Sometimes in life you need to remember people you hate and admit the fact that they have influenced you in some positive way; this is one of those times. Without naming names (because this person deserves no credit beyond a story) I want to discuss an idea that came from an intense and almost psychopathic discussion I had very early in my career. It was late, a night or 2 before opening and I found that the props master on our show was working diligently on the props trying to get them finished as I was trying to get the set and rigging dialed in and safe. Upon further inspection, I realized that the props he was working on had been cut a long time ago in the rehearsal process and were no longer needed. As the one who would be having his career cut short I felt responsible to try to get this individual on track and the props finished that were being used. This turned into a near physical altercation between him and I based on the idea that even though they were not being used they were still as important because they were important at one time and just because they were not being used they did not lose their importance as new born objects, as part of the history of the production. I understand that not everybody understands the world of theater and the importance of opening night in the minds of the designers and the technicians. Opening night is the point where our job is usually over and our once important roles (and sometimes our names) get loosely forgotten and replaced by the people and stuff that the audience can see and hear. What I was taking part in that night was an artist working in theater who lacked the ability to separate himself from his process and his role. Too connected to his work that he forgot what his work was for. As one who makes temporary things for a living but makes archival tangible objects as my personal work I have always quietly appreciated his idea that these objects have a life just as strong and beautiful as any piece of artwork and the temporary importance should and can be long lasting beyond what famous person may have used them or what famous director may have requested them.
My name is Michael Darling and I work as a sculptor, technical designer, fabricator, and teacher in theater, film, television and themed environments. Professionally I reside in the background making things appear to be what they are though sometimes they are not.