Meeting the carpenter tomorrow to give him the plans to build Pillow Talk. Of course after I sit and draft the plans I thought of news ways to improve the set. So it looks like I will have to draft up the news changes before tomorrow night. The changes are worth it!
This morning I started working on my plans for Pillow Talk, I am 75% finished and after that it will be time to meet with the carpenter to show him what the set will look like. After a couple hours of drafting I headed to a theatre to help my mentor paint her very amazing set. She had me paint and cut out foam bricks. This was my first time working with foam, it was not that hard but very time consuming. After helping paint I went to my mom's house for dinner and finished up the day measuring the cast for Pillow Talk. I thought this was most strange as I was measuring from head to toe and then waist to toe, felt like the costumer. Needed these measurements to help me with the set. I feel like I am right on track with this production. If it's one thing that I have learned working in the theatre it's if your not a couple of weeks you are very much behind!
I saw Xanadu the musical last night presented by Level Ground Arts. This show is just a lot of fun. I saw the national tour about a year ago at the Music Hall at Fair Park. The great thing about this show is you do not have to have flashy sets and costumes, even at the Music Hall the show was very minimal. Throw in a disco ball, roller skates, 80's music, silly acting and you will have XANADU, something so big you don't even know what it is (quote from the show).
Finding furniture, set dressing, pillows and other things for mid century design is tricky. So far I have a period sectional sofa, piano, and Kirby vacuum. I still need to find a payphone, ebay has the goods at a great price, two end tables with matching lamps, another sofa, coffee table, desk and a chair, five phones and set dressing. The set dressing will be the easiest thing on the list to get. This show, as I have mentioned before, really relies on interior decorating skills and really looking at the details to pull of this design.
Everything in the picture above is everything I need to get. As you can see phones are vital to the play as it's a play about phones.
Got the rehearsal hall ready for the first rehearsal by what I call taping the floor down. That is basically taping down a huge blueprint on the floor and setting chairs for the furniture for the actors to rehearse on. I will be going over to the rehearsal hall today to go over the ground plan and mock setup with the director and see if all issues are ironed out. Once this is done I can begin on the plans for the carpenter and then it will be time to pick the amazing period sofa that will be used in the play.
I was at a coffee shop the other day in the Dallas-Uptown area and I brought my 400 page design soucrebook with me. This book lists period wall, paint, carpet, tile and flooring samples dividing it between the 19th through the 20th centuries. Very useful for the theatre set designer. Anyways, I was waiting on my tea and I noticed heads began to stare at me while I was thumbing through my 10 pound book. I would say about 85% of the people in the store had a laptop or Ipad out that were staring. My Ipad was tucked away in my bag, I just didn't need it. I wanted to say to other people in the coffee shop, "remember these." I know when I work on a project I like to pull out several books and spread them out on the table. How do you do that if you have only one computer may I ask?! Books will soon be thing of the past before you know it.
Working on a final ground plan and drawing that's due on Monday. Monday is also when the rehearsal hall needs to be ready for the first read.
What does a set designer do?
Wikipedia says the following:
An amateur (French amateur "lover of", from Old French and ultimately from Latin amatorem nom. amator, "lover") is generally considered a person attached to a particular pursuit, study, or science, without pay and often without formal training. Amateurism can be seen in both a negative and positive light. Since amateurs often do not have formal training, some amateur work may be sub-par. For example, amateur athletes in sports such as basketball, baseball or football are regarded as having a lower level of ability than professional athletes. On the other hand, an amateur may be in a position to approach a subject with an open mind (as a result of the lack of formal training) and in a financially disinterested manner.
Many amateurs make valuable contributions in the field of computer programming through the open source movement. Amatuer dramatics is the performance of plays or musical theatre, often to high standards and often not, but lacking the budgets of professional West End or Broadway performances. Astromony, history, linguistics, and the natural sciences are among the myriad fields that have benefited from the activities of amateurs.
So what makes something worthy of being professional opposed to being amateur?
Example: I am paid for my services as a set designer so that would make me a professional but I do not do that as my full time job, especially in this economy. Since I do not do this full time to support myself I would be called a amateur. But wait I am being paid for my services. In this case I would be called a professional amateur or a pro-am. If I were to design sets full time and support myself I would considered professional even though I am turning in the same quality of work. Now I have seen professionals , full time, do sloppy work either as an actor or a designer but are they a true professionals? I know when I work on a project weather it's in a civic theatre, community theatre or a highly regarded award wining establishment I give 100% to the project trying to as 'professional' as I can. I think the word professional has two meanings here #1 being paid for your work and #2 giving your best. This is what the dictionary says about the word professional
I would like to thank www.answers.com for the above information. Tune in tomorrow for my thoughts of the word amateur.
Enjoy reading my encounters in and around theatre set design.
"The object of art is to give life a shape" -Shakespeare-