We’re mixing up the format again this week as we sit down not with a designer, but with the man in charge of handling the contracts for ALL designers, it’s United Scenic Artists Business Rep for Live Performance, Carl Mulert. Carl is the go-to-guy for all contract and union related issues for designers working in theatre and he’s with us today to talk about everything you’ve always wanted to know about USA but were afraid to ask. Cory and Carl cover a multitude of topics including when to join the union, how to join, the different kinds of contracts covered by the union, how collective bargaining and negotiations work, how pension and welfare contributions work, how the union can help you, and how YOU can help strengthen the union. They also briefly discuss the difference between working in the US and working in the UK where designers are not covered by a union. This episode is a must listen for young designers going into the business and probably a good refresher for existing members. There’s a common phrase among designers who need assistance or have questions navigating their contracts…”Call Carl,” over the next two hours, it should become clear why. Enjoy!
This week we welcome back the very first guest to ever sit down for an interview, it’s the return of Sound Designer Lindsay Jones! But this is no ordinary episode. Lindsay is the undisputed king of travel tips, tricks, hacks, secrets, and every other solution to making life on the road as stress free as possible and he joins us today to share with us his wealth of knowledge and experience. Cory and Lindsay chat about airline preferences, loyalty miles, perks and upgrades, best and worst airports, booking websites, what to do if your flight gets canceled, car rental insurance and a whole host of other related topics. They talk about the thankless job of Company Manager and the role they play in making travel arrangements for designers. And as an added bonus, Lindsay shares with us a fascinating tale from his current show ‘Privacy’ at the Public Theatre, which may or may not involve a certain US Citizen living in an undisclosed location in Russia. If you’re a designer who travels a lot, this episode is required listening and will hopefully be the first in a series with Lindsay as he helps everyone learn how to save the tears for opening night, not the Delta terminal.
This week’s guest is Scenic and Costume designer David Zinn! David works on incredibly diverse projects and takes us into the design processes of many of his most well known designs including ‘The Flick’, ‘The Last Ship’, ‘The Human’s’, and his Tony nominated scenic design for ‘Fun Home.’ And for a guy who loves sets that are “grungy, thick, and muscular,” David shows off his versatility by discussing his design for the upcoming musical ‘SpongeBob Squarepants,’ and his endeavor to recreate Bikini Bottom live onstage!
Welcome to Episode #58 and our wonderful chat with Scenic & Costume Designer Clint Ramos! Clint is just weeks away from opening his third Broadway show, ‘Eclipsed,’ and he shares with us the journey of that piece from The Public Theatre to Uptown. He tells us how doing political street theatre in the Philippines planted the seeds of his future profession, how feeling like an “outsider” has drawn him to specific kinds of projects, why he works hard to not let his work fall into any kind of specific style, and how designing the clothing for ‘Here Lies Love’ became a full circle moment. There’s also great biz talk in this episode from budgets to assistants, to the awkwardness of having to back out of projects, to the push for higher wages and the things he still feels like he needs to fight for on so many projects . And, hear how he tackles making Hollywood stars like Lupita Nyong’o and Bradley Cooper disappear into the less than glamorous worlds of their onstage personas.
This week we visit with another designer from across the pond, it’s Tony nominated Scenic and Costume Designer, David Farley! David was in town finally bringing ‘Daddy Long Legs’ to New York after playing around the globe for 6 years. He tells us about the evolution of the design and the process of modifying the set to fit different theatres. David and Cory dig into the artistic, practical and economical differences of being a designer in the US vs the UK and they chat about David’s award winning work on ‘Sunday in the Park…’, why designing Josh Groban’s tour was more difficult than you would think, designing in the Festival Theatre at Stratford and the qualities he loves in his frequent collaborators John Caird, Trevor Nunn, and John Doyle. But David isn’t all work…he also shares insight into being a designer on the road with an infant back home and why he’s passionate about his garden. It’s a great show, but mainly because of how adorably he pronounces ‘aluminum.’ Grab a seat in the stalls, raise the gauze and enjoy this week’s panto!
This week’s guest on Episode #44 is Costume Designer Jennifer Caprio! Jen created the iconic costumes for ‘The 25th Annual..Spelling Bee’ and she tells us how those clothes came to be on their journey all the way to Broadway and a hit show…and what happens when your design becomes part of the show logo. She also shares stories from ‘Colossal’, her recent football themed show at Dallas Theatre Center and ‘Joseph…’ currently touring the country. Hear about her unique sketching and rendering process which combines both old and new techniques, the culture of costume shops, and the differences between designing costumes for regional theatre vs. New York. This episode is G-R-E-A-T and you’re gonna love it!
Welcome to our first LIVE episode as we team up with ETC to bring you the Young Designer’s Survival Guide! Cory chats with Jon Collins (Scenery), Jason Crystal (Sound), Travis McHale (Lighting) and Tristan Raines (Costumes) about the nuts and bolts of being a young designer working in New York City. The panel has lots to say on topics ranging from assisting to designing on your own, when to join the union, whether you need an agent, how to remain passionate and how to pay that pesky rent. Being a “young” designer often means having to work harder to get noticed or be taken seriously among a team of seasoned pros and the panel shares their thoughts on maneuvering those obstacles. We take some questions from the audience, everyone names their favorite tech food, it’s a party and you’re invited!
We’re on a roll with great guests and this week is no exception, it’s Costume Designer David Woolard! David tells us about costuming the characters of Aaron Sorkin in ‘A Few Good Men’ and ‘The Farnsworth Invention’, creating the clothing for an icon like Jane Fonda and the experience of designing the original production of ‘The Who’s Tommy’ and then returning to it 20 years later at the Stratford Festival. David also shares stories from ‘First Date’, the challenges of working with Arthur Laurents, the brilliance of Des McAnuff, and the adventure of finding the perfect sweater for Billy Crystal. Darling, this episode is simply mahhhhvelous!
This week’s guest is Costume Designer Jess Goldstein. Jess’s first Broadway design was in 1980 and he has 35 years worth of stories, anecdotes and behind the scenes tidbits from his life in the theatre. He tells us about the unique experiences costuming some of our greatest performers including Al Pacino, Tyne Daly, John Lithgow, Martin Short and Kevin Kline. He shares insight into his design process for ‘Newsies’, ‘On the Town’ and the upcoming ‘Ever After.’ Jess and Cory chat about why designing for film and TV is so different than theatre, how his sketching process has evolved down to the type of colored pencils he uses, and his teaching philosophy with the next generation of Costume Designers at Yale. AND hear the completely by chance way that ‘Jersey Boys’ became a part of his life and the personal and professional effects of being attached to the holy grail of Broadway musicals, the unstoppable mega-hit!
It’s another first for the show with Wig, Hair and Make-Up Designer Leah J. Loukas. Leah is here to teach us everything we wanted to know about Hair Design. She talks us through the artistic process of designing hair as well as the logistical and economical realities of her profession. Cory and Leah chat about the challenges of designing blood soaked hair for ‘Carrie’, famous locks for ‘A Night with Janis Joplin’ and her current work in ‘On the Town’ and the upcoming ‘Heidi Chronicles.’ She’s got some great stories and insight about designing hair that must be true to the period, practical for 8 shows a week, and comfortable for the actors. She even touches on her love/hate relationship with those pesky hair intruders known as mic packs. Let it fly in the breeze, get caught in the trees and give a home to the fleas, we’re talking hair!