Post USITT wrap up::: Insightful sessions on sustainability practices, greener theatre, opera management, upcoming Prague Quadrennial, electricity in a new age of LEDs, 3D printing safety and how lighting can effect your health. Inspirational words from Boris Kudlicka, Ann Roth, Eugene Lee and the always witty Richard Pilbrow. Tex-Mex and margaritas. Source 4 LED color mixing. Current students and current alumni. A broadway review. The Kimball Art Museum. A rodeo. Not a bad week in Fort Worth.
There are times that you remember the past and miss the days gone by. There are times that throw you into the present. There are times that are full of emotion and mourning. There are times that you celebrate what the future has to hold. There are times that you cannot believe the love that surrounds you. There are times that you are thankful for the rain. There are times that you celebrate the sun.
And then there are times that you build a misting machine sculpture of salvaged and recycled materials and shoot LED lights at it that are self-sustaining droplets. And there are times that digging through a long forgotten prop storage leaves you covered in dust, older than you know.
June, was all of these times.
Project MIST has taken many forms in the last couple years, forever evolving and moving toward a bigger whole. Like the waters of Niagara, it ebbs and flows through various incarnations. Currently I am helping LK in the design and creation of a living museum prototype, or as we affectionately call it, the mist lab. It will be a sculpture where we can test the effects of light and video onto mist. Incorporating sustainable power via solar panels and batteries; and building a base out of reclaimed wood, we are fabricating an eco-friendly experimentation and an evocative environment. Power & Poetry, meet No Tether.
I just returned home from an almost two-week jaunt to the south and the mid-west. Occasionally I freelance with an AV production company; last week’s trip to the South was for a US Chambers Convention in Orlando. Almost all of my five days was spent setting up lighting in one of several ballrooms. Following strike I hopped a plane to Chicago and (barely) caught a train to Milwaukee to meet my colleagues and students for a week in Milwaukee to attend the USITT National Conference. Workshop highlights include: ‘Wireless Light and Motion for Propsmasters’ (featuring the RC4 Wireless unit), ‘Reimagining Theatre with Green Ideals’, ‘Grave Matters’ (the creation of death and gore props), and an ‘Arduino Super Session’. Out on the floor I spoke with the Broadway Green Alliance about how to incorporate more “Green” into everyday theatre practices. (More to come on implementation of these into our paint shop.) There was an amazing display of the life’s work of Desmond Heeley, and it was a privilege to hear him speak at the ‘Distinguished Award Winners in Conversation’.
All in all, an excellent excursion. Inspiring to see the level of design and innovation around the country, and internationally. Inspired to draw. Inspired to paint. Inspired to do.
This past weekend I was hired as a crafts person to create an evocative patch of wheat grass for a production of Dancing at Lughnasa. The morning began by rescuing some paint cans from the dumpster to use as the base. We weighted the cans with wood blocks and scavenged some packing foam that also was on its way to the dumpster. A few [hundred] poked holes later, and the cans were filled with dried grass. To finish the look, faux green onion grass was draped over the side. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday, not a bad way to recycle some dumpster finds.