Assist Yourself


Since I moved to New York City I have been resisting the standard path that most people in theatrical design take, which is doing a few shows here and then, and attaching yourself to an established designer as an assistant to learn the biz. Everyone always warns you, "Don't assist for too long." The danger is that you miss the window of becoming your own person and just end up as an assistant for the rest of your career. I had been getting good work and making a living without ever having gone the assistant route. The past year or two though I have felt as if I had hit the ceiling of what I can do on my own, so when the opportunity came to assist on this tour I jumped on it. First off let me just say what a joy it is to work on a show without terrible budget constraints again. After 3 years of doing shows with $250 budgets it's nice to be able to design unfettered without having to worry where I am going to get something. I already know that this was the right decision, in the past two weeks I have done things that I never had to do in my freelance life before. Sending proposals for bid out to a scene shop, creating breakdowns on a design to be sure that it will all fit in a transfer truck, etc. etc. Basically all of the things that they talk about in grad school but never really give you practical experience on. I'm supposed to be in this shop for 6 weeks. Everyone here tells me that they were given the 6 weeks line when they were hired as well, and some of them have been here for years. Would I stay that long? I dunno. It's tempting. Steady pay, benefits. But it is still doing other people's work, and not so much my own, so we'll see how long it takes for me to get restless. For now though... I'm happy as the Assistant Designer.

2 Response to "Assist Yourself"

  • Bonny Says:

    Hi Cully! Good to hear from you!! Wondered where you'd got yourself off to... Great to hear about the new job opportunity you've found. It all sounds so very exciting, but I know from your previous descriptions it's more hard work than the glamourous life we think it is.
    As for the new Love interest, that's great, too! Nothing better than being in love, especially at this time of the year!
    Great to see you back again. Have a great weekend!

    Bonny in BC


  • aPugsLife-laserone Says:

    Love this sketch! Good luck w/ the assistantship! (is that a word? lol)