Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Another Holiday, Another Year


What a year. 

I was broke poor. I had my heart broken. People constantly made me feel inadequate in my job, when I had one. But even so this year was incredible. I hopefully won't be broke for the forseeable future. I got over that broken heart and noticed the other fish in the sea. Then one found me and he's better than any before. And although lots of people made me question if I really was cut out for the Theatre Costume World, somehow I managed to have consistent work from April to this coming February. It hasn't been easy but the rewards have been awesome

Thanks to all the mentors, the friends, the coworkers, the family, and the boyfriend that saw me through it all.

May 2015 live up to the dreams we all have. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Seven things that have happened since April

It's been one hell of a ride since April. I can't believe that was the last time I posted anything. Well I'll give you a few bullet points of what's been happening.

1. Oh Walter, My Walter was a success. The director liked my designs and I really enjoyed working on it. It ran May-June. Never had a huge audience, but the audiences it had really liked it.
2. Here Lies Love is a huge success. The time I was working both Here Lies Love and Oh Walter My Walter were insane. Barely enough sleep to function. The actors and creative team of Here Lies Love are brilliant. If you get the chance to come to New York, you have to see this show. You will not regret it.
3. I got an offer to work as the Costume Assistant on the National Tour of Dirty Dancing. Although I was able to work both Here Lies Love and Dirty Dancing, I decided to leave Here Lies Love and focus on what I really want to do in theatre, which is costume design. Dirty Dancing is now traveling the country- probably coming somewhere close to you! I still visit Here Lies Love pretty often, subbing in for people when they go on vacation.
4. As a result of working on Dirty Dancing, I was asked to be the Costume Assistant for the National Tour of Elf: The Musical, which is what I am working on now. Christmas really is coming early this year for me! It's more responsibility than I have had on any show before. I am incredibly nervous, but so incredibly excited about all of it!
5. I've had a lot of celebrity run ins and I'm getting better and better at keeping my cool. Doesn't always happen, but I am getting better. I've also seen so many people now that I've forgotten most of them.
6. I went home in August to be in a wedding. I hadn't been home in 8 months- that's an exceptionally long time for me. It was so great to see so many friends and family. I wish I could have stayed longer. Oh and the wedding was just beautiful. So happy for Bob and Jacqueline Stillerman (Oh that's so weird to type!)
7. Here Lies Love introduced me to a lot of people but most importantly a theatre electrician that I now like to refer to as my boyfriend. That's right! This chronically single girl is no longer on the market. Dating in New York City is so incredibly hard- I understand better now why the television show Sex and the City was such a huge success, because it is all true! Everything just fell in to place with Jeremy. I consider myself very lucky to have him around now.

I'm crazy busy all the time now- which is great. I'm a very happy girl!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Here lies a crazy person named Walter

I'm not entirely sure what day it is. Or even the time. All I know is that I've been very very busy as of late.

I am now working as a dresser for the Off-Broadway production of Here Lies Love - an immersive musical- i.e. not your typical musical theater experience. I've never been a part of a show like this and it is a crazy experience. I haven't had a lot of sleep since I took the job and only a hand full of days off, but it is a really cool thing to be a part of. In the moments that I have a chance to breathe outside of Here Lies Love, I'm designing the costumes for an Off-Off Broadway show called Oh Walter, My Walter, a dark comedy where all the characters are named Walter or Winnie. I love designing. But this is why I am a full on crazy person these days. I am living and breathing these two shows 24/7. I have dreams that the two have merged together - more like nightmares actually.

Even though sleep is foreign, I am barely outside of the dark theatre to enjoy this beautiful spring we are having, and even though I am a crazy person right now and have no social life to speak of, I cannot tell you how much I love New York. It has yet to get old that I live here. This is my life. It's so good.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Year 26: 26 pieces of art in one year

The night before I turned 24, I made a list of 24 things I wanted to do while I was 24. It was a bucket list of sorts. All though I did not complete every thing on the list, I really enjoyed having that list through out the year. It challenged me to do something more for myself. 

In that same vein, I'm going to make a "bucket list" for the year I am 26. Year 25's "bucket list" was "Get to New York and Figure Out How to Stay"- it's a work in progress challenge. This year  I am challenging myself to do 26 pieces of art through out the entire year. Basically one new piece of art every two weeks. Does that sound crazy?

Well it is. But I want the challenge. I recently visited the Carnegie Mellon University Drama Department. I have made it no secret that I want to go to Grad School, and right now CMU is my top choice. The very kind faculty encouraged me do to more art on my own and to go to more museums- to immerse myself with more art. I am embracing their advice and making my own challenge and goal. This time next year, I will be in the process of interviewing for schools and I will hopefully have lots more personal artwork to show in my applications. I want to be a better artist, better student, better designer. This is my own way of challenging myself to be those things. 

So here we go Year 26. Bring it on!

Oh, and Happy Birthday to ME!!!

PS. 26 different pieces of art... I am open to suggestions, inspirations, and encouragements. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

It's the Best day of the Year!

I, normally, am award show obsessed. I'll see all the movies, watch all the shows and know exactly who is going to win in every category. This year has been different. With movie tickets the prices that they are in New York City, I haven't gone to the theatre much. In fact, of all the movies nominated this year in every category, I've only seen 4. So this year will be interesting. I'll make my normal predictions, but I don't expect to be as accurate as I have been in the past. I'm also watching the show for the first time with another person. That might sound nutty, but I normally hate having an audience while watching the Oscars. But not having a TV kind of forces you to share the night with someone. I'm very excited to be watching with Mary. I think it will be a lot of fun. Maybe her predictions will be more accurate than mine- she's at least seen more than a handful of movies this year.

Best Film: 12 Years A Slave
Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Best Animated Feature: Frozen
Best Cinematography: Gravity
Best Costume Design: 12 Years A Slave
Best Film Editing: Gravity
Best Foreign Film: The Great Beauty
Best Make-up and Hairstyling: Dallas Buyers Club
Best Original Score: Gravity
Best Original Song: "Let It Go," Frozen
Best Production Design: The Great Gatsby
Best Sound Editing: Gravity
Best Sound Mixing: Gravity
Best Visual Effects: Gravity
Best Adapted Screenplay: 12 Years A Slave
Best Original Screenplay: Her

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Ups and Downs and In Betweens

I love living in New York. I really do. It isn't easy and I don't want to mislead anyone in thinking that I'm living a grand life up here. But it really doesn't suck.

Lots has happened since I last posted. November 2013 was a blur. I worked on a TV show pilot called Mozart in the Jungle that is now airing on Go check it out! I worked as a Wardrobe Supervisor to a new play called The Cottage in Queens. And then I went back to Beautiful: The Carole King Musical as a shopper right before it started previews on Broadway.

It was so exciting, but then no work for all of December. Not to worry, I networked as I could and enjoyed getting to go back to North Carolina for Christmas. When I came back to New York I brought some friends with me, and I had a job waiting.

My best friend since I was 4, KK and two of the girls I lived with in college, Amanda and Dorothy, all roadtripped with me from NC to VA to NY for New Years in New York City... except we decided to bail on celebrating in Times Square (we're not that crazy). We grabbed another friend that happened to be in the city for the holiday, Kelly, and went to Long Island to meet up with two more friends from college, Emily and Kate, to celebrate New Year's together. Definitely one of my most memorable celebrations of the holiday. Waywards* + KK know how to have fun and we most certainly did.

The job waiting for me was that of assistant to the Costume Designer to a production of Les Miserables. Don't get too excited! -it not the production of Les Mis that's about to open on Broadway. No, this production is in California. The designer gave me all of his renderings and told me to go find the fabrics he wanted. It was so much fun! Literally everyday I would go out to the fabric district and go shopping for fabrics. Not everyone would think this is fun, but for me it is- even if it's the polar vortex outside and it's snowed for days on end.

I picked up work as a stitcher for two days on an show called Queen of the Night. It's experimental, immersive theatre. Looks like a fascinating show- and super expensive. And then Beautiful called again. I've been working as a shopper for them since they opened on Broadway as well as shopper for a production of The Sound of Music in Chicago.

Oh and did you hear? Beautiful opened on Broadway and has gotten fantastic reviews! I got to go to the opening party. Talk about a star-studded affair! I met William Ivey Long, famed Broadway Costume Designer who has the most Tony Awards than anyone (6!). Nathan Lane almost photobombed a picture I was taking. And I got to meet Sara Bareillis! A dream come true.

I've seen lots of shows in the last few months: Beautiful, Matilda, After Midnight, Wicked, Pippin, Cinderella; and have had lots of visits with friends. Amina and Kate being in town from their respective ships was another Wayward reunion. Kate has been in town every weekend as her ship docks in the city, but Amina I haven't seen since 2012! Gosh it was fun being with them. Midday Margaritas with Regina was a surprise delight! And visiting with Terri and her girls when they came up for the weekend was an especially awesome treat. It was like having family come to visit which made it even better. I love living in a city that people want to visit, but its even more exciting and special when they want to include me in their fun.

I've always been a person who doesn't know how to stay in one place for longer than 4 weeks, and having not left New York since Christmas, I've been getting a little anxious. So, I bought a ticket and I'm going to Pittsburg to see my college roommate Mary and her husband Ashwin the first weekend of March. We called ourselves Lucy and Ethel in college so it will be a fun visit. I'm especially excited to get to visit Carnegie Mellon as I've been considering it for grad school. Mary has been a great friend since I moved to New York, always checking on me to make sure I'm safe (she's a cop - it's her nature). I'm glad to get some time away with her.

This coming week I don't have any work, so I'll be networking again and being on the search for the next opportunity. I've been very lucky with work thus far in 2014, so I'm a little nervous not to have anything on the horizon for a bit. Valentine's Day was especially crappy this year, but I was reminded that I have truly awesome friends, and great parents too - even if for the first time in their life they forgot to send me a Valentine!

One thing that I am quite over in this city is the cold. As Sydney constantly struggles with as she prepares for her dates (her love life is more active than mine these days), HOW DO YOU DRESS CUTE WHEN IT'S SO COLD?! The snow is pretty and all, but after a few inches, it's rather annoying. And this Southern girl is used to staying inside when it snows and all things shutting down. But New York never quits, and lately it seems that the snow doesn't either. Looking forward to March as I always am. Not only does it bring Spring, and flowers and colors and warmth, but it also brings my birthday. And I love a good birthday in the city :)


*Waywards is what a group of my friends from college like to call ourselves. In Greenville, NC there is a house that Amanda has lived in for several years, with various female roommates moving in and out. We call the house The Home for Wayward Women and we call ourselves Waywards for short as we have all at some point lived in the house. Since I moved to New York, I have housed 5 Waywards as they have come to visit. Amanda recently declared my apartment the Stainback Home for Wayward Women - I cannot tell you how honored I felt to have this name bestowed on my apartment. We are ridiculous women, but we do have fun together.