Tuesday, February 24, 2009

In which Lemons are Squeezed

Let's put some marks on the paper and zero in on this environment:

We'll need an entrance/exit, someplace that can serve for standup bits, a landing place for solo spots, and something that can serve for twosomes. And that blue backing is part of the mix, so we need access to it as well.

A comfortable path of travel is audience left to audience right. So we'll reverse that. That would put the entrance in the extreme right location, which sites it near the real door to the studio. Maybe we can use that at some point.

There are three lighting hotspots, so we'll have to cheat either the standup bit space or the duo space. Don't know how we might use the duo space, so we should put something there as a placeholder -- but let's not do full design development just yet; park a couple of the nondescript backings there and leave it for now. Let's focus on what we know we'll need.

Might as well play off the Masterpiece Theatre/Alaistair Cooke association, so the host solo spot/landing place will be in the vacuformed library. And we could use a chair; but not a comfy library chair; we want the nastiest, rattiest chair we can find, and I know how we'll get that for free. And we're not "reading great books", but "watching dumb movies", so we could use a teevee. Might be cool if the teevee was fed program that we can control; should just need a piece of coax and an adaptor, but this is a building full of teevee engineers -- they can figure that part out.

If we go with the Wee Concept, everything talks or potentially talks. But we don't have puppeteers to work these things. But we can cut portholes into the flats, and we can hand stuff through the flats -- thank you, Thing. We can also hang sleeves with gloves, and various limbs, from parts of the set -- doesn't make any sense, but we can reach in from the back and manipulate them live. It would be funny to have these things hanging there doing nothing in establishing shots, and then they suddenly start moving during a bit.

We've got a fake entry piece, so we'll put that near the real door; it might be interesting to show Barb coming through the real door, then coming through the set entry.

It all needs layers upon layers of detachable Stuff, but most of the detachable Stuff needs to be semi-permanently affixed; according to Da Rules, we don't have time to attach anything on site, the whole thing needs to be plopped in place in fifteen minutes or less. So maybe we start with one layer stapled on, and add Stuff throughout the run. That will buy time to solve the detachable problem. It would be cool to have the set like a Louise Nevelson piece, just a bunch of shadowboxes full of "toys"; but we don't have time or money for that. Yet.

That's it. Layers of junk. Some loose, some fixed. Slash some color across it that offsets the costume colors -- maybe find some kids and turn them loose with spray paint. Let's just draw this up to scale, color it, and we'll take it in to WLEX's scene designers tomorrow. It will be interesting to see what they think.


  1. Enjoying the recap. I'm kind of shocked at how much I thought probably went on did go on.

    I have a question: did Bob own the Paisley Peacock?

  2. Thanks. After 20-odd years and surviving the culture wars so far in DC, it only goes to show how far naivete will get you.

    I honestly don't know if Bob did or not; our first few years East were pretty much a cocoon, between Barb's graduate school and my work; we didn't emerge until the early 90s. It being pre-Google and Pipl, we lost track of a lot of people.

    Given Bob's interests, I wouldn't be at all surprised if he did. After the show, we'd take him home, and we used to drop him off in that neighborhood; and he was philosophically opposed to owning a car (he used to bike to Joe B's normally, except on show nights when he hauled his makeup box). It seems very likely that he did.

    He was a good soul; he and Dougie stayed the most optimistic throughout the whole project. And he used to warm Barb up during makeup; she would come into the studio in full court Millie press.

    I don't remember how he came to be our Larry "Bud" Melman, but I remember that at one point he was trying to Act in the show and it wasn't coming off when we watched the broadcast. So I would only give him a script right before we'd go live (or tape). We were secure enough in our groove that I thought we could get away with it, and the overall performance was funnier/odder.

    Didn't work with the Queen's Hat bit; but then we never expected to be immortal. Neither did David Hasselhoff, so we're in good company.

  3. I ask only because, due to two things: one is, I would often frequent the PP, because it was a cool shop, and there was a guy there who really looked like a thinner version of Bob. It also looked liked the kind of place where the owner could easily have been somebody you tapped for makeup/costumes/etc. Although, like I said, when I saw him he was way more into piercing and way thinner.

    I heard that this person passed on recently, from HIV complications. That made me pretty sad. But if it was him, he gave me many great memories... I'll remember him that way.

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  5. Kirky,
    Yes. The guy at PP was the same Bob. And yes he did get "heavily" into piercings when he worked there.
    I hadn't heard he passed away. He was a nice guy.

  6. Yeah that's what I heard. Maybe I've been given disinformation, but since then I haven't seen him at the PP in my treks back home.

    He was really a nice guy. Although when I saw him with all those piercings I was kind of taken aback... I'd never seen that kinda stuff at the time. But even though it was obvious nothing in his store would ever fit me other than the occasional pair of Chuckers I'd buy (hi top, size eleven) he was always really kind and nice and if he has passed on that really sucks.