Block 638: April 22, 2015


It’s the first day of school for our tenth (out of 11!) show this season.

I am starting to understand how regional theater just eats up the people it employs…

Date: April 22, 2015

Crane: 638

Days Spent on Project: 792

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to:

Let me go back to my time at Providence College for a spell.

When I first worked there, designing a production of The Illusion, I was reintroduced to a designer I hadn’t seen in 10 years!

Her name was Jen R. When I met her, we were both in our first season of working at Actors Theatre of Louisville. We were the newbies on the block. She worked in the lighting department, while I was with costumes. When I left ATL in the spring of 2013 for grad school, she stayed to work for a little while longer.

She had since in the 10 years between 2003 and 2013, gone to grad school and relocated to Boston, and establishing herself as a lighting designer there. I believe The Illusion wasn’t her first time working with Providence College. I know after The Illusion, she has continually worked with them on one or two shows a year.

It was great to reconnect with her, and catch up. During The Illusion’s tech process, we did manage to go out to get a drink together.

That night was one of the first moments I had in my life when I realized- we’re all (I am) growing up. We aren’t the kids we were at 21 and we are going to continue to work and grow and earn and learn and live. And who knows where we’ll end up or what we’ll be doing.

Music I listened to while sewing: I’ve got Death Cab for Cutie’s new album on again. Still liking it, especially “Black Sun.”

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: From Humans Of New York today…

“I’m just trying to stay in New York. I’ve lived here for six years now, and I’ve been close to going home many times. But every time I think it’s not going to work, an opportunity arises that allows me to keep going. Recently I was at a low point, and I decided to join an acting company in Brooklyn. There are 55 of us. We put on plays, do shows, and make movies. It’s very much a community and we hold each other to a standard. My work ethic is better than it’s been in six years. We rehearse every day, submit a lot of resumes, and go to a lot of auditions. We all have the same goal: we want to stay in New York.”

As much as I tell myself- remind myself- that there are choices I made that got me here. As much as I tell myself- remind myself- that there are opportunities here in Portland, OR that didn’t realistically exist for me in New York City.

I miss that damn city.

I wanted to stay there. As hard as it was, it felt like home. As weird as it was, as crazy as it was, it felt like a place for me. Granted, I’ve had 9 months away to relax and sleep and detox from urban living, so my glasses are certainly rose-colored right now. But that quote is what I feel to be true: “But every time I think it’s not going to work, an opportunity arises that allows me to keep going.” That’s the crazy beautiful thing about the city. You can be down on your luck, sad, depressed, angry, alone, and something MIGHT happen to change all of that. There *was* opportunity there.

I still need to find it here. So much of my time here in Portland is learning to do without- without support or resources or money or labor or creative venues or ears to talk to. I miss it.

I needed to leave, but I miss it.

I hope I didn’t give up my dreams by moving away. I hope I didn’t compromise my goals and my life by moving here. By moving here, I’m angry that people now think I must not be a “good” costume designer… I didn’t make it there, so I must be below average. I don’t have the NYC cache, which makes me less than. Which is odd.

Anyway, happy Wednesday.

One thought on “Block 638: April 22, 2015

  1. Totally enjoying your perspectives. Am fascinated by all, from my own bent view points! Your cranes are so bold of late. Welcome back to those colors.

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