Block 854: November 25, 2015


I admit I do especially enjoy how the seams disappear in the background fabric.

Date: November 25, 2015

Crane: 854

Days Spent on Project: 1009

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: TBD

Music I listened to while sewing: Well, I really wanted to listen to ANY recording of The Wiz, in light of all the publicity that’s around about the live televised production that’s happening on December 3rd, but Spotify doesn’t have any kind of complete album!

So, instead, I’m listening to Wicked, the Original Broadway Cast Recording.

That show opened the fall of my first year at the Yale School of Drama. One of my classmates went to the Opening Night performance, as she had spent (a lot of) time working on the costumes at one of the larger costume shops in New York. In 2009 and 2010, I worked with one of the Assistant Designers of Wicked as we translated Fela! for it’s Broadway Debut. I would later work in one of the costume shops that made several of the ensemble costumes (and also Elphaba’s outfits!), sporadically when I lived in New York.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Home on this night before Thanksgiving, and I’m enjoying a glass of wine while my Frenchie is purring-snoring immediately beside me. Woke up this morning groggy, but took the dog out at 6am for a slow walk around the block. He and I both went to work today, on a day where the theater was a little empty and a little slow in every department. Everyone was thinking about tomorrow, I think. I got a lot of paperwork done, and little else.

Tomorrow will be off, certainly. I may go in on Friday to prep for a show that starts Monday and shop for another that opens next week. I’m okay with that.

At 5pm today, an hour before everyone left for the day, we had one of my Happy Hours in the shop. Today I realized the people in the shop LIKE these Happy Hours, however informal they are. I typically buy some cheeses, crackers, some kind of chocolate, and other types of easy snack foods (wasabi peas, dried apricots, a Granny Smith apple, and yogurt covered pretzels for today! In the past, we’ve also had some kind of protein like salami or prosciutto…). Someone in the shop brought in a bottle of (bargain) champagne and another brought in some orange juice. We all had mimosas. (We’ve enjoyed Moscow Mules usually, but also Old Fashioned’s or red wine.)

And I have to admit: these Happy Hours, despite taking an hour or an hour and a half away are so appreciated. I think- no, I know- the shop enjoys them even if they feel a bit awkward at first. It allows us to get around a table and talk. To shoot the shit. To gossip. To unwind. To talk about the shows we do, to talk about what we think of (seeing) them, to talk about other companies, to talk about what we want to do, to talk about what we want to do in the shop.

As weird as it may be that the Costume Shop Manager may stop the work day 60 to 90 minutes early every few weeks to share a drink and snacks, it has helped us (ME) so much.

The transition to Portland has been hard. You know this. I understand this. But, 16 and a half months here, maybe it’s becoming my place? Maybe? I still wish I had a group. I still wish I had a social outlet. I still wish I had a group of friends to call my own and meet up with.

But, in the past 16 and a half months, so much change has happened in that building… so much change has happened in my life… so much change is going to happen as we finish this year…

I can’t help but believe that maybe this is the place I need to be. Maybe I need to stop looking for job openings elsewhere and dreaming that New York might want me back.

Maybe Portland needs me and maybe I need Portland. Seriously.

Maybe I need to stay here for a spell and see if I have steered the Titanic away from the iceberg it was bound to hit.

Maybe I understand that this can be and will be and could be and should be my theater home for a bit.

Something may change. Something may happen. Something may materialize.

Life happens.

But, for now, maybe I need to accept that I’m here and that there are people at work who are willing to gather as a group and unwind together- even if it’s over snacks and cheap mixed drinks next to our sewing machines. Maybe I do have their backs- as I’ve been trying to cover their backs as their boss for the past 16 and a half months.

Trying to be thankful tonight, I guess.


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