Saturday, August 02, 2008

Progress and Mistakes

The last two weeks have been a grueling exercise to see how much work I can accomplish in a small window of time.

America's Grave needed to be rebuilt into a reusable structure, free from cardboard. That was last week. This week we were allowed into Arlington Arts Center to begin preparing the space. Step one: build the walls. Across both weeks, most nights I'd return home and paint for two to three hours after dinner.

My first job after graduate school was working as a carpenter's assistant during the week. With respect to the 20-foot by 8 foot wall I built this past week at AAC (with the help of a soon-to-matriculate college freshman assistant) - and to the 8 foot by 7 foot wall - I can never claim it is the most beautiful wall I have ever constructed. I can only assume Bill F (the boss, whose last name was always illegible on the check stubs) and Paul (the foreman) would have fired me. The mudding and taping is sloppy, with seams and corner bead still visible. But, painted black and in a dimly-lit space, most of those day-laboring blemishes should dissolve.

I'm still a day behind schedule, and need to carpet, install the lighting system, and "dig" the grave. So, the extra day of mudding had to go out the window. And, with the mud in the bucket (rather than 20-minute joint compound), there is much more drying time. Theater and carpentry are about illusion anyway. Shim it. Mask it. Fake it. As long as the disbelief is suspended and the wall doesn't fall down, who will know?

But I know I am tired and prone to making mistakes. The canary in the coal mine: I recently sent out an e-mail to a bunch of people to promote the work and forgot to bcc everyone. Half the recipients were cc'd. All I can do is shake my head and proclaim what a bonehead I am sometimes.

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