Block 623: March 6, 2015


Ready for the weekend… so I can do my taxes.

Date: March 6, 2015

Crane: 623

Days Spent on Project: 745

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: I worked at Paper Mill a third time,  but I don’t really talk about it very much.

I started working on their production of A Chorus Line, which was to start off their season in the Fall of 2012. A Chorus Line, even though it’s all dance wear and relatively straightforward and ICONIC (I mean, you kinda have to do those champagne colored costumes at the very end or audiences will revolt), is a hard show… because it’s all about dance.

So, footwear is incredibly important. And providing multiples of almost every piece of clothing because the actors are just SWEATY the entire time. And having understudies because the dancing is intense and you never know when someone will get injured!

The production was to be remounted with the costumes from the most recent Broadway revival and subsequent tour. So, when I signed on to assist a costume designer who had been hired to coordinate it… well, I wasn’t aware of how much work it was going to be.

So, today, I’ll dedicate this one to Mitzi H. She was involved with the original and has continued remounting and directing and choreographing the show in its many incarnations since. She was also the performer whose life story provided most of the basis for the character Val… the “Tits and Ass” song girl.

When we started working on the show, we were told that Mitzi wanted to freshen things up a bit, which meant a new look at some of the costumes and re-imagining them for the actors cast in the production. We were set to have that design meeting right before rehearsals began… I was asked to go out and buy lots of snacks and provide some wine for that late night meeting we all had in the Paper Mill costume shop in the garment district.

Thinking back, that was pretty great to see her work in person. I wasn’t a big fan of the show then, but it’s becoming more and more interesting to me as I work on shows.

Music I listened to while sewing: Nothing today. Silence.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Tomorrow is a big day.

Not only do I get to start my taxes (finally rounded up all those 1099’s!), but I have a phone interview that is actually simultaneously making me excited and nervous.

The more I think about it here, the more I realize that the people here aren’t going to live up to their promises that drew me out here last summer. I won’t get that raise. I won’t get that assistant. I won’t get to figure out a way to find storage for all the costumes were create here. I won’t be designing. We won’t get another stitcher in the shop. We’ll probably be asked to take an extended break halfway through the season.

I don’t know what opportunity sounds like or looks like, I guess.

I don’t know where to be or go.

I feel like I’m just trying to get a paycheck now. I feel like my original desire to design costumes is, if it hasn’t already, disappeared completely.

I don’t know what I’m doing to be frank.

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