This topic has 23 replies, 18 voices, and was last updated 5 years, 4 months ago by Anonymous.

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  • #15106

    Something about how missed spots in a layer of paint are called “holidays” because the painter isn’t doing their job.

      • Experience: 10-15 years
      • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

      Tammy wrote:

      My absolute favorite thing that hits my buttons is when I am in the midst of a paint technique like step 2 or 3 out of 10, and the director, costume designer, TD, a number of carpenters, etc. walk by and say “is that what is going to look like?” 😈

      LOL or before it even been touched at all. I told a student director the other day that they would save themselves a lifetime of snide comments behind their backs if they never ask if the blonde wood is “going to stay that way”.

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       Nicole Deibert
        • Experience: 20+ years
        • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

        When designers use non-English words or movements to describe what kind of finish they want. For example: “Can you make the finish more smurbily?”. Or: “The floor looks good, but can you make the finish more [moves arms together in a forward wave motion]?”

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         Nicole Deibert
          • Experience: 20+ years
          • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

          Also, when designers provide you internet images or a bad rendering and say “can you make it look like this, but better?” Or “I like this tiny little corner of this reference picture, but can you paint the whole set to look just like that?”

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          When I worked for a big scenery studio studio, I frequently was assigned to one particular art director who would use terms like, “peachy warmish” or (my favorite) “banana faux”.


          These are all gems.

          My favorite so far was completing a couple layers of wood graining on a huge raked platform, sealing it, and coming in the following day for notes to find that there was a solid 1″ gap between the two platforms after carpentry finished adjusting things, to which the Director, Stage Manager, and Designer asked “Can we cover this with paint?” I was on maybe 3 hours of sleep, picked up a can of paint, set it on top of the gap and said “This is how you cover it with paint…”

          They eventually jammed a countless amount of shims into the gap to make up for the gap. No idea how someone didn’t end up tripping.

            • Experience: 0-5 years
            • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

            Painting spikes for a musical when people are still wandering around the deck:

              • Experience: 5-10 years
              • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

              Having nightmares about shows that have already opened and sometimes closed at theatres you don’t even work at anymore is a constant for me.


                I once painted a set to be the interior of a trailer home. I wasn’t given a true rendering, but a couple of paint swatches to choose between. So, I had my td get both, and did a rough blend on the wall, which looked the right kind of bad.

                Then, while trying to paint the rest of the set, I had to fight for answers to everything. (“What color do you want that?” “Oh, I don’t know…” “… … Here are some options.” “Ooo! That one!”) (“What do you want the floor to look like?” “Wood grain and concrete!” “What?” “Well, concrete ‘outside’ the ‘building’ and wood grain inside.” “Okay, what kind of wood grain?” “Oh you know, just a simple one.” “What. Kind. Of. Wood grain.” I ended up almost in tears to my td that night, who helped me paint the floor that we had no instructions on. Td’s response was “we’ll do this, and then we’ll never hire him again.”)

                Also, working nights. Finding “presents” the carpenters left you to paint, with no note as to what they are, or what color they go (being reprimanded the next morning for not painting them). Cussing out the carpenters (who aren’t there) almost constantly while dealing with how they left you things or how they built stuff or the mess they left for you to work around, and then seeing their bright & cheery faces in the morning.

                Being at the theatre far too late in the night, and you can only reach that one part of the set by standing on the top of a very tall ladder, that doesn’t quite fit in the space you need it to fit in. Doing it while praying (silently or vocally) to not fall to your doom. I personally have a song that I sing (“I am safe, I am safe,” sometimes to the tune of “I like to eat, eat, eat, apple and bananas”) that I sing while doing such unsafe things.

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