So it's been a very busy 5-6 weeks, working on both "Zombie Prom" and "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"। 'Zombie' was just about everything I hoped for। Lots of color, pretty dresses, looney fun। Mindless, kind of। The challenge in Zombie was really the size of the cast and the amount of costume changes. The design wasn't tough--- it was the fifties (think 'Grease') and, well, zombies. Comic book zombie, actually, not even blood and guts zombie. So it wasn't too difficult. 'Rime', on the other hand, has been a totally different experience.
In the beginning it sounded exciting. At the first production meeting we were throwing around ideas that included morphing costumes and elaborate puppets to convey sea monsters and skeletons. Over time it kept changing, which is expected, but never settling, which is frustrating. I spent time and money on mock ups only to come in and find the total direction had changed. We went from the early 1900's to the Renaissance to a mix of styles that still confuses me. We went from everyone having different colored shirts to only one colored shirt, everyone else neutral. Capes to no capes, matching outfits for the two mariners to... not. I feel very inadequate in this production. We ended up renting a bunch of stuff to try out the (new) look he wanted and he settled on that and somehow I feel like I failed because it wasn't me doing the renting. It was the director. I pride myself on providing the production with the best I can do for a reasonable cost. I hate wasting time and money. And while this director often teases me about being cheap I don't care if his budget is unlimited or non-existent. I do not feel good about spending money--and my creative time-- on work that doesn't get used somehow. I understand if I messed up, or it doesn't work but that's really not what happened. He just kept changing his mind.
The production is just about finished. There are a few tech things to work out before the opening Thursday. Still, it looks stunning. The actors are doing a fantastic job and the set is simple yet amazing. I even like the costumes. But are they mine?