Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Powderhorn Love

The last week the neighborhood I live in has been in the news. Basically some teenagers attacked a woman in the park by my house. They were in the process of attacking two girls in a garage just down the alley from where I live. The kids were apprehended.

I have to say I am amazed by my neighborhood. I am blessed and lucky to live where I live.
First of all let me say that my neighborhood is a great place to live. The park by my house hosts all these great events throughout the year like The May Day Parade and the Art Fair . People enjoy the park on a daily basis. People fish in the lake, walk on paths, have outdoor theater performances. In the winter there is ice skating and people cross country ski and snow shoe in the park. In the winter I skate in the park at least once a week. I actually can't wait until skating opens up for the season.
There are fireworks in the park for the 4th of July. Not big sparkley Downtown fireworks but fireworks over the lake with neighbors and friends.
There is an Art Sled Rally in the winter where people slide down the hill home made sleds that look like Speeders from Star Wars.
A group of neighborhood photographers have been running a 365 neighborhood photo project for two years. Check it out here.
I am proud of my neighborhood. In response to these attacks neighbors have organized a peace vigil in the park tonight. It's BYOFire Pit (if you have one) or Hot Beverage to share.
The mother who was attacked wrote a letter encouraging compassion and love for the kids who did this.
Another neighbor wrote an essay for MPR
I bought a condo in the Powderhorn neighborhood six years ago. Some days I wish I'd waited when I see how cheap real estate is now. But then I walk a half a block to the park and I am reminded again why I love where I live.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wardrobe Girl and Homework Guru

Sometimes I go above and beyond the call in my wardrobe girl duties. This week subbing in a show for a coworker was no exception.
There are kids in the show, well teenagers really, and with them comes homework. While I don't do all that algebra business I do hand out good advice on things like poetry and book reports.
One of the girls in the show was working on poems. She had to write several poems for school. I don't think she was excited about it. But I told her about hearing Susan Marie Swanson speak at a conference and how she had gotten this third grader who claimed he didn't have anything to write about because it was just him and his dad to write a beautiful poem about his dad making frozen pizza.
She wrote and awesome found poem using words and stage directions from the show. Super cool.
I also managed to make a quilt square of a chinchilla for the show inspired quilt. I will post pictures once the quilt is finished.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Wardrobe worst case scenario survival guide- Shoelaces

So the worst thing happened. Yep right in a quick change the shoelaces broke. Not a little broke but like super really broke somewhere in the middle of the shoe lace holes.
OK so I'm armed with shoe laces.
I've run through this scenario in my head a gazillion times. But it didn't go the way I thought cause the shoes were too tight on the kids foot for me to lace.

If shoe laces ever break in the middle of a quick change again I'm going to take the remaining lace and lace it through the top two holes and tie a bow, or maybe a knot. Like the tap shoes I had as a kid.

If I ever find myself without laces (this won't happen. I'm armed with shoe laces) I will sacrifice the lace from my hood on my hooded sweatshirt.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dance on Broadway

Earlier this summer I had the fabulous idea to start buying the paper so I could have the coupons. I figured if I saved enough money this would pay for itself.
My plan backfired because after I read the paper and the ads and clipped my coupons I still had the Target ad staring me in the face for the rest of the week. Usually I read the paper that someone brings into work and I look at the Target ad once before someone else takes it.
So I had lots of time to think about the game Dance on Broadway for the Wii.

Hello, I work in theater I totally needed this game. Plus I decided that this game would get me in shape.
The in shape part hasn't happened yet but I don't really play it all that often because it is summer and I have been playing outside more.
Anyway I love this game. It has songs from musicals like Chicago and Cabaret which is perfect since I'm working backstage on a Kander and Ebb show called The Scottsboro Boys (go see it for real. It is amazing).
It also has selections from Hairspray, The Lion King, Fame and Little Shop of Horrors.
There isn't a dance pad for this game so you dance using the remote like in the Just Dance video game.
I recommend this game for anyone who loves dancing and who love Broadway.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

ninja wardrobe rack

I used to work at a theater where backstage noise was a problem. The walls of the theater were brick and it had a metal roof and the space was small so a person couldn't breath backstage without it being heard onstage. In order to go back to the dressing room area you had to walk up a staircase behind a curtain that went right next to the audience so usually once places were called we were stuck backstage for the whole show
As a result of working here when I buy shoes/ clothes to wear backstage I think about how quiet they will be. I really try to be as silent as a ninja.
I don't work in that space anymore but I still understand the concept of being quiet backstage.
Recently I worked on a show that I would call a quiet show. It was not a musical and there weren't a lot of sound cues going on through the show. There was a rack set up for quick changes backstage but there were complaints about noise from the rack. After getting a note about it I decided that something had to be done.

So I made a ninja wardrobe rack. I covered the top tube of the rack and there were no more complaints about noise from the rack of clothes backstage. I'm still really proud of my invention and was just showing it to the ASM on the show I'm working on now. Even though it is a musical it is still important to be quiet backstage. So far I'm proud to report there have been no complaints about noise from the wardrobe rack.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A whole new Level

I know I've talked on this blog about dressing pets up. There were the matching sexy costumes and the holiday costumes for cats which were clearly designed by someone who had never owned a cat.
But this is a whole new level of pet dress up.

Yep, that's a person in a dog costume. See more pictures here.

I have officially seen everything now.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Matinee fun

Last Wednesday I went to see a matinee of M. Butterfly.
I often see matinee people going to shows when I am at work on matinee days for my own shows. So I don't want to stereotype weekday matinee people but the the median age of the house is definitely higher on those days.
So my friend Sara and I got seats in the 5th row. When I go to shows on Opening nights I am usually in the balcony.
When we got to our seats the lady sitting beside us started a conversation. Here is what happened.

Patron: I bet you were in the rush line.

Me: Oh no we work here.

Patron: I have season tickets with my group of friends and I couldn't come on the night we had our tickets so I'm here today. I usually sit on the aisle.

Sara: Oh do you want the aisle seat?

Patron: Oh no that's your seat. I couldn't take your seat.

Me: Oh it's no big deal.

Patron: Oh thank you so much.

After this we were treated by our new friend as though we were celebrities. She asked every question she could think of about costumes, props and actors. I think at one point in time she missed a line and she asked Sara "What did he say?" and Sara repeated the line for her.

I sat next to a man who fell asleep during the first act (I blame the darkness and the fact that he may have had an adult beverage with lunch from the way he smelled. The play was great. Not nap inducing) he jerked awake so suddenly that it startled me.

So anyway going to a matinee was an eye opening experience and I may have to go attend more matinees.

Monday, March 29, 2010

There's the resume I'm looking for

This weekend I went to my sister's wedding.
I have perhaps mentioned before how I'm really useful to have at weddings because of my expertise with clothing.
I arrived in town on Saturday evening and didn't connect with my mom and sister because they were buying luggage for Kim's honeymoon. My mom did stop by my room to say good night.
On Sunday morning I woke up and showered and went to get some breakfast. On my way to where the continental breakfast was set up I saw my mom dragging a steamer to one of the hotel rooms.
"There's the resume I'm looking for. We need your help to steam the dress." My mom said.
So while the steamer was heating up I got my bagel and got ready to start steaming.
This is 2 hours until pictures.
While I was steaming one of the bridesmaids asked me about the possibility of making some straps for her dress to go over her bra straps so I got her started hand sewing those while I finished dress steaming and when I was done steaming I finished sewing the straps then pinned them to the dress then stitched them on.
So I guess that having a wardrobe girl in the family comes in handy sometimes.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Play a let

What is the best thing about two show days?
Is it that Groundhog Day feeling of having done something before? No
Is it getting a two hour break in an 8 hour work day? No.
The best thing about two show days recently has been the four square games.
During the second show the cast plays four square as a warm up. They have technically already warmed up from the first show. It is quite fun and everyone comes down and gets in line for a turn.

OK remember when I said that this game was universal. OK that is not true. They play it a little differently across the pond. Here are some differences.

1) You can't hit the ball down, you have to hit the ball from under or the side. Hitting the ball from above will result in a warning, 3 warnings and you're out.

2) There is only one kind of play. A lot of kids have different games like Popcorn, Four Corners and Cherry Bombs. These don't exist in this game.

3) The person at the front of the line to play is the ref and must make calls on tough plays. Always pay attention in this spot.

Here are some terms from four square you might find helpful
Play a let= do over *Note- The phrase "play a let" is sort of sung like a cheer or chant
Bridesmaid= to hit another player with the ball.

Last week we had a leading lady show down on the four square court and there is always a line to play that snakes down the hall. Yesterday we had an official ref for a while. Very fun.

Friday, February 19, 2010

English Lessons

Beginners= Places

As in "This is your beginners call for the show."

Badders= Badminton

"Was that beginners? I couldn't hear it, we were playing badders.

The theater where I work has a four square court taped out in an open area. I have learned that this is not unique to my workplace other theaters have them as well.

I think the best moment was when the cast for this current show saw that four square court. They were so excited. "How did they know that we'd want to play four square." They are apparently known for their mad four square skills.

Last night before the show they invented a new game. Badders Four Square. That is four square played with badminton rackets and a birdie.

It is good to know that four square is universal

Monday, February 15, 2010

So does the curse cross over?

I wrote about Macbeth a couple weeks ago. You know that it was a really good show and people should see it. That is still true.
One of the old theater superstitions is that the play is cursed. It was said that Shakespeare used real witches chants in his play and so then real witches cursed it.
For this reason people don't even like to say the name of the play. Apparently if you say the name of the play you have to step out of your dressing room turn around three times, spit and swear and then knock and ask to be let back into the dressing room. My superstitious actors did that this weekend.

I am not working on the Scottish play but I am next door. This weekend our play had some technical difficulty but the show went on and everyone handled it brilliantly. However as five actors came back for their final change they were a little upset. One of them said "It's cause they're doing that Scottish play next door."

The Scottish play has had its share of adventure this weekend as an understudy went on.

Lord Lennox came to say hi yesterday and to assure me that they would try to use different rats in the stew.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The British are Here

I just finished Day 2 of tech for a show that has come to us from across the pond and I have to admit that I feel like I need to write down all the little "british" things they say.
There are things I've known for a while since I've read books like Harry Potter and worked around other actors from England
Elevator = Lift
Sneakers = trainers
suspenders = braces
headset = cans (I think of this as like old school walkie talkies being cans on a string but I'm probably wrong)

vacation (or time off) = holiday - I am thinking of adopting this term for my 6 week layoff in April. I think it is much better to call it a holiday than a layoff. Layoff sounds so negative. Holiday sounds positive like I'll be doing something awesome like lying on a beach somewhere instead of looking for little temp jobs like I'l really be doing.

lobby = foyer

Actor: Carrie I can't find my hat. I think I might have left it in the foyer when we went out there at the end of the show or maybe it is on stage or something.

I take off to go search for hat. I search on stage, I search in the house. I come back to talk with the actor about if he remembers where the hat is.

Actor: Oh I think I left it in the foyer.

Me: Do you mean the lobby? Or the hub? I don't know where you were.

Actor: We were in the foyer. You know the one with all the leather chairs that over look the dock.

At this time I'm freaking out because I realize the actor is telling me he has left his hat in the lobby and that it is 7:00 pm and even though we are just doing a run through there is really no way this hat is still going to be there because an usher or helpful audience member will have already picked it up by now.
OK so I go to stage door.

Me: Hi did a little black wool hat get turned in here.

Unhelpful stage door lady: ( looks at the list of lost and found things and can't find the page for that day)
Me: (Really trying not to lose it here cause I want to scream at her because why can't she walk five steps to where the actual lost and found is kept and look and see if there is a black hat there. She can't and I do not have time for her so I leave her still looking at the lost and found log for the day)

Hat is later brought up by stage door lady after she tries calling up to us three times. In the end she had to come all the way upstairs with the hat because she couldn't walk five steps to look at the actual lost and found.

But really costumes pieces shouldn't be left in the lobby. Ever. Again.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

MacBeth review

One of the perks of my job is the comp tickets. I usually end up giving them to friends but on the rare occasions when I have time off I sometimes try to use them myself.
I got my comp tickets to opening night of MacBeth at The Guthrie a while ago and I wasn't sure I was really up for tragedy on my week off. I mean it is February in Minnesota and the ground has been covered in snow since the beginning of December. That is tragic in itself.
Earlier in the week I turned on the TV and saw a spot on KARE 11 about the show and decided that I could not miss this show. Since I start on another show on Tuesday I figured this week would be my only chance so I called up my friend KT to come see some tragedy.
*I have certain people I call for certain shows. Musicals are best enjoyed with my friend Jim while it seems like KT is the person I call to see Shakespeare.
I can's find the video that made me want to see this but here is a link to the article. | Twin Cities, MN | Guthrie Theater opens MacBeth
I thought this play was amazing. It opens with this battle and people flying in on ropes. MacBeth wins the battle and the witches come and make their prediction that Macbeth will be king.
From the moment Malcom is named Prince of Cumberland by his father Duncan you can see MacBeth's desires and ambition to be king and to see what the witches said come true. I think Lady MacB's ambition is apparent from the first moment we see her reading a letter.
It is only after he has murdered Duncan that he realizes that there was more to the witches predictions than that he would be king. There was also the prediction that Banquo would be father to a long line of kings. Only after he has murdered and has blood on his hands does Macbeth remember this part of the prophesy.
The fight scenes in this show are amazing from the beginning battle scene to the final scene when MacDuff comes back to avenge his family.
One thing I have always loved about Shakespeare's tragedy is that when I am watching them I always feel like tragedy marches on. The events get set in motion and they march on to then end. When just a small act could change them. A letter arriving on time or listening better to a prophesy could have managed to change the course of things but that doesn't happen and so we wait with MacBeth while the forest seems to start marching towards him and MacDuff comes for revenge.
Yep. Do not miss this show.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

No More Wire Hangers

When I was a kid I was obsessed with the movie Mommy Dearest. I would ask my mom if we could watch the movie about the mean mom.
Today as I moved a pair of pants from a wire hanger to a pants hanger I thought how funny it was that this should be my life.
I do admit to being a little OCD about hangers in my job. When I hang up a costume for a show it usually has a hanger that it goes on. Some things can go on wire hangers but if I'm hanging a suit or a pair of pants or a coat I tend to pick a better hanger. Pants on wire hangers drive me crazy and the fact that all of our pants hangers seem to be on their last legs is driving me crazy too. Seriously I have thrown out 4 pants hangers in the run of this show because they were broken.
Does the OCD hanger problem (which I think makes me a good wardrobe girl) stem from the fact that my parents weren't very good about monitoring my TV habits as a child?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Check call board then get coffee

Today was another one of those "For whom does the alarm clock buzz" student matinees. Three of them this week.
When I find myself getting to work at the same time that people who work during the day arrive I have one thought. Caffeine.
On those days I make my first stop the Coffee bar and get a tea.
I do however run past all these daywalkers in an attempt to get my coffee before them because after all they are used to being at work early and I am not. This makes my coffee need an emergency while theirs is just sort of habit.
Today I used my frequent coffee drinkers card to get a free beverage.
When I got downstairs to the call board I saw a sign saying that the cast a crew of the show could have a free coffee or treat.
So my priorities of caffeine before work meant that I got to have a treat instead. Yippee!