My blog this month is a little later because I have been gearing up for my year end portfolio review and part one of my thesis jury.
This semester as part of my thesis I had an internship with the designer Mio Guberinic which I have mentioned before here. As part of my internship I worked with Mio on a production of Into the Woods at Princeton University. It was a lot of fun to assist on a musical, which I have never done before. It was also nice to take a break from my university and help on a production in a totally different academic setting.
I did a lot of paperwork for the show, so now I am a wiz at Google/Sheets and similar programs like Excel. Now at the Rutgers costume shop I am call on for any computer paperwork question which is fun. I oddly find Excel spread sheets beautiful and rather satisfying when making conditional formatting, etc. One of our professors joked I should teach a master class on "How to Use Excel in the Costume Shop".
In addition to the paperwork I also worked closely with the wigs; mainly Rapunzel's wig. I also styled the Witch and one of the Step Sisters as well. It was a lot of fun to get back to wig designing since I have been away from it for a few months. Rapunzel's wig was quite the challenge as it is so iconic (the length at least). The wig also needs to be "cut" twice on stage in different ways which was my main task to fix. I ended up creating a pull away piece that was just loosely braided into the longer section of braid for the first "cut", and created an attachment at the nape of the wig that was easily unclasped for the second "cut". I'm making it seem simple, but the task was pretty daunting in the beginning. I was given many small sections of loose hair to create the iconic Rapunzel braid. After two test runs of 15.5 ft braid, we had it ready.
This is just a snapshot of what I have been up to and why my posts are so infrequent. I have had a great time working on this production and hope to work with Mio and the lovely people in Princeton again in the future.
Now back to my thesis prep.
Five year goals, relationship goals, "squad goals" (what does that even mean?). All important to someone, somewhere, but not the goals I try to use in my designs.
The other week I was speaking with some of the BFAs in the program here at Rutgers about their work. The designs and renderings were beautiful but they were worried about presenting them to their class. I asked why they had chosen certain things and they responded.
"See. Easy," I said, "those were your goals for the project. Speak about them."
I always try to have one or two goals for a project that I can point to when discussing my work. I try to think of a very specific thing in the performance I would like to accomplish through my design and work around that central point. What is the main view point of the director/production/artist? Can my goal work off of that more specifically? For example, in our Costume Rendering class a project (the project the undergrads were working on too) was to create a changeable look for a pop artist. The artist I chose was Sia. There are many reasons why I chose Sia, but the main one is her concerts tend to be more a performance piece. She has other artists share their talents as well. In "Nostalgic for the Present" she remains fixed to a spot that is pivoted around the stage while Maddie and her other dancers interact with video and each other. Something about the performance art aspect of her show drew me in. I had GOALS for this project. Two very specific items:
If you look closely you'll notice Sia's hair changes from first to second look. In my third look the two buns disappear to reveal a short angled pixie that still hides her face.
GOALS, not something to be afraid of! Except maybe that five year one for after I receive my MFA...
Till next time.