Because last week was Breakaway (sadly, this year I was not involved due to being on leave of absence :-(), the stage was torn down. This week a new stage design needed to go up.
The stage design was a great way for me to have a creative outlet, as something like this is pretty low stress.
However, going to the fabric store was not low stress. After 2 hours, I left with a headache and was totally exhausted and had to rest the remainder of the day!
The problem is that the design I had draw up required 12 yards of fabric but I didn’t know that fabric store bolts only have 8 yards of fabric. (I also learned that an easy way to estimate how yardage is on the bolt is that each two folds is about one yard. Good tip!)
So I had to come up with a new design on the fly in the fabric store based on what was available and what was on sale. I had to make 3 different trips to the counter because it turned out there was not enough fabric on the bolts to do the designs I had in mind, so I was continuously revamping designs in my head.
I also found some cool printed fabric on sale but had no idea how they would scale on the stage. So I draped them across the aisle and then backed up across the store to get an idea.
The next day, Daniel and I headed to meet Peter to implement the new design. Daniel helped put griff clips on the fabric. You can see the printed green and blue fabric on the front left there. It was semi-sheer but you can’t really tell from this picture. The other fabrics were panne velvet, a textured velvet that adds a richness to the look.
Daniel and Peter helped with all the lift and ladder stuff, raising and lowering the poles (which Peter said from now on we are calling “cyc booms.” Since he’s the tech director, I guess he gets to make the calls on this stuff). I just call them “plastic poles.” Peter’s lingo is much more impressive.
I experimented with draping the fabric. I liked how the pleats looked. They just kind of fell by themselves because all I did was pull the corner out (I did clip them in pleats at the top though).
While I was doing that, the boys found ways to amuse themselves. Daniel worked on the ropes behind the curtain and said, “I like in here. I will stay here all day.” I got a kick out of the shoes peeking under the curtain.
I also realized that the music we were listening sounded far too good to be coming out of computer speakers. Upon closer inspection, I discovered that Peter had connected his computer audio out minijack to a 1/4″ jack on the other end which went into a DI box, which was connected from XLR to monitor jack to the pocket in the stage, which then connected to the monitor.
Obviously, a tech guy put this together.
We hung the back 3 fabrics up on the poles, er, cyc booms, and raised them up to the ceiling. However, there was a slight problem. I forgot that the purple fabric was too short. (I already knew the gold one was. It was all the fabric store had.) We kind of fudged things by weighting them on the drum riser instead of the floor. You can kind of see how the purple fabric doesn’t quite reach the floor!
Notice our high tech methods. We weighted down the fabric with cinder blocks. In fact, this whole design was nothing but fabric, griff clips (to tie the fabric to the cyc booms), and 4 cinder blocks. That’s it!
By that time I was beat so Peter graciously let me go home. He did the lighting himself and did a great job! The finished set:
I really like how the fabric looks opaque on top but by the bottom you can tell it is sheer. Also you can’t tell from the pictures, but there is glittery stuff in it so up closer it looks a little sparkly. The back fabrics look dark in the picture here but in person you can see them more clearly.
Later I was reflecting how these designs are really like creating altars to God — an expression of worship, as he is the ultimate author of creativity and beauty!
Now if only we could get rid of our pink carpet…