Posts Tagged ‘boat’

Tempest build, the boat photos

Cutting the plexiglassThe goal of this project was to make a self-illuminated boat for the opening of the Tempest. It needs to be sturdy enough to tour, but also needed to match the materials in the rest of the design, which were fairly industrial. We first made patterns of stiff paper to find the shape of the boat.

Here, I’m cutting out the base of the boat in a stiff white plastic. The brown paper keeps it from getting scuffed in transit and also provides a handy thing on which to draw the pattern.

Removing the paper
Peeling the paper back you can see the nice glossy surface.

Bending the plastic The plastic for the rest of the boat is a matte polycarbonate, so it handles bending beautifully. To get sharp creases, I used my vise like a metal brake, which worked pretty well.

Testing the light Once I had the basic hull, I started testing light sources. Originally, we were going to use an incandescent bulb, which would also have served as a practical light on stage, but the director decided to free up the actor manipulating the boat and so we had to figure out how to light the boat without the benefit of a power cord.

I’d done another show with self illuminated puppets and had discovered then that a florescent closet light provided the best light. This photo has much more of a hotspot than in real life.

Testing the light on a mirror In an effort to get more light and more diffusion, I tested out a piece of mirrored polycarbonate instead of the white plastic.

The boat in the dark Oooo! Ghost boat.

A bigger light The original light was six inches, and here I’m testing out a twelve inch light.

A bigger light plus a mirror I tried a backing mirror to bounce the light forward. Putting a V of mirror in there really brightened up the boat. Alas, when I got to the final construction, the smokestacks, and observation deck kept the V from being practical.

Boat final assembly For the final assembly, I pop riveted the boat together. This is a view of the bottom of the boat as it’s being held in the vise.

Because I was stupid, I didn’t take a picture of the finished boat. Sorry. I’ll get one later.

Tempest build, Day One

You guys are getting this on time-delay, because I’m using these posts to communicate with Emily DeCola, the designer, who is on a trip to China at the moment. So, once she reads and we catch up, I’ll post the pictures of the build.

Just because it is interesting, I’ll also share the commentary that we have going. Feel free to join in, just know that we are three days farther along in the process than you.

Monday, December 10th, 2007

We started the day at 10:00 today, shopping from home and organizing plans. Around eleven, Rob and I headed down to the shop and met up with Jane at noon. While Jane and I worked, Rob did the shopping for us. Gotta love husbands.

Here’re the fruits of our labor today.

Boat mockupI mocked the boat up in heavy paper to get a general pattern and to sort out construction plans of attack. When Rob brought the plastic back, I decided to go ahead and try building the rehearsal mockup from that rather than cardboard. Largely because I also needed to play with the materials, and this gave me an opportunity to do both.

Boat mockup with lightI couldn’t find a clip light, so I stuck two maglights under the boat to check out it’s qualities as a lamp.

Overall my conclusions were:

  1. I think want the material to be more opaque, or I want to put a diffusion gel on the lamp.
  2. You can’t score this stuff, or it will crack. But, you can bend it and it will hold the crease without breaking
  3. Easiest way to have the boat fit under the playboard is to lay it on its side. Having the pieces collapse works, but makes the boat jiggly.
Bubblewrap coil
If the El wire isn’t in the equation, Jane and I both prefer the bubblewrap. She’s wrapping it with the bubbles on the exterior, which looks really great.
Bubblewrap coil on table
This is one of the short coils. We are tappering the spiral, which is different from the way you approached the McCarter harpy.

Batting coilWe tried cling wrap to hold the batting in. Not a good plan. It’s easy, because it sticks to itself. Which is bad when you try to move the puppet.

Batting coil on tableWe didn’t finish putting the batting on this one. Jane suggests trying the small bubble wrap on top of the batting as a compromise. Really, we won’t know anything until we get the EL wire in there.

Hi ho, hi ho…

Rob and I made sushi today, which is our New Year’s tradition. I’m off to work on the boat for a wedding, which will be the first time in years that I’ve stayed up until midnight. I’m strangely looking forward to it.

Happy New Year!

Reading Aloud: Singing while sick

I have a mild cold that I picked up from the germ factories that come aboard the boat to meet the Cinnamon Bear. It’s not bad, just a scratchy throat and fatigue–although I suppose the fatigue comes from other sources. Anyway, we carol as people are boarding. I enjoy this even though I’m scantily dressed in a fairy costume. What’s interesting about the way my voice functions when ill is that I lose my mid-range.

My speaking voice drops, but usually my head voice stays more or less clear. I can’t blend the two ranges at all. Now, this is a problem if I’m trying to belt Christmas Carols, (which uses the chest voice and blending) so I dealt with it by jumping up to my upper end and avoiding the midrange. So here’s me, speaking a couple of steps lower than normal, and then singing high soprano because that’s the only sound I’ve got reliable available. It’s useful to know how one’s voice behaves when sick.

Next time you have a cold, I want you to hum through your range. Start at the low end and hum up to the high end, then back down. Now, with me, my voice drops out on the way up the scale, and then comes back again. On the way down, I have more notes. It usually happens this way for me. I’ve been able to use this to compete, perform or audition by either picking pieces that fit the “sick” range or by adapting the work that I doing.

For a reading, I pitch my narrator higher than usual, to get above my dead zone. I save my suddenly deep low end for the male characters. It’s the only time I can really do a convincing male voice. I’ve always wished I were an alto because of that. It seems like it would be sooooo much more useful for voice work.

What does your voice do when you’re sick?

A little fairy

I didn’t have to be on the boat until late afternoon, so I spent the morning singing and trying to sound like I was a two-year old fairy. Thankfully, Rob was out of the house otherwise I think the cuteness factor might have sent him over the edge.

Busy, busy

Rob has an audio gig for the next couple of days and between that and my shifts on the boat we’re only seeing each other on the way to bed.

Speaking of which…

A little bit of everything

Let’s see. I finished up the last of the front elevations for Arabian Nights set today. Worked on the boat and did a tiny bit of gardening.

It also looks like I’ve picked up two gigs for 2007. Nothing like planning ahead, eh? One is a directing gig in Canada and the other is a design gig in Portland. Ah, lovely.

What can I tell you?

Sorry, the last couple of days I worked on the boat, read and wrote.

Rob came home from IPNC, which is wonderful, but due to our schedules, we still didn’t see much of each other yesterday. Tonight we went out to dinner. A date night is always a good thing.

Portland Spirit

I worked for the first time in about a year for the Portland Spirit. I wasn’t on the Spirit itself, but on the Willamette Star, which is one of the small boats in the fleet. I was a waitress for an Eastern Orthodox wedding reception. It was a long, exhausting day in no small part because everyone spoke Russian. It gave me a small taste of what it will be like to work in a foreign country.

I came home and Rob rubbed my poor, tired feet. I actually fell completely asleep while he was massaging them.

Dad’s London Adventure

As a change, I thought I’d share a letter from my dad about my folks recent trip to London to visit my brother, Steve.

London May-June 2005 highlights.

Dear Mary,
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp We arrived on Saturday morning and Steve was visiting with Josh out at the airport so we just hung out at Steve’s place and did some housecleaning and took a nap.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Steve came home around 10 or 11 pm and I was watching a cricket match on TV and he got all upset that I would do something so un-American in his house.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Sunday we just went pub hopping and looked for an Irish session that I had found out about on the internet. We found it at the Porterhouse pub and it was wonderful indeed. They told me of another one (with roughly the same people) that was happening on Thursday at a pub named the “Narrowboat.� The days run together even while they are happening, so to look back at them is a mess. One evening Marilyn found a police line and a lot of well dressed people (tux and fancy gowns) arriving at the Royal Opera House so she staked herself out there to see who might show up that was famous. It turned out that it was the Centennial celebration for the Chelsea football club and these were old timers showing up.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp I think Tuesday night we went to see “The Producers� and it was a hoot. The accountant’s voice got tired in the last scene or two, but other than that it was fabulous.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Tuesday we took a day tour of Oxford, Stratford and Warwick. The tour guide was wonderful and talked a blue streak the whole way to Oxford and then had the gall to say that the tour guide we would pick up in Oxford would be really talkative. She was certainly that, but just couldn’t hold a candle to him if there were a contest for being talkative. Oxford had lots of places where Harry Potter was filmed.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp We also visited some other Harry Potter locations on Wednesday. Stratford on the Avon was a quaint town, and Shakespeare’s birthplace was restored and made into a museum. It is not where he wrote his plays as it was really his father’s house. He lived somewhere else in town but since he was a contemporary, nobody thought it worth saving apparently.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Then we went to Warwick castle, the best preserved medieval castle in all of England. This is the place to take children (like me). There were walls and towers and dungeons and torture chambers and a power plant where they installed their own electric generator in 1900 keeping up with the times. It is owned by some entertainment company that has a famous wax museum in London so the state rooms had appropriate wax figures in them.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp On Wednesday we went to Bath and some little town I can’t remember the name of, but which is owned by the historic trust. It is something like Williamsburg, except older. You are only allowed to move into the town if you had a grandparent that lived there. This is where some Harry Potter scenes were shot. We finished up the day by going to Stonehenge. The tour guide for this trip was not nearly as good as the one on the day previous, but he was still good enough. Bath was the highlight of this day trip.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp On Thursday, Steve had to work so instead of going out to see the sights of London, we cleaned house again. Thursday night we went out to find the Narrowboat and the session. We found it and except for it being so far from Steve’s place, it was my favorite pub of them all. Of course the experience was enhanced for me because the fiddler let me play her fiddle for several tunes.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp The Narrowboat was the 101st pub that Steve has visited since he has been in London. He is not counting a second visit to a pub in his count.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp That doesn’t look like we did as much as it felt like we did so I’ve probably left out something really important. Ask your mother and Steve to fill in the missing parts.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Love,
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Dad