I know I haven't been blogging much lately. It takes a certain amount of creativity to write. (A lot, actually!) And sadly, all my creative energy has gone into another area of my life....
Let me explain....
Specifically, I have been acting as "hero support" for my daughter, Lucy's high school production of Fiddler on the Roof.
I have spent lots of hours over the past weeks and months designing backdrops, brainstorming over set pieces, watching rehearsals, choosing costumes, and collaborating with amazingly talented parents, teachers, and students to get this production from script to stage.
In other words, for the past five months, I have been eating, sleeping, and breathing Russian Jews. ;-)
(Oh, yeah, I went to Miami for a week, too, but that's not important right now. =D)
I love, love, love seeing their characters come to life as they put on their costumes and make-up.
Speaking of makeup...My friend, Leesa, who shall henceforth be known as the Golden Goddess of Stage Makeup made these kids into characters. Notice the faux facial hair on the guys above.
And the aging frown lines on the matchmaker, Yente...
For example, I really, really wanted Fruma Sarah - who is a tiny little thing in real life - to have a larger-than-life-and-other-worldly look for when she comes back to haunt Tevye in the dream sequence. We brainstormed for weeks and months about how to make this happen. Our friends, Ray & Rechelle came up with the concept of a high, rolling chair, which they built and it was a wonderful stroke of genius, (Thanks, guys!) but what would that look like on stage?
The day of the first performance (I know. Shut up.) I decided to just shred tons of fabric to cover the girl and the chair, making it look like a floaty dress. *insert heavy sigh of relief here* (Can you say procrastination?)
But, isn't this the coolest thing ever??
I love to watch the story unfold on stage. Even though I have spent months watching them rehearse, there's something so magical about everything coming together so beautifully.
I love when concepts that we sketched and argued over on paper look effortless during the performance.
(FYI: The bottle dance was done with empty, plastic Perrier bottles, weighted with rice, and painted black, with a metal disk glued to the bottoms, and heavy duty magnets sewn into the hats.)
And it looked awesome. And I loved that the audience made the appropriate ooh and aah sounds during the dance.
I love how, with each passing show under their belts, the actors became more and more comfortable in their collective skins and it totally showed in their performances.
I had a love-hate relationship with the backdrop. Eric and I painted the 15 by 26 foot backdrop in our driveway. Actually, HE painted the broad strokes of the sky and I detailed the "shtetl" known as Anatevka. (We were attempting to make it Chagall-esque, but it ended up looking a lot more Van Gogh-Starry-Night-ish. Not that that was a bad thing.)
So that's where all my creativity has been going these past months. It's gone into costumes, and sets, and backdrops, and researching Russian Jews.
They performed last weekend, and I finally got to sit in the dark theater and take photos and applaud.
And genuinely, I do love doing it all. I love the brainstorming and the running around and the collaboration. When the details of a show like this comes together, a certain kind of magic happens.
But making this magic happen has metaphorically emptied my creative pockets. ;-)