Block 646: April 30, 2015


Thursday. Almost there.

The idea of a “Weekend” is slowly becoming an amazing and normal part of my life.

Date: April 30, 2015

Crane: 646

Days Spent on Project: 800 (I’ve gotten behind in the past 26 months, haven’t I?)

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: This Crane will be for the one other actor involved in that outdoor production of The Tempest that taught me a lot.

Nick S. Now, he and yesterday’s Crane were a couple. I realize now that they were also big donors for that theater company and gave a fair amount of money to it… which also guaranteed that they’d be given roles in certain shows. I should have known that would mean something, and should have effected their “treatment.”

When things started to go awry, through no fault of my own or their own (we were performing Shakespeare in suits outside in July during a 100+ degree heat wave, I realized what these two men expected. They asked why they didn’t have custom made suits out of linen.

I’d be all for that. But my budget would have covered one suit, not an entire production’s costumes and props and set needs.

I ended up doing the bare minimum for the show, and left without doing much else.

One afternoon I called my friend Sydney and vented to her over the phone, standing outside the Fulton Street Subway stop downtown. I was borderline crying. She was stuck working uptown on the Broadway show that had fired me. We both commiserated on the situations we were in… and she planted the idea that would originally get me to move to Portland.

“Maybe you just need a survival job now?”

Maybe it was time to start looking for a break. Maybe it was time to start looking for a change.

And, looking back, the summer of 2013 was when IT started: my transition and readying to leave New York. La Perichole at New York City Opera (the company refusing the pay me), Soul Doctor on Broadway (the general manager firing me), and then The Tempest (verbally attacked [?] by two actors)- that was it. Those three shows in immediate succession were the straws that cracked my back. I wasn’t in it anymore. Sure, I’d keep looking for work and still wanted to work in theater and needed money to live, but I was just broken.

So, Nick S. Thanks.

Music I listened to while sewing: I’m listening to the Spotify playlist that I made last year for The California Project. It’s got some great music on it… I was really on a roll with that work.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: As much as a “career” as a freelance costume designer is kinda about hard luck and improbability and luck, I have to say that I have this huge desire to work on something that is even more improbable and unlikely to ever happen.

But I really want to make it happen.

I’m well aware that this project is going to go through Phases (the first being the construction of each block, the second being the piecing of it all together, the third is the quilting, and then the fourth being whatever happens at the end). I’m well aware that this is just going to take years to accomplish. There’s no pressure. It’ll be done when it wants to be done.

I’m well aware that this job- however long I stay here in Portland- is always going to be defined by budgets and limitations and that I won’t ever find a creative home in the place that employs me.

I’m well aware that there has to be something else going on in my life.

I know what I want to do. How can I figure out a way to make that happen?

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