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Stage fright by Niall O'Donovan
 

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  • I work for a theatre.
    I'm not a dancer. Nor a singer.
    I couldn't act to save my life.
    And anyway stage-fright would get the better of me.

    I'm a pretty good whistler though.
    But whistling on stage is just NOT DONE.
    It's an old theatre superstition going back to the times when theatre-hands used to be retired sailors who literally knew the ropes, and scene changes and cues were given using diferent whistles. So you didn't want someone walking around whistling a pretty ditty messing up your important scene change like some deus ex machina.

    No, you will find me back-stage.
    I'm more a behind-the-scenes man. Actually a scenery man.
    I work as a scenic painter.
    A whistling scenic painter.

    To paint a back-cloth for the theatre we use a single piece of cotton fabric (thus, no seams) measuring 24 x 12 metres.
    That's a little larger than a tennis court (doubles). That's a lot of cloth.
    Anything smaller than that we call a handkerchief.

    And then there the tools of my trade:

    A bucket of 'half-pounders': sharp, galvanized uphoulstery nails
    hammer
    ball of string
    30 mt measuring tape
    5 mt measuring tape
    3 mt straight rule
    drawing stick; preferably bamboe, with split ends to accept charcoal
    box of medium charcoal sticks
    'slobber': large block brush
    miscellaneous paint brushes
    scaling ruler
    scaled and gridded copy of the work to be painted
    Lots of paint

    Oh yes.
    And patience.

    Lots and lots of patience


    What are the tools of your trade?
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