Another Piece of My Artistic Life


While living in New York (Long Island) I worked for a small studio that did independent creative jobs for both movies and broadway plays (both off broadway and on broadway). The toughest artistic job I did was recreating (by hand) a backdrop for a stage setting (the backdrop was large maybe 8m by 4.5m, hard to recall exactly but huge). I drew and then painted the famous Disney Castle.

This was challenging because of the size. (I received permission to use the floor of a two story mall when it was closed at night).

I used a grid approach making a grid over my small sketch, and then created the grid over the large cloth backdrop and did one section of grid at a time to replicate.

Then I painted the whole thing. As I was doing my work on the first floor of a large multi-storied mall, I would then race up to the second level and look over the railing to get an actual perspective of how the castle looked at a distance.

This worked well and I got a lot of exercise too, which helped keep me awake all night (tight deadline) – Lol!

The most fun I had in New York was attending my first opening night party for a Broadway show.

If you can imagine I showed up in a modest but tailored outfit (brushed suede, ivory in color) hopefully dressed well enough, because both the actors/actresses and the special guests –rich patrons who funded the show) were dressed to the nines. My hair was/is blonde, and at that time, very long and straight. I hung out with the stage crew and tried to look inconspicuous. All the glitz and glamour was quite overwhelming.

I must have looked okay because at one point a lady, obvious a rich patron, walked over to me with pen and paper in hand (ready to get an autograph) and asked me “Are you Someone?”

The director was nearby and became insulted on my behalf. He slipped an arm around me (he had never spoken to me before as I was just one of the many support people in the background during the production of the play) and said very loudly “Of course, she’s some one!”

I don’t think I’ll ever forget the indignation on his face (I pretty much just wanted to disappear into the floor at this point, lol))

But she asked and I gave her my autograph. It was funny and fun later that evening (when it was just cast and crew), I took quite a ribbing with everyone asking me how it felt to be “someone”. I loved working with and around all the creativity. It was great fun!

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed my post ~ remember to live in the moment, they make for great memories ~ Penny

50 thoughts on “Another Piece of My Artistic Life

    • Thanks Celestine I do appreciate your words. At the time this happened I was so far out of my league with all the newness, glitz and glamour (which I never cared for) that first it was overwhelming and after the fact – just funny to recall.
      How interesting (and sad) that some do view people in that way “A someone or not…” Still goes on a lot doesn’t it dear friend? I hope you and your family had a good weekend! 🙂

  1. Ah-h-h! My dear, Penny. . .what wonderful, awesome talents you have been gifted! Only been to NYC once in my life and did not have the chance to see much on a relatively short visit. One day. . .

  2. Wow! that’s some picture Penny 😉
    seriously though, that IS some picture to paint. I wouldn’t know where to start, plus I’m not a very good artist sadly.
    Great story about being “someone” Glad you made the most of it.. it happened to me once, I was asked who I was and for my autograph. I didn’t have the courage / cheek to pretend I was famous, so I said to the kid, ” you don’t want my autograph, I’m no one, not famous at all” .
    When I told this to one of the guys I was with ( who IS famous in the sporting world ) he said I that when the kid asked me who I was I should have asked him ” who do you think I am? ” and then signed away to my hearts content 😀
    Hope you and everyone is/ are ok, how is Christina I haven’t seen here around for a bit??
    love n hugs xxx

    • Thanks. I was lucky to have people around me to make the difference on my behalf, which helped a great deal. I like your story,
      I’m thinking that’s what I would have said also if left to myself at that time. Now I’d just laugh. 🙂
      Christina is fine but busy in the real world being a single parent. She is hopeful to free up some time soon so she can post again (she misses her online connections with people I think.
      she says “Hi and thank you for thinking of her!” Love and hugs from our family to yours Nick! xox

  3. So impressed Penny ! Wow gorgeous backdrop … and did you live on Long Island? You are soooo much a “someone” ~ crazy to be asked this! ~ wish you still lived here 🙂 x Love and Hugs ~ R

    • Hi Robyn, thanks. Garden City actually. Pain in the neck backdrop. But again thanks. I wish I did too, although the commute into the city was well … you know! Much love (and hugs) returned to you dear friend, xox

      • I lived over there during my college years! Attended Hofstra and lived on campus! What year were you there? Yes ~ not an easy commute – it’s that way from most spots in NY…The Mall must have been Roosevelt Field at the time? Such a small world!! xo

        • Indeed it is, well at the risk of seriously dating myself, I was part of the local back up creative team that worked with De Laurentiis when he did the New York scene of King Kong. Before you were there by a bit lol? Still a small world! xx

    • Yes he was. When we gathered at a restaurant after the party (we being cast and crew mostly) they had great fun treating me as “Someone” So I went into character, gosh it was fun then. (well okay a few drinks had happened also) I played a pretty good someone actually! lol, The restaurant mgr. even fussed over me thinking I really was “someone”. Sorry it is hard to take seriously, but a fun moment in my life! Thank you Rosy for your loving words and of course hugs and smiles, which I love! 🙂 xox

    • Thanks LuAnn, I was in my mid twenties and was totally out of any sort of comfort level in the surreal world that exists in the Theatre. But it was fun (actually the castle is a lot of straight lines so that wasn’t the hard part, just the size of it all!) and there were other really fun things I was a part of in the creative arena. Being front and centre not one of them, however. 🙂

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