We finish up our conversation with Jen McClure, the properties master at Yale Repertory Theatre. She tells us her favorite materials to build props with, what she needs from stage managers, and why she never uses Gorilla Glue.
Below is a transcript of this episode, edited for readability.
ASHLEY: Welcome back to Silk Flowers and…
ERIC: Papier Mache Hearts.
ASHLEY: Today, we will be wrapping up our conversation with Jen McClure.
ERIC: This is your host, Eric Hart.
ASHLEY: And I’m your other host, Ashley Flowers.
ERIC: Alright, Jen! Yeah, let’s start off talking about the fun stuff. Prop building. What is your favorite prop you’ve ever built? Go! [ASHLEY: (laughs)]
JEN: God… it really puts me on the spot. I think probably the thing I am most proud of are the things that are really realistic. So, I might have two. There were two silicon heads that we had to make for a production of Caucasion Chalk Circle a couple of years ago, and they wanted to be decapitated heads, and they had to look like the actors in the show — they were two different actors. I really like mold making and I really like live casting and that kind of thing. But we wanted the actors’ faces to have their eyes open and their mouths open… You can do that from a live cast, but you also have to sometimes cast the actor and then sculpt the new thing, and then make another mold and that kind of thing. So, instead I was like, ‘I think I can just take really good pictures and I can just sculpt their faces. Let’s just give that a go.’ And I was like… I haven’t done a lot of really intricate sculpting since college, and so I had it then, so let’s see how this goes, twelve years later. [chuckles] Let’s give it a shot. I think they turned out pretty darn good. I don’t have a website or anything because I’m terrible, but maybe someday I’ll be able to give you pictures…
ERIC: What were you sculpting them out of?
JEN: So I sculpted them out of… I did a couple of… I did one thing wrong, and I did it the bad way, so I started over and did it a good way. So I thought that I could do it kind of fast by starting with a Styrofoam head instead of having to build the entire inner structure up, and then I started with using just Epoxy Putty. I forget if I was using either the Free Form Air, or Magic Sculpt, it was one of them at the time.
ASHLEY: I think it was Magic Sculpt, because I remember the color of it.
JEN: Yeah, I was using one of those, but you know it takes a while to kind of work overall, to sculpt on a head to get it right, and so I’d work on it for a while and it was sort of harden, and then I’d go to another part and this just isn’t looking right. I kind of worked on it for two days and just really wasn’t happy with where it was going. But the thing was, if I could have done that first, I wouldn’t have had to make a mold later on. So that was what I was trying to do. I was trying to just have that be the final thing and save myself some time on the molding end and on the painting end. But it just wasn’t looking very good, so I was like, ‘We’re starting over.’ So I sculpted them out of plasticine clay so that it wouldn’t dry out. And that way I was able to kind of work on them — I would work on one and then work on the other, and then kind of try to go back and forth. I still sometimes see both of those actor’s faces in my sleep [ASHLEY: (laughs)] because I stared at their faces for so long. It was interesting, too, because there would be things that I couldn’t see that then I would have to ask other people when they came into the shop, like, “Look at this picture and look at this head. What do you see that’s not right?” [ERIC: Mhm.] You know, I got a little bit fixated on trying to take the measurements off the drawing and off different parts of it… I made these at the time when my previous boss was still there. So I was still the assistant, so I had some actual time to work on them instead of having to be in charge all the time. [ASHLEY: (laughs)] At the time, my husband was also overhiring in our shop a little bit, and so he kind of popped in — we went to art school together, and so he’s kind of like my–my greatest critic because he knows what I need to hear. And so, he’d be like, ‘Well, it’s just that the eye isn’t in the right spot. The eye is just wrong.’ And I was like, “But the measurement is right.” He’s like, “If it looks wrong, it’s wrong. I don’t care what the number– what the measurement is, if it looks wrong, it’s wrong.” And I was like, “Oh, okay.” I realized I had to work for a few hours and then step away, and then come back and give myself a little bit of time to see where the wrongness was, which I think sometimes happens to a lot of us where we get bogged down, being really close to the thing and not stepping away and kind of seeing, oh, where the faults of the thing are. But yeah, so they came out really well. So I sculpted them and made a silicone mold, like a negative from that, and then was able to make a Dragon Skin, Smooth-On product skin from that. I kind of painted the skin in, and then just shoved the Styrofoam head in the back of it, so that I didn’t need to make it full silicone, because I still didn’t want it to be super heavy. So that was good, because it was able to kind of bond to that Styrofoam head, instead of making a skin and taking it out and stretching it, having it kind of be not right. Then, I hadn’t really ever painted with silicone paints before. So I watched a tutorial on how to do it, and kind of went for it, and did it, and they came out pretty darn good. But I hadn’t done that type of silicone painting before, which was definitely kind of like a super learning experience. Those were really fun. And then one of the other things that I’m pretty proud of is — I had to make our tortoise, our turtle for Arcadia, and that guy lives in my office. He’s pretty great. We bought a shell that we used first, so that was really nice, that I kind of had a thing to base the rest of the proportions and things off of. I just made the head and the legs… kind of just played with a bunch of techniques for how to get it … but I feel like out of the both of those projects, I learned a lot, as well, about how to do things so I think that’s a fun thing to — what I kind of get out of ‘what’s my favorite prop,’ it’s like, what did I learn the most doing.
ASHLEY: What would you say your most challenging prop has been that you’ve had to build, and how did you kind of figure it out?
JEN: Hmm. When we did Arcadia, there were these weird… they wanted what you’d call DaVinci’s platonic solids that were on the table.. They’re like weird wire frame things that are really angular. You could have probably bought them, but I wanted to try to make one. It had so many compound angles, so I had to try to.. I spent probably three days cutting the pieces, trying an angle and assembling it and being like, no that’s not right, and then go back and have to make everything like, one degree less or different. You know, now, 3D printers. (laughs) [ASHLEY: (laughs)] [ERIC: Mmm.] But there was a lot of fun math that I got to figure out off of that. So those are fun. I think the other thing… The thing that’s a challenge to me are the things that come up late in the process. That’s when the challenge really starts to come, is like– I don’t want to say ‘half-baked’ idea, but an idea that wasn’t fully fleshed out in budgeting and comes back, and then gets really tricky. (to Ashley) I forget if this is when you were an intern or when you came back for overhire when we worked on The Moors. Were you a student, or..?
ASHLEY: Oh yeah, I remember that. (laughs)
JEN: Yeah, so we were doing a new play called The Moors, and it has a big death scene at the end where they just wanted blood, blood, blood everywhere. But there had never been a really good description of what this wanted to be. And then when we were kind of figuring it out, late in rehearsal… the fight choreographer came up with the idea of adding in a whole bunch of elements that hadn’t ever really been talked about before. Like, “We can just tear open the back of the chair [ERIC: Oh, great.] and the actors can stick their head inside the chair, and that’ll protect her head while the blood is happening, and then the other woman can like, bash the back of the chair with this thing and that way the other actress is protected” and I was like, “That’s not great. We haven’t done any of that stuff.” So there was a lot of scrambling of us trying to figure stuff up, and Ashley and I had to set up kind of a big blood station in the lounge of the theater [ASHLEY: It was insane.] and just do a whole bunch of weird spray tests. It had… the tricky thing about it was it had a bunch of things that it had to do. So it’s like, they had to hit one actress with a breakaway vase and there had to be blood on the front of the chair. And then the actress moves to the back of the chair and she gets hit with one of the little sort of fireplace shovels, and then one actress hits the floor and the other actress keeps just slamming what we think is the main actress, but is actually a plate on the back of the chair, and then there wanted to be blood squirting from the alleged body onto that actress with every time she landed on the chair. So it was just– because, again, it came up so late, there wasn’t the option of, like, having a pneumatic system in the trap room, or.. And there was a lot of, like, travelling scenery that we would have gotten in the way of, so we could have solved this really easily if we could have just had a pump in the basement [ERIC: Mhm.] you know, but that was a way late addition. So there was like a whole inner weird thing in the inside of the chair the actress had to kind of crawl into and like, she squeezed a bag every time that it was like she got hit, and then there was funny tubes that we had to dial in the direction of how the squirt was happening, how that stream came out. I mean, we had taken a tube — Ashley kind of made a whole bunch of different tubes that were cut and sewn together and had a whole bunch of different types of spray shapes that we had to try to do. And this was all during tech, so that was the kind of scary thing, too. We only had a couple of chances to try it, and every time it was getting there, and getting there. It’s hard in those situations because you don’t want to hold the show up, and you can tell that everybody’s kind of frustrated a little bit that it doesn’t look exactly the way they want it to look, but the only way to figure out how it can look is by trying it, you know. [ASHLEY: Yeah.] It’s just those kinds of things that are tricky to prepare for. But it wound up working pretty well in the end. And then we had to throw that chair out because the inside was covered in blood. (laughs)
ERIC: Mmmm. Sounds like a good show to bring the kids to. [ASHLEY: (laughs) Exactly.] [JEN: (laughs) Exactly, yeah.] So what are some of your favorite materials to use when building props?
JEN: I really like mold making, and I really like to try to get any of those techniques into anything that we can do. And anytime that there’s a new product, I’m like, ‘How can we weasel in getting to try this?’ you know, for the next thing. So really, what I think it comes back to is any chance I get to use a little bit of my fine art training in things. So I really like carving things out of foam. I really like all those mold making materials. I really like, yeah, if we get to do carving and that kind of thing. I really wish I had the opportunity to do more metalwork and welding cause I did a lot of that in college. Any little chance that I get, when, like, we broke one of our tables loading it in for our final show this season, and I was like, ‘We’re going to take it back to the shop and I’m just going to weld it.’ I was like, I’ll fix it, I broke it, it’s my fault. But really it was, like, I just want to go down and weld something for an hour. (laughs) [ASHLEY: (laughs)] Any of those … I really like a lot of the crafty things, I think… I mean, I like sewing, but I don’t think I could do it forever. And I like carpentry, and I.. but for some reason, I just can never get things to be perfect when I’m making them–you know, if the saws aren’t perfectly calibrated, or things are just a little bit off square – That’s frustrating to me. So there’s a little bit more.. You want perfection from those things, when they’re really fancy tools, and when you don’t get it, that frustrates me. (laughs)
[ASHLEY: I agree.] So the things that are a little bit more freeform are the things that I feel like I can have [ERIC: Right.] the opportunities to make those mistakes and still have something look pretty good.
ERIC: Mhm. Do you have a good art supply store in New Haven, or do you have to kind of order the stuff online?
JEN: Yeah, so we have a couple of good, little shops that are in town. What’s really fortunate is that because we’re in a college town, and there is an art program at the school, there’s two actual art suppliers. So we have a sort of local, family run store, and then we have an Artist and Craftsman Supply that are both within walking distance. And then we have Michael’s and JoAnn’s and Hobby Lobby and all of those within maybe a ten minute drive, so that’s pretty great. You know, our Reynolds Advanced Material supplier who supplies us with all the Smooth-On products, they’re just in Boston, so if you order something by maybe four o’clock, it’ll be– it’ll get to you the next day, which is pretty great. So we can make really, on the fly hey let’s try this thing, we can get the supplies in two days [ERIC: Mhm.] which is really fortunate. But I really like it, and I try to encourage both the students and the staff to really try different things. Don’t get stuck in the thing that you’ve always done. You know that somethings going to work, but hey, there’s this new other product that might work just the same so let’s try that this time and see what the difference is, and maybe it’s better or maybe it’s not better, but why not. Why not try it, try a different thing. And any time the students kind of come to me, and I try to encourage this in the staff too, like, looking for answer, how do I fix this thing, how do I solve this problem, I don’t always give them, like, ‘here’s the answer’ I’m like, well, here’s like three things, but one of those is the way that I would do it, but the other way is the way that I would suggest to someone who has never used this product because the way that I’m suggesting might require a little bit more knowledge about the thing, so here’s kind of the quick and dirty way to do it, but then also, here’s like a weird way that I haven’t ever tried, but maybe try that. And sometimes the students, you can tell that they’re kind of like, ‘Ugh, I just wanted the answer.’ (laughs) But that’s not the answer. The answer is you gotta try a thing.
ASHLEY: Are there any materials that you have used that you just don’t want to use again, you had so much problem with, just not your favorite?
JEN: So Ashley knows that I’m going to make some… I’ll probably divide the prop community with what I’m about to say. [ERIC: Oh, no.] But I really hate Gorilla Glue. [ERIC: Oohhh.] I don’t like Gorilla Glue. [ASHLEY: We don’t keep that in our shop.] Yeah. I haven’t actually used it very much, but the amount of furniture that has come into our shop that we’ve had to repair that I can see the joints have been repaired by someone else with Gorilla Glue is frustrating. [ERIC: Right, no, that’s fair. I, yeah.] I know that they have a pretty big product line. I wouldn’t be totally against trying to look at some of the other ones, but I think what I don’t like about it is that it gets foamy and it can tend to push joints apart when you want stuff to stay really tight. I’m sure it has its place when you don’t have a tight joint and you need something to fill. But yeah, I feel like that the fact that the joint is so foamy and airy makes it actually more brittle, and then tends to break over and over again. Plus it gets all yellow, and it foams out the joint, and like, it’s hard to clean up and it never looks super good. So that’s my big “I don’t like it”.
ERIC: Yeah, I always hate… it’s always like the run crew finds the bottle of Gorilla Glue and repairs absolutely everything with it. And I think it does have its uses, and furniture repair is not one of those uses. [ASHLEY: Mhm. Mhm.]
JEN: Yeah, so you know, when I… I understand that sometimes something breaks and you’ve gotta fix it quick and I will fully admit, especially in summer stock, I did the thing where a chair leg was broken and I brought it back and shot a few brad nails into it, put it back on stage, and probably wasn’t the best thing to do. Um, you know, so… I try to encourage people… we try to have in our shop… to have backups. So then, if something broke, we can swap a thing in and be able to fix it the right way instead of trying to kind of do a quick fix. But, you know, it happens and sometimes you gotta do it. I understand it, but it’s my big no-no. [ASHLEY: (laughs)] [ERIC: Right.] I don’t think there’s much else that I don’t like and won’t try. I’m not a super big fan of bead foam. I would prefer to use kind of like the denser insulation foam, and that kind of stuff. But I also know that if you needed a big block, you can get bead foam in one foot by one foot by one foot cube instead of having to laminate a bunch of stuff together. But I think that it’s a little more messy, and it’s hard to kind of get rid of that beady texture on the surface. But I mean, you can do it, you can work at it and get used to it and get rid of it. But if I’m doing something small and it’s a two inch piece of foam, I’d rather buy insulation foam [ASHLEY: Yeah.] [ERIC: Mhm.] than the bead foam. Also because you can just get it easier. You know, I don’t have to go to a weird supplier, I can just run to Home Depot and get that.
ERIC: What are some materials or techniques you haven’t used that you’ve been wanting to try?
JEN: I haven’t been super up on all the new, sort of electronic things that are helping us. So I’m really interested in 3D printers, but I just haven’t had the time to get used to software and how to use them, and then be able to kind of play with them. I’m really interested in Arduino technology and what those can do. And that kind of goes back to like, interesting use with puppets or movable, mechanical sculptures that you can kind of have small motors in, and that kind of stuff that I wish that I had a little bit more tinkering time to play with that stuff. Then there’s a few, bigger mold material things that I’m interested in. But I mean, they aren’t really going to come into play with like theater use. Smooth-On has a whole big line now of concrete molding products that I’m like, “Well … maybe I just need to make some concrete sculptures for my yard.” [ERIC: Mhm.] [ASHLEY: (laughs)] Instead of, you know… (laughs) I find that winds up happening a lot, where, if I’m not getting to be creative, or — I shouldn’t say not creative — If I’m not getting to get my hands dirty as much at work, being able to turn that into doing weird stuff at my house, that has been fulfilling. Yeah, so our house is kinda, kooky. We wind up doing some weird stuff just to get our creative itches out here. (laughs)
ASHLEY: (laughs) So, do you think majoring in sculpture has really helped you as a props master or as an artisan?
JEN: I think it definitely helped me as an artisan. I’m not sure if, specifically, as a props master. But definitely as an artisan, as a craftsperson, you know I had to do a lot of… We took classes in just shape and form, and sort of how things sort of relate to each other. I mean, that goes a lot with just looking at the shapes of things. The bigger thing that just going to art school in general helped me with is just being able to talk to designers and directors. Learning how to get those artistic terms out there, but also to understand what exactly they’re saying but then how to narrow them down, and to realize that how one person might say, “I want this to be red,” and how red means a lot of different things. So knowing that people see that differently, and interpret that in a certain way, makes me then be able to ask those more in-depth questions of, “Well, here’s a bunch of reds. What do you want to signify? What is the meaning of that?” I also think just having to go through artistic critiques for my projects in school [ERIC: Mhm.] was a super valuable thing for then being able to give critiques to students, but also just a super valuable thing for life to make me able to validate the choices that I’ve made. You know? Not just on theater, like why did you like that movie? Why do you buy those clothes? Why do you do that? You know, the answer isn’t just, “Because, I like them?” It’s like, “Well, why? Why do you like them? Does it make you feel good? What does it do?” So, having all of that get pulled out of you in art school is a really valuable thing, and I think, unfortunately, I think not a lot of other people are getting. So then, when you give people criticism, they’re very, they can be sort of upset or offended or that kind of thing. And it’s like, well, if we can’t talk to each other and defend our choices… So, I’ve found when I’m trying to explain things to people in the shop, I — Ashley will vouch for this — that I tend to over explain things, I think, sometimes. But I’m always trying to remember, when I learned this for the first time, when was the moment that it *clicked* for me? You know? When was the moment, like, “Oh, now I understand why I’m doing that.” So, I find that if students can understand why you’re making choices, and why you’ve chosen that glue or why you’ve chosen that material, then they’re less likely to say, “Well, I want to do it this way.” Or “I want to do it that way.” So, if you start by saying, “We’re going to use this type of wood. We’re using Poplar instead of Pine, because of this…” Then they’re less likely to be like, “Well, I’ve used this before and I’ve done it this way…” But, yeah. So again, being able to justify all of your answers. And then that helps you during tech notes, you know, when somebody says, “Why is that thing not here yet? Why is that?” Being able to say, “This is why. We made the choice to not put that on stage tonight because we didn’t rehearse with it. We’re still working on that.” Just knowing why your brain is doing things has been pretty helpful. And I think it’s important specifically for interns who maybe have not ever done this before and need to know every single step, and need to understand why this product versus that — so I think that’s very helpful explaining as much as you know. [ASHLEY: Yeah, I know.] It’s a tricky situation trying to teach people, right, because sometimes you want to let them do a thing and make the mistakes and get there the same way you did. Making mistakes and failing is part of learning. So being handed everything might not always be the best way, but again, I’m kind of always remembering, well, when I did that the first time and then somebody told me at the end, “Well if you would have done this in the beginning…’ and it’s like, “Well, why didn’t you tell me that in the beginning?!” and then I could have done it and had my project be better. For some people, those things click. And for some, they don’t, and just to have that information would be way more helpful. So, I want people to move forward as fast as they can and get really good, and get better than me. Go and do it and get that information sooner. I didn’t go to grad school, I don’t have an M.F.A, so I kind of learned what I know now working for the past 15 years doing props. If I would have gone to grad school, I would have learned in three years what took me 10 or 11 years to learn.
ERIC: Cool. So going back to your communication with the designers. Do you get a chance to teach the set design students at Yale about what a prop master might need from them?
JEN: Well, we don’t have a specific class or class time that lets us do that, so I kind of have to take the opportunity to do that when we’re budgeting shows, and when the students are actually assigned to designing for us. Which gets a little tricky, because they’ve– usually by the time they get to the point of designing a rep show, have already designed a few other shows at the school, and may not have been given all these parameters by the other people as they’re moving along. I try to reach out to them before their design presentation actually happens when they’re still the design phase with the director, and remind them that I need a props list and I need research and I need for them to actually talk about the design and the environment we’re creating with the director, so they can start to understand what we’re going to need, and make those choices ahead of time. The tricky thing is just that— a lot of times when you’re trying to budget the show, there’s the big picture items that have a lot of money, right? It’s like, we need to figure out the lights, we need to figure out the sets, we need to figure out the costumes, but then the things that we’re going to pick up in the room are “I don’t know, we’ll just figure it out. I don’t know if it’s a cup or a bowl. We pick up something.” You know? So, it’s like, well that’s great, but what do we need to have available? Should it be a cup or a bowl or a plate, or should it be a dog? What is the thing that we pick up? I think that’s the tricky thing, and it depends on who’s kind of training the students as to if they’re being encouraged to do that by their faculty and I’m not sure if — it’s hard to say because I’m not in those classes — if that’s being communicated to them that they need to be doing this. I try to kind of head it off at the pass a little bit, and not just assume that they’re going to come with the information I need, but it can be a little tricky sometimes.
ASHLEY: So, I think we have time for one more question. And I know you have many thoughts on this question. [JEN: (laughs)]. Working with stage managers, I know sometimes we don’t get all the information we need. What is the information that you need that you don’t get?
JEN: Sure! [Ashley: (laughs)] I think the big things for us to get, to communicate with the stage managers, and — I’m not sure how many stage managers we have listening here, we can try to encourage them — A couple things: A – that we are there to help them and that we are their problem solvers. So, when notes come up and things arise that they don’t have to solve the problem. It’s better to state the problem, let us come up with a couple options for the solution, and we can work with them on the solution. But, as soon as somebody says, “We need this thing to attach to the table, can we put a magnet on it?” Well, okay that’s great but maybe a magnet won’t fit, or maybe a magnet isn’t the best idea, or maybe it should be Velcro, or maybe we could just do it with a little sticky something. But, you know, we have a whole bunch of tools in our toolbox to be able to throw at problems that I don’t expect stage managers to know about, and I don’t expect everybody to know about it. So, the same thing goes with every department. Sort of state with the issue is, we need when the glass gets put down for it to not move on the table, and then let us come up with a couple different ways to solve that problem and then work with you to fix it. But I also think it’s our job as props people to not get super stuck in there being only one way to solve a problem. Understanding that actors are all different, and the way that they’re acting with things is all different, and maybe the magnet works this time for this person, but it might not for the other person the next time. So, being careful when we’re posing those solutions that we, again, have a couple of different options. I think that’s important on our part, but important on the stage managers’ part to not try to get too bogged down in solving the problem for us. And then another thing is, we really need to know every little thing that happens. I think that sometimes the stage managers want to try to not get… have their rehearsal report not be super long, or they want to feel like they’re not burdening us with the information, or — I mean, I don’t want to think that they’re being lazy. I think it’s more that they’re trying to be concise. But we really, really need to know every little thing. I need to know if you’re stomping on the floor next to the table, because it means we’re going to have to secure everything on that table. We need to know if you’re sitting on the arm of the chair. Even if the chair you have is strong enough, we still need to know that. We need to know that you drop a pen on the ground, because even though that pen may not break, it might roll away, and it means that we need to have backups, so every little thing we really need to know. Because, also, you don’t want to show up and watch that last run-through in the room before tech and be super surprised by all the things that are happening. Which, unfortunately, happens more often than not. You know, it’s tricky for us too because our students are all stage managers as well, so I really have to remind myself that not only are the designers students, and our technical directors students, but our stage managers are students too. So, again, they might not know that that’s what they have to do. So, it does get a little tiring having to say every show, I know all these things, but I’m trying to just remember that we do have to do that every show. And we have to remind every one of them that we need to know everything, and it’s okay. I kind of try to make light of it and joke a little in production meetings, like, we win the rehearsal report game. We win the notes, because we have twenty notes and everybody else has like two, and it’s like, YES! Great! I love that! Please keep doing that. And the other thing about notes is just that we really need specific — if there’s a specific thing, we need to know it. Or we need to know why it’s specific. So, often, people will say, “Oh, we need a picture frame and it needs to be 3 ½” high by 9 ½” wide.” And it’s like, why? That’s such a weird size. That’s not standard. It’s just the fact that somebody held up their fingers and said, “I want it to be this big,” and somebody pulled out a tape measure and measured 3.75 by 6.8, and it’s like where did that number come from? But sometimes it’s like, that’s the size of the pocket or that’s the size of the drawer. So when it’s a specific thing, great, say that. But, when you give us a super weird size, we think we need to make a custom thing, but maybe it doesn’t have to be a custom thing. Maybe it just needs to be a little bit smaller or bigger than what you said. But then also, you know, “We need a book.” Well, what kind of book? Is it supposed to be a storybook? Is it a dictionary? Is it a bible? Give us a little bit of specifics. Trying to train the stage managers to know what questions we’re going to ask to anticipate a little bit of those specifics. “We wanna add a glass.” Well, what kind of glass? Is it a brandy glass, is it a water glass, is it a wine glass? What are we trying to say with the glass. But maybe, if they could anticipate some of those questions and ask that, then they could give us a little more information ahead of time. I think those are like, my big things. Just tell us everything. [ERIC: Mhm!] [ASHLEY: So true!] And also, come to the shop — if you’re able to come to the shop… like I know different theaters are different and the setups are different, and it’s super tricky if you’re rehearsing in New York in a rehearsal space and you can’t actually go to the space where things are being built, but if you are in close proximity, pop in there and look at things, because we might be working on something that you might have no idea that that’s what it looks like, and they’re like, oh, that’s what that is. Cool. Then they can kind of communicate that to the actors a little better, and then that helps us be less surprised on their part. Surprises are never good. Surprises are good for the audience. They’re not good for us. [ERIC: Right.] So, we wanna know what’s going on. (chuckles)
ASHLEY: Well, we’re at the end of this episode. Thank you so much for talking with us.
JEN: Thank you. This was wonderful.
ASHLEY: This has been Silk Flowers and….
ERIC: Papier Mache Hearts.
ASHLEY: If you have any questions or thoughts, you can email us at email@example.com. We also have a Twitter account if you’d like to follow us @silkmache.
ERIC: And we are on iTunes, so rate us and review us there. We’re also on Android podcasts, Google Play. And we’re your hosts, Eric Hart.
ASHLEY: And Ashley Flowers. We’ll see you next time.
Transcription by Victoria Ross.