Sunday, November 8, 2009

Website is FINALLY up!


Ch-ch-check it out!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Quilt for a cause

I don't know her, and I probably never will, but when my step-mother came home a few weeks ago with a piece of paper about this woman that's friends with one of the woman whose in her exercise class, I knew I had to help out.

The woman is 37, is a mother of a 3, 5 and 7 year old, and has been diagnosed with Stage 4 Colin Cancer.

Someone was asking people to make 6"x6" patches that would be sewn together on a quilt that they were going to make for her, and give to her and her family during this difficult time, and something that the children could cuddle up to later on.

They asked for positive messages, I chose "Feed your faith and your fears will starve"

I did all the stitching by hand, and it took me about 2 days to finish it.

My step-mom made one too, with a daffodil with some inspirational words on it as well.

Apparently they ended up with about 100 squares and have made a decent sized quilt.

I haven't heard anything more about it, but I like to think I helped make this stranger's life and her family's lives a little easier during this difficult time.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Oh Lee Savage....

Your color pallet excites and frightens me.

All at the same time.

Ode to Juilliard

I am about to begin week 4 at Juilliard. It's pretty crazy. I'm almost completely adjusted to waking up at 5 am, catching the 6:15 train, getting into Grand Central at 7:45, jump on 2 subways, and get to Juilliard by 8--1 hour before I technically need to be to work, but in order for me to get parking back home, I need to take the early train.

I'm okay with it though, because I have about an hour to putz around the shop, get all the lights on, and lay on the stage with the ghost light looking up at the ridiculous grid system that's in the theatre right next to the paint deck.

The paint deck is pretty large. This is about 85% of the deck--I couldn't fit it all on my camera. The show that we have on the deck in that picture one of the first shows of the season called "Arms & the Man", which is designed by Lee Savage, who I worked with at BTF in '08. It's a pretty interesting set. 10 gallons of joint compound to stucco the walls. Good times, good times. Upstairs is the Charge and the Assistant Charge's offices.

Below in 'the cage' is the other intern's and mine's computer tables, and a bunch of paint storage.

I think it's pretty awesome that they gave us our own computers and desks and personal areas. We also get out own little lockers. Even though my computer is a tad outdated and circa 1999, it runs okay. I just need to BFF the IT guys at Juilliard and convince them to update my Java and Flash so I can actually see what's on the internet.

These two super wicked drops are behind my bosses desk. When you look at them closer, they look like mosaic tiles, and they are BEAUTIFUL! Most of the face work and thin black lines are done with Sharpie---another reason why I LOVE Sharpie! =] That lovely sign is infront of my boss's desk--occasionally he will break out into a German accent and yell that phrase at the other Intern and I. I'm not sure if he's trying to be funny, or being serious, or both. So, I just awkwardly laugh and pick up the pace on whatever I'm working on.

This is only about 1/4 of the paint storage area.

I about passed out when I saw all this Super Sat. I'm pretty sure there is enough Super Sat here for the next 8 years at Juilliard. I back up this statement with the fact that I used some Kelly Green from 1995. Yikes. See the older Rosco labels up there too?'s pretty ridiculous. And by ridiculous I mean AWESOME!!!

There is ALSO a full supply of Super Sats in the mixing area.

I'm in Heaven. =]

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Stencils! Stencils! Stencils!

In a long overdue post, and as promised, I wanted to put up a blog about how I made these stencils for the megalithic walls I had to do while at my internship this summer up in Vermont. The show was "The Hallow", a play by the oh so famous Agatha Christie.

So here we go!

When I met with the designer, he handed me a 11"x14" piece of paper that had the image on the left on it.

For the record, I personally think the hole in the top left is oh so classy, but I digress. Turning this into a stencil, I had to think about it all in layers. Like it's a photoshop image, and you're piling and piecing the whole thing together. How would you paint this? How would you collage this? This is how I had to step back and look at this. I had to break it down to layers, each layer being a different stencil, and another step. Now, I could have easily turned this into a 10 step stencil, but I realized that me and 2 others would be mostly doing all of it, so I had to simplify: basic shapes, base color, low light and highlight. That's how I did this.

Since we fell short of tracing paper (and a lot of other things), the TD gave me a roll of this ancient paper, that's on the right. We had no lightbox either, so I ended up taping the piece of paper ontop of the elevation, layed on the picnic table, and held it to the sun: the world's largest lightbox!

After I had it all drawn out, I figured out that I could do the whole thing in 5 stencils, so I grabbed 5 highlighters and broke it down that way.

I went to the local art supply store and bought sheets of 18" x 24" acetate (large pieces of transparent paper), which I have used before and they have worked brilliantly. (Also, if you can't find that, sneak down to the gel storage or bff an electrician and see if they'll give you an old sheet (or 5) of gel. Since I knew these poor stencils were going to be through hell and back with the amount of work I would have to get out of it, I decided to invest in some stencil paper too. It's like a super heavyweight yellow-ish colored cardstock (it kind of looks like a manila envelope color) which has an almost plastic film on it so it doesn't get ruined when wet. The only downside of this is that you can't see through it, which I found really difficult. Also, they were much harder to cut out and the acetate stencils pulled through ten times better then the stencil paper. I think the stencil paper would be good if you're doing a one step stencil, but for multiple step stencils, I would say go for the acetate, hands down.

I also taped out the size of the stencil on each one with gaff tape because I have learned that just drawing it out with sharpie, it will eventually disappear, and make your soul hurt.

The leaf stencil was the first step (mind you I took all these stencil pictures AFTER the project was over). All I did to transfer all these layers to the acetate was to lay it over the drawing I did and draw it out with a sharpie, and cut then out with my good friend Mr. Exacto.

After we did the first step (a 2 color scumble with 2 different colored greens, trying to pull the depth in the elevation without doing another stencil), we put the highlight green leaf color on. The paint smelt TERRIBLE! It was awful, but that's old paint for you. For this step we sponged it on because I thought it gave it more texture and depth to it like real leaves have.

Then, after the leaves came the base of the flowers, blocked out in their shapes. I learned that the blue flower on the middle right and the top yellow flower ended up being my favorite flowers to stencil. I have no idea why.

For this step and steps 3 and 4, I went to Michaels and bought a bunch of cheap stencil brushes at various sizes, and they worked great! I was able to get a bunch so when I had a couple of people helping me, we were able to have all the steps of the stencils going and have enough brushes.

Finally, Step 3 and 4 were the high lights and low lights. This step went the fastest, and I'm really happy it did because by the time this step came around we were all pretty tired!

The final product came out really well! I am really happy with the way it came out. I'm hoping to get some more final shots up soon. A lot quicker then it took for this one to come up--promise!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Dear SCAD--

Yesterday, the recent JobWire e-mail that was sent out listed a bunch of jobs and internships that recent graduates had landed. At the end of the list it said if we wanted to share with the school we could send them an e-mail and let them know.

Well...I did.

To whom it may concern:

My name is Loryn Williams (BFA Production Design, 2009) and saw in the recent JobWire Newsletter that you had listed some internships and jobs landed by recent SCAD Graduates like myself.

I just wanted to share with everyone in the SCAD community that I have received an internship as a Scenic Painter under the Professional Intern Program at The Juilliard School in New York City for their 2009-2010 year.

I found the internship on the career services page the summer after my Freshmen year at SCAD. I contacted the program director and visited the school that summer to learn more about the program they offered. I instantly knew that this was where I wanted to be but was told that I didn't have enough experience and skillset behind me at that time in order to receive such an internship. The remaining 3 years of my time at SCAD helped me to develop that experience and skillset and ultimately work my way towards landing this wonderful internship.

I am very thankful for the education I have received with SCAD and hope that others will benefit just as much as I have from this college and the programs they offer.

Thank you,
Loryn Williams
(BFA, Production Design, 2009)

And this morning I got this e-mail....

Hello Loryn,
We are just thrilled to hear about your internship with the Julliard. We are SO proud of you and wish you every success there. Keep us posted on how it goes & enjoy NYC.
All the best--
Sue Hinkin

"....with the Juilliard."
hehehehehe =]

Monday, July 27, 2009

My new love...

Mark Ryden

Oh. My. God.

Happy Sigh.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Makings of a Vermont Tech Week

I have come to realize that as a theatre person, I have found myself getting into these crazy habits. Crazy tendencies, and the slight beginnings of a potentially Obsessive Compulsive Disorder--for my paint kitchen.

Yes, my paint kitchen. (See the OCD kicking in?)

I say my partially because I am the only one who has any form of paint in my staff title. I also say my because I put it to some order and figured out the local of everything in this area. I say my because I am the only one that cleans the space and feels the need for it to be kept orderly. Specifically because it's so tiny here.

Unfortunately with all this in mind, I am the only one that cares about the situation of this area. The designer who is the only other one who mixes any kind of color or is in there for remotely as long as I am.

With this being said, I have come into the shop early all week to work on the paintings that are on the walls, and to re-clean, re-organize, and re-wash buckets, brushes and whatever else the designer has laid his hands on. So, the other day, a few days before we got into tech, I took some pictures after I newly re-cleaned my itty-bitty paint kitchen.

It's not much, but I have to keep it clean or else its impossible to try to do anything in it. (It's virtually impossible to try to do anything in it when it's clean!)

By the end of day the same day I took this picture:

Le sigh. The other side is equally as messy. Everyday this is what I go through. It drives me crazy, but what's a girl to do. Poor Samsung and Mittens get to listen to me complain about it day in and day out. Bless them.

I decided that tracing the images from a projector of these interesting Indian inspired erotica, and then pouncing them out on the walls would be the easiest method of transferring these 8' images onto the wallpaper walls. Below is the MonkeyMan ripping open his chest. He lives on the far SR wall.

The designer, or rather, the Director wanted the images to be translucent, so to make it look like they are coming from within the walls. A pretty cool though, a choice to say the least. But it made it a lot easier and quicker to paint with this all in mind. So, this is it mid process:

Load-in was...interesting. And terrifying, but all in all, all the walls got loaded in. It looks pretty snazzy. This is from yesterday before we did a lot of the paint notes. So here is that:

Until next time....

Friday, July 17, 2009

Finishing up everything related to mega portraits

I felt the need to finish up/add these few things that I am fairly satisfied with given the time I had to work on them.

And so we begin!

Painting elevation for the General Store scene for "Merton of the Movies".

Finished product. It's 6' wide and 9' tall. Basically did it in one day...not too shabby. It obviously needs to be edited before it goes into the portfolio. Samsung got in the way doing a wavey thing with her hands.

These are the infamous painting elevations for the two huge mega portraits: The ''Rosacea Lady" was a pieced together elevation and the woman was a famous actress in the 20's. The designer didin't want the font, so it was fun to try to figure out how to do all of this.

The designer is a fanatic of Photoshop. Sometimes it works for him, sometimes it doesn't. This was a black and white image that he found that he colorized on the famous photoshop. This one was a little easier to work from.

And I give you, THE FINAL RESULT!

I'm pretty happy with them if I do say so myself.

Creating the Garden of Eden

Well for starters, I want to appolosize on the quality of these pictures--sorta. I know they aren't color perfect, but I don't have photoshop yet, and with the new laptop and everything, I'm still trying to figure everything out (how to size the images as well) and all that good stuff. But here is the jist of everything to a certain degree!

We finished the walls today! Yayayayay!
Well...the flowers we finished, now it's onto naked people!

Here are the elevations the designer gave me (like I said, color is off in these pictures!)

These are the SR/Centre walls

These are the SL walls.

Like the naked random Indian Erotica that he chose? I'm looking forward to painting that (and by looking forward, I mean I don't know how I feel about it quite yet.)

This is Greg, but I call him Mittens for reasons I will delve into another time. He is one of the carpentry interns and I somehow partially suckered him into helping me stencil.

When I took the picture, I told him to smile and this is what he did
............................hehehe, he's very angsty.
I'm pretty sure he feels like stenciling flowers with girls is damaging to his straight masculinity.
I think he secretly likes it, he just doesn't want to admit it.

This is my partner in crime, Sam, but I call her Samsung. She is the other carpentry intern here.
She's the one that's been helping me do all this stenciling. She has a little more optimistic view about days upon days of stenciling then Mittens does--or at least this is what this picture tells me.

FINISHED WALLS!!!! YAY! They are so pretty! They make me happier then they really should, but they are so purdy!

Detail! Detail! Detail!

Tonight we will be projecting the wonderful entourage of naked Indian erotica and pouncing them onto the walls to prep them to be painted tomorrow. The designer comes back after being away for a week so his arrival makes me a little anxious because I want everything to go well. I've sent him process shots during the week and it's been good feedback, but I still worry.

Anyways, more to come. I'm hoping to do a blog about the whole stenciling process, and to keep photo documenting this whole stenciling/show painting thing some more. Not too much longer now! 6 more days until my contract is O-V-E-R!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Some wall updates!!

Here is some stuff as promised:

The walls are going good. This is the set of "The Hallow", a murder mystery drama written by Agatha Christie. They need to be done by tomorrow night. We (and by we I mean me and pretty much one other person, up to 4, but generally 2 people only) have been working non-stop on these for like 14 hour days (plus the damn run crew we have to do). Anyways....traditionally it is supposed to be set in a manor, a rich local somewhere in England, but the designer went off on the deep end, and this is his twist on things a bit.

This is the extremely pixelated "painting elevation" that the designer gave me and basically said "Good luck making a stencil!"

Heh heh heh heh......4 days later, I won, and this sample came from my angsty hands:

Eat your heart out designer! He really liked it and everyone else did, now just to transfer it onto these 16' monstrosities.

This is the second step of the first process, or the 1st step of the stenciling on the walls: the leaves. Conveniently (or not, depending on how you look at it), the designer didn't want it to be wallpaper, he wanted it to "Look like a meadow"


So, here we go!

This is step 2: a Leaf Stencil. It's taken us like 2 1/2 days to get this step on all the walls--taken so long and the poor stencil is so fah-cocked from the usage!

Step 3: The base of the flowers. While the leaf stencil was going on I started the flower one...almost finished, hopefully will be done by tomorrow morning! There are a lot of them, and I look like I have killed the Easter bunny with all these pastel colors on my hands, clothes, etc.

From a's getting there!

Close-up of the flower detail. Only 2 more steps to go! Highlight Stencil, & Lowlight Stencil. We started them today, they are looking AWESOME. It's making it worth staying here the extra 2 weeks during my "2 Weeks Notice" time.

It's going to be a good portfolio piece.

More to come, like painters elevations and the finishes of those huge portraits from before. On a side note about those: they are in the papers EVERYWHERE here---apparently old people really dig them and think they are good! Yay!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hello 1,100 square feet of doom!!!

So this is the reason why I decided to stick around and give 2 weeks notice instead of bailing on these hippies up here:

I give you, ridiculiously terrifying wallpaper walls!

Part 1 of a 5 phase, 4 part stencil. Here's some more:

These walls are 16' tall. They sewed strips of muslin together and they attached it to the walls. I told them I needed to starch it--they didn't think it was necessary. It started to pucker, they learned. Oh well, silly Hippies.

I'll try to get the painters elevation up as well as the sample I had to do for what the final product is going to be. In the end it's going to be this flowery/leaf's pretty ugly and terrifying.

Oh, and please notice the circa 1970 ghetto scaffolding that is jolly rigged together and the pieces of wood I have to work on. Yes, this is "fun". And yes, I have almost passed out from the fear of the height. It's not so bueno my friends.

Not so bueno at all.

First Casualty of the Season

So, the sound booth at our theatre is up in the rafters---quite literally.

Unfortunately the first casualty was M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E's relative.

The other day the sound intern was running the sound check as the whole pre-show thing. Next thing I know I hear "Holy Crap!" and hear him scurrying down the ladder into the theatre. Apparently before the Sound Designer left, he asked said intern to clean out the booth because it "smelt like death". They thought that it was just the smell of the garbage, which they emptied, but the smell didn't go away. When the sound intern went to go plug in his laptop that night, this is what he found:

Poor thing never stood a chance. Needless to say it made the rehearsal report for the evening and this picture was shortly attached and sent out to the company for all to see.

Ahh the highlights of theatre!

I'm gonna be shitting berries like a bird for weeks

When I was a kid, we had bushes upon bushes of these blackcap berries that I used to pick during the summer and would eat handfulls and handfulls of berries a day growing up. Conveniently up here in Vermont there are MORE bushes and bushes of these berries so I am picking them religiously and including them in EVERYTHING I can.

Here is said wonderful berries:

Needless to say since I am consuming so many cupfulls of these a day I'll be shitting berries like a bird for weeks: hence the title.

Mega Portraits

So these pictures are a little old, but I took some process shots of these fairly sweet portraits I had to do for the show that is open right now, which is "Merton of the Movies". I'll try to get the paint elevation up soon as well as the final product, but for now, here's what I got:

And 1: the beginnings

And 2: the middles

And 3: and still some more work.

I'll try to get the final images up soon as well as the painting elevations.
For the record, these are 6' wide and 9' tall, on luan with gaft tape seams. Oh yah, gotta love theatre!

Long Overdue

So, I'm going to take this slowly, and do a bunch of small updates. I got a new camera, so I am going to try to start to include some pictures here....

This would be a tree. A really old tree that is a resident outside of the house I am staying in. It's old, it's cool. I kinda dig the tree, not gonna lie.

In other news....

On Thursday, I handed in my 2 weeks notice to this place, informing them that I recently found out that my Grandmother isn't doing too well, and that I wanted to be able to be with her and that I need to do medical related things for Juilliard. I didn't get into how miserable I am here, how they lie in their contracts and don't stick to them, and break a ton of laws about labor and days working and working conditions, etc. I just left it at that.

Granted, they probably weren't too happy about it, they seemed to be understanding about it, and no one has treated me and differently thus far. It could be a lot worse I suppose.

This is all just skimming the surface of what has happened between blog postings, but I digress, and move onto another fun post!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday 22 June

Today is a first here: I had a good day!

I know! I think I'm actually pretty excited about it.

The Rosco paint that we ordered finally came in, so the designer and I were really happy about that. The theatre somehow banked on an old old school overhead projector so we were able to project the images on the luan, so we finished super fast, and that made me happy.

I think what helped a lot is I was just painting all day. And everyone left me alone and I just went into my own little world; painting. It was nice.

Granted, I've never had to do a portrait that's 6' x 9' of a woman from the 30's with terrible rosatia and what looks like she still has her baby teeth, but its looking pretty good. The designer was happy with me, and when I was painting one and he was painting the other, our styles matched up pretty well. That makes me happy considering this man has like my age in years more experience then I do. He also knows one of my professors from SCAD--from "back in the day".

At the end of the day the TD comes in with the volleyball and asks if I want to play.


I didn't get to play the last time, but it was nice to play some volleyball again. I could still serve overhand and got a couple of digs and spikes. Played 5 games, won 3 out of 5. All in all it was a good game, good day, good night.

It's a nice feeling to actually be happy at this place.

I hope that means I'm not turning into a hippie....

Sunday 21 June

Today ended up being one of those days where none of us wanted to do anything and everyone just wanted to go home. We kept on messing up everything. The day before I had started the "terrible" troump loei painting and it went well...considering I was painting in the parking lot and had ants roaming across it the entire time--I hope the designer likes unnecessary texture.

The painting itself isn't that bad, but there is a ridiculious about of architectural work that needs to be drawn out and measured. Not to mention that I have been given a copy of the drawings which have fuzzy lineweights and are mislabeled. It's been pretty fun trying to figure out how to fit something on pannels when they are drafted 6" taller then what the designer said to build. Thankfully I just have been able to shift everything down.

I spent like an hour linging out this fireplace because its this detailed Victorian style fireplace with like what seems like 2' of ornate molding on the top. I was really proud of myself until I realized I made the fireplace as a while 6" shorter then it was. Epic Fail.


I ended up fixing it and it didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would. I have been able to do all the painting so far with the crappy donated latex paint and my painting skills so whip up some pretty sweet stuff. Unfortunately the climate up here in Vermont is wet, damp, and rainy all the time, so it takes a decade for stuff to dry. The TD and I found some, what seem like 24" diameter scoops circa 1960 so I've been able to bake my scenery dry. Not the way I wanted it to get done, but I'm okay with it.

The carps have been making these 3 bookcases which are 9' tall. I'm absoutley terrified at the way they have built them, and they almost squashed the TD and myself twice. Not the way I want to go personally. They've decided to cooperate and not tople over if they have 4 stage weights on each of them, so that's encouraging. On the backs of them goes the 2 huge portraits. I was worried about the luan having tandons on them, but thankfully it didn't come through so we were able to base them out so we could start painting them the next day.

We went home early because everyone was miserable and it was just pouring outside all day and we had a matinee so it was virtually impossible to work anyways. After comtemplating a movie for about 3 hours, the girls ended up suckering in the few straight guys in this house to watch "When Harry Met Sally". I've concluded that the movie makes me sad, so I'm not going to watch it again.

On other news, since it was rainging so hard out, my roommate took a slip down the stairs at the front of the house, and beat the shit out of herself. Shes pretty banged up. One of the cool things here is that there is this old Quary down the road and it has this pretty old sweet marble and all the sidewalks and steps of the houses in this area are made with the marble from back in the day when they were mining it. Pretty sweet.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Saturday 20 June

Apparently under the description of Paints/Props Intern there is apparently 'cleaning crew' under there somehow. We got an e-mail saying how we had to report to work an hour earlier today because we were assigned certain locations in the theatre that we needed to clean up and re-organize. I got the props shop, pretty convenient I thought. There wasn't much to clean up, so I just sat there for most of this hour I was given and explored the props shop trying to figure out what I was going to do for however long I was left here. Shortly after that, the designer comes down to the props shop and asks if he can talk with me.

He told me that the production manager went up to him and told him that I was leaving and he wanted to come and talk to me about everything and see what was going on. I told him the short version of the story and that I was just exhausted and needed a break from everything and that I was stressed out and thought that this place had given me way too many responsibilites as just an Intern and I just couldn't do it. He agreed with me and said that he told the production manager that this place had huge balls for giving me these two huge responsibilities and agreed that it wasn't fair and that he felt there should be one person here doing props full time. Not the answer I expected, but still it was nice to hear someone agree with me. I told him that I just didn't know what to do and he asked me that if he went to the production manger and talked to him about changing my contract if I would stay. I said that I wasn't sure and he basically then told me that if I left the possibility of finding another person with the skillsets that I have would be next to impossible and that they would have to re-design all the shows from here on out because he wouldn't be able to do it on his own.

They need me here...I was needed. It's a weird feeling to have a theatre company basically tell you this.

The designer went up and talked to the Production Manager and after a while they both came up and pulled me to the side and explained the negotiation. The production manager told me that I would be virtually lifted of my props duties and would only help when I had nothing to do and that I would strictly stay with paints for the summer when there was painting that needed to be done and that the props would be a company thing that everyone would have to chip in and help doing. They would do this if I agreed to stay.

I agreed.

So I'm here for the rest of the summer. I'm not sure how I fell about it yet, but I'm staying.

Friday 21 June

I've learned in my almost 1 week here that I have started a pattern for my feelings towards this place. It's pretty simple actually. It's a love it one day, hate it the next type of pattern. Since I got my laptop yesterday, it was a love day, so needless to say, today was a hate day. A REALLY big hate day.

This last week or so I have been doing everything in my power not to explode and bust out into tears. Today obviously seemed to be the day that this was going to happen. I'm not sure what sparked it, but I'm pretty sure it had something to do with the stage manager coming to me asking for rehearsal props that I apparently agreed to making, and was very upset that I didn't have these props for him.

Also, the Designer came to me and wanted me to go with him to the place where most of the furniture was stored so I agreed to go. This place where everything was stored is at this barn that seems like it dates back to the Caveman times. It's huge, ancient, and I'm pretty sure is ready to collapse any minute. It was great trying to find furniture for this. While we are pulling this stuff the designer is pulling this stuff and is informing me that I can just re-upholster this couch and re-finish that table, and do all these other alterations to all these pieces of furniture.

Apparently everyone here thinks there are 248 hours in my day and that I am capable of multitasking like no other.

Well, shit.

On the verge of tears I went to my roommate who is also the spokesperson for all the interns and told her everything and asked her if I would be able to talk with the production manager sometime that day. She told me she would go and talk with him and see what she could do. I decided to spend the rest of my day in the prop shop, by myself, doing research on how I can make or buy a grammophone. Eventually the Production manager came down and we sat down and talked...for quite awhile.

I have thought about this whole experience this last week here and have decided that I am just burnt out. Pure plain and simple. With everything that happened at SCAD my Senior year, and with all the shows and other things I had to do while I was there, I knew that after all of it I was going to be burnt out and that is why an internship seemed like a good answer: I didn't want to have that extra responsibility, I wanted to be able to have a breather and I thought that while I would have some responsibility as an intern, most of it would fall upon the Scenic Charge and the Props Master; but they don't exist here. I told him that I felt that the listing for this position was very decieving and that if I knew there wasn't going to be a props master or a scenic charge and there wouldnt be any other paints/props interns then I wouldn't have taken the job. I also explained to him how I was just exhausted from everything and was not capable of doing what they wanted me to do this summer. It was too much and I could just feel myself breaking down and I needed to take care of myself because I could only see it getting worse. I explained some other things to him and he asked me if there was anything he could do to change my mind on wanting to leave. I told him that I really just needed to get home and let my brain rest, and he said that he respected my decision and appologized for being decieving in the job posting and that he would start looking for someone to replace me and asked if I would be willing to stay until they found a replacement. I agreed to do so.

I don't know what else to do. I can just feel my body becoming more and more exhausted and more and more stressed. I realized that I have basically been going non-stop between summer stocks and hard-core college since the beginning of my sophomore year. Now was the time that my body and brain decided that it had had enough.

I had to usher that night and this creepy man started talking to me while I was standing at one of the doors. Apparently he is on the board of the theatre, so I knew I had to be nice to him. I awkwardly talked to him for about 5 minutes and then right before he walked away he looks and me and goes "You are a very pretty young lady"

....Awk Awk..... gross!

After ushering I drove back into civilization and called my dad and told him what was going on. He was supportive of what I decided to do, and told me to keep him updated.

Thursday 20 June

The best thing that happened was that I got my laptop, and got back the tiny bit of connection that I could to the outside world.

It's been lovely.

Unfortunately with getting the Internet, I came to realize that the Stage Manger for the show that is in rehearsal now has been sending me about 2 e-mails a day requesting and adding and changing the props for the show. I think its important to say that the props list started at about 85 props, and its grown to about 10 more a day.

Needless to say I didn't know what to do since I was the only person with a props title, but I knew where nothing was and was really confused at to what I needed to do.

So yah.

I decided to leave all the props stuff for another day and since the TD virtually disappeared for most of the day, myself and the other 2 interns were left on our own.

So I gutted and cleaned and organized the paint kitchen.

It was disgusting, but it looks a lot better then it did before, but I think this paint area is to a point where its beyond help.

Shortly after I started cleaning the paint area, the designer come down to me and tells me that he needs me to come with him to a production meeting, because if he isn't around he wants me to know whats going on so people can come to me and ask me questions.


So does this mean that I am now Assistant to the Designer as well?

I go to the production meeting and I am the only intern there. The TD asks me why I am there and I tell him that the designer has asked me to be there.

During the meeting they start to talk about the show that we have been working on (the one that has the 3 5'-6 x 9' painted portraits in it). The show is called "Merton on the Movies" and it's basically takes place in 1930 and is about this country boy who goes to Hollywood with hopes to be a famous actor. Not my cup of tea, but I digress.

So we're in this production meeting and the designer is asking me to read off all the questions he asked me to write down for him earlier that day, and the director is just spewing off all this junk that is coming out of his mouth and is really not making any sense.

For example:

There are moments in the play where they are 'filming' on old Hollywood sets. The director is trying to communicate (rather poorly) to the rest of the people at the table that while they are 'filming' he would like the look on stage to alter drastically. This is what he tells us:

"When the director on the film set calls "Action!" can we make the entire set go from color to black and white so it looks like the actual set is on film?"


Unfortunately this really did happen and I had to do everything in my power not to bust out laughing. I looked over at my boss (the TD) and I thought he was going to die.

The response from the production manager was probably the best part of it all:

"Umm, if we were magicians, then sure."

So that was the highlight of my first production meeting.

That night was the opening of our first show, "St. Nicholas" by Connor McPherson. It's a one man show, and it requires the audience to think and actually be an active participant, not just someone who stares at the action taking place on stage like it's chewing gum for their eyes.

I highly recommend it.

Of course with every opening night comes the crazy after party. I wasn't really feeling it since I just got my laptop and really wanted nothing more to do with what was around me so I decided to isolate myself from the party, since rocking out to Bob Marley and hippie music and drinking PBR (even if I could, I wouldn't) and smoking a bushel of pot was not on my list of things to do, I was okay with being a hermit.

I've decided that I enjoy being the sober ones in these kinds of situations because the things that I see people do and what they say, is quite enjoyable even though they don't realize what they are saying. Two interns were having a very loud conversation about how they wanted to hook up with each other and agreed that they only wanted a summer fling...but before they could get any farther into the negotiations of this bizarre verbal contract, the girl ran off to the bathroom to spew--now that's romantic.

Eventually people passed out everywhere, and by everywhere I'm pretty sure someone was laying in the staircase. Needless to say I'll be dealing with a few more of these nights this summer.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Weds 17 June

I met with the Scenic Designer for the first time today. He's a cool guy and is going to be designing all of the shows except for the last one, so I will be working closely with him since him and I will be painting everything and doing the props for everything.

Oh, did I mention that there is no Props Master or Scenic Charge and I am doing EVERYTHING under those categories?

Ummm, yah

So I met with the designer, and he showed me his painting elevations. There are THREE 5'-6" x 6' tall paintings that need to be done. Two of them are of oldschool acting photos and the third one is an ear of corn advertisement. Ontop of that, there is a boat, waves, tons of woodgraining on bookcases and tables and signs. Did I also mention there is a 9'x16' oldschool troump loei thats supposted to look terrible of a dining room scene that needs to be done as well?

Not that much to do is two weeks, of course not!

Oh! and then he hands me the props list which is at the time aout 75 props, but it has grown to be at least 85 and it is still growing. I know we don't have all those props here and I'm not quite sure where I am going to get all of them, but I have to do all that too.

This sucks.

Do all that in two weeks, and go!

Monday & Tuesday 15, 16 June

I don't remember what we did on this day. But I'm pretty sure it sucked and one day involved us working until 2:30 in the morning and painting a grey square.

Sunday 14 June

First day of work!

Weirdly enough, we don't start work until 10am, strange I thought, but whatever.

We get there, and we have a company meeting with everyone introducing themselves and also them informing us about the theatre. It ended up being the Artistic Director telling us how the theatre has no special reason to still be around and how we make it keep going and how we have to do the best we can and be a team player and all this great pep talk encouraging stuff.

And I'm totally on board.

Until I realize that I am the only one with any form of Props or Paints in my contract title.


They give us an 'official' tour of the place. The props room is pretty big and decent as well as the other areas of the theatre. They then dismiss us to go where we need to go.

I don't know where to go so I head off with the 2 Carpentry interns and we find the TD. We find him and he asks whose the paint/props intern, I say I am and he points over to the corner of the scene shop and says "that's the paint kitchen"

This is what a "paint kitchen" means at this place:

  • a space that is approx 8' x 12'
  • about 12 brushes total, nothing larger then a 3" chip brush and about 75% of them are ruined because they had paint left in them.
  • a sink that I am told I'm not really allowed to use because it dumps into a 400-gallon holding tank and it costs a lot to empty that out, so if I could go around the theatre and wash everything in the kitchen sink, that would be great.
  • 3 quarts of supersat, with about a spoonful let in each of them.
  • no extra mixing buckets
  • a ton of unorganized house paint that has been donated.
  • no mixing space
  • no overheadlight so you can see what you're doing
  • no 5 gallon buckets
  • no bamboo sticks.
  • no lining sticks.
  • And most importantly: NO PAINT DECK!
Trying not to flip my shit I am asked by the TD to help them out for awhile.

Apparenyly "awhile" means all day......doing carpentry work.

Remind you that I am contracted as a PAINTS/PROPS INTERN

I spend the first day loading in about 30 platforms, and legging them up and screwing in 3" screws with the other 2 carp interns and whoever else was helping them that day.

There was one guy helping them that day who I have come to believe will be at the top of my shit list all summer. Not that this has anything to do with it, but I'm pretty sure he's the gayest most flamboyant hippe on the face of the earth and I don't think my voice was ever as high pitched and airy as his is at anypoint of my life--my goodness!

Anyways, in all this scene shops glory of being illequipped and not having certain tools (like dead blows and stuff) I go up to this guy and ask him if I can see his tapemeasurer because I needed it for something.

"What color is it?" he asks me
"Blue" I reply
"There, you saw it" he tells me, and walks away without giving it to me.

?!?!?!?!!??!?!? Really?! Seriously?!


By the end of the day I drove myself out to civilization and was virtually in tears for the rest of the night on the phone with my parents, boyfriend, and my mentor from college. Everyone had different things to say about it. My dad told me to pack my stuff and get the hell out of there, my mom said the same. My boyfriend only got my hysterical voicemail and didn't get the glory of dealing with my crazy snot face. (Mind you I'm walking around the parking lot at the grocery store snot faced to the max--I'm surprised no one called the cops on me at times). And then I talked to my mentor and his wife and they made me realize that I needed to find a reason to stay at this shit hole of a situation I've gotten myself into for the summer.

Is it fair? No, not at all. But I need to stay here unfortunatey. Why? Because there seems to be only 60 people in the theatre industry and everyone knows everyone and if I bail out of this dump I can bet you anything it's going to come back and kick me in the ass at some later point of my career.

So what do I do?

I aim to ruin the lives of these hippies I live with one day at a time.

Saturday 13 June

The night before I drove up to the theatre I worked at last summer to meet up with a bunch of people who had returned for this summer. It was good, but I think for the most part it was a poor move on my part considering I didn't want to leave and had a feeling that that was probably going to be the best night of my summer. I digress....

So I get in the car and start to drive the 2 hours from Stockbridge to Vermont. The drive was really nice, things are really pretty up here which is cool. While driving through Vermont there were random life size moose sculptures everywhere. That was pretty awesome considering they were all painted with landscapes or with patterns or designs on them. Some stores had a family of mooses outside, some just had one. Overall that was great.

And then I lost my cellphone reception.

I was told that this area was pretty dodgy on the cellphone reception. I didn't realize that meant not having service within a 15 mile radius of where I was staying.

I got to the theatre, which is this fairly tiny space-they basically put two civil war barns together with a little extra and called it home. Very cool, yes. I was told to go first to the theatre and someone would be there to meet me to bring me to the house. Okay.

No one was there.

I walked around and found an open door and figured that would be my best shot. Of course it was the door to the scene shop. Score!

Thankfully the TD was in there and was able to show me where I needed to go. It was all good. As he was showing me around a blonde girl comes bolting towards him yelling his name informing him that hes taking her job from her and to let her do it.

This girl is conveniently my new roommate.

She's sweet, yes, but reminds me a lot of Elle Woods and is happy and chipper all the time. (I think it's something you get from being in Company Management)

She shows me around, I get totally lost with the tour, and she says that she'll come with me in my car up to where we are staying and help me get situated.

"Did you bring a hairdryer?" is quite literally the first non-work realted question she asks me. This is going to be fun.

We come up to the house, it's pretty awesome. Its about 200 years old and is just this old house with a bunch of rooms. It smells like a giant woodburning stove, but I'm down with that, no biggie. We unpack my car and shortly after that we head out to the grocery store in the company van.

At the grocery store I get reception, so I have made that my destination for when I need to make contact with the outside world. The grocery store trip was fairly low key, but the car ride back was my first real introduction to what I had gotten myself into.

"I really love listening to the NPR cooking shows" the company manager tells us while we're driving back. Another girl and him start talking about food and all the different things you can make and how tasty they are and all that good stuff. And then I hear him say "I just love anything that comes from or tastes like a tree!"

A tree!?

Sigh. Okay. Hippies.

We get back to the house and there are balloons everywhere--it is my roommates 22nd birthday and everyone has thrown her a party, cool, yes. One girl who I haven't met before comes up to me and says
"Dude do you want a cookie?"
"What's in them?" I ask
"Bananna peels and coffee grinds" they tell me.


I politely say no thank you and excuse myself.

They partied it up all night. My roommate got plastered. I stayed in my room and read my scenic painting book. I had had enough for one night.

A note about all of this

I am currently up in Vermont working at a small theatre company that has about, 30 people total, including all actors. I've decided that the only way I will be able to make it through this summer is to be able to document everything and share it with others, semi cathartic I know, but I gotta do what I gotta do. Now time to recap the last 6 days.