As a woman, the entire world is open to you. Never sell yourself short for lack of confidence and experience. Don’t be intimidated by a hostile environment. Do whatever you want in life. If you are a wife and mother and are happy with this role, so be it. If you have a professional career as a doctor or lawyer and can compete without stress, so be it. We all must fight some degree of misogyny from time to time, but we can prevail. I say, let’s stick together. That is one of the themes of this blog. I hope you enjoy my stories.
I am a set designer and for the most part, the theater is a safe world for women. Men are helpful and seldom envious. Everyone gets along. The environment is creative, dynamic, and challenging. I love my work. I have fostered many close friendships. We have something in common and bond during rehearsals and up to the last performance. We all hope to work together again someday. As a set designer, I hire the usual crew to erect the backdrops. They know what they are doing and can execute just what I need in any theater. Their reliability is invaluable and they know who is boss.
I have also become acquainted with a wonderful costume designer whose work I have admired for a long time. Here is one person I want to work with again on new projects. A few months ago, after the production was over, it was no problem to convince her to give me the top rated business backpack that was used as a prop during the show. It was donated by the manufacturer after we contacted them on Facebook. I loved it during the preparation of the play and throughout the individual performances. Now it could be mine. “Of course,” she purred. “You deserve it.”
I took the bag with glee and invited her to dinner. It was fun to discuss our various theatrical experiences and the directors and actors with whom we had worked. There was some overlap in our lives. The world of the theater is a close-knit group when you ply your trade in a community. Local talent is recruited which keeps people like me in business. I have traveled out of state to work on sets, but there are times when I prefer to stay close to home. The costume designer felt the same way. I admired her for her versatility and ability to work on so many time periods with ease. She gave me the same compliment.
I couldn’t resist pulling out my mobile phone and showing her my Instagram account. She immediately joined my Facebook page as a friend. I did likewise. We both had tons of photos. Hers included some memorabilia from past plays including period props that were irreplaceable. She had kept many in her personal collection. I wondered if she would regret the backpack. She read my mind and offered a sincere “no.” This was good news. I picked it up from the floor under our table, slung it over my shoulder, and hugged her goodbye.