Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Entry #6

Meghan Buchanan, OHT's Props/Costume Engineer:

It’s quite possible that I have the messiest desk in all of New York. Most days I have about one square foot of workspace on my four-foot by nine-foot desk. It is an amazing wonderland though. There you can find foam core boards, a paint kit, an assortment of hats, a sewing kit, a small supply of insulation foam, a few automated hands, at least half a dozen dowel rods, several white masks, a few yards of rope, a handful of fake fruit, and a wide variety of adhesives.
I realize these items might seem a little atypical for a desk, but if you have ever set foot in the Ontological-Hysteric Theater you would completely understand. I must admit, I never know how all of the supplies might go to use, but that’s what makes my job interesting. I walk into the theatre everyday with butterflies in my stomach wondering what exactly Richard might have conjured up for me to create that day. Oh…I’m the props and costumes engineer, to put it simply; I make things. And, I try as hard as I can to interpret Richard's direction into something tangible.
For example, we have a platter of fruit with an airplane on top (obviously), and I was given the note to make the fruit look more glorious and like a renaissance painting. When asked to put more babies in the plane hanging from the ceiling, we were told to cut it so it looks like a horrendous mutation. And, when describing how he wanted Stephanie Silver’s costume to look, he told me that he wanted her be dressed in a kind of 1940’s film noir, cocktail dress, but also look like she did last year… a beautifully feathered ballerina.
With directions like these, it’s easy to interpret a project completely different than how it might have been intended. Sometimes, I have no idea if I am making what Richard has envisioned, or if I am even getting close. But, I go into every new project open minded, and hope that these hands can whip up something that lives in the world that Richard is trying to create.


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