Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Dear New York,
You are like a very hard nut. Difficult to crack but meaty, fatty, tasty, and substantial inside. You get stuck in my teeth and at the back of my throat.
Life here has been the emotional roller-coaster I have desired for so long. After having settled into Chicago like an old boot, I am finally back in high heels. Well maybe just a wedge shoe for now.
The transition went something like this: Working for free for a popular scenic designer to working for a normal wage for a fabric painter to working as a union stitcher to working as a tailor for an established fashion designer, all the while maintaining a relationship with a european opera designer and designing one show which will now not be produced any time soon. The costume designers who graduate from Hale say not to do anything except design if that is what you want to do. I moved here with that in mind, but this practice lasted for about a week.
I had insomnia for the first time in my life. A nasty stomach flu for longer than when I ate some bad food in the third world. Something I would never tell clients or employers is that I need what I do more than anything else. Making costumes or painting or working in a theater keeps me calm and patient and excited and sane. When I think about travel, I wonder if there will be anything where I'm going related to costumes or textiles.
But having given freelancing a few months and not doing anything too commital, it seems to agree with me. Realizing that people react to me with respect in most technical work environments has given me the confidence to pursue design that sitting at home waiting for it to happen never would have.
Population of NYC=8.5 million
Population of Chicago=3 million
Square miles of NYC=304
Square miles of Chicago=234
The city is dense and you can disappear and be noticed at the same time. It smells of grease and exhaust and I am falling back in love.
I am so exhausted that I am not writing well now. But maybe you can enjoy some renderings for the ballet that will not be produced (at least this year).