An Exercise in Confidence-Building and Sleeplessness

May 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

To do:
– put “costume a full show in a week and a half” on bucket list
– cross off “costume a full show in a week and a half” on bucket list

I am starting this entry while hiding in the ladies’ dressing room enjoying my first real dinner all week* in between racing upstairs to see how my final few additions look under the lights.

Mr. B and I are flying to Florida tomorrow, just as my show enters into previews, so everything has to pretty much be finished tonight (plus it’s picture night, ie the only day that matters.) Peacing out 4 days before opening would normally be completely out of the question, but I was hired for this show on my birthday, as in 12 days ago, as in I already had 2 birthday parties (one being my own), a bridal shower, and a faux-cation** on the books.

Buuuut I said yes. For several reasons:
1) I haven’t worked with this theater in several years, and never as a lead designer
2) the show is awesome
3) it’s a remount, and about half of the cast was in the previous iteration, so much of the character work was done
4) I had a bit of help from another wonderful designer who pulled from the stock at her work for me
5) frankly, I need the money. What I’ll earn here will help to undo some of the monetary damage I did to myself on my last show, because I am the worst and I want what I want, which often means pulling from my own wallet when my budget won’t cover what I want.

So today is the last day that I can change anything, and I’m pretty damn happy with what I’ve been able to pull off. Everyone from producers to stage management to actors has been so wonderful and helpful and encouraging, I can’t help but be happy I said yes, despite my many sleepless nights this past week and a half. I can also confidently say, however, that now that I have done it, I’m really not keen on doing it again.

Here is what I learned:
1) as much as I act like I hate the beginning discussion and meeting stages of the design process, I really really hate not having it. I can’t help but wish I had been here from the beginning, because as good as it looks now, this show could have been so much more “me.”
2) going off of someone else’s design, especially someone who cannot be present and who has a very different style from yourself, is REALLY EFFING HARD. There are still a couple design pieces that I don’t feel completely clear on why the previous designer chose, that the entire design team was in love with from the last run. So in those pieces stay, and I just have to be happy that the whole picture looks good and hope that particular detail makes sense to someone.
3) when it’s a remount and you’re going off of someone else’s design from six years ago, it is inevitable that the director will be completely in love with the most specific design components, which will inevitably be impossible to find because they are either out of season or no longer in fashion.
4) nothing is impossible to find, because I am amazing and I CAN MAKE THAT SHIT

*pad thai from Noodles compared to yesterday’s protein smoothie from Smoothie King and Monday’s bagel and cream cheese from Panera stuffed almost whole into my mouth on break
**following my husband to a swanky hotel in Florida where he’ll be in training and I’ll drink margaritas on the beach


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