Okay, I really need to work on getting through the massive list that is the props for Chicago. Mind you, the ones in the original script, meaning it's all the shit used in the Fosse production with 3 fancy winches. I could do an entire post on how frustrating it is reading these stage directions, but I digress. The point is, I won't be catching up on the things I wanted to talk about that I learned from the summer because I have this massive list to take care of.
Just one more quick note before I get on to my epiphany, NEVER, and I mean NEVER, go off of the prop list in the back of scripts. Scanning it after you make your own from the script may help you catch something that you missed, but you really need to develop it from the script.
Now- My Epiphany of the Day
About a year ago, while making props list for my season at New London Barn Playhouse, I realized that I should initially record all props in the script so I can track something and know that it will be used again. This came from doing show lists months in advance and knowing I probably wouldn't remember these things after building 3 others shows before I got to the 4th one. (btw, this does mean, that I didn't even realize the need to do this until the 4th list for the season.) Prior to this, I had worked on one show at a time and didn't have the need to necessarily track such things.
ANYWAY, I initially tried color coding by using a background color to indicate the prop was listed above. It sort of worked, but you had to search the list, which becomes tedious with long lists.
Well, I started to notice the MASS amounts of tables and chairs indicated in the Chicago script and it dawned on me- NUMBER EACH PROP. Giving a prop a reference number makes it so much easier to note when it is listed before. I'm also finding it easier to keep things straight in the initial phases of laying out lists. I have a feeling it will also idiot proof things a little bit. Sometimes, I find when I'm talking through prop lists with directors I may double count something and have a mini freak out.
Okay, that's my epiphany of the day. Really, it's a silly one, but when I figure out a new way to arrange my lists, I get excited.
The next time I need a break from list making- probably in an hour or so- I'll do a blog about the many incarnations of my props lists. At least from what I have stored on my laptop.