Block 900: January 10, 2016


So, does the countdown start now?

100 more to go…

Date: January 10, 2016

Crane: 900

Days Spent on Project 1054

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: TBD

Music I listened to while sewing: I’ve got a song called “Can’t Stop Dancing” by Becky G on right now. I think I’ll have it on repeat for a while tonight.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Huh.

I suppose one of the intrinsic benefits of producing 11 shows a season is that you’re a part of 11 different processes during that season. You see 11 different groups of people tackle 11 different stories. Maybe some of the people are repeated throughout the season, but the stories are always (kinda) different. Usually the style is different from story to story.

And my job is to make sure that each different designer, who brings different experience and visual intentions, gets what they want while also making sure they stay under (okay, near) budget while making sure my staff isn’t over-worked or over-burdened.

In ways, I’ve learned so much from the sidelines. It’s awesome to think big as a designer, but you also need to be able to realize a production given the means you have at your disposal. There’s no point in over-designing a show that can’t work, that can’t be run effectively, that can’t be realized as you’ve promised the director.

Push yourself. Dream. Do the research. (PLEASE DO THE RESEARCH.) But have a plan. Be aware of how you’re spending money. Know where your budget is going. Have an opinion. Have a reasonable opinion. Straddle the line between relentless and forgiving. Give compliments. Sadly, it’s true that you need to buy your shop chocolate. Unfortunately, some shop staff only judge designers based on what kind of candy they bring– and how often they bring it.

You learn that some people phone it in. On purpose.

You also learn that some people phone it in because they don’t know “how to show up.”

You learn the difference between good and bad and fun and boring and good and exciting.

You learn that the difference between good and bad is EASY to see, but the difference between good and GREAT is miniscule.

You learn being nice and considerate will get you so much more than it should.

You learn talent and hard work might not get you as much, by comparison.

Being prepared and working hard will make the process easier, in so many ways. But you also learn that being prepared, being present, and doing the work is so rare… people expect the process to be a mess.

You learn that some people don’t want to push themselves. You learn that people who want to push themselves are in certain markets and in certain areas and work in certain venues.

This isn’t about talent. Working and surviving in theater is NOT about talent.

Luck; you can never over-rate luck.

Going out for drinks and smiling and laughing and chatting and being social will get you places.

As a designer, if you draw it, you’re making a commitment to it. You want it in the production. You have chosen THAT image as imperative to the importance of that production. If it’s not important, imperative, desired, needed, useful, intrinsic, IT DOESN’T BELONG IN YOUR SHOW. Don’t waste labor money, your budget, the talent at your disposal, if it’s NOT needed.

Watched a designer run this afternoon. Start tech rehearsals for one show on Tuesday, followed by two other tech rehearsals for two different shows, immediately after.

So, tonight, I’m watching Netflix. I’m also thinking about what I want to do and create and make.

But, I’ll probably just watch Netflix and have some wine. Let’s be honest.

Here we go.

One thought on “Block 900: January 10, 2016

  1. Please, no countdowns! Each of us have enough stress in our lives already, and would rather not even think there might be a day when your cranes won’t appear.

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