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
Moonboots is where I go for beautiful, made to order props. For Broadway, national tours, or a small church production that needed an HD ready crown of thorns, Jennie has come through time after time. Resourceful, clever, with years of experience behind her, this is where I go for solutions. Truly the best. - Scott Scheidt
Death by Pottery
In the tragic drama, The Ballad of Yachiyo, a broken piece of Japanese pottery serves as the method of self destruction. The challenge: A piece of pottery is smashed against the floor and a broken shard is used to commit suicide. The solution: A mold was made of an authentic piece of Japanese pottery used in the production. A rubber replica of the bowl was created. A hollow rubber pottery shard was sculpted and cast to hold stage blood. When rubber bowl is violently smashed against the floor, a shard is then picked up and drawn across the wrist - depositing the crimson line of life.
A Greasy Bag
Fake grease Challenge: The actor needed to clutch a greasy brown bag of cookies to his chest without getting grease on the costume. Solution: Making the fake grease on this brown bag = shellac to the rescue! The hardest part was painting just the right amount on the inside of the bag to soak through, then finding a spot on the clothesline to hang 100 bags for drying.
A blanket of hay
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row] [caption id="attachment_838" align="alignleft" width="428"] Hay blanket for Young Frankenstein, Broadway[/caption] How to make a simple pile of hay The challenge: Ulla pops out from under the pile of hay. As they cavorted, the hay had to stay in the cart. It had to be hypo-allergenic. It had to be fire retardant. It could not attract vermin. It needed to look and behave like real hay. The Solution: Successive rows of strung and knotted raffia strands, a strong organic fiber with no intrinsic food value, were stitched onto a fortified blanket of burlap and jute. The all natural piece was then thoroughly flame retarded. It was as comfortable to perform in as any "hay" could be
Broadway Teaching Group
I've had the great pleasure of working with the very talented Jennie Marino in several different settings, both as a designer and as a teaching artist. She is endlessly creative, resourceful, inspired and has one of the best work ethics I have ever seen. She truly loves her work and it shows in the pieces she designs, as well as in her childlike love of the process. Her generous spirit allows her to share her knowledge with others so they will learn and grow in their work as well. Lucky to have her on board! Pam Pariseau, Co-Artistic Director, Broadway Teaching Group www.broadwayteachinggroup.com [caption id="attachment_897" align="alignleft" width="398"] Teaching props class at Broadway Teachers Workshop[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_615" align="aligncenter" width="200"] click to catch this "runny nose"[/caption] Our creative approach to CVS' “Runny Nose” campaign needed a life-size nose costume. The success of the spot hinged on that costume looking great - and allowing the actor to add personality through performance. Jennie was fun to work with, a great collaborator on a challenging budget - and the results speak for themselves. It was one of CVS’ most successful viral campaigns on Facebook. Aaron King - Creative Director, Spontaneous
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