Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Fall

There is something fascinating about the end months of the year. We aren't quite into what I like to think of as the dead months-- after the leaves are gone and everything is brown and grey and black, just waiting for the covering of snow-- but it's coming. After the crisp, sunny days of September and October, when the colors burst against the sky and summer says its last good-bye, dreary November will haunt the blackened forests, the leaves soggy and cold underfoot. A shallow wind creaks through the trees and the rain never really stops coming down.

This is the worst time of year to watch scary movies, to live in rural Vermont, to be alone. I used to be afraid a lot during this time of year. Somehow I am taking solace in its depressing discomfort this time around, and I suspect it has to do with my unhappiness at where I am right now.

After the summer, I wanted to start my post-grad life right away somewhere other than Vermont. I've been here for my whole life and worked with a lot of local companies. I want to experience new places. I love and miss my family, especially my extended family, who I don't see often. They are always there for me though, a short email or a quick phone call away: my parents, my grandma... and with my brothers settling down I don't feel the need to stay here.

So it's time.

But I don't have the money to move to the city yet, and the couple of places that made offers would probably have made me more miserable and bored than ever, so I'm staying at home, saving money, and getting my union card. It's reasonable. Logical. I'm just not patient enough, I guess. I want my independent life to begin now.

At least I'm not afraid anymore.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The End of Summer

It's been a busy month or so since I last wrote... the summer season at the Hangar theater ended with Trip To Bountiful, the story of a woman in Texas trying to get home. We had a lot of very detailed projects for this show, which was interesting and often challenging for the scene shop. With interns and apprentices leaving for school, our numbers were reduced, but many of the projects we worked on were portfolio projects for each of us to display our work, and so the fewer people in the shop, the easier it was for us all to work around one another.
Ticket booth
I worked on a beautiful ticket booth with our Master Carpenter, making a finished old-fashion booth that lifted and wheeled around with a handle mechanism. I also made a window piece and frame, which was great practice for some intricate fitting of pieces. I made a little roof piece and worked on huge, rough-hewn posts. During the load-in, I was a carpenter for the changeover and worked on a lot of the pieces that flew in and out: the roof, the window, the apartment wall. This show was a great way to the end the season because of the practice we all put in on detailed work.

Finishing touches on the ticket booth: routed edges, molding, all sanded and plastered or puttied

The window pane and frame I made! Becca made the bottom frame, which we put in later.

I made this day bed at the last minute for props, and am very proud of how it came out.
We were working right up til opening night on this show finishing things and especially working on these bench platforms that were controlled with casters on a pressurized air system to raise & wheel or lower & brake. It was quite a process. But the show opened successfully, and we all celebrated and then packed our bags and headed our separate ways, minus a skeleton crew to run the show and strike later in the month. 

I really enjoyed my time at the Hangar theater this summer. I learned a lot, grew in confidence about my skills, met a lot of contacts and friends, and solidified the fact that I love summer stock theater. Despite some rough patches-- as any theater, any job in the world, will have-- we produced an awesome season. Each show, we learned new things: we had Lend Me A Tenor, which was a hotel interior with big walls and basic scenery practices; Titanic the Musical, which we worked almost exclusively with metal; Full Gallop, which had a small set; Next to Normal, which combined wood and metal working; and Trip to Bountiful, which had finished pieces and furniture that really challenged our skills. Not to mention the kids' shows and the experimental was a busy summer!

Thanks for reading!