Life is to short to live it without a smile...or a mustache

Monday, November 5, 2012

Dreams and seams.

I’ll be totally honest, there is going to be a lot of big news in this post!  I actually had the thought the other day, if I was better about updating you all on a weekly basis, writing these wouldn’t be such a task in trying to get everything in and not miss a single juicy part.  I really do think of you all that follow on a regular basis, and how I want you to know everything as if you were right there with me on the winding road I travel these days.  I guess you'll just have to come visit!!!

NYC; Yes, that’s the place!  Today, I find myself sitting/sleeping on the same wonderful couch I started on just over 2 months ago.  Housing is finding itself to be a struggle in that I get close to feeling like I have something, and either I see the place and its not what I thought it would be, or the people pull it out from under me for someone else they know (this one has happened three times now).  I am looking at a couple more places tonight, and I am also in talks with a wonderful new friend about maybe taking a place in his apartment.  He is thinking he wants to convert his living room in his apartment in efforts to start carrying a roomy.  I'll know more soon but please pray for closure on something soon as the holidays are coming and so is the cold and snow.  I will say though, I have some of my best friends here in this city; so warm, welcoming, and willing to do whatever it takes for me even if that means I am back on her couch for the third time in 2 months.  All that and never once asking when will I be leaving.  She is a pretty amazing person.  I thank God and her family for instilling such a loving heart in her.  During this life transition, I am even more thankful for patients and generosity in others.

Ready for my first night at Lion King....later found out black isn't what they wear there.
Other than housing, life has been a dream come true.  To date, I have been working at the Lion King on Broadway for just over a month (after 3 weeks of beng in the city) and have learned 6 of the 16 wardrobe tracks (Tracks learned = Male Dancers, Mufasa/Simba, Scar/Zazu, Male Singers, a mixed Male/Female singer track, and Nala/Shenzi/Rafiki/Timon) making myself a valuable member of the swing team.  Everyone is very supportive of me at LK even commenting on a regular basis things like,

“Another track!?” “Holy shit Court, whose job are you gunning for!?” “Didn’t you learn a new track just yesterday!? Now you’re doing another one tonight!?”

Not trying to take someone’s job thats for sure, just trying to learn and keep growing.  I love the show and most of the people have been more than welcoming to me.  Not only have I been able to step in and dress some amazing track thus far, I have recently been given the opportunity to start stitching on day work shifts, and this week I will start working rehearsals and even work a couple early morning television spots dressing actors.  I will be a part of a couple different Good Morning America and Night Line spots in the next couple weeks.  Oh, this would probably make those TV spots a bit more clear…November 13th is the Lion Kings 15th Anniversary of being on Broadway.  There is a special anniversary show on November 18th were all sorts of extra people from past shows/the creative team will be implemented back into the show in special spots.  There will also be a small 3rd act added to the show with a once in a life time “Circle of Life” sung in native languages by 7 different Rafifkis representing 7 countries that Lion King is based in.  Lots of things will be happening in the next couple weeks and I am so excited to be a part of it!  Ill try and lwt you know when tv things will be happeing....even though you wont be seeing me directly.  I also get to go to the BIG party that will follow the hwpenings/shows!!!  I could not ask for more in the way of work at this point, I am happy and I am doing things I love.  The people are amazing, and I can tell am making some new life long friends.  I AM the young guy at work….and trust me I get shit for it on an hourly basis….but I know I have the skill to be doing what I am doing at this age!  Here I can only learn more and get even stronger at my craft.
Lion King theatre enterance
Back of house shot pre-show.
The theatre from up stage center.

I have clocked all my local union days and will be paying my money this week and be inducted at the members meeting in a couple weeks.  All of this has come so fast and even I don’t really know how.  I am very blessed though, and trust me when I say, I take NONE of this for granted.  I have been told I will be kept busy during the holiday season even if that means lots of day calls.  My supervisor added,

“I don’t want to lose you, so we will do what we can to keep you busy. No ones leaving at the moment so…”

Not totally sure what he meant by that, but I am happy just to be working at the moment.  I know he has been very impressed with my sewing skills and speed during my day work so that alone boasts well for me.
The lobby view of Time Square at night.

Back stage shot of storage.


A bit of back stage fun waiting for my actors.

On a bigger NYC topic, Sandy has done quite a bit of damage.  The city is pulling together and things are quickly returning to the way they were little by little.  Trains service is growing daily and more and more buildings are gaining electricity and heat again.  I was lucky enough to be safe and sound thru the storm, but many others whrere not so lucky.  Prayers go to those still suffering day to day.  Around the city you can find many nightly benifit shows raising money for efforts toward regrowth.

Life is busy once again and I love it!  Housing will fall into place I know, and then I will feel like this move is a bit more complete.  I look forward to unpacking the couple boxes that still sit in a friend’s car trunk.  I also can’t wait to do a bit more city exploring with all the free time I am currently spending looking for a place.  I also am going to start learning  to knit!  Another skill I’ll be able to add to a resume lol.

I miss you all and hope all is well with the holidays around the corner.  Not sure I’ll be home for them directly, but soon after I am hoping.  If I work the season, some good money and extra shows are there.  Tough being a big kid these days…but I get to be a big kid that plays with lions so… J

Central park in late September.

Central Park Zoo Late September
Princess Kate Middleton in Time Square early October. Shot from the Lion King Lobby.
Went and saw this. It was the first Colombian Musical to show in the USA.  Kinda weird but cool to be a part of it.

More soon

Monday, September 17, 2012

Stirring the pot and watching the dye set.

Well, two weeks in, starting on three, and I feel as though I am the dye in a dying bucket.  I have dropped just over 40 resumes (the dye in this analogy) in two weeks time and I am learning to wait (stirring the water and color checking the dye) for things to fall into place.  Yes, I am continuing to email people, drop off thank you cards, and even find more and more places to submit my credentials at.  Someday, I'll be signing a contract (adding salt to set the final stages of the die) and finding myself working my first city gig.  Maybe if I hit (bleed my dye) enough desks people will realize color (me) is far better than white (the boring people they are working with now) and make their lives a bit more wild and creative.  Don’t judge, I had something to do with dye and the color spreading in water last night in my dream, thus I equivolate it to my work at the moment.  Plus, I had to come up with a clever costumey title to carry on my themes of my blog.  Don't judge that either.

The end of week one wrapped up with a couple fun events.  I took part in the NFL kick off party in Time Square eating free pizza, playing games, and taking the Pepsi challenge.  I eve found myself on a NYC Time Square billboard.  You better believe I snapped a couple shots of that to show the nephews when I'm old and grey.

NFL Kick Off

More NFL Kick Off

T.S. Billboard

As much fun as this week has been I found myself very distraught one afternoon finding MY idea for NYC work was stolen!  Recap...the evening before my world was rocked I was telling friends how there was the Naked Cowboy, and me being a Native American myself, should create work being the Naked Indian.  I would have suction cup arrows to keep the kids safe and I could be part of Cowboy and Indian wars in Time Square...back to reality...WRONG!!!  Someone took my idea and already ran with it!
I was also very confused when just one more block away from Cowboy and FAKE Indian was Asian Naked Cowboy….Hum.....  Oh!, and this random old guy in a bikini was around that part of town too.  I think I may have to make it a mission to candidly capture all the naked people in NYC!  Mission...I may think so.

I also finished off my week with a beautiful wedding via Skype to Hawaii for two of the most amazing people I know.  Not a very good picture, but I figured I wanted at least on picture to prove I attended the wedding.

Taylor and Courtney.
 Week two found me at another college friend’s apartment in Astoria.  I like the area a lot with its slower pace and more community feel.  Harlem was beautiful too, both places are just different in many ways.  The cute little 24 hour fruit stands in Astoria make me want to eat fruit ever moment I see them too!  I think I stopped by at least once each day in the past 4 days.

So yes, this week has been all about exploring Astoria as this is the area that everyone seems to think I should live.  I’m told it is much cheaper and still just as easy to get to and from the city; it is much younger and more artist live there; and you get more space and friendly neighbors more often.  It is a beautiful area that’s for sure and yes, the subways to and from are newer and much cleaner. Wee!
Here I have met up with a couple people I first met while working in Florida and have enjoyed many meals and nights catching up.  I even had my first pickle martini....not going to lie, not bad at all. 
One of my big events this week was to stop by NYC Fashion week at its new home at Lincoln Center.  Prior to my attendance this week I watched a documentary on Hulu titled Tents which told the history of fashion week and its new home this year.  For anyone interested in fashion, history, or even NYC, I recommend it.  I made my way to Lincoln Center to drop off resumes for Christmas specials at both Lincoln Center and NYC Ballet and decided to spend a couple hours people watching and let’s be honest...judging.  I found a whole lot of fun simply dressed myself in shorts, flip flops, and a short sleeved button down.  The experience told me a lot about what I thought was something else all together.  Yes, there were cameras every where and very dressed up people.  But what I found interesting, besides the occasional celebrity sighting, the people getting their pictures taken time after time where the people WITH the cameras.  Fashion lovers trading pictures, trading business cards, and trying to get info for their fashion blogs.  Weird right?  Even photographers only there to try and get styled photos of other photographers hard at work shooting.  Not to say I didn’t see important people.  I saw Joan Rivers, Kendall Jenner, that really tan bald guy that I cant think of or find him thru searches, and many other people I wasn't sure who they were.  Right before I decided to go I stayed around and watched people mingle and drink at the outdoor Juicy Couture gala.  Oh so many funny people and wild personalities.  If nothing else, this city is giving me lots of people watching and character development for future use.  Enjoy some shots from the evening I spend at Lincoln Center.

Yes, that's a ridding crop.

Mind you this man was taking pictures and coaching here with a turn, point, and shoot throw away camera.

The courtyard.

Obvi there this would happen there too.

Both boys...

I also visited Central Park this past week and very Marry Poppins or Bed Knobs and Broom Sticks of me, took a nap on a bench with a saxophone player near by.  There are so many things going on all at once when you are in the park.  People selling things, people working out and just sitting/napping, artists working and creating, and kids playing and laughing.  I for sure will make this a regular visit during my time here in the city!

Mostly, I have been doing a lot of planned and unplanned thinking and stressing over my current life situations.  Many phone calls resulting in tears of happiness and fear, and many reminders that I knew this wasn’t going to be easy or fast.  My brother reminded me today, "You need to go back to your roots to see why you are doing this.  Florida, College, High School works, and even dreams as a kid.  All those things lead to where you are today and have given you the grounding and drive to keep doing what you love."  Well, hell if he isn’t freaking correct 100%!  A smart man he is reminding little brother things will be okay and work if I keep trying.  It’s so nice to be reminded he is just as proud of me, if not more than all the other people that have my back with all this.

I still don’t know when I will be home again next or even what next week looks like.  I just know if I don’t give this move my all, I will someday regret not trying or only half assing it.  So, in closing, I am happy to report that this morning I received my first call!  The wardrobe union and I will be meeting Thursday afternoon for my orientation into the system.  A stepping stone that will hopefully bring more good things to come.

Much love and thanks for prayers and good thoughts.
Roof top picture of Harlem before the skype wedding.
P.S. I had a coule videos from fashion week and Central Park that I couldn't get to work. Those soon!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

All the clothes, all the resumes, all the hopes and dreams.

What a couple of weeks it has been since I last wrote.  My life has been filled with many last and even more first.  I finished up my internship in Florida on September 2, 2012 and moved to NYC the same morning.  I am currently staying with a beautiful friend from college and will with another great college friend soon.  In only a few days in the city I have tried to gather myself in hopes that starting to look for work would go smooth and easy.  After all I don’t really feel safe looking for a place to live without a paycheck coming in.  I mean, I have a little savings but only a less than two months rent worth depending on the type and location of a place.

On Sunday my lovely hostess picked me up from JFK and took me to a wonderful brunch at the Uptown Kitchenette.  Check out their website if you are ever planning to be in the area and want decedent foods. 
Uptown kitchenette
After eating and waddling home we napped and chilled at home for the evening with roomies.
Roof top view 7 stories up in Harlem looking toward downtown.

A little shot from the apartment window.  If you can see the leaves on some of the pants are starting to change!  I get seasons again this year!

The next morning we woke and I was cooked breath taking Trader Joe's Pumpkin Pancakes and Eggs and three of us were off to Brooklyn for their take at Carnival.  We arrived late we knew but figured we could catch some fun and eat great food.  We did and in fact, when we left around 4pm the parade was still going and people were still out in mass.  So much culture in one place!  It was great to see and fun to be a part of.  Once again we ate more delicious a food... seems to be the normal I'm learning.

This morning was unlike any morning I have ever had.  I woke, packed my backpack with resumes and letters, and headed down town to paper the Broadway with my information, smile, and personality.  In roughly 5 1/2 hours I walked from and all around 42-65th street handing out 18 resume packets to stage doors for Wardrobe Supervisors.  I also dropped by the Theatrical Wardrobe Union Local 764 offices and submitted my application in person.  The Union reps I met seemed very nice and welcomed me to the city.  I was told I should have no problem with my application as, "I looked highly qualified and seemed to have wonderful references,".  A couple people and I discussed waving my living standards on my application as I move here 2 days ago instead of having lived here already for the asked 18 months.  The application committee will me like always at the end of the month and I was told I would hear from them soon.  They also encouraged me to paper the city and gave me a few pointers and words of encouragement and sent me on my merry way.
Union Lobby.

A shot of the city.
Now, I sit at a Starbucks just off Columbus Circle where I once performed a street happening my sophomore year of college on a Jan term study trip.  I remember sitting in this very coffee shop with my team trying to warm up from the January freeze and discussing what our skit would in tale.  Oh the memories.

The city is so fast paced and people come and go in a flash as I glance out the window overlooking the circle.  People don't smile very often and I am trying to learn the no eye contact rules that most live by.  It truly makes me sad though that there is little interacting with so many people always around.  Maybe my small town smile will brighten someone’s day.

So, today’s recap, over 18 resumes delivered, I had a bucket of water tossed at me from an above apartment while walking in the city(not going to think about what its contents was), had the Naked Cowboy physically run into me while I stood at a street corner waiting for the crossing sign to change, so Elmo headless(childhood memories and beliefs shattered), and had a man ask me if I had any spare change to help him buy weed(at least he was honest).  All in all, not a bad first day looking for dressing work in NYC.
You're welcome ladies.

Wrong on so many levels.
Thanks you again for all the love and support from the very special people in my life.

P.S.  A wonderful shout out to two of my favorite people Taylor and Courtney on there engagement last night in Hawaii after 6 1/2 years together.  They will be married on Saturday there and our friends and family will be able to join in the celebration via live video feed.  A couple that I know will last forever.  Love you guys!
The happy couple!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Preping for Final Alterations and Stitches

I know, it's been far to long and I hate it too.  I do very often think about you still reading and even those that I have lost touch with this year.  Yep, almost a year.  I have been living in the sun, sand, and threads of Florida and about finished what I've come to is the rough part...I am not yet ready to let this all go and wrote this post.  Instead I wanted to briefly catch you up on life since my last post.

As much fun as pointing everything I have done is, long story short, and really what most people seem to want to know at this point, I am moving!  Mid July I finally was able to come home to Washington and Idaho for just under 2 weeks.  I attended and joined in the marriage of my best friend Cait and her hubby Ben's wedding in beautiful Downtown Seattle on the Rooftop Terrace of the Red Lion Resort.  I then spent a couple nights at home home with Mom and then back to Spokane to see the guys, family, friends, and meet my 2nd Nephew Cannon for the first time in person.  Just as cute and then some in person vs. Skype.  Where my trip was a total blast, I didn't get to see everyone and do everything like I could when I was still living there.  I left feeling rejuvenated but also, a bit cut again forced to leave the ones and area I love so much.  I can't wait for the day to finally end up in the Inland North West working.

I came back and jumped right back into the last of the summer season show.  It opened last Friday and is a beautiful and hilarious show in our newly renovated theatre.  My supervisor hit here summer vacation after opening and for my last 3 weeks I'm flying solo manning the costume shop and any needs from the two currently running productions.  Lots of cleaning, filing, personal projects, and prepping for the new intern to take my place....Although the girl that was supposed to take my position just backed out and my position is again open for applications.....I'm not staying that's for sure!

And now the news,  I will be packing my bags and shipping boxes home come September 2, 2012 and moving to New York City, New York!!!  I am just going to do it!!!  My plan that really can't be planned is to go, couch hop, find a friends place to sublet, make a couple appointments and knock on doors with my portfolio and resume and see if I can find a place that will let me dress.  I figure I will give it a couple months and then reassess when all my money is gone....lets hope I don't get to that point.

Pray please!  I have learned not everything can always be planned in black and white.  I am going to trust the Lord will help and provide in small ways for me. 

That's the news!  It's official!  The hardest part is the actually saying and sharing it all!  I want you all to be proud because I am finally feeling it myself.  Here is to my last 3 weeks....

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Managing the shop and my life.

Hello all still with me.  Yes, it has been over two months since my last post and I am sorry.  My hiatus is not because I had nothing to write about but because I haven’t had much time to write.  I have been thinking of you all though....honest.  I feel like it would be rough to try and highlight my entire 2 months away, but I will try and give a couple things to catch you up on my life.

Since my last couple posts I have seem many shows come across my work table, machine, and desk.  Remember 2 months ago we had three operating theatres on any given night.  The last two months of shows consisted of...

·  Keating Theatre:
o Next Fall was running at nights and Closed.
o Under Six and 7Up (Children’s Write a Play piece) were Teched and currently running in the mornings for local schools.
o Jericho (World Premier) was Teched after Next Fall and Currently running at nights.
·  The Goldstein Cabaret Theatre:
o Shake Rattle and Roll was Running and Closed in this space.
o Reel Music Teched and is Currently running 10 shows a week.
·  The Gompertz Theatre:
o The Last Romance was Playing at nights and Closed.
o Sophie Tucker Last of the Red Hot Mammas Teched and opened as a Special Event running 4 weeks (This is the show I recently dressed).
o Shake Rattle and Roll moved to this theatre for a 2 week extension due to its popularity and Closed.
o The Gompertz Theatre went and is currently under renovation and the new theatre wing that will hold one more Cabaret Theatre, a Lab Theatre, a new full time bar and restaurant, new bathrooms, new dressing rooms, etc. is being constructed and set for a soft opening In late July.  The Renovated Gompertz Theatre will hold our Summer # 3 show.
·  Extra shows:
o Our associate director is taking her one women show previously done here at FST on the road to a theatre in New Hampshire for a short special event run.  We prepped all things needed and sent them on a plain with her.

Mind you, as a part of the production team, besides my stitching and dressing duties, I am responsible for helping strike, load in/set, hang/focus lights, etc. to get all these shows up and running.  I have been a busy boy!

Besides that I have been working on my own designed dresses again, managed the costume shop by myself for a week when my supervisor was out of town for conference, booked my trip home to Seattle, Kellogg, and Spokane in the middle-end of July, and turned down FST's offer to stay another year with them.  Yep, that means come September 2, 2012 I am jobless and without a place to live.  Now, the current thought in your head is, "What are you doing after that and where will you be going?".  Correct?  Well, plain and simple....I don't know and nothing is planned.  Yes, am quietly freaking out inside!  AND, YES, that means I will be home soon!!!!!!! July can not come fast enough!!!!!!

Other happenings since my last post:
·  My arm has healed and I have a huge scar on my favorite shoulder (yes I have....had a favorite).
·  I went to the New York Yankees Spring training game against the .
·  I got a gig bartending at the Keating theatre before shows and am making tips on top of my current stipend.
·  Met multiple new casts, designers, directors, etc. and have made more contacts and friends.
·  Been to the beach and a couple pools in town that we break into.
· Have been working on my tan as things continue to warm up here.
·  Am planning my FIRST EVER trip to Disney!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
·  And have been to Joyland Country Dance Hall and am working on my status as a regular.

Also recently I have been missing home and the good old days more.  A year ago this weekend I was sitting with my fellow theatre majors and walking across the stage getting my college degree after 4 years or tests, trials, and hours of hard work and play.  I see how much I miss those people in my life and those moments of exploration.  Don't get me wrong though... I have loved my current times spent and what I have been doing and learning.  I am proud to be a Whitworth Theatre Alum and I am proud of those that have come before me, with me, and after me.  I am honored to be a part of this family.

Well, that’s life.  Nothing wild and crazy, but defiantly a lot of hard work, some play, and memories to boot.  I am currently working on trying to figure out my life come three months from now.  Who knows where I will be and where my boxes will be shipped but I am excited.  I am learning to trust more and just jump.  As I was just finishing up my thoughts here Pandora chose to play this song.  Dream Big by Ryan Shupe & The Rubber Band.  Its words remind me to go for my dream and to see what happens.

I miss you all and hope the start of your summers off well.  I will be better about posting more as my next years plans arrive.  Love you all and blessings!

 P.S. Here are some random pictures from the past 2 months.
Hospital waiting room to get my stitches out.

Kathy and I after closing night.

Orioles team at Spring Training Practice.
Yankees warm up for Spring Training Game in Sarasota, FL.

My game view from a $10.00 standing room seat.

Yankees dugout.

As night falls on the game.  Felt like summer in Spokane!
Final Score :(  But an amazing time still.

Only in Sarasota do people drive to Super Target like this.

My designers hard at work shopping aStein Mart.

NO ONE should EVER even try to eat this candy bar!
One of my favorite customers to visit my bar. Yes, thats her own over 70 year old hair. Note this is a classy creeper photo.
Lets leave this one at, I motorboated those cougar boobs(Pink top). I didn't even ask, I was just grabbed and pushed into them.  "Totally real" if there was any question!
Anna Marie Island City Pier.

Foundation set for the new Gompertz Wing.