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Posts Tagged ‘Assistantship’

“Models and Sarcophagi” from Randy Wong-Westbrooke

In Assistantship on June 23, 2015 at 8:15 PM

SarcophagusWWRandy

Last week in the studio I completed a ¼” Bowmer model box and we’ll hopefully find some other opportunities to get me back in there when I’m not needed in the paint shop. It was so great to get back into model building having not done it for about six months. It really got me thinking about the upcoming designs I have for my senior year at Ithaca College. First is Anon(ymous) by Naomi Iizuka and then Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia. Rick Anderson showed me the software he used to fabricate complex model pieces on the printer and if I can figure out how to use within the next year, I really ought to explore the resources at Cornell University right across town in Ithaca to see what 3D printing equipment they have in their architecture department and see if I can utilize it! Rick’s recommendation to learn more CAD software is daunting, but it will make me more marketable so I might as well get the student deals while I still can!

This week I’m back in the paint shop and all of our forces went towards painting the two sarcophagus’s for Antony & Cleopatra. A lot of meticulous work was put into them taping them out, applying reeds to add dimension, gold leafing, and painting the multiple colors in a particular pattern. We got the point where everything was covered by the end of the work-day on Tuesday and I can say that they still looked amazing at the preview that evening. Going to the preview in the Elizabethan Theatre and seeing the half-timbering made me want to go back to London. The last show I saw during my semester there was Romeo & Juliet at Shakespeare’s Globe. I stood in the queue for two hours to get a returns ticket and paid five pounds to be a groundling right at the foot of the stage. The show went on even with consistent rain and I was prepared to outlast another Shakespeare in the rain, but being in Row L meant my seat was dry! The rain did clear up anyway and it was incredibly satisfying to see some of the work I’ve done finally be onstage.

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“Spraying and Relocating!” from Randy Wong-Westbrooke

In Assistantship, Scenic Paint on May 27, 2015 at 11:31 PM

Wong-Westbrooke_Sprayer

This last week has been full of new things. Scenic art is full of so many tricks and techniques to achieve the faux finishes and textures we create onstage. To recreate the texture and sheen of a rod iron fence, we mixed graphite with black paint and applied the gloppy mixture onto the wooden cutout. Once dry, you’d sand away and most of the graphite remains giving that sheen. A coat of sealer is needed unless you want the graphite to rub off on everyone’s hands and costumes.

Next with my final design for the Juneteenth Banner getting approved on Friday, we started to mix colors and put them into air powered paint spray guns. I only worked with a spray gun once last summer at Cal Shakes, but I will say that I hardly remember anything. There are a lot of bits and pieces to keep track of when assembling the gun and a few knobs that control the amount of air being used, the amount of paint, and the nozzle. It will definitely take practice. Next we learned out to square a drop on the paint frame – also a new tool and method. Because the banner is long, but narrow, we got a feel for how to spray on paint evenly on the excess muslin underneath the final.  However, even before we started on the final we had to learn how to drive the lifts. Having not driven a car in nine months it was hard to get back into it with no help from the joystick controls. Once we were lined up though, I will say I was more comfortable spraying than driving.

This project is on hold until I return after this week. For the main season set pieces, the paint shop has not been overwhelmed the last couple weeks and my charge, Gabriel, has set me up with Rick Anderson in the Scenic Design Studio to help him with some model boxes. I also haven’t built any model boxes in about eight-nine months so I was nervous. I was expecting him to say this is how I want you to build a ¼” model of the Bowmer, but instead he gave me the printouts and two already built, yet slightly different older boxes to compare with. I was free to go about it however I wanted and that is liberating, yet also nerve wracking. It took some getting used to being in a different space without the tools I’m familiar with. I did discover, however, that the larger shell of the theater is fairly similar to the proscenium stage we have back at Ithaca College, minus the proscenium part obviously. Today I will probably be working on making the clouds above the stage and the walls with boxes for lighting on the sides of the theater. It’s really neat to look around at Richard Hay’s immense collection of art, history, theater, and design books filling up the shelves around me while I hold some glued pieces together to dry. Let’s hope I’m keeping up a good pace!

“OSF: Automated” from Jen Seleznow

In Assistantship, Automation, Jen Seleznow on February 12, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Jen Sleznow 1

Though I am writing my first blog entry on my fifth day of living here in Ashland, I already know that when my Assistantship is over, I won’t feel as though I’ve had enough time here at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  I am struck and moved by OSF’s diversity and inclusion mission because, while many organizations claim commitment to diversity, it seems to me that OSF actually walks the walk.  Throughout show introductions, the campus tour, and the season kickoff party, I noticed again and again that the wide range of faces and voices I encountered at our first FAIR meeting is reflected throughout the staff.

Despite the diversity of the company, I have noticed that the common thread which ties the OSF organization together is a shared passion for the work that is produced here. From Artistic Director Bill Rauch’s tears during his season kickoff speech, to the Director’s presentation for Comedy of Errors made by Kent Gash, to my own HOD James Dean’s automation creation genius, it is apparent that the people who work at OSF are extraordinarily ambitious, dedicated, and take pride in the work that is done here.

Jen Seleznow 1a

My passion for theatre technology and desire to learn as I work make me feel right at home here; I have already learned a ton working with Tim “Gizmo” Hannon to install the lift for The Tempest.  I will expand upon this week’s work next week as I build and assemble a smaller lift that will also be used in The Tempest.  I will admit, because everyone in the automation department is SO good, I am a bit intimidated, but I continue to remind myself that I am here to learn and improve my skills while I contribute to each show and the department as a whole. Needless to say, I am thoroughly excited to be here.

“Keep or Jot” featuring Peter J. Kuo – episode 1

In Assistantship, Directing, Peter Kuo on January 23, 2014 at 5:07 PM

EPISODE 1: This week on Keep or Jot, Peter Kuo breaks down life at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and its professional development program, FAIR. Enjoy!

“Lucky” from Ciara Ayala

In Assistantship, Ciara Ayala, Stage Management on January 15, 2014 at 10:09 PM

Ciara Ayala 1.15a

So I’ve been up here in Oregon for about a week, and it is everything I wanted it to be and more. I wasn’t nervous, I was excited, which is not a foreign emotion for this girl 🙂 The past 4 years I’ve been saying “I’m so excited for the rest of my life!” day in and day out. There were moments when you wouldn’t hear those words for months at a time…but let’s be real, sophomore year is no easy feat. Now that chapter of my life is over, I am so incredibly grateful for the education I have earned. I owe so much to those who made me feel confident and comfortable going into one of the largest regional theatres in the nation.

I wanted to tell everyone the second I got here how absolutely overjoyed I was. Now that I’ve been here a week, I am still just as elated with every step I take. I have wanted to work with this theatre company since I was a freshman in college. With my first application, I was accepted with a job immediately following graduation. As if that wasn’t enough, I was put to work on COMEDY OF ERRORS set in the Harlem Renaissance (awesome, right?!). This is already such a fun, enriching project. Most are aware that a strong mission of OSF is cultural diversity and inclusion. Well, I couldn’t be happier. As I’ve gone from one experience to the next, I’ve realized how blissfully unaware I’ve been to race, or gender, my entire life. I truly never see the difference in someone until it’s addressed by themselves or another. We are all human, we are all capable. It’s beautiful to see such an array of body types, ethnicities, and equal representation of genders in the theatre. I’m so thankful to be in an industry that is constantly (at least attempting) to push the envelope. Not to mention how proud I am to be a part of a season that is primarily female playwrights!…aside from Billy Shakes… Well, enough of that for now. In short, I am absurdly lucky.

I will leave you with a Naomi Wallace quote relayed to the company via Artistic Director Bill Rauch:

“When we cross boundaries, when we violate our own skin to know the heartbreak or hope or resistance of another, what we come closer to, surprisingly, is ourselves. Because through imaginative empathy, we revive our own humanity. So, to put it simply, we must be where we are not, because if we look down we will see that we are already there, here, among those that we are encouraged to believe are strangers. Who suddenly are no longer strangers.”

Happy 2014, y’all

“Back in Tech” from Cynthia Booker

In Assistantship, Cynthia Booker, Sound on June 19, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Back in Tech! I’m so excited to be back in this mode! It’s a new production and a new space for me to be working in. I feel like I’m adapting to the Thomas Theatre space quicker than I adapted to the Elizabethan. I’m not sure if that is because I’m familiar with the OSF sound department now or if I’m more used to spaces such as the Thomas. Either way I am definitely walking into this tech more comfortable than the last three.

We’ve had an exciting past couple of days! There are two giant important abstract scenes that are repeatedly being reworked for the best. Due to the rep system, we can’t be flexible enough to execute the original thoughts on these scene, so the director, playwright, and design team have been brainstorming other ways to illustrate the same ideas, while cooperating with the systems already in place for current running productions. At this point in tech I think they have come up with a brilliant compromise that enhances the scenes more. I’m excited to see the rest of the play and the collaboration in progress! I definitely feel privileged to see these artist think, create, and recreate. I feel like other occupations don’t allow you to become as vulnerable as theatre does. It is a true gift to be a part of.

“A Whole New World” from Cynthia Booker

In Assistantship, Cynthia Booker, Sound Design on May 15, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Wow! It’s so fun to be thrown into a whole new world and environment! There are so many new faces, names, and places to learn. For the next for months, I have been blessed with a place to call home and invest in the town and the people. This is day two of work for me and so much has happened. I feel as though I have been here for a week already. I was wrapping my head around everything I learned and everyone I met yesterday to have it settle in my brain.

I was absolutely amazed at how welcoming the staff is and how excited they were to meet me. I do feel like this will feel like home within a couple of weeks. I was so excited last night to start in my role as Sound Design Assistant. I became giddy once I started to be utilized. I also really respected the love the staff in the sound department have for their jobs. It’s amazing how happy these guys can be when they are presented with a new problem. I know I will learn much this summer both in sound and also how to enjoy life with a positive spin.

It was also really nice to be able to make the move across the country and not have to worry about furniture, utilities, and searching for an apartment. This something that has been a constant for me this past, so I feel really blessed and thankful to not have this worry. So, here’s to learning and growing in a new home with new people! Cheers!

 

Cynthia Booker 5.15

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