Sunday, April 22, 2012

Props and Transferring

Well, I'm back!

I realize it's been months since I last posted. I've gone past some pretty major holidays, but honestly, there hasn't been anything theatre-related to share. But no longer!

As you know from my past few posts, I am currently at the University of South Dakota, studying Theatre. We recently just finished something that I believe needs to be shared: our performance of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street!

Those songs are gonna be in my head for weeks.

At first, I'd hoped to audition for Sweeney Todd, and after seeing it, I wish I had. However, at the time of tryouts, life was just too busy for me. So, tryouts came and went, and it looked like I had no chance to participace in the show. And I most likely wouldn't have, if not for one of my mandatory theatre classes, Practicum. Each theatre student, regardless of their specialization, is required to spend four semesters assisting backstage for shows, either through work or helping run a show. After finding an undiscovered passion in props (back during God of Carnage), I decided to spend my hours working in the prop department. Two months ago, I went in to talk to Professor Tim Case, the Scenic and Properties Designer for USD.

When I first started working, we were still working on a show at the tail end of its production, Coyote on a Fence. I helped to paint a majority of the set, and Tim taught me some cool tricks. It was performed just a few weeks later, and it was very well-done.

Soon after, we started working on Sweeney Todd, and I was still painting sets for the most part. But eventually, I got my first job in props, and probably my biggest job, as well. Tim gave me the job of building Mrs. Lovett's harmonium. The entire build process is on my other blog. The finished piece is heavily detailed--Mrs. Lovett got it very cheaply after the chapel burned down.

Aside from the harmonium, I was able to work on a number of smaller pieces. I worked on Pirelli's sign, as well as his "miracle elixir."

I also helped to sew (and blood-proof) Sweeney's barber cloths:

One of the cooler props I helped with were birdcages. I glued in fake birds and stands, and they looked pretty awesome!

And the white birdie in the top cage?

He's such a cutie, huh?

He gets his neck snapped. I made that possible!

By the end of it, we had a very full prop closet:

I was also able to work on some furniture, like these benches:

Tim taught me some amazing skills! Check out the texturing on these:

Anyway, the time finally came for the show, and while I don't have any shots of the production in action (no cameras allowed, unfortunately), I was able to get one of the full set:

Needless to say, the show was amazing. The cast did an amazing job and everything looked amazing. Due to my work behind the scenes, I was listed as the Assistant Properties Supervisor, second only to Tim himself.

Now, to reference the second part of my title, I have some news. After much consideration, I have decided to transfer to the University of Northern Colorado, and will be going there this fall. This decision was made in February, before I truly got involved in the Teatre program here at USD, and found out that they're performing Rent next April. Although I will miss the people here, I still stand by my decision. The next play I help out with will be in Colorado.

Until next you hear from me: be safe, do what you love, and love what you do.