Friday, November 20, 2009

across 110th street

Friday night.
Looking for a little inspiration from my favorite Tarantino film.

Some days, I wish I had even .0008% of Pam Grier's badassery.

Turn it all the way up...and sing along, my friend.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

and so we begin

Last night was our first rehearsal of The (edward) Hopper Project.
One could feel the collective sigh of relief go up in WNEPland.

What started out as a writing assignment (write a scene inspired by a specific set of Edward Hopper paintings) over 2 years ago, has finally been put into the hands of 17 actors and a band of able-bodied production folk.

I'm a contributing writer and as we went through the reading for the very first time with the cast, the actor playing the character I mainly wrote for was sitting directly beside me.

It's hard to describe listening to someone else read words you put on a page. Overall, I would define it as "quite satisfying."

My job as "writer" is complete.

My job as assistant director is just getting started.
(more on that later.)

My job as costume designer is already in full swing.

I have several goals for the costume design:
- maintaining/representing the fashions of 1952 accurately.
- using the paintings that inspired each scene for some direct/literal design ideas
- other costumes will be influenced more symbolically by Hopper's colors and themes - using colors from the "Hopper palette."

The supra cool part is that I adore his paintings. Getting to study them to find the elements which I think apply to each scene and character is really just a delightful exercise for my brain.

Now...finding all these vintage pieces?
That's gonna take some work.

I hear the words of my lord and saviour, Tim Gunn in my ear, "Make it work!"
With you in my heart, Tim...I shall.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


While we have many more weeks of Autumn, it seems like most of the trees are on the tail end of their "beauty of decay" cycle.

There are still a few colorful leaves hanging on for dear life here and there, but instead of a robust array of reds, oranges and golds, it's getting to be pretty much mustard and brown uber alles.

And mostly, it's uber alles the ground.

I'm one of those folks who's mood is very affected by the weather.

When I notice a spectacular blue sky?
My heart will expand three sizes.

When I see the wind move through a tree straight out of a crayola box?
I want to point it out to strangers waiting at the train station with me.

When I feel a breeze (hot or cold) that hits you at just the right time?
I want to pull out a mason jar and chase it around like a firefly.

It's not really Seasonal Affective's not like I'm just happy in the summer (I'm not, I bitch about the humidity non-stop), or sad in the winter (there's nothing I like finer than a snowfall...if I'm stuck at home and not out in it.)

Just call me easily swayed.

I saw this picture over at dooce and got all swoony when I saw this ivy covered fence.

(I encourage you to click it to see the BIG version which is way better than this rinky dink copy.)


Just looking at a picture of autumn in all her colorful regalia makes me go all knocked-kneed. There is no hope for me.

I'm in love with Autumn...and it's totally getting ready to dump me.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

in the hopper

This is a peek at what WNEP's currently working on...

Photography by the excellent John Sisson.

The (edward) Hopper Project
Inspired by the works of American realist painter Edward Hopper, WNEP spends a day in New York, 1952. This production will run Jan 15 - Feb 21 at the DCA Storefront Theater.
This was a group written piece for which I am a contributing writer*.
We have found an amazing cast (of 17! Holy crap, that's a lot of actors!) and rehearsals begin on Tuesday. I'm sure I'll be mentioning it quite a bit, so prepare yourself to OD on Hopper. I'm slapping my veins in anticipation!
*I'm also the assistant director and costume designer for this show.

Monday, November 2, 2009


First I was having issue with my access to the blog. "Gaw! Why can't I load this picture? Damn you to hell, Blogger!"

Then it morphed into, "Everything in my brain is the equivalent to sensational news reports. It's all car accidents, cave-ins and child abductions. I really don't want to blog about that crap today. Or today. Or today. Or ever."

Then I went on vacation thinking, "Okay, I'm ready to write! I'll finally have time and be in a delightful mood!"

Instead I slept and read and procrastinated. A LOT. I was barely online that whole week.

In the midst of all of it, I was working on stuff for WNEP's next project which I'm REALLY EXCITED ABOUT, but that took the remains whatever reserve energy I had left in my back pocket.

Also. I blame Facebook.

Why spend time writing a coherent collection of paragraphs, when a well phrased zinger (not necessarily a complete sentence, even) will do!

When I look back at October, while a bunch of good stuff happened last month, it was the least Rockingest Rocktober in quite a while. Which, to be honest, confused the hell out of me. October was crowned long ago as the Most Awesome Month of the Year. When it failed to meet my usual expectations, I sat in a stunned bubble of "WTF!" for a wee bit longer than I should have.

I'm taking a cue from Fred and Ginger.
I have "Pick Yourself Up" playing in my head on a loop.

Nothing's impossible, I have found.
For when my chin is on the ground,
I pick myself up, dust myself off, start all over again.

Don't lose your confidence if you slip.
Be grateful for the pleasant trip,
And pick yourself up, dust yourself off, start all over again.

Work like a soul inspired 'til the battle of the day is won
You may be sick and tired, but you'll be a man, my son.

Will you remember the famous men who had to fall to rise again?
So take a deep breath,
Pick yourself up,
Dust yourself off,
Start all over again.

- Swing Time, 1936

I've decided to give November a shot at the title.