Monday, June 1, 2009

Random Thoughts.......oh no, without any photos!

I'm going to have to write an occasional "non visual" post since my photo supply is nearing the end of its run.  That doesn't mean the blog will end, but original set photos of  mine will.....unless that rumored "lost treasure" of possible photos are ever found.  Garrison Keillor only posts photos of himself and he seems to do ok.  We're both from Minnesota, after all, but I'm better looking--I think that's supposed to be "average" according to his monologue.

Saturday was my last 2 performances of "Mama Mia" after 3 weeks of literally very close working relationships with mostly naked men and almost naked women--not as erotic as it might sound as I was so busy getting them out of or into their clothes as fast as possible.  When it all ended on Saturday night with goodbyes and cards and hugs, as the line from a song in "Chorus Line" goes, "I felt nothing."  Ultimately, I was only Dresser # 5 dressing #16, #17, #18, #19 and #20 in the show which opens tomorrow in Reno and then weekly in other towns across America for more years to come.  It seemed like I should have felt something more, but I didn't.

Saturday morning before work, I had breakfast with "the woman who temporarily replaced the woman who replaced me on 'LOST'."  We had spoken on the phone and dumped on each other about our experiences on the show a few times, but had never met.  Sitting under the same Hau tree that Robert Louis Stevenson sat under 100+ years ago, we had a great breakfast overlooking the ocean at the Hau Tree Lanai.  It almost seemed irreverent to talk about our "LOST" experiences in such a beautiful setting.  Well, SOME of them were actually good!  Mostly it was just nice to sit and talk with another set decorator which surprisingly doesn't happen more than once every few years.  I had to laugh at our different upcoming potential work projects:  She is deciding between which of 2 series she has been asked to do.  I have only a rumor of a low budget possible movie this fall about children who fight space aliens with the only weapon that works.....snot!  Well, she was very nice, extremely good looking and she paid for breakfast!  That was a good start to the day that ended after 11 hours backstage in a windowless, black box of a theatre.  Well, at least the air conditioning was a comfort.
Tomorrow I call unemployment and see if I qualify for another round.  My ship has run aground more than once, but there's a full moon and high tide coming!  OMG, that was really terrible!  There must be some more Magnum photos here somewhere............


Anonymous said...

Hi Rick,

I enjoy your blog. Recently became a fan of Magnum again with channels like deja vue. This time, I started to appreciate the show for the production it was so your site has been the icing on the entertainment cake. Being from Canada, I just have to ask this question about the sets. Do the homes in Hawaii really have that many fireplaces? Do they use them? And, how about some of the wardrobes? Were people in the show dressed a little to heavy for Hawaii or I'm I just a crazy cold Canadian?

Magnum Decorator said...

Well, I was within 90 miles of being a Canadian in Northern Minnesota. It's funny, I grew up without a fireplace, but I have 2 of them in Hawaii!. In the teens and 20's, most of the larger homes here were designed by mainland architects. There was a sort of "Hearth and Home" attitude of the time and included them in many homes here as well. Obviously they weren't needed for heat or any other practical reasons, just the sort of "homey look" that stayed until the depression. My main stone fireplace as well as the first floor of my house was built by Portuguese stone masons who built many walls, terraces, and fireplaces in my valley in the 1920's. They actually built my house over boulders that go right into a stream--now there is a 40' stream setback for any construction. I have another smaller gas fireplace on my lowest floor (all built of stone) which helps to dry things out. So, as usual, I eventually get around to the answer, yes, many older homes here actually have fireplaces--especially those in the valleys and hills.

Contrary to what people think, it can and does get cool (even cold) here. Of course the tourists still wear shorts and tank tops in Waikiki while we are in pants and sweaters in January and February. This year we had 5 months of the coolest weather I ever remember and even used my fireplace for warmth! My sister visiting from Minnesota actually wore a sweater for the first time even though we grew up with -40 degrees.
It's funny that in old photos of Hawaii, women wore long dresses and men wore suit coats and there was no air conditioning. The only people who wear suit coats here are lawyers and they normally carry them outside the courtrooms. Even presidents of large corporations here only wear aloha shirts to work most of the time. I think Magnum dressed people in whatever appropriate clothing they thought necessary for the character without regard to comfort. It was more about the character than comfort necessarily. I think Agatha in tweeds would have been a bit much, though!
I wouldn't mind some of your Canadian weather here now. We went from unseasonably cold to the hottest May ever!
Aloha, Rick

Mike ( said...

You mentioned Lost, and I was kind of wondering, did yo work on the exterior sets (there were a lot of them) such as the beach shacks etc. and what special challenges did that show present. I know a lot of the sets needed to look old, and abandoned. Just thinking it might have presented a different challenge than the standard indoor sets.

Magnum Decorator said...

Hi Mike, To answer your questions: yes and yes. No, I haven't changed from long answers to short, but it gave me an idea on how to keep this blog going even without a lot of Magnum photos. Considering I was fired from "LOST" without reason or cause and lied to that they were going to have me back for season 4 and didn't, I think I can give a few stories about my time there 4 or 5 years ago without the $5 million fine! There are similar things to both shows that might be of interest. Other people have been emailing me with questions and I've been answering privately which could actually be posted on this blog instead. So if you don't mind, I will answer your question in my next posting. Doing another construction project at home--I'm good, I'm fast, and I can't beat my rates!

Marco said...


Yes, I would also appreciate the information about other shows. I have to say that this blog definitly broadened my interest in movie/TV show productions. What started as a just-Magnum interest expanded over the past months - thanks! Being off and on during the past weeks, I enjoyed the most recent posts and would love to hear more. A LOST rerun is about to start here and so I will tune in to follow possible references to the show's storyline etc. (YES; I have not seen a single show of it, yet! Mr. 80s TV will finally move to the current century as it seems :-))


Anonymous said...

just wondering if and when you might be posting drawings of the guest house? It would really be neat to see the dimensions of the set. You didn't by chance make the brass bell in Magnum's bedroom did you? I've thought about making me one to put in my study but can't be sure of the size of the bell or the inscription on it. Once need to write a book on the Magnum would sell...BIG. Thanks for any information.Would love to get ahold of some of those wardrobe guys as well to find a fe things from the show as well.If only the internet was around during those years!

dphoenixii said...

Hi Rick,
I miss the photo's and know you have pretty much run out. Yet, I also love the islands and the spirit of aloha.
How about putting up some photos of various beautiful spots from around the Island. If could be the awesome beaches, green mountains, downtown area's , etc. We could get our daily fix for the island lifestyle. Just an idea. P.S It sounds like you are building your own mini-Hearst Castle.

Magnum Decorator said...

I don't have any drawings of the soundstage or floorplans of any of the permanent sets. I sold what few floor plans I did have on eBay, but they were of various non-permanent sets. I am going to do a non-scale diagram (that won't be to scale) of the layout of the permanent sets on the soundstage. I don't actually know the dimensions of the sound stage, but I can at least indicate where the sets were. I do remember that Higgin's desk and chair were almost exactly where Jack Lord's chair was in Hawaii 5-0!