Block 640: April 24, 2015



Date: April 24, 2015

Crane: 640

Days Spent on Project: 794

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: In the summer of 2013, right when I was being fired from working on my fifth Broadway show, I was also hired to design a production of an outdoor Shakespeare- The Tempest- in downtown Manhattan.

When I met with the producer, he plugged it again with a deceptively dirty word- immersive theater- that quickly piqued my interest in the project and the company.

(Beginning of Rant. Again, it was no way near immersive theater. They performed the show outside. They had the cast walk among the audience. They had the audience turn around and move around in a few outdoor spaces in one location to see scripted scenes. It wasn’t in any way, by any real definition, immersive. End of Rant.)

You know, I was looking for work. I needed a) money and b) wanted more design experience to bolster my sagging self-esteem after being canned from a show uptown.

This show, this Shakespeare, did nothing to boost my esteem or confidence. I worked my ass off on it- too hard given the situation- and in the end I couldn’t bring myself to really finish the work well or be a part of the production. I was hired to both sets and costumes (because each design aspect is so LITTLE work, right?), given an intern to help that wasn’t paid ANYTHING, and then was asked to make it all happen.

Lots of stories with this production… I’ll start on a high note. The assistant I had was named Adina W. She was still in college, was staying in a sublet (or with a friend? family?) over the summer, had worked with the company once before (so she knew what she was getting into…), and she was incredibly enthusiastic to do the work.

I liked her perseverance. I liked her drive to make the show work. Every once and a while, Facebook suggests that I friend her, but I think it’s best to let that two months of my life fall into the past.

Music I listened to while sewing: I know we’ve got Pandora on in the shop, but I can’t hear it this morning.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: You know what?

The number of times I’ve written on here “I agreed to do this because they dropped the word ‘immersive’ in the pitch” makes me wonder…

… why am I not working more seriously towards doing something like that?

If that gets my brain and imagination fired up right now, why am I not pursuing that more wholeheartedly?

I’d like to design costumes here in Portland, but if there isn’t an opportunity here to do so… and it seems like every person and their mother has their own theater company here, WHY CAN’T I?

A year ago… on April 26, I flew out to LA work with a friend at UCI on a workshop of an immersive project. We gave ourselves 10 days, 30 rehearsal hours, no budget, 12 actors, 10 student designers/crew members/assistants to put something up. And we did. And we, and some of the students, wanted to do it again.

Afterwards, I flew to Arkansas to do a production of Pippin that made me wonder what I was working towards. I applied for this job, got it in a whirlwind of interviews and flew out to Portland. My friend and his wife had a baby last February (whom I have since met). Both of our lives have taken detours, and I want to get on that track again.

I have so much to do (this job which is overly “full” of commitments at times, getting to know Portland, trying to find friends, keeping this project going) that some things are falling by the wayside (going out unfortunately is, as is the gym). But I have to figure out a way to make things like this happen.

It fascinates me. It excites me. It intrigues me. I smile when I think about it.

I need to work towards something like that. And soon.

But, tomorrow, I’m going to brunch at 8am to experience “Portland Brunch” with some people I’m trying to make friends with… Apparently, people in Portland don’t know that you’re supposed to sleep in and get yourself to brunch when you’re ready. Here, it’s a competition.

Ciao for now.

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