Thursday, December 20, 2007

On the Floor at the Great Divide/ With my shirt tucked in and my shoes untied

I figured you all needed an I'm not dead post. Things are well here. We just opened our 2nd show last week so its slow right now. Its odd I hated the schdule at my last job, but I'm finding the pace here to be a little. The upside was that I got to leave Juneau for a short bit and exprince "real Alaska" in Haines. Which was something I was not quite prepared for. I thought Juneau was isolated and small, but it now feels like a bustling city. Don't get me wrong I enjoyed Haines, it was beautiful and the people I was visiting were awsome but I just realized I didn't really understand what small town meant. Parts of me liked it. There is a certian comfort in knowing almost everyone you see. Knowing where they fit in your life and where you fit in there. And there is a certian niceness in the civility that seemed to flow out of that. But I knew I was not going to be able to wrap my head around that place. I the moment I think I figured that out was when I was explaining where I grew up. I kept calling it the village cause that what Morton Grove is organized as. I kept saying how small it was. When I was asked the population I replied with out even thinking that it was 24,000. You should of seen the look I got. I then had to explain that compared to the towns around us that we were small. I still got an incredoulous look and explaination of how they could not imagine living somewhere so big. And after 2 days I could see how it would be odd to live somewhere where everyone didn't know everyone else. If anything this place is truly challenging my perspective of the way the world is.

Other than its small size coulpled with isolation the increable thing about Haines is the location. If you've ever seen White Fang, welcome to where was shot. The moutiain shot up from the ground and were amazing. Unlike here they were all jagged peaks. I couldn't belive the scencery surrounding me. Covered in snow, evergreens bowing under the weight, moutains soaring and tree filled with eagles. It was interesting trip. A definate chance to examine the world around it and I percive it.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Darkness and too much downtime

Hi all-
Greetings from the Northwoods. Things are going well here though life has seattled to point where I'm unused to it. I'm getting more than enough time off. That being said we haven't had a lot to do lately mainly cause we're just maintaining the current show. Now the designs are in and the director is getting here today and then its off to the races until December 12th when it slows down again, until we have to get the next show started sometime late in December. I've been thoroughly enjoying my free time until this past week. Now I'm ready to work again. I came up here to work and though that's what spent my first 4 weeks doing but these last 3 have been just pissy shit. I've been paid and I can't complain too much, but I want to get cooking again. I know this show will have some fantastic portfolio pieces and some great learning opportunities.
The thing that's getting to me is the fact that at 6:00 its almost dark and by 7:00 its pitch outside. And it will slowly be getting darker earlier though with Daylight savings it will be very abrupt on Monday. Ah well. I'll get over it and through it and on with life. I hope all is well for everyone else. And I hope the dark isn't getting to you.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Pictues ( Finally)

Douglas Island where I work.
My back yard.

Out Thane.

So I promised pictures and I've been lacking in getting them out. So here they are.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Hi all-
I've made it here safe and sound. ANd its beaufitful. The housing is above the shop adn rehearsal hall and since its new its nice. I have my own room and shortly will get around to making it my own. I love the fact that the living room looks out on to two mountains and creek. Plus the shop is about the size of Point's with celings at about 25' or so which after 7'8" makes me happy. Things are a little crazy as we are in the middle of the biggest show of the season, but even with that, I was out of work by 8 and had time to get groceries and get a beer downtown with the cast and writers. So I like it though its stressful for a lot of my college's right now. But still I'm in a good mood, after all the people that work here actually have a chance to meet people that live here. So all is well.

Friday, August 31, 2007


I have to say its been a summer. I'm done with my job and I'm glad its over. Looking back on it it almost feels like an abusive realtionship. I was asked to hours well above and beyond what was safe and was basically torn down from the first show on. Plus it was a very passive agressive enivorment and I don't deal well with those. Where I'm from (meaning my family) a fight took 60 minutes. 20 to get good and pissed, 20 to scream at each other, and 20 to apolgize for being an ass and not seeing things from another point of view. I hate when things just fester under the surface and everyone pretends that things are fine. They aren't, but people were so unwilling to deal with them that they needed someone to take it out on and that was me. I wish I could say that last part was me being parnoid but when I have others pointing it out to me afarid that its not. So finally got out and I think I did it with some class. I finshed up Forum to the best of my ablites, helped out with the changeover and left with out a hail and farwell address from atop the run off table from the table saw.

I'm now up in North Sea which is on the east end of Long Island and I'm just happy to be away from that place. I've spent the last two days doing laundry, repacking and reading. And its been heaven. Hopefully I'll get some fishing in today and get to take a ton of pictures tomrrow. If they turn out well I'll post them. Hope everyone is doing well.

Friday, August 17, 2007


Well I finally hit my breaking point. I resigned yesterday. I belive I'll be here until Forum opens but honsetly I'd much rather leave now. I realized yesterday that staying on here was stupid, I'm miserable, not able to sleep and not able to keep food in my system when I have enough of an appitite to eat it. So I realized that I needed to do this for me. I'm not sure if I shot myself in the foot in terms of a career in theatre, but if this is the cost to me then its too high. I can't continue to hold myself together when there is no engery left. So for those of you in the Midwest I'll be home for a little bit. Hope everyone elses summers are going much better.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Holy Shit ... JUNE??

So not only is today my birthday, which has been going quite well, I got my contract from Alaska and I found out that 1. I have 4 days to get there from Jersey, and 2. I'm employed until June 15!! Holy shit, that makes me a far happier person. Though it will make finding work next summer all the more interesting as a lot of places start in May. Still makes me happy.

Work wise things are fine. We've started Joseph and I think it should be good. The biggest changelle is going to be the goat that gets ripped apart. I start that this afternoon, wish me luck.

Monday, June 11, 2007

I'm not dead...yet

Wow, ten days latter almost no sleep and about 10 pounds lighter we're going into tech for Millie> Holy shit, its been awhile since I've done something like this. Millie is about 75 of the way there and now its just getting details done. Which will happen tonight. No addtional set pieces, or big surprise props. So I'm happy. I didn't repeat the same mistakes as last though I did run into some new ones, which got dealt with and life moved on.
Speaking of life I find myself completely lacking one but I'm oddly okay with that. Mainly becuase people here on the tech staff make a concerted effort to keep a good attitude about things. I'll post some pictures from the summer at some point. Just wanted to let you all know I wasn't dead, yet :).

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


For those of you who know Amadeus you know who this character is. And that's who I feel like. Some one who wants to be great but can only seem to achive medicority. Every time I turned around in the last few days something didn't work or got fucked up cause I was trying to rush. I haven't been this frustraited since I left Point. Summer stock theatre and I aren't friends. I overwork myself in the wrong way cause it seems to be the way to do things here. Not the wrong way for other people but for me since I need to stop when I first hit the point of diminshing returns and not keep plowing through and continuiously fucking up because I'm tired and feeling rushed. I can't do this to myself the next show. That being said everything is here but some needs tweaking. I need to find the balence between building and managing which I've totally negleted in order get things done. I'm fried it shows and I'm not happy even though most things are working. I managed to bulid a fucking bauble pole for fuck's sake. Its made of hula hoops jute rope and a big fucking stick and it looks like Mardi Gras vomited all over it. Which is how it should look. But I'm tired and tech starts soon. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Summer Stock without a Shop (Temperaorly)

So I made it and I'm settled and ready to work. But I'm spining my wheels in the mud. I'm stuck wanting to get a space where I can work as our shop is literaly almost done so once it is its balls to the walls time. I'm trying to work around it and so far I've gotten my lists done and gathered up as many items as possible and tryed to start on as many problems as possible. I'm gonna be really fucking tired at the end of the season.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


So I made it. In one piece with what I consider a minmal amount of shit ( a suitcase, rubbermaid (big), a bike and two tool boxes. And it in many ways is good to be here.
I'm currently adjusting back to the idea of real summer stock after getting spoiled in Logan. I'm also adjusting to living in the most densely populated state in the country. That being said I wasn't expecting almost the entire island to be devoloped. And it honsetly scares me. I think I'll be heading to the mainland once a week to just see some trees and a field. I've grown very used to the idea of wide open spaces except in cities. So I'll be adjusting and maybe learning how to surf. The sore throat medicince is kicking in so I'll write more tomrrow.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Because Stevens Point wasn't north enough...

I'm moving to Alaska in September. I mananged to land this season long internship with a theatre up there as Props Inten. So I'm going to be living in Juneau working for Perseverence Theatre. Not only am I excited about the location ( any city with more hiking trails than roads is a great place) but the fact that this theatre is doing vital interesting theatre in a small city (Juneau is 30,000 people with no road acess). Some of the shows that they have done in the last year include Tommy, an orginal work about the Raven in native mythogly and Equs. They've in last 7 years they have also done HEdwig and Angels in America Millennium Approachs. So I'm looking forward to doing a good mix of stuff as well as getting to know this place.

Now I know I'm gonna get questions like "Chris you realize its gonna be colder and darker than WI, right?" Well sort of, it will be darker but not 3o days of Artic darkeness, I'm well south of the Artic circle so the earlist the sun sets there is around 3:00 pm which is earlier enough, but it won't be weeks of total night. And for the cold issue, since Juneau is located between the ocean and the moutians, I get to live in cooler wetter version of Oregon. There winters are in the 30s and 40s with rain and occsional snow. When it was 20 below in Wisconsin it was round 38 above in Juneau, which really made me want to relocate then and there. Rain will be interesting to deal with as Juneau is in a temperate rain forest so it gets a lot, somewhere in 100 inches are year mark so I'll have to get used to being a little damp. But yeah I'm moving to Alaska. :)
Nothing like having the family spread from Deva Romania, to Juneau Alaska. :)

Saturday, April 14, 2007


I dragged my Mom out to our local Irish Pub where we were both plesantly surprised to find live music. We laughed as we both realized that Celtic music was about the only music that we could actually clap to.

Thinking on it, at least for me, it was some of the first music that I had listened to. Thistle and Shamrock was one of the few radio programs that I remembered. And there was a tape my mother made of one program, a tape my brother was born to, and I tape that I lost in 6th grade. We sat and talked and remembered a song called The Ferrybank Piper, to which we only knew the chorus. "So here's to the Ferrybank Piper, May his sad song never die, May his gay tune rasie your weary heart until in your grave you lie." We lamented the loss and the fact that we didn't know the actual name of the song or the artist.

We then got to talking about a song that was about growing up on the Clyde during World War II. My Mom had the lyrics somewhere, but they were on a unlocatable scrap of paper, if it had survied the move from Chicago, was buried in her closet or the basement. And memories of the lost music began to dance through my head, half remembered melodies, snippets of lyrics telling someone's story. Its increadble how music can stay with you.

So once we got home we started our hunt, horribly misspelling lyrics and song titles and trying to remember if this 30 second sample was the one that we had heard on that tape, or if it was another version of a much beloved song and we managed to find 6 of them, including The Ferrybank Piper,(which we misspelled as The Fairy Bank Piper) and Yonder Banks/Shipyard Appreintice.

We found them mainly by dumb luck, persuing the craziest possible route to them. And listening to these songs I began to cry, not tears of sadness, but maybe tears of something, the kind you get when you find something you once thought forever lost, in a snowy parking lot in Glenview, IL. Maybe nothing is truly ever lost, maybe its just hiding in a different place, the place where you almost give up hope of ever finding it again, like a lost tape from 1984.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

One Last Hurdle

I'm almost done with this show. 2 weeks of lousy sleep 3 nightmares and $240 bucks later the only thing that i have to worry about is how to get all this stuff to Lake Forest by Monday. And I belive I'm too young to rent a truck with out a shit ton of extra insurance. If I'm wrong please correct me.
I'm both looking forward to this Saturday and dreading it. it will be when I see if all my work pays off or i go to jail for invoultary manslaugher. It shouldn't be that bad. But we'll see.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Queen Bitch!

I won that title for one day. I won it by getting an antique store to lend me a Wardrobe for the run of the show. I finally feel like I'm gonna make it through this show.
For those of you who don't know, I'm working on a show which is set in a Victorian bedroom and I have a budget of $200. And I've spent a little over half of it and still have most of the Props taken care of. So That is why I'm Queen Bitch.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Jersey Anyone??

Well summer work has come through and I'm going to be working in Southern New Jersey for the summer on Long Beach Island. As a Props Master. Which makes me really happy but kinda nervous.
The show I'm working on right now is coming along quite well thanks to the fact that the costume designer literaly has a house full of period pieces that he has lent out before and is willing to lend me. My only huge furniture problem left is a wardrobe and bed table. Before the list went four poster bed, queen sized matress, sofa, makeup table ( which I own) peroid arm chairy type chair, stool ( have three options) and a very small budget. I think I'm gonna be okay. Which feels good. That and i know that I'm employed until September which is a huge load off my shoulders.

Socially I haven;t been up to too much. No wild affairs, or real wild nights. Save the night when Jenny slapped the shit out of an asshole that wouldn't leave us alone. It was truly hilarous. This idiot came up to us and within the first minutue was implying that we should provide him with certian services. So Jenny slapped him. He kept up the stupid remarks and she kept smacking him. What I found really interesting was the fact that the rest of the bar sided with the two of us even though this asshole was a regular. They kept telling him that you have to respect a lady or you get what's coming to you. I know this doesn't sound too funny but trust me it was.

Other than that not too much has happened. Life is moving and that's all I can ask of it.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


So long time no post. Basically because not too much is going on out here. I managed to land the last job I wrote about, but I'm having a hard time movtivating myself about it. Its an okay show but after the last I feel like its kinda hollow. That and I'm not sure how I feel about the company but hey work is work is work and I'm working so I shouldn't complain. Its just a huge chanllege to prop a show when the stock is non-existant, the budget is ridulously tight, and the show is period. We'll see how this one goes.
In other theatrically related news my last show, The Sparrow, has gotten its run extend until April which I think is amazingly cool. It was amazing to work on a show that really used all the poetinal of theatre to tell a story with out becoming masterbatory art. Its a good show and if you're in Chicago between now and April go see it. I belive its moving to Steppenwolf's garage theatre.
Well that's all for now but I wanted to let you all know what was up and that I was still alive.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Jerking my chain.

Well it looks like I might not have the Props Master position after all. In the face of budget cuts they may be eliminating my postion. Which doesn't make me very happy. If you can't afford a Props Person don't look for one. So I'm a little grumpy at the moment. We'll see if I still have a job tomorrow.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Things are progressing in the right direction....

I managed to land the Props Master gig. It's gonna be interesting as the budget is only $100 and I'm not quite sure what's going to be my problem. I think for the first time as a props person I'm going to be activly advocating the cutting of items from my list. Normally I'm like the more the merrier but since this a period show, I hoping to be able to sink my rescources into the items that are absolutly nesscary. Its another small theatre but hopefully this will help me to eventually be able to support myself through Theatre and not the various and asundry crap jobs that I do to keep money coming in.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

If you can't fixing a toaster in 35 plus years, maybe you shouldn't own a Fix It Shop.

SO last night my friend Jenny told me about how she noticed a disturbing thing on Sesame Street. Maria and Luis had been fixing the same toaster for several weeks. I searched through my recolections of the show and I realized that in all my memories of the aforementioned fix it shop were of Maria and Luis fixing that toaster or maybe the occsional radio. If this is all you can fix can you really run a fix it shop?

It got me asking questions about myself. I can do props and I can do them well but can I make it in the field just based on that skill, or do I need to diversify my skills? Its a question I'll be pondering as I work on finding my place in this industry. I'm not giving up just trying to improve my chances of making this work.

And it seems to be starting to work. I just finshed a job in Chicago for the House Theatre. It was a new work that was being written as the rehearsal progressed. It was about a telkentic girl returning to her home town to tell them her secert. The show asks a lot of the design with multiple locations, minmal budget and an ASM as run crew. Yet it flows well and the changes work with the actors carrying on the desks or lockers and making seem as if this is what happens when you go to class. It has been a joy to work on and I'm sad to see it go.

And hopefully I'll be working as a Props Master up in Lake Forest,IL, which for me would be huge considering its the first time that I've prop mastered. So I'm hopeful.