Block 717: July 11, 2015


My dog turns 6 today. He doesn’t seem to mind or care whenever I’ve mentioned it to him this morning.

A trip to the pet store is in order!

Date: July 11, 2015

Crane: 717

Days Spent on Project: 872

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: Tiffany D.

The structure of the costume shop at that Arkansas Theater company was bizarre, to be blunt.

We had a Costume Shop manager- an adult- who worked for the university our space was located in. But besides having input on who to hire to work in the shop (the three or four paid positions and then four interns), and talking to the designers coming in to do the work, she insisted on being incredibly hands-off… to the point that I only ever saw her in the space twice (once for a dinner and then another time when she got coffee). She hired a shop manager for the summer, and this was Tiffany.

Tiffany was a recent grad school graduate. I think it might have been her second summer with the festival. I think it was also her last.

Again, I learned a lot of lessons indirectly from Tiffany. The largest lesson was: if this person, just FRESH out of grad school could be given the reins and run a costume shop, there was no reason why I couldn’t do it… and do it much well. I consider my primary passion for theater to be costume design- it’s what I’ve been doing for 15 years after all!- and I never really thought that my life would swerve elsewhere and hand me a costume shop manager position with a large and reputable regional theater. But it did. I’m here in Portland. I work as a costume shop manager. My design career might be over if I stay here.

And honestly, working at that Arkansas Theater and meeting Shauna and Tiffany, convinced me that I wasn’t giving my skills and experience the benefit of the doubt. I saw this job opening and applied, knowing I could do it. I needed the break from New York. I needed the break from freelance. I kind of knew that then. Now, I understand that. My life is so completely, crazily different now and I’m still trying to decompress from the PTSD of working freelance my entire adult life in New York. But, things- as much as I’m not completely thrilled with Portland and as convinced as I am that I won’t be here for the rest of my life- things are so much better than they were.

And, so. So. SO, I’ll admit that I’m here because of meeting and working alongside Tiffany and Shauna.

A year ago, when I stepped into this job, I wasn’t completely prepared for it. But I’ve learned a ton about management and people and regional theater and money and sewing and design and politics and organization and my hopes and my dreams and my ambitions and my wants and my life in the past 12 months.

Even though I wouldn’t ever consider some people to have such a major impact in my life, it’s interesting to note that those two people profoundly affected the direction of my life.

Music I listened to while sewing: Today, I’ve got a playlist called “Early Morning Rise” playing in the background. It’s okay.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: On the agenda for today…

A trip to the pet store where I will buy my dog bones!

The gym!

Some reading for both work and for fun!

And then a phone conversation with an acquaintance back east who heard about The California Project!

I am going to make this happen, people.

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