Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Star is Born

I was asked to design a concert/cabaret type set for the fund raiser for Pentacle Theater.  My friend Jeff Witt was the director.  When we originally talked the show was to be a Disney review.  A few weeks before it opened the show format had to change because they didn't have rights to the Disney songs.  I quickly changed to a Broadway review with a few Disney songs.  Still, I wanted the look to be as classy as possible. I also needed to spend as little money as possible because the point of the show is to earn money.

I started by borrowing platforms, legs and stairs from Central High School.  While we were working on the Willy Wonka set I had a few people put the legs on the platforms and paint it with some left over paint I had from previous sets.  We ordered 30 yards of trico fabric and I made 3 drops with left over grommet tape.  We borrowed trailers and hauled it all over to Chemekata in Salem.  Within a couple hours we were able to get the platforms and stairs up with most of the net Christmas lights we had borrowed hung.

I tied a knot in each of the white panels and then secured the know a little higher so that the panels puffed out a bit.  Then we fanned out the base.  We were able to borrow 20 matching stools for the performers as well.  Pentacle Theater had a chandelier.  We added crystals for some bling.
I finished off with the plants we made for The Secret Garden and tons of spray glitter.

I then used color lighting to change the look of the set with each song and performance.  I loved how versatile it turned out to be... simple yet elegant.  Not only people impressed with the look, they were impressed with the price.  I think I spent less than $400 total.  win for me!

A Little Catch Up in January

This has been w VERY busy month!  Thus, the month is now over and I am just getting to reporting on what we did.  Lame excuse, I know.  but at least I am making an effort.  :)  Here is what is keeping us all so busy.  We are doing more than one show at a time.  Crazy.   I know.  But it just happened.  

We started working on Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (to be performed at the CHS at the beginning of February.)  It's a big undertaking.  There are lots of pieces to the set.  Rather than a pink candy boat, I decided to go with a giant newspaper boat.

It looks st great!  One small problem.  When you put 9 kids in the boat, it won't roll anymore.  Gah!  besides, 1000 pounds adds up on those little castors and the OompaLoompas can't put it.  LOL  Today is a tech day.  We will have to see if we can change the design to see if we can get it to move.  At this point, I'm even considering taking the pumpkin off the carriage and putting the boat on instead.  That would mean that there would be wheels on the outside and I really wanted it to look like it was floating across the stage.

That didn't work either!  GAH!  So far, the weight of the kids is too much for wheels to handle.  At this pint we are going to have to take the shell off and put handles on the inside and make the kids walk it across the stage.  Bummer.

I brought the turntable back for this set as well.  since it was poorly instructed the first time, we took it all apart and started over.  I love that it rolls easily and quietly.  So, to build it in such a way that we didn't have to flip an insanely heavy platform, I had my help build the frame on the floor around the pin...

... and the put the deck on.  I still don't understand way it wasn't build like that in the first place.

Then we build a bridge on top of it....

We faced it and build stairs off the sides.

We also made flats that we cut like jars and painted giant candy on them...

It took much longer than I thought it would... that always happens to me.

We did have a casualty as we were hanging the 16 foot jars on a baton.... John walked into the bar.  Rang his bell a bit.

But once they were in the air they looked great!  While kids were dancing the night away in the cafeteria, John, Scot, Jeff and I finished these bad boys and got them in the air.

We also built, painted and hung a Wonka gate...

My favorite set piece (and may even be my favorite piece I've built ever) is this moving junk pile. We see this side when we are outside the Bucket house....

... and we see this side when we are in the inside of the Bucket house.  I really wanted to use corrugated tin.  I was pleasantly surprised that a parent had some on their farm!  I looks great!  He even had on old rusty motorcycle.  I also love the shape of the bed.  There is just enough room for all of their butts to fit across the back.  Their feet all stick out the foot board.  It is very comical.  I choose all grays because I wanted Charlie's life to look lifeless until he his the chocolate factory.

Mean while, John got to visit McKay and Myles, and his family in Utah.  I think it's funny that the older they get, John and Mark look more and more like each other.  Seriously, it's weird.

I sure miss McKay.  I really don't like to travel... so I wasn't envious of that.  However, I was very envious that John got to see her.

John also visited his parents.  They were in a car wreck in December.  John's mom broke both of her legs.  she was moved to a rehab center after surgery to hold her leg together.  John enjoyed helping out for a couple of days.  He stayed at his parents helped too...

Hannah and I have been crazy busy with Les Miserables rehearsals.  This is a picture of the model of the set that Tony Zandol designed.  We taped the foot print to the floor.  I was assigned several scenes to block.  It's like herding cats to get 45 people on and off and around that little set... but I manage.  This past week I managed on my own.  Robert was gone with his show at Howard Street Middle School (I did cart all out Little Mermaid stuff over to his school for that so you might be able to say that I made another set in all this chaos).

Hannah is doing a great job with her role as Eponine.  It's hard to believe that she just turned 16 on Monday.  Hey wait!  That means she can date.  Not sure how I feel about that. (She is dying in the arms of a cute boy in this picture).

I also created this set for the Pentacle Theatre fund raiser A Star is Born.  I made 3 trico curtains and knotted them and hung them so that they bunched.  We found net Christmas lights and hung them between them.  I built a platform to seat performers on.  I got a chandelier for the theater and the bushes that were used in Secret Garden.  It turned out great!  I keep hearing that people were impressed.

I then was able to use lights to change the color and look of the set and performance.  Hannah's choir also performed for the 4 show run.  

Meanwhile, while I am running around being creative, people at home have been holding down the fort They are so good about doing chores and stuff, but they haven't killed each other... they are even playing nicely.  John got them a game system that they can play together.  It seems to be working.

Lillian has been doing very well.  She is getting her school work done.  She helps me with Case.  She is keeping her room clean.

She gets herself to and from her dance classes and responsibility.  Really.  She is doing good things.  She may even be the only person doing chores.

Chad is back at school. He works out all the time.  He's on a bulk right now.  That means he eats tons!

Hannah finished her first semester of school as a sophomore.  She is pretty excited because it looks like she has earned all A grades.  As mentioned, she goes to Les Miserables rehearsal in the evening each M-Th.
I think Lillian mostly suffers from missing Ben and Kimber.  Everyday she begs to Skype them.  She even plays with toys Ben would play on because she misses him.  Case was playing on this little rocking horse and went flying over the top and bloodied his nose.  opps.

Chad is often found doing this.  School is wearing him out.  Hannah and I dream of the day we can do that in a couple of weeks.  :)

I think we all look forward to Sunday when we Skype with McKay and Myles and Kimber, Ben and Ray.

The most exciting thing of the past couple of weeks is that McKay and Myles announced that they are adding to the family.  We are all super excited.  The new Maxey is due right when my summer show is opening.  GAH!  Talk about timing.  I guess we will just have to make a trip out in September when the show closes.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Ringing out 2013 and Bringing 2014

I thought it was about time that I finish off 2013... no rush.  Right?  Let's see.  Since I last posted something we had a Christmas Dance Recital.  Lilli loves dance... almost as much as Kimber did.  She loves to be a "helper" and she LOVES to tap.  We were surprised by a little solo she had in the middle of a class dance for a class she is the helper for.  Sadly, there are no girls her age really interested in dance so she is dancing in classes far below her level of skill.  The following are links to her performances.

We also got to watch Hannah's choir concert.  John got a few of the choir performance on the cell phones.  Here are some links to a few of their performances:

After all the performances at the school we started the set for Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory that opens at the high school in February.  We also began the Great Prop Migration.  At the beginning of the school year we had the kids move the prop room to a back utility room because the principal told us to move it.  Then the fire marshal came through and wrote us up for the move.  We needed to find a new place to store it all.  So we hiked all the props to the top of the auditorium... shelves and all.  John was a great sport and hauled 4 shelf units up 3 flights of stairs.

I lucked out and an uncle of one of the elementary school kids that was cast as a oomph-loompa came to help.  He is a professional theater tech guy that works up in Portland.  He mainly does lighting, but got him to work on set pieces.  He talks my language and was fast.  I liked that.   I was able to get the big wagons that will have Charlie's house on one side and a junk piles on the other side rolling and framed.  Nice!
 Meanwhile, on the other side of the stage, I got other people to start the set for A Star is Born.  I was ask to be the Tech Director for the Pentacle Theater fundraiser that my friend Jeff is directing.  We were able to get all the platforms legged and the stairs built.  All that was left was to paint.
We started a couple big props... one guy started a boat that I want to look like a giant paper boat... and my friends the Jefferies started the Candy Man cart. 
 I am impressed with JaNay's artistry.  I showed her a picture of some candy and she made the perfect wheels for the candy cart.  She's a keeper.
I didn't make many plans, nor a model for this set.  I was trying to get Christmas stuff done.  I have this thing that I need to MAKE Christmas gifts. I really did start in October.  It just takes so long.  I made 20 or more headband/ear warmers.  Hannah liked them.  She even took one before Christmas and wore it everyday.  I decided that gift was a hit and told her I would make her one for every day of the week or of every color I own.  I also made these slippers for Lillian.  This is what I would call a Pinterest Fail.  LOL.  At least she likes them.  I also started this giant blanket for Chad.  I will have to blog about it later... since I am still working on it.

 My favorite creative effort was this gift.  I looked up the Family Crests for Myles and Ray and got them money clips with the coat of arms I found for their names.  I had to special order one for John.  It didn't make it here for Christmas.  I researched the last name and wrote out the information I found.  I was fun, so I decided to do the same for my friend Jeff.  I was able to find his coat of arms and then I drew a new one that combine his coat of arms with his friend's coat of arms.  He seems to like it.  It's not as clean as the computer drawings I found... but it turned ok.
Christmas was actually quiet.  We thought about going to Bend to visit for a couple of days, but Hannah got sick and I didn't want to give our germs to Carol and to my dad, so we stayed home.  Kimber, Ray and Ben came to play for a couple of days.  I love having them come!  We went to see the Hobbit movie.  I actually liked it. Kimber worked on her Christmas projects.  Lillian and Ben had endless hours of fun and play.  They started Christmas Day at our house and we opened presents and stockings.  Ben liked his Iron Man toy from Hannah best... but he did like all the presents he was gift... with the exception of the Cars hat I made him.  Oh well.  At least I know he doesn't like any hats.  At least the hat I made Ray fit this time.

 I got John the pole saw he said he wanted. (He traded it for a multi purpose tool).  He also got some work clothes.

John gave me an iPad.  I really wanted one and he found a way.  Nice boy.  My favorite gift was a book my parents put together about building their house.  It made me cry.  My crazy memories are not a figment of my imagination.  :)  I also loved the chat I had with my mom about that gift. 

Reading the story I have to laugh.  If I wasn't there for nearly all of it I would never believe it.  It is surprising that that guy that she said came to visit, didn't have the government take us all from my parents.  Even my kids don’t believe my stories… not to say that they will now.  

Truly this is my favorite gift.  I will treasure it forever… but I will treasure my fond memories, and the lessons my parents taught me even more.  I have to admit, it was hard not having water or electricity or attached rooms.  Beans for 3 meals a day gets old.  Close quarters is a drag.  Frozen undies off the line are not that comfy.  And I still don’t like house work all that much.  And yet… I still love fresh baked bread(if my allergies would let me eat it).  I still love still line dried towels.  I love a good thunderstorm.  I love canned peaches.  I love a good roaring fire and the smell of pine.  Most of all I love the family you taught me to serve by watching my parents serve and sacrifice for us.  The book is the cool, but my parents are way cooler! 

We got Chad a re-conditioned laptop... some shirts he wanted... some music...

Hannah got a warm coat... lots of Broadway music - cd and sheet music form...

Lilli got some clothes... a jewelry box...  shoes... a movie or two...
... I think Lillian loved everything she got for Christmas.  However, we went to get her ears pierced the next day.  That was pretty exciting.  She was nervous.  She was wiggling.  We had to keep telling her to hold still.  In the end, we got them in straight and she is working on keeping them clean.

Then... Hannah, Lillian and I headed to Bend.  John had to work because he was heading to Utah later and needed to save the vacation time.  (his parents were in a car accident recently and he felt it would be a good thing to visit).  Chad didn't want to disrupt is work out routine.  The drive was a nice one.  The world is such a pretty place!

When we got there we got to see David and his family (Michelle, Ryan, Neil, and Sarah)... Carol and Bronco... and Moana and her family (Ti, Malichi, and Ezra).  Soon after we got there, Jen and her family arrived (Craig, Kylie, Brynlie, Laynie, and Beckham).   It was full house!  People everywhere!  It was fun to visit with everyone.... But mostly I crocheted.  Sarah liked the headband I made Hannah and wanted me to show her how to do it.  I found a few supplies around my mom's house.  I was done with one before Sarah finished a chain.  She mostly screamed at her yarn.

 Once I made her one everyone was lining up for me to make a headband for them.  Carol wanted a green one.  I had made one for her at home for her birthday.  When she opened the package it was green!  That was lucky.  I did a flower or two for her.  Jen's girls lined up.  Laynie was very particular.  I was almost done with her headband and she marched over to me and said, "What are you doing?  I said I wanted yellow and black."  I told her to blame her mom.  She marched over and told her mom all about it.  Jen suggested that I just make that headband for her.  I told her couldn't because I made it for a kid... her ears were too big.... oops.  But I rescued it with a black boarder and added a bow.  Jen liked it.  It turned out very 1920s-ish.  I thought it was the ugly one, but people liked it.  I made Laynie the yellow and black stripped one and added two white wing things.  It was cute.  In all I made a headband for Laynie, Brynlie, Kylie, Moana, Malichi, Sarah, Jen, and flowers for Carol.  I also made two hats for my mom.  (I came home and made one for Michelle too.  Iran out of yarn at my mom's house. :))  I was pretty much crocheting for two days straight.  It was a good activity for visiting....

 ... and listening to music.  I'm pretty sure that my mom's piano never got a break.  The missionaries came over and one even gave us a concert on his cello.  Everyone seemed to be making music.

I even got to visit with my Granda White for a couple minutes while I sat there.... oh and Kimber, Ray and Ben came for about an hour.  They went for a little drive while they were at at Eaglecrest with the Jessops.  Ben won everyone's heart... of course.  Eventually, Hannah and Sarah sat by me and tried crochet.  Sarah never got it, but Hannah started to get the hang of it.  Her piece did look a little like a fish, but Laynie loved it and claimed it as her scarf.  Sarah tried to teach Hannah how to knit.  Hannah did not get that, but Sarah was pretty good so she made knitted headbands.

I headed home on Saturday because I had to give a talk on Sunday.  I left Hannah and Lilli there.  Carol's Jordan was trying to get there and the airplanes weren't cooperating.  I finally got John to go to Portland to get him and he came to my parents house in John's car.  He drove over to Eugene in a couple of days and brought the girls home.  John and I picked up the car and the girls at the Eugene airport.  We all came home and put Christmas away.  Now we are ready for a new year.  So that is it... another year of reports from the Boyack house.