Wednesday, August 31, 2011

On Stage!

Amongst all the props and knick-knacks another very special thing (that I forgot to share) on stage for this production is the Aprons made by Miss Kelcie from the kitchen of the Casablanca!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Church Basment Ladies

"Your closer to Heaven in the Church Basement-"
Well Readers, I've been at it again...
Church Basement Ladies is a show set in 1964- 1967 about four Lutheran women and pastor in their sacred Church Kitchen. What I  have loved about the set of this show is that I had the responsibility of creating a pre- 1965 Kitchen and all the little details to go with it!

My Projects included -

Finding a Vintage stove
Finding a vintage fridge
Finding a Vintage deep freeze 
designing a 1950's "dated" kitchen from the studs up
gathering scads of things to put in said kitchen!

(A hot mess, I know, but in a weeks time...)
(A welcoming collective kitchen)
This is a little known show, but usually ends up being a hit wherever its put on, I am very proud to say that our production is the FIRST EVER to sport two tone pink and gray walls with an off white wainscoting, along with this particular floor layout. I love the way the colors turned out all soft pastels really warm the set up and make it feel more like Grandma's kitchen rather than a set. Other productions have the kitchen in pastel blue, green, or yellow but ours is the very first to claim the color pink and make it work! I could go on and on about the things I found and used on set, but I feel this pictures say it all, click on them to make them larger and look closer!
 (Stage Right )
I love about this set was the challenge it posed in finding all vintage appliances. I posted about scoring the 1946 stove for $25.00, The 1954 fridge came in the same week as a Craigslist find for $135 and a trip to Bowie TX.
 I have been up to my elbows in scrubbed 70+ year grime off almost everything that's on set, and painted to look like new just about anything that would stand still long enough.
 In the show there has to be a chest deep freezer, (the actors hide in said freezer during the show) I protested that "If all the other appliances are going to have these great 1950's curves then the freezer should too. Well finding a vintage freezer was a little harder than I thought, but finally friend Sheldon saved the day when he discovered this 1942 model where he worked!
 It too was well loved, but as you can see in the picture it cleaned up nice with a fresh coat of paint!
 (Stage left)
The more authentic the applainces were, the more the kitchen really became a kitchen and not just a set!
(The Kitchen island slightly Off Center Stage)
 I adore every detail of this set, I was working with Directors Spencer and Lara (who was the Director for Suessical ) I had begged them to do a period show with me and this one was a dandy! One of  my favorite (and many) details on the set is the all star cast of Pyrex that is on loan from the Casablanca.
Sporting 25 pieces on set, we have Pyrex for EVERY season of the show from turquoise and whites for Winter, soft pastels for Spring, and bright colorful pieces for Summer!  I must confess that I have threatened the cast within inches of their lives if they break my Pyrex and thus far we've had no problems and it looks GREAT onstage!
(This corner is my favorite, I love the ivy plates on the pink wall)
So many things in this kitchen are on loan from the Casablanca and my collection of props, Pyrex, aprons, step stool chairs, you name it!  But every piece just makes this set, before the show ever opened or had everything on the walls people were already telling me how much they loved the detail and thought that goes into not only this shows sets but all of my work.
 When you mix in the excellent actors, wonderful costumes and lights its just like going back into 1964, and that gives me the feeling of accomplishment.

(The Set Team/ Cast/ Crew Heather, Abbie, Spencer, Lara, Bryson, Sheldon, Holly, Katie, Myself & Cindy)
Of course the finished product wont not have been possible with out the team! I also owe a HUGE thanks to Larry and Bryson for working down to the wire and hanging doors and putting up the wainscot for me to paint! Chalk another show up to success, now we just wait for the review!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Well Readers,
I present to you a commercial that I starred in as "Agent Action" for Action Real Estate in Wichita Falls, Hope you enjoy!

Friend Cameron (a Casablanca regular) wrote the story plot and Friend Utah (brand new member to the CH&R) filmed it, and also stars as the "Boss voice in the chair"! Friend Andrew (also a Casablanca member) plays the "Evil Realtor" that gets tackled! This is a legit commercial that will be shown on Local TV for the next year! It wasn't a paying job, BUT the near future perks are pretty great, It all seems to make the "almost heat-stroke"  from running in a black suit on a 107 degree day worth it, haha!


Monday, August 22, 2011

Summers End 1957/2011

Well Readers,
This weekend marked the end of the summer portion of the Casablanca "social season", so in the grand tradition of summers end we set up a table out in the backyard  hauled all the good dishes, glasses, and cutlery out and had a leisurely Summers End Dinner! Our group of Casablanca members is growing in fact doubling this year! last year we had six turn out for the event and this year twelve of our closest friends gathered at the Casablanca to celebrate summers end.
(Our Casablanca year, 1957)
We finally got the new Air Conditioner installed Saturday morning with a lot of help from my Dad. The hardest part was cutting the window size bigger to fit the new AC in the old  ones place...
But after about two hours it was in an blowing like a champ! This new 15,100 BTU cooled the bedroom in five minuets and had the kitchen cooled in eight. No sooner was the unit in guest started arriving, Miss Kelcie back from her London excursion..
(Kelcie & Emily)
Not to long after that more guest came flowing through the door, all of them agreeing the new air conditioner was wonderful, and made the early arrival time for a 7:30P.M. dinner much better.
(Friends Joe, Willa, Kelcie, Patricia & Jenny!)
By 5:30 we had a house full!
(Friends Jenny, Willa, Myself, Emily, Kaeli, Chloe, Lara &Kelcie)
Everyone had brought something to throw on the table, I made a meatloaf and a casserole, friend Chloe made this delicious strawberry with alvacado salad, Joe cooked seasoned fish, friends Spencer and Lara made a cobbler and friend Jenny brought mac & cheese. Throw it on the table and voila!
 (Emily, Chloe, Joe & a fantastic meal)
Everything we made, we put into Pyrex using all my summery Primary bowls, and a loaf pan here and there!
Needless to say the food went fast...
 We ate at a leisurely pace as the sun went down enjoying the last rays of summer while listening to rumba records, and just a little bit of Dean Martin.
(A Perfect end to summer...)


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Oh Boy...

"This is gonna make one heck of a blog post...."
Well readers, If you will recall last weekend during the Guys Weekend the one and only air conditioner at the Casablanca gave out.  (If there's anything I HATE its shopping for new appliances.) So I did my research on Sunday and found a pretty good deal at Lowes hardware. I also discovered the old air conditioner had been a wimpy 3,000 BTU's and that was BARELY enough to cool the 120 square foot room, so we go to Lowes...
 Monday there was not a person in the store, after 45 minuets of walking around trying to find a store associate to help us we gave up. We did however find out you can order 4x4 tile in mint green, pink, and turquoise!  That night I wrote down everything from Lowes online and put on my battle face for round two on Tuesday, we walk in and where there had been nothign the day prior was a stack of the very AC's we were looking for!
Well this new frigidare model we (hope) will do the trick, see instead of getting another wimpy 3,000 BTU model or even upgrading to 8,000 to cover 250 square feet. We decided to get a BIG AC in hopes of cooling both the bedroom and kitchen, we went with a 15,100 BTU that is supposed to cool 900 square feet which means we should be able to hang meat in out 340 square foot two rooms!

*  *  *
Well as you can see from the header picture, I was in such a rush to seal the deal on a new AC that it never even dawned on Patricia or myself that this massive new AC might not fit in the trunk...lets look!
Nope... definitely not fitting...  so cue in friend Willa and her truck. She came to Lowes and we loaded the monster into the back of her truck and away we drove to the Casablanca FINALLY reaching our destination!
We tucked the AC away in the bedroom and With any luck we'll get it installed Friday just in time for the Summers End Postcard Dinner!

A Big thanks to friend Willa for helping us move the monster!


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Guys Weekend

 (Utah, Jarrod, & Cameron)
With Harispray over and done with, and a few weeks before the next show, a few of us guys headed out to the Casablanca for the weekend. Friday night Utah cooked his nearly world famous Cajun shrimp, boasting "If the spice don't give you a heart attack, the butter will!"  right after dinner we had three small rain storms and it cooled the weather off considerably, which was a GOD SEND as the air conditioner in the bedroom has cooled its last. Its the first time since March that we've been able to sleep comfortably with the windows open.
 (Jarrod cooking!)
Saturday morning we feasted on homemade sausage biscuits...
(Mmmm mmm good!)

Friend Utah poked fun at us for cooking which prompted me to say "Just because your a college guy, is no excuse to not know how to cook and/or starve to death..." and we ate up everything before I ever thought about taking an after picture, it was good!
 ("I will go to my grave telling people this game was "poker"...)

Later that afternoon friend Jarrod had to head back into town and but we were joined by friend Joe for dinner.
 After a meatloaf dinner we all settled out in the Drive-In to watch Back to the Future, however about 20 minuets into the movie we were visited by a skunk who has apparently set up house UNDER my house...



Monday, August 8, 2011

Wheelin' & Dealin'

Picked up a few things at the Bowie Flea Market for the next show!  Got the yellow Pyrex loaf pan for $8, the aluminum bunt pan for $2, the black roaster pan was free, and the BEST deal of the day was the 2.5 quart blue snow flake dish I snagged for $18... at least I think that's a good price? if its not DON'T TELL ME! haha

*  *  *
Well, Hairspray is over... It's bitter sweet because we all waited a year and a half to be apart of it and it seemed to crawl getting here, then BAM just like that- shows over. No more late nights, no more tuning out choreographers, no more wonderful 1962.
 A Note from the Director...

"The best I can tell with the numbers that are in so far, here are just some of the records we broke with "Hairspray".

PLEASE NOTE: These audience figures do not include volunteers or friends/family slip-ins.

Biggest Opening Night (309 in attendance)
Biggest Paid Audience for a Single Performance (459 paid + comps) (rounded out at 600)
Biggest Total Audience (approximately 4500)
Highest Grossing Local Production in the history of Texoma. (Close to $55,000 the previous record being $51,000)

Bonus Record: Only show to get a standing ovation DURING the performance."

 (This plaque now hangs on the stage door, taking inspiration from the like worded plaque on the Studio City sound stage where "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" was filmed.)

Pretty darn neat, if you ask me.


Friday, August 5, 2011

It Feels Like An Oven...

Provably because it is...
Well readers, Hairspray is almost over with only two more shows to go this weekend, and i'm about to be in that awful "down time between shows before the next show" groove.  I wont give away what the next show is, as it will have a full blog of its own to add to the portfolio, but I HAD to share with you this steal of a deal!

I found this 1940 something Merrit O'Keefe stove on Craigslist and just had to have it for my stash of vintage stuff to set dress with, and It will be on loan to the theatre for the upcoming show! It is in almost perfect shape, I have the bottom piece that's not pictured, the chrome griddle in the middle is spotless, and the cast iron vent hoods that go on top. Its missing a hood support on the right side, and the handle to the bread warmer is broken beyond repair. But I know its going to look great on stage!

When friend Sheldon and I went to go get this stove, the guy selling said he had a "50's something Electric one" that I might be interested in too...
(He was right...)
This stove didn't look like much when I first saw it, had lot of dirt on it, super greasy,  but I purchased it for the Wichita Theatre anyway because its about time we had some in house vintage appliances to use in shows (v.s. me dragging them to and from my storage unit!)
(She might not look like much, but like a lady in early morning, shes venerable...)

This is a 1950's  Kenmore Electric  "Mamie Eisenhower" dream of a stove! All white enamel with ample pink and silver chrome plate, a recessed top light (that I'm 99% sure I can make work again) and clock. The bottom storage tray has a neat little pedal you step on and it opens the drawer for you! Highlights is the double oven that at one time had an attachment for a "spit rotisserie roaster" on the right side, and it has both a metal door as well as a "Vu-Glass Door" that by pressing a lever on the outside of the door, opens the metal stove door but keeps a second glass door shut so you can see into the oven but not to let the heat out! This stove also has a sunken griddle in its center that I bet you could have deep fried in!

It's cleaning up nicely and is just BEGGING to be in a show!

Now here's where my "haggling skills" come in, are you ready for this?  I got both of these stoves for a grand total of $50.00. That's right two beautiful stoves for only $25.00 apiece! I could hardly believe it myself but to quote Blanche Devereaux "Damn I'm Good!"  haha!

I still need to find a 1950's Fridge (which has been a LOT harder to locate) and a chest freezer for the show! Bright and early Saturday I'll be calling into the local "trading post" radio show to see if I can't find someone who's got and old fridge out in their field!

So I'm off to hunt down some more vintage appliances...