Sunday, March 20, 2011

DRIP's Wet Run

It was late afternoon when paint can lids began to be hot glued to the central column. Jennifer Wagner stood on a tall ladder with the hot glue gun hard at work. For some reason one of the lids just refused to stick so that task was set aside.
After a cast lunch of delicious wraps and giant cookies, everyone was anxious to see if everything worked. Thomas was in charge of dumping a bucket of water on the stage floor to see how the drainage worked and to check for leaks. Sure enough leaks were found and silicone was applied along all the joints. Jennifer sealed all the seams of the vinyl curtains that surrounded the dancers stage. A big difference between the initial design and the final stage is that the paint and the tubing supplying the chandelier fountains all remained hidden under the stage and inside the central column. This streamlined the design.

With the sun setting in the west, the dancers came downstairs to rehearse. There was just enough time for one wet run. I did one last sketch of the performers inside the space. One of the stage techs told a dancer that the water was very warm, like 94 degrees. When the water showered down on her, she shrieked because it was freezing cold. As always the dancing was sensual, fun, and compelling. Within six short minutes the performance was over. Jessica Mariko wanted to get one run done with paint instead of water, but the dancers had to leave. Melissa Kasper, a long time "drippy" and the DRIP Assistant Workshop Manager, was asked if she would stand in for a dancer and she shouted, "Yes!" For her this was a dream come true and the remaining cast considered it "Epic!" I was asked to step inside as well but I didn't have a change of clothes. Melissa changed into a pair of jeans which were ironically cleaner than the paint splattered jeans she had worn all day. She had lost weight and these jeans were getting too loose. She stood under the yellow chandelier and was covered head to toe with bright yellow paint. The paint splattered everywhere coating the vinyl screen. The hardest part of her job became cleaning the vinyl using a towel and then getting on her hands and knees to scoop the thin paint into the drains with her cupped hands. The dancers will have to clean up four times on performance night since the show is repeated for separate audiences.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

1 comment:

Ley Ann said...

Wow, you've been working quite a lot! And the details for your piece is just remarkable. Do these people know you've painted them? I'm sure they'd appreciate the wonderful work you've done.