required a jacket. Done and done.

So, you never know when you’ll run across actors you’ve worked with before… and in what capacity you’ll be working with them again.

The “role” I was asked to play at that party was originally assigned to Brian. But, due to a scheduling conflict, he couldn’t show up the right rehearsal time and I was chosen instead. And, for that random twist of fate, I have to thank him… I had so much fun that night.

Music I listened to today: Since I’m at home, I’ve got Spotify on, and I’m shuffling through the “Atmospheric Calm” playlist.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Yesterday was a full day, and today I’m getting caught up on things… like this project.

Met my friend Chloe– who just moved here from Brooklyn two weeks ago– in the morning and we went out for our First Portland Brunch. Brunch is Something To Do in New York on the weekends, sure, but Brunch in Portland is a THING. I don’t really know what the difference is yet. It seems to be the same foods, eaten at the same time, with the same wait for a table. Yes, the food is good and I will most certainly do Portland Brunch again, but I’ve had that experience now!

It’s great to have Chloe here. Even though she’s someone I probably only saw maybe once or twice every other year in New York City, it’s great to have finally someone here that I share a connection and past with. What’s great about her– for me right now besides the bonus of an existing friend– is that she’s passionate about what she’s doing and she has a very clear but flexible goal in mind. Yes, she’s no longer “doing theater” (even though she’s teaching design for a few semesters here) and she no longer considers herself on the designer’s path, but she’s found a way to take all her experiences with theater and the things she’s learned and worked on, and she’s found a way to direct them towards something that excites her even more.

I’d have to let her discuss her path to get it right, but it’s morphed from theater design to painting to fashion history to menswear and tailoring to teaching and also anthropology and sociology and history. She’s had a Fulbright, which she spent in Sweden studying clothes from the 17th Century. She’s here in Portland, looking for a way out of New York for a spell like me, but also using this time to get to her next step- a PhD.

I guess it’s proof– CONCRETE PROOF– that all of our experiences do not have to lead to one finished product at a certain point, but have to be allowed to evolve with us as our tastes and ideas and minds and desires and passions grow.

I have the BA in Drama. I have the MFA from Yale in Costume Design. I spent a semester in London, taking acting classes. I’ve freelanced in New York and in other parts of the countries. I’ve worked with colleges and universities as a guest artist and designer. I’m now in Portland, working as a Shop Manager, who has finally accepted that I’m looking for my next opportunity already. I have no idea what that next opportunity is or where it will be or when it will come around.

But all I can do is work towards what I’m excited about and do the best I can with what I have in front of me. Do good work here. Figure out what’s interesting or tedious about it. Figure out what you can take from it. Figure out what else might be out there.

Work towards that.

As much as I keep joking that I’m going to start an Immersive Theater company in Portland, why can’t I?

As much as I fear that I’ll never get to work on larger shows and productions with more reasonable budgets and support, why do I have to accept that?

I’m still young at 35 and there’s no one who says I’ve almost reached the finish line.

I just need to be more specific. I need to throw my hopes and desires out there into the air and see what happens next. I need to keep trying. I need to keep at it.

And if it doesn’t work out like I want or wanted, why is that a problem?

Try again.

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