The War of the Roses
An episodic 10 part mini drama in the life of Broadway props and the people who love them. The following thread is real, edited to protect, but published to entertain. From: (irate tour guy) To: (my supervisor) Today I received an invoice for one new heavy duty Red Rose Bouquet that (name withheld) ordered. I am well aware of the fact that specialty items take time and are therefore more expensive than you would expect. This invoice is for $875.00. That is insulting and a joke. How do they have the nerve to send that bill - let alone to a client who already spends a lot of money with them. Am I crazy? Are they crazy? Should I go in to the prop building business - cause I know I can build that bouquet for under $100. Anyway, before I simply pay th
Success of the hunter-gatherers Having built the Audrey II puppets at the intimate Elmwood Playhouse in Nyack, we never conceived that the largest of the pods might not fit through the double doors on strike day. Oopsies. With a little surgery and creative engineering, to the pod - not the doors - we managed to free her, but then realized we didn't have enough clean rope on hand to secure the vegetable to the roof of the old station wagon. I only lived 6 blocks away from the theatre, so the indigenous crew hoisted Audrey up and marched forth up Main Street. Of course, in Nyack, nobody blinked an eye. This particular set of puppets continued to work for many years throughout the tri-state before being sold to a rental house. I later built 2 more sets o
With communication, a reasonable budget and a little drying time, all things are possible.
The best part of serving a handmade industry means spending the bulk of your time doing what you love, creating and collaborating. Given the luxury of time, the project starts with research, evolves during development, and final adjustments get done during tech. On the flip side, some jobs go down so quickly you barely have time to even sharpen the pencil before it's flying out the door. The secret to hitting the bull's-eye in all scenarios is good communication. When I was very young, I was hired to make a huge car stereo for an electronics shop. I spent weeks building an 8' long, 3-dimensional car stereo out of wood, plexi and metal that was perfect, or so I thought. When I proudly delivered the finished piece for installation, the owners face showed his concern and discomfor
How To Serve the Story
Create as much magic as you can, with the time, talent and budget you have. Essentially, that's it. Research done, materials shopped, and building begins. Suddenly, there’s a multitude of people in your head clamoring for attention. Every single person who comes into visual or physical contact with this thing you are about to create is relying on your authenticity and your experience. We got hired because someone trusts our ability to serve the story. This type of work doesn't live alone in a glass box. Handled, used and abused, this thing we're crafting might be used every single day for years – by imperfect humans preoccupied with their own mission. We bring a particular “interface” to the game. We are trusted to think - to go beyond the aesthetic to inc
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