Block 713: July 7, 2015

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It’s a little overcast and grey outside. Could it be that this heat wave is FINALLY OVER?!?!

Date: July 7, 2015

Crane: 713

Days Spent on Project: 868

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: Lauren R.

When I left Los Angeles on May 12th for Conway, Arkansas to finish working on that production of Pippin, there were three other shows rehearsing at the same time. I thought since Pippin was the BIG musical of the summer, with two dozen performers in it (and a budget of $2500 for it all- HA!?), I would have the largest amount of work ahead of me. I had tried to prepare as much as I could- shopping for fabrics and materials in New York before I left for Los Angeles, buying thrifted clothes whenever there were sales at costume houses, etc.- but I knew I would have a tough road ahead of me in Arkansas where resources and help were scarce.

Lauren was another one of the costume designers there that summer. She was working on a production of Hamlet that DWARFED the musical. While she certainly had fewer actors than I did, the director she was working with was assigning small bit parts to every single performer besides Hamlet. Need a spear carrier? Let’s have 10 of them! Need another army for that cross over scene? Have a dozen! Need a royal court? Why not put the entire cast on stage for a brief second!

Lauren had much more work on her plate than I did.

She was also just graduating from grad school. This was her first job in the “real world” of theater design, and she hit the ground running. (She was ambitious, building a black suit for the lead actor… I never offer that.)

Anyway, I really liked hanging out with her and working alongside her. She and Jeff were dating- they had been dating for seven years then- so it was nice to see them paired together.

After the Conway experience, when I ran into this job in Portland and flew away from my freelance career, Lauren also made a similar move. She accepted a teaching/shop managing job in North Carolina. (What was it about Conway that made two designers want to give up their freelance careers, you ask?)

Sadly, when Lauren made the move, she and Jeff ended their relationship. I never got the chance to talk to her about it, unfortunately.

She’s doing well, though, from what I can tell from our brief contact on Facebook and texting.

Music I listened to while sewing: Today, I’ve got a new playlist on… “Indie Pop.” It’s good for now.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Well, I needed something to look forward to and here it is. Today, I’m renting a car (ooh!) and driving to a different part of the Oregon Coast to meet with Vinnie and talk about the second iteration of The California Project. We’ll have two days before he needs to get back to LA (and I need to get back to work… shhhhh), so that should be a good start on laying the groundwork.

I hope?

Who knows; maybe it’ll soon be The Portland Project. Or maybe I’ll get the chance to head back to Los Angeles in the next year.

If the job I have right now in Portland means my design career is over, I have to make this opportunity happen.

Never did I think that working in a regional theater would mean I’d need to find a secondary outlet for any creative goals or ambitions that I have.

Here we go. Off to the coast!

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