Long ago, I used to work in television, and I used to have great fun looking at the various back drops that were available to rent. The backdrops could be placed outside the window of a set to create a beautiful sky, exotic cityscape, snow topped mountains etc. In fact, I had a little joke, when seeing a fantastic vista in the real world, I would ask “What backing number are they using today?”
When working in the entertainment industry, I look at everything I see as if it was a design. Today walking across campus, I was annoyed with the “costume designer” — whoever it was, was dressing way to many people in the same costume. THEN it hit me, this was the real world. No costume designer was to blame.
I like it when the world is as neat and tidy as it is on stage. Every character is dressed in a harmonious styles and colors, yet everyone looks unique. I like a beautiful sky. I like great lighting. I like great locations. Great places, that are harmoniously put together.
And in much of the theatrical design I do, I am able to create these harmonious worlds. But when reality is called for, I need to remember that too many people wear the same costume, furniture isn’t artfully arranged, and the perfect sky, sometimes isn’t so.