Letters to Holly

Tuesday, January 30

Day Thirty-Three: The Cast Gift

It's a theater tradition of giving tokens of respect to the cast and crew of a show. It can anything: roses, candy, mementos. Greenville Little Theatre had the great idea of shrinking down a show's poster and giving it laminated as fridge magnets. I have five from that company. The back of the magnets have a quote from the show. The Odd Couple magnet says "Nature didn't intend for poker to be be played that way." The Sound of Music magnet says "How do hold a moonbeam in your hand." I liked the idea so much that I wanted to continue the tradition even after I moved to other companies. But I didn't have a copy of the official Hot Roof poster. Fortunately, I'm a drawist. I just made my own.

I had thought about this for about a month now and sketched some ideas during rehearsal. I started off with a literal notion of a stylized cat on a roof and various forms of title logos. But it seemed a bit too on-the-nose, and I moved to items used during the show. The one thing seen throughout the production is Brick's alcohol, and it's the fundamental problem everyone works around. Maggie competes with it, Gooper and Mae depend on it, Big Daddy and Mama lament it. It made sense then that it would be prominent in the poster. That allowed me to put the title in the shadow of the glass to mirror Maggie's position. She's eclipsed by his dependency on booze. And sense she's the title character, well, this was too good a visual pun not to use. I also wanted to fill out the poster art with something suggesting the other characters, and I thought of the wedding rings. The play concerns three marriages in distinct conditions, and two rings would represent the spouses of each.

I needed the quote to complete the tradition. Fortunately, I had one immediately ready. The reverend is angling for a memorial gift for his church and spends his stage time talking about what other churches have gotten from wealthy widows. Gooper appears to direct him to something worth asking for: an air conditioner. When the reverend tries to change the subject during Act III, he goes right back to gifts and the Southern heat while complimenting his hosts: "I think this house is the coolest house in the Delta." Bingo. Out of context, the line salutes the cast and crew. That's my first and only choice for a magnet quote.

I took a photo at home of the a glass with iced tea to suggest a chilled liquor and drew it in Illustrator. I also took pics of rings and drew them. Then I made the logo fit inside the shadow and grabbed the theatre logo from their website. I made it approximately the same size as the previous magnets so it'll fit right in with them on the fridge.

I contacted a company the office works with and they were able to take my file as a PDF, print it, laminate it, cut it, and deliver it to me in an afternoon. When I got their after work, I discovered the lamination was shoddy on some cards, and they were redone. Right as I was leaving, and after I paid, I was informed they had charged me for re-laminating those shoddy cards. And that, ladies and gents, is how you lose business. I shan't go there when I do this for my next show. I then boogies over to Home Depot and found the exactly what I needed. Magnetic tape. This is surely the work of a highly civilized society. Yes, it's made in China. But my point is that it was something I didn't even know about but was searching for.

Got home, cut the tape, discovered laminate was coming off of a few cards again (doubling my conviction of taking my business elsewhere), and made the magnets in about 20 minutes. It looks right nice on the fridge. I'll give them out this weekend before a performance. I hope the theatre doesn't mind this cheek of making an unofficial poster, but then again, this is a great advertisement for me. If I can't be in a play, I could do the artwork for it.

Previous entries:
Day One: Reading It Through
Day Two: Act Two
Day Three: Reading Act Two
Day Four: Talking It Through
Day Five: Blocking Act Two
Day Six: Act Two Redux
Day Seven: Reading Act Three
Day Eight: The Da Gooper Code
Day Nine: The Laying On of Hands
Day Ten: Pictures and Pages
Day Eleven: Onstage
Day Twelve: Memory
Day Thirteen: The Quickie
Day Fourteen: The Lines
Day Fifteen: Act III Anxiety
Day Sixteen: Let's Just Get It Right
Day Seventeen: Molding the Gooper
Day Eighteen: Goopercalypse
Day Nineteen: There Is Not A Doctor In The House
Day Twenty: Back to Words
Day Twenty-One: Getting Technical
Day Twenty-Two: We're Ready When You Are
Day Twenty-Three: Socks
Day Twenty-Four: Our First Audience
Day Twenty-Five: Calamity
Day Twenty-Six: Opening Night
Day Twenty-Seven: Second Night
Day Twenty-Eight: The Show You Saw
Day Twenty-Nine: Brush-Up
Day Thirty: Back to Work
Day Thirty-One: A Spreading Plague
Day Thirty-Two: Cast Party

Picture of the Day
Why, it's a magnet. Made by ME.


Anonymous said...

That's a great looking theater poster/ fridge magnet! The cast'll be right pleased to get such a unique momento. Kudos to you, heygregory, and all of the artwork you've shared on the blog and in the back stage green room gallery, to boot.
Hey-- I just got an invite from UNC to interview. I have yet to figure out if it's a courtesy interview-- one they might give to all their alum that apply.

Gregory said...

Did they give you a date for the interview?

Anonymous said...

I have to overnight my secondary application to them, once they get it they'll set a date. They don't interview beyond Feb, so I guess I'm in the last group. Talked to admissions today, and they don't do courtesy interviews... so it was merit, baby!

Gregory said...

Of course, it was merit. Congrats to ye.