Thursday, April 30, 2015

Cramps

I get such cramps in my fingers. I put them under hot water and wait for them to relax. I have been sewing all day. I believe Allan is out of the play now, the poor guy, and David Warburton is in. Allan had his big toe amputated and needs time to recover.

I finally did the back of Basil's coat even
without knowing who is playing the role.
I had to. There is not time left to wait. I am
very pleased with the back given its length.
The collar is now on Basil's jacket.
Vivicean's sleeves attach in an entirely new
way now that is quick and easy.

Just for fun, for my party, I put The Great
Lorangini's hat on Vivicean's scene two wig.

The Next Five Days


Look at the photo: Is that not a gorgeous looking studio? There is tons of space and those massive windows face south so the afternoons and evenings shine with sunlight. There would be way too much light to be a studio were I still working in pencil crayons (that was long ago), but for sewing, it is ideal.

Today and tomorrow, I will finish everything. Then, on the weekend when it is supposed to be really sunny and warm, I will walk and memorize the prologue of the play that I deliver. It is long, but it is in couplets and it has a rhythm so it is comparatively easy to memorize.

Monday I print four scripts with all my final tweaks so that at one o'clock, we can do a reading here and by a fitting session. After that, its two weeks to memorize my lines followed by two weeks of rehearsals and then BOOM: Opening Night.

Then a very solid year's work of writing, designing, building, rehearsing and performing Trudeau—will slip into the past tense. And an even more demanding year of working on Harridan begins.

Oliver Sacks


Above is a classic image of Dr. Oliver Sacks, PhD. He has been, for decades, a hero of mine (and many). The Man Who Mistook His Wife for A Hat and An Anthropologist on Mars were the books that hooked me, and then Uncle Tungsten cemented my commitment to the man for life. He is a physician who, no matter what genetics, human behaviour or pathogens did to a person, he only and always saw the patient's soul. He is what empathy looks like. And he is leaving us. Cancer is taking him. I have known for a long time but it breaks my heart.

He is a great a man and the epitome of physicians thanks to a remarkable heart and mind. But he is also the most talented of writers. My love of all things Sackian comes from his writing; I have only experienced him as a (passionate) reader.

And wouldn't you know it, just before he leaves us, he writes another book. It is called On the Move. I haven't read it yet but, of course, I will. I have read everything he has written (even his challenging and thorough medical text book about migraine headaches). It is called "on the move" because that is the title of a poem and motor biking written by his friend Thomas Gunn. The poet shares with Dr. Sacks, a passion for motorcycles.

Now I have another reason to love Dr. Sacks.; not because I, too, like hogs. No. My new reason is because I am a sucker for handsome men and just look at this photo of him on his bike in his early years: What a total hottie!


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Sewing & Pain

Now I know why my fingers and hands get so sore from sewing. It is because I am often sewing through gooey, rubbery tape. I used white plastic tape to reinforce collars, cuffs and places where my paper costumes will have stress and sewing through the tape is brutal! Today I had to stop because my forearm and my thumb just hurt too much to go on.

When I think of the implications of "repetitive motion" pain, I think of hundreds of years of international labour and the human cost. It hurts, but I could not be prouder. Writing never affected me this way. Sewing is a craft and has such a history. I am so, so proud to be a sewer.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I Have My Studio

I've had such a great day. I have been finishing all the little things I was too lazy to do in my first round with the costumes. I amusing dental floss to sew new velcro straps on Vivicean's dress, hemming and I was even able to take in Vivicean's waist as Lois wished.

But the great achievement today (as per the previous post) was doing over my whole place for the party. I love the changes I have made and will keep things like this, I think, because the way everything is laid out now, I have a huge space in my living/dining room to use as my studio.

The bedroom will not work as a studio without a massive infusion of light and why do that when my living/dining room has a wall of windows?

Preparations WELL in Advance

I know how and where I will store my costumes. And I know now that I have enough space for this event for which 60 people have RSVP-ed. I did not plan to rearrange my entire condo today, but I did.
I pushed my bed against a wall so that there is
room in my office/bedroom for people to chill.



Digging the Needle


I'm healthy again, sewing and happy! After a long break from the costumes, I dove back in to the men's costumes because I cannot wait any longer to know which of the two actors "on hold" is doing the show. I felt I had to press on and close them up because of the workload ahead with re-writing and memorizing my lines. I can weak them still, but I had left them far from complete hoping to fit them before closing them up. But things move slowly with Presentation House and my show.

And Harridan progresses—one giant step backwards, then a significant step forward. The backward step was a loss of confidence/faith;the forward step was an encouraging response to my outreach to Gillian at Capilano College. Gillian runs the Musical Theatre program at Cap, the logical partner for me if I want free talent.

Harridan, in its present form, has a chorus of angels that could not be afforded without an arrangement such as I will be proposing to Gillian. I hope she and her students will embrace the challenge of working up my lyrics for the songs in Harridan, into full scale numbers and be the cast of the chorus (if and) when it is produced. Gillian's potential interest will force me back to the piece and, hopefully, I will find renewed faith in it.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday Afternoon

I am just home from a 4.5 hour brisk walk. It felt so good to be back to normal that I was out the door for a walk at 8:00 am and I did something I have long wanted to do: I walked the wall twice (18K). It was a perfect day for it—not cold, not hot. Hi clouds let light through but not burning sun. And the temperature was a perfect 14°.


Bis natural scaling on the seawall.
A huge chunk of the wall slid down.

Teeny weeny little somethings growing
on the rock wall.




Bloomin' Palm.

Flaming On


The doctor gave me the wrong medications, yes, but he was right that it would be over on Sunday. I have awakened to feeling myself again. But I am glad today is Sunday, the day when the world seems to turn slower; I have one more slow easy day before returning to a faster pace.

My asthma requires that I measure my breathing twice a day. Asthma prevents you from breathing out, not in, so it is my capacity to exhale that I measure by blowing as hard as I can into a tube that gives me a reading that I record. I have been doing this for almost three years. And I watched my breathing go from 600+ to 400 in two days. That is a 30% loss of breathing due to my body's reaction to the wrong fungal medication.
I am appearing at The Flame on May 6th. I am doing The Flame about doing The Flame  How's that for symmetry? I am excited about doing it because it is my seventh time.  I love the Flame because Joel and Deborah have been so supportive of me and so encouraging. They are true mentors. And I will be advertising my show to the audience.
I used to sit in the bath and walk and daydream about plots. The plots would become one of my stories for The Flame, a script, a writing exercise or a blog post. Now I think visually, not literally. The writer in me is now secondary and serves my inner designer, so now some of my plots could work as exhibitions or installations in a gallery.

If only…. If only I had done this all my life. If only…. If only I had valued fulfillment as much as lucre.  

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Fungus

As an HIV+ person, I have trouble with fungal infections. the last time I needed treatment, I came home from the pharmacy with a garbage bag full of boxes each containing a "single dose treatment for vaginal fungal infection." Each package was one pill on a plastic tray with a cardboard cover, and elaborate information brochure and its box, plus cellophane and a prescription sticker. I had 28 boxes.

This time I asked, is there another way? "Yes," he said, so I took it. Big mistake. I had a really bad reaction that could have been foreseen had he checked my record. As it is, I am in day three of recovery at home. To pass time, I watched a BBC TV series I had recorded and got out my pile of unread New Yorkers….

  1. Watching Maxine Peake and, for that matter, the whole cast of BBC's The Village is hard but worthwhile. The relentless challenges of Tom and Grace, the injustices of wartime and prejudice are very hard for me to watch. But the writing is spectacular and the acting is superb. Maxine Peake, who also shines in Silk, is an acting treasure.
  2. The Jan. 26 New Yorker contained an illuminating article about the history of gay rights. It moved me so, when I finished reading it I kissed the photograph of Magnus Hirschfeld. The article lauds and references a book by Robert Beachy called Gay Berlin: Birthplace of a Modern Identity.

    Mr. Hischfeld, a (straight) German physician, founded the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee, the first gay-rights organization. His gay activism seems to have been instigated by the suicide of a young German gay man who felt coerced into marriage. He believed homosexuality was not behavioural, but congenital and that human sexuality was fluid. He also believed in feminism through exposure to the thoughts of lesbians the he interviewed who were diverse in their identities and revealed different feminine ideals to him.

    He later headed the Institute for Sexual Science, a museum, clinic and research centre where he offered sex advice to couples, advocated for the mineralization of divorce laws and birth control and collaborated on the first primitive sex-change operations.

  3. The Feb. 9th New Yorker, for me, is a doozy. There is a terrifically interesting article about the use of psychedelic drugs in terminally ill patients. Long known for its insightful spiritual qualities, psilocybin is helping people accept their death in extraordinary ways. It's too complex and full of too many medical terms to effectively summarize here, but I will do anything to take psilocybin when I am dying.

    Also in that issue is a story about Lin-Mauel Miranda. I am in awe of this man who was the composer, lyricist and star of In the Heights (ITH). ITH won four Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Musical Score. I idolize him. He has a new musical that sounds brilliant opening on Broadway about US President Alexander Hamilton. It sound delicious. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

My Voice & the Stage

The plan has been, since November of last year, that I would get a Botox shot in my vocal chords in advance of doing the play. Well, this week, the time for the shot arrived and I chickened out. Yes, I was afraid of a long needle going into my throat for sure, but I was also afraid of doing damage instead of making things better.

Why? Twenty-two years ago, I had a heart attack. It was my second and so it was determined that I would have an angiogram to check out the state of my arteries. That involves a tube inserted in an artery in your inner thigh, that is then run up through your artery to the heart and when the tube reached my heart, it triggered my third heart attack.

Sometimes cures backfire, it what I learned so I chose not to have the Botox. Instead, as a precautionary move, I was given a systemic anti-fungal medication to ensure that the fungus I cannot shake does not re-establish itself in my throat and on my vocal chords.

My HIV medications are psychotropic. They affect mood, perception, emotion and behaviour so I take them just before going to bed to avoid any hallucinations. Well the anti-fungal medication increased the potency of my HIV meds by a factor of 17, so life yesterday, today and for the weekend is challenging.

Bedrest and hemming Vivicean's costume is in order and that is all.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Very Excited: Contract!


I am terribly excited because the Option to Purchase agreement for my screenplay, Uncle Gus' Monkey, came today for me to sign. Also, producer Brad wants to meet the week after next to discuss next steps.—that really excites me because I have no idea what they will be.

We actually get paid for the option-to-produce that they purchase (very modestly) but still: I can say proudly that I sold the very first screenplay I ever wrote. Written with the considerable guidance of Warren Kimmel whose idea it was to turn the story in my play, Knock Knock, into a screenplay in the first place. This is Warren's victory, really, but mine to enjoy thoroughly as well.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

To Career or Not To Career

I "conceived" my first play when I was about six years old. It was probably more of a variety show, but I remember a cape and a top hat. I won a talent show for an act I put together in grade seven and I also failed to stage my own version of Lambert the Friendly Lion. Go figure.

Whilst a student in college, I staged a Laugh-In style show with peers from the Department of Education. And as soon as I graduated, I got a job as a drama teacher at West Van Secondary School and while I was there I staged two large shows for each of my two years there. Each show was an original creation.

I was so not into doing Harvey or some other such Samuel French dated and inappropriate disaster. That is what most of my peer teachers were doing and I loathe seeing kids with grey powder in their hair, looking fake as stink, and trying to act like adults. I wanted my students to speak in their own voice so I led them though processes that brought their voices out. Our shows were popular and well attended.

Then I built a theatre and ran it but all I was, really, was a booking clerk. Except for a show I conceived and produced called North Shore Live. It went on to tour Canada. And then in 1983 I walked away from working in the theatre to work in the visual arts.

Then, ten years into retirement, I write and produce Knock Knock in April 2013 and then two derivative products came out of that show: a script and screenplay called Uncle Gus' Monkey. And the success of the screenplay gave me the confidence to write Trudeau, the Felons & Me. In turn, the success of Trudeau gave me the energy and confidence to write The Hater & the Harridan.

If Harridan goes ahead, it will require that I:

  • Engage the enthusiastic cooperation of students in the Capilano College Musical Theatre Program.
  • make six steampunk corsets that support manually operated wings
  • make a throne and flat embedded with LOTS of electronics
  • a Shiva costume with six moving arms
  • a nun costume 
  • a buddha costume and wig
  • a Jesus costume
  • two arc angel costumes 
I currently have four display mannequins in my living room. If I do Harridan, I will have ten. So I have pretty much decided that if Harridan goes ahead, that I will get rid of my bed and get a murphy bed in my bedroom so that my bedroom can be more of a studio for me.

Warren came by yesterday after a long time without seeing him. He was disarmed by my costumes and wants to come and do a video interview with me about them. His reaction made me happy that Harridan affords me even greater costuming/wig making opportunities to have fun.

A new career? Designer Chris? Maybe.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Writing on My Feet

I sea walled today for the second time this week and I almost didn't do it today. But I am very glad I did because, as is was a stunningly sunny day as, as is always the case since I began my creative writing, I work on problems while I walk.

I have finished the first draft of Harridan. It is the worst first draft I have ever written. The ending sucks as badly as the ending of Trudeau shines—but I have a year to work on it. The good news is that there is a story worth telling in it and the story is framed, as always, within a comedic frame.

There are other problems, too. The characters are not defined enough but on my walk today I can feel them coming together. I get enough insight on my walk to make me keen to re-write and that is fantastic.

Up at 4:00 am. Writing Harridan by 4:30. Quit at 10:30 and out the door by 11:00 to seawall. Home by 3:00 because I take rests in the sunshine, for a pastry and a bath. That is the pattern for the next week.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Half Way

I have heard writers say that they start writing and the writing takes them places they don't anticipate. That is how I feel about The Harridan. I am very pleased with it, but it is, in form, nothing like what I thought I was going to write.

For one thing, its a musical. I did not see that coming. And it has a cast of seven, but the idea is to work with students from the local university performing arts program. Four of the cast are chorus.

But the biggest surprise about this play are the characters: God, Arc Angel Gabriel, Arc Angel Ambriel, me and Shiva so far.  Again: I did not see that coming but its really exciting.  I can understand now why some writers say: "I'm just the medium; the words flow through me."

So far, in four scenes, there are three songs: Second Coming Tour, Mediocre (I am handing critics a knife with a title like that) and Harridan.

I expect I will finish this play by Sunday. Imagine that. But getting a solid first draft will allow Kim to reassess his interest in it based on an actual script. And if he likes it and wants to do it next season, we can say so in the program of this year's play. Audience building 101.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Monday:Serious Progress on "The Harridan"

I was up at 3:30 this morning because I went to bed so early last night. All the recent sewing and the anxiety about success with each new piece (costume or wig) is exhausting and so when I heard that today' scheduled reading was cancelled, I crashed. I loafed all day yesterday, but this morning I got an early start to working and am, as of 3:30 pm today, pleased to report that I have two scenes down that satisfy me.

Opening scenes are brutally hard to write but I am happy with this first draft—very happy, in fact, considering it contains a song. Second Coming Tour is its name.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Sterling Comes Together




Sterling's Wig


What a great way to finish over 700 hours of work—well, almost finish.

I have always imagined Sterling (my foppier-than-me alter ego) wearing a hat and having long curly hair, so this morning, having sewn two hat forms together, I decided to take a crack at the hair. My plan was just to test some materials to see what kind of paper I might use.

Then, when I tried the wrapping paper I bought for the vests, it was PERFECT! SO I did his hair and I shouldn't have. I should have done the hat first but I have been impulsive since childhood.  Now I will have a bit of a challenge to finish the hat. But who cares. I can look at that stunning hair if ever I feel poorly.

I have Sterling's hat to finish and Vivicean's hem to do.

Allan really wants to do the show but he has to talk again to his doctor. We have an actor on stand by in case Allan cannot do the show or we do not want him to because he cannot walk properly, but everyone wants Allan in the show—especially Allan.

Once I know who is in, I can do the fittings of all his costumes and then I will be truly finished. But I am very close and what remains is slight.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Finishing Up


All my "kids" are piled in the corner of my living room. I wanted to see how I could reduce their collective footprint and protect them for the night I have my party. I have, already, fifty positive RSVPs and so I need to create lots of open space.

I have one wig left to do, the hemming of Vivicean's dress and a crimp on her waist and Basil's and Sterling's costumes both have to be fitted to Allan or the actor who replaces him.

At our production meeting yesterday, Allan called in his desire to stay with my show if at all possible. He is seeing his doctor today.
I am very excited about seeing Warren today.  Emotionally speaking for me—having a partner is not terribly dissimilar to having a boyfriend.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Rich, Wonderful Thursday

Wow! What a day!

First of all, Warren sent emails and called. Warren, dear reader, is my writing partner when I am writing about my own life. He is my life dramaturge and he is my partner in the stage and screen version of Uncle Gus' Monkey. Tomorrow he is coming by with edits to the stage play.

This news thrills me because it increases the likelihood of our script getting produced at the Arts Club. And that would be the greatest/proudest achievement of my life because the Arts Club is my spiritual home. It is where my theatre training occurred and where I experienced my first feeling of belonging to a family. It is a sacred place.

Then we got an email from Brad, the producer at Shavick who took an interest in the Uncle Gus screenplay. Our option agreement is actually being written by their Business/Legal staff. Brad wrote: "The development team have all read it and like it.  Concerns about the budget and some other things but all can be fixed in time."

Then I had lunch with Wendy, with whom I went to high school and was a member of our municipal boys and girls band. I did not know until very recently that she had been adopted and failed to bond as I did and we had a teary lunch. This writer gained new imagery for future work from her. Boy, it was emotional and wonderful. I have a new friend, but she lives in Victoria.

Then I took a nap and when I wrote, I wrote to a woman I know who runs the theatre program at Capilano College. It is a department where I once taught. Kim, the artistic director at Presentation House, wants to build ties with his community and that fits with my plans for The Harridan, my play for Presentation House's 2015/1 season.

If Gillian, at Cap, finds my proposal to work with some of her students for credits or in an apprenticeship relationship, I can write for a large cast and Actors' Equity allows for work with students in accredited post-seondary programs.

Then I started writing Harridan. That is really something to me. My fourth script in two years and already two are produced or in production and the third just got closer to success with Warren's help that comes tomorrow. Life is good.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Living a blessed Life

Over-the-top Fop, Sterling Christopher, a comic character. 

We had a production meeting about the set for Trudeau today, and I took along a prĂ©cis of a new script I call The Harridan. It may have God as the central character—this God being a stand-up comic on his Second Coming tour—and I pitched it to Kim to be part of his 2015/2016 season and he said: "Yes!"

When I pitched my idea to Kim, he was cautiously encouraging but careful not to commit. Slowly, I started pushing; I pointed out the many reasons he should say yes in a way I have never had the confidence to do. I believe I can do it. I believe I have a great idea and that I can tell it in an interesting way.

Knock Knock was a musical. Uncle Gus' Monkey is a straight play, Trudeau is fantastical and my costumes and wigs put much more of my imagination on the stage. Harridan will take me somewhere new as well. And look at that: four plays in two years.

Reminder

I love writing in rhyme. And I love using my sense of humour, so I indulged myself in making a reminder for my party to send to everyone who sent a positive RSVP.


Book of Mormon

Last night I went to see the touring production of Book of Mormon. It is always a risk to see these touring shows—you have to do your due diligence to ensure you see a professional production because there are non-union touring companies making the rounds with very amateur production values. But this show shines. And that is saying something because I have been listening to the Broadway cast recording since last summer.

And when you are as familiar with the original soundtrack as I am with Mormon, you risk having any regional or touring productions fall far short of the mark—particularly in key roles. But last night I could not keep my eyes off A. J. Hughes as Elder Cunningham whenever he was onstage. He is a genius comedic performer as you must be in that role.

And Alexandra Ncube as Nabulungi was breathtaking. Her voice is exquisite and when she sang Salt Lake City, she had 2,800 people in the palm of her hand.

It is a remarkable show in that the authors are famous for a television show called South Park. I have never seen it but it is famously edgy and probably has the same no-holes-barred take on things that Mormon has. So there were many fans of that show in the audience who, I suspect, have little experience with musicals.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Playgrounds: My Home & Mind

Basil's wig on his costume top.
These are Basil's and Sterling's pants.
Sadly, as with Vivicean's wig, you cannot see
the full glittery wonder/horror.

I love being at home. I have boxes full of ribbon and doodads, a sewing kit, miles of white fabrics, velcro, glue sticks and textural materials since embarking on this mission to do the costumes, wigs and properties for my play, Trudeau. Now, besides cooking and writing, I have become an avid sculptor working with soft materials and kilometres of thread.

Kim, the director of Trudeau and Artistic Director of Presentation House Theatre, has written to say he is open to the idea of my Rita play for next season.I have a meeting with him tomorrow. Trudeau ends mid June. I am going to propose he give me until the end of August to write a rendering before he decides.  Heaven: My many summer walks will be to ruminate on a form and structure for the Rita play.

My goal is to develop a play a year and I would love to do them at Presentation House.

Basil is Almost Done

Basil's Wig
I will finish Basil's wig today, but Allan is no longer Basil. Poor Allan broke a bone in his foot and got an infection so he has had to drop out of the show as well as the show he is currently in. So tomorrow we are having a production meeting to decide who we will cast and what we will do about the set±two problems that remain.

With Basil's wig almost done, only Sterling's wig remains to be done. Very soon, then, I will have completed all four wigs and costumes.

I have kept track of the time I have invested in the designing of this modest little theatrical experiment of mine, and so far I have put 656 hours into the set, costumes and wigs.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Sunday

Yesterday was emotionally overwhelming due to two unexpected events.

First was my brunch with Jan. I ran into her on a bus. We had not seen each other for a long time—perhaps two or three years, but we have known each other for decades. Jan has been a craftsperson her whole life and supported herself as such; she makes hand-made paper in a fabulous studio downtown.

Lunch was overwhelming because it was so wonderful. It was like we had been in regular touch; we bounced off each other. The room was full of our energy. And then she announced we'd be eating something she had never made before. It was Dutch Baby, a favourite dish I call Oogen den Hague that I discovered from my beloved Ex.

But it was our increased compatibility that took things to the emotional heights I still feel. The whole time I had a "twins separated at birth" feeling with Jan. It was my first experience with her as a creator, like her, and we talked process together in a way I have with no one else.

There will be no more gaps in our wonderful friendship.

And then I met Rob. I don't talk much about Rob here. We share a complicated relationship because—OF COURSE—it is a relationship with benefits and yesterday we had a tiff and I came home aching. I had no idea how attached I was until I walked away yesterday. Now I know. We are fine, thank God.

The most powerful of yesterday's epiphanies, however, was in my conversation with Jan about anxiety. I have never talked about my anxiety with anyone before except a doctor and in my conversation with her, out of the blue, I said: "When I use marijuana, I don't feel alone."

It shook me to hear myself say that. I have absolutely no doubt that that is why I use it and I had no emotional understanding of that until yesterday. The revelation took my breath away, and when I breathed in, I thought to myself, the next thing I said was this: "I'll bet that is why I have this increasing passion for God, too, because if I bring God into my life I am not alone either."

When I started going to that counsellor who I soon quit, one thing I said to him very early on was: "I am sick of always being alone." I remember that now, but I did not realize when I said it that my use of THC (the essential medicinal ingredient of marijuana) was linked to my sense of solitude.

And now I know that I need to develop my relationships with Rob and God, not a counsellor. How apt for Easter Sunday, resurrection day.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Vivicean Wig #2 Done

Actually, this wig is unfinished but I may leave it like this. I have 2 birds and a nest to put on her head, and my original design called for a different (ridiculous) element, but I like it like this. I may add a silly element later, but the dingle dangles at the temple seems to me to be enough.

I had planned to use rolled interfacing for the hair coils on this wig. You can see the idea in the previous post and in the poster of Vivicean in the column to the right. But last night, out of the blue, inspiration hit: Roll up some batting in the glittery ribbon I saw in the dollar store.

The photos do not do the wig justice. It is very pearlescent in appearance and it is very glittery. In stage lighting, it will be stunning I think.


Saturday, April 4, 2015

Wigs Two and Three: Vivicean #2 and Basil.

Fingers ache and the thumb on my right hand wants a divorce. I cannot understand why my thumbs hurt so much from sewing, but they do.

I am working on wigs #2 and #3 at the same time so that my hands get a rest. In the photo of Vivicean's wig for her second scene (with the pearls), you can see some terribly unimpressive cord sewn onto the crown. That took three conscientious days of sewing and that is why everything hurts. The cord is sewn onto a wire grid.

I am also working on the pants Allan will wear as both Basil and Sterling. They were very bland compared to the tops, so today I started tarting them up and I am really pleased with the way they are going.

Basil, on the left, is at the very beginning stage.
Vivicean #2 at this stage, is two days in.
Vivcean #2 after three days. What you cannot
see is the cording on the back. The cording
was brutal work as far as sewing goes.

New Suit: No Course

I am very happy to be an early riser, particularly in Spring as sunrise, with its attendant birdsong, moves earlier and earlier in the day. I fell in love with birdsong when I was very young—less than four years old—and quarantined due to Scarlet Fever. I remember that feeling of imprisonment and the sense of escape I felt when hearing the robins’ morning song.

Yesterday I bought my first suit. I will wear it at my party and on stage for Trudeau. I absolutely love the suit we ordered made. Yes, I bought a custom-made suit. It is grey, with hints of blue (which is perfect given the tones of my Ermenegildo Zegna shirts), and I got elegant blue suede shoes to wear with it.


And GOOD NEWS! I won’t know for sure until Tuesday, but I believe the course I am supposed to teach April 23-27 in Penticton will be cancelled. They pay was good, but having to lecture for six hours a day, four days in a row, is brutal. It would have been very hard on my voice.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Vivicean's Wig for Her First Scene

It took two days and, as usual, there was a learning curve, pricked and burned fingers and blood stains, but I am done one wig and I am on schedule. This is not the way I expected to make the wig, and there may be problems, but I am more than happy to add ribbons as chins straps. In fact, I love the idea. I just cannot sew them on myself without someone to hold the wig while I do it. I won't add them unless I must.

I am beyond happy with this wig and loved making it. Friend, Christine, lent me incredibly handy tools: long T-pins and a swivel clamp that the styrofoam heads can be stuck onto for easy turning and bending. How I love and admire craftsmen and their tools.