Corporeal Intangibility – The Alley Theatre made custom acrylic furniture and props for their production of The Nether, including a gramophone and a rocking horse. This was clearly an interesting project.
So it’s the day after Halloween, but most of my links today are for Halloween-related props, because that’s what everyone has been writing about for the last couple of weeks. Luckily, us props people can use some good fake blood advice any day of the year.
First up is fellow SPAM member Deb Morgan, props master at the Lyric Opera in Kansas City, showing us how to make some fake edible blood and a blood bag. It’s a basic recipe that most of us know, but it’s great to watch how the different ingredients affect the final product.
Next is another SPAM member Seán McArdle giving his local Fox News channel a show-and-tell of fantastic props he has built. Besides his own take on the blood bag, he’s got a really cool non-pyrotechnic gunshot effect for a musket.
Ed Edmunds makes monsters and effects for haunted houses, and created the animatronic electric chair prop that essentially transformed these rides from cheesy diversions to high-tech affairs. Check out his interview in Esquire Magazine to learn more.
Not too much going on this week. Everyone seems to be transitioning from regular seasons/school to summer work. Still, there were some interesting things on the Internet in the past couple of days:
My latest article for Stage Directions Magazine is up. “Fast, Cheap and Under Control” takes a look at how you build a prop when that prop has never been built before. I interviewed several props people for their perspectives on this particularly perplexing problem; Tom Fiocchi, props instructor at Ohio University; Lori Harrison, props director at San Francisco Opera; and Seán McArdle, worldwide freelance prop maker.
Here are some videos from some folks I’ve worked with.
First up is Seán McArdle. Former prop master at the Public Theater, he has since moved to Minneapolis. Here, he is showing off a blood rig which he has used in, among other things, Broadway Baby in the Tiger Zoo. Sorry, I got that title wrong; it’s Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, on Broadway.
Next is Faye Armon, whom I worked with on both The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide… and Merchant of Venice/Winters Tale. She walks us around the set of 4000 miles at the Duke on 42nd Street this past summer.
Making and finding props for theatre, film, and hobbies