First up is my latest article in Stage Directions magazine. I talked with a number of props masters about creative ways to stretch your props budget. The result is “Creating Relationships to Create Props.”
Ugh, another actor dead from props. This time, it’s a Japanese actor who was stabbed with a samurai sword during rehearsal. So far, they have not said whether the sword was real or a prop, and whether they think it was an accident or murder, so I don’t really have much to say about the incident. Depending on what we find out, my advice would either be A) Don’t give actors real swords without a fight choreographer present, or B) Don’t hire murderers.
I have a new article in the October issue of Stage Directions magazine. Last fall at Triad Stage, we didÂ 39 Steps. I already posted about the giant chandelier I made for that show. The script also calls for a number of tricks and gags. One of them is a window shade with a mind of its own.
In my article,Â “Get a Grip“, I go through my process of solving that problem. I start off with an initial idea, and after a few rounds of testing and modifications, come up with a gag that works. How does it work? Well, you’ll have to read the Stage Directions article for that.
I also madeÂ a little video on it. You can witness my awesome acting skills.
Behold! The quickest tutorial on Wonderflex! Demented Cosplay has a video briefly going over the properties of Wonderflex, a plastic sheet that becomes pliable with very little heat, and hardens into place at room temperature.
These photographs of the inventories of British Soldiers are endlessly fascinating and useful. Thom Atkinson has taken all the gear and paraphernalia that a British soldier was issued at various times in history over the past 1000 years, and laid it all outÂ on the floor. If you wanted to know what an archer was carrying at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 (say, if you’re doing Henry V), this is where you should go.
The Examiner has a great interview and profile of Beth Hathaway, a master of building creatures for film. Hathaway has been a fabrication specialist at Stan Winston Studios and KNB EFX for decades, working on projectsÂ such asÂ Edward Scissorhands, Jurassic Park, Terminator 2,Â Star Trek: The Next GenerationÂ and The Walking Dead.
Finally, check out this LA Times story on Nick Metropolis, the famed LA store filled with junk and jumble of all varieties.
The Wire has a short history of ventriloquism which is quite fascinating, if a little bit creepy. I especially enjoyed the video of Ray Alan performing with his “Lord Charles” dummy, who was performing a ventriloquist act with his own, even smaller, dummy.