When the Executive Director of Cotuit Center for the Arts, David Kuehn, told me he needed Weheaveho to come in and look at a job, I couldn’t for the life of me imagine what needed to be done. I mean, have you ever been there? It’s pristine!!! It’s like Radio City Music Hall fell off the back of a truck and never left Cape Cod. Side note: David is a creative genius. He ran the classical division of RCA records in the 90’s and when he found himself many years later living on Cape Cod, we teamed up as real estate partners. Being fellow New Yorkers, we just gravitated to one another and the rest was history. I was beyond excited to even think about doing this project for him and to be able to spend time together. How cute is he? You should see his husband, (my) Alan. A living doll.
I traveled up to scope out the task and knew right away that it was the perfect match for Weheaveho! So perfect that I decided it would be an interesting episode for our you tube channel so two weeks later we were on the road back up to tackle the situation.
Cotuit Center for the Arts was incorporated as a non-profit charitable organization in 1995. It has grown into an award-winning dynamic arts and cultural hub serving Cape Cod, Southeastern Massachusetts and beyond. They collaborate with local artists, musicians, actors, performers, teachers, volunteers and the occasional celebrity to provide a rich experience to their audiences all year long.
The property, gallery, main theatre, black box theatre and classrooms are stunning. There was only one problem and it was a big one. The dressing roomsand green roomwere down in the basement and needed a major overhaul, but thankfully a gracious, anonymous donor was kind enough to give us a little spending money to spruce things up. Thanks to their generosity and the endless rows of theatre props lining the basement walls, we were able to have a little vision. We needed to create a comfortable area for entertainers to unwind and relax in, while creating privacy for the two dressing rooms as well. I couldn’t have done it without the help of my able assistant Nikki Owens and the fabulous hair and makeup director TC. We knocked it out in six hours and I can’t wait to share the episode on our you tube channel. Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it right here on our website.
A little glimpse of the main theatre and one little corner of the fabulous art gallery.
See, I told you so! The top floors were magnificent, and I still couldn’t imagine what he needed to heave ho because everything was perfect. Once the grand tour was finished, David turned to me and said, “Are you ready to go downstairs?”. That’s when I knew. The look on his face concerned me. I’ve known him for many years and I can read his expressions without him having to say a word. We rode the elevator down to the basement in silence until the door slid open to the belly of the beast. This was where everything happened before the actors hit the grand stage up above. This is where all the beauty was created. It was so cool to be behind the scenes and wander around this vast bottom floor of creativity. He showed me the sewing room where the costumes were created and then guided me through mounds of props four rows deep just sitting there waiting to be used in upcoming productions. The piles of furniture went on as far as the eye could see, wrapping around the walls of the basement. I started to get really excited as we headed towards my next heave ho project because I knew I would have access to all this great stuff!!!!
We walked over to the far side of the building past the hair and makeup station where the fabulous stylist/actor TC spent his nights transforming people into their characters for the stage up above. So grateful that he stopped by the day we filmed this episode to help out and let me play with some wigs and hairpieces. He even put some of his “magic” lip gloss on me for a little pick me up halfway through the project. Behind TC’s mirrored wall of this area was the heave ho project. The moment we took the turn, I knew. A long vast corridor of what was supposed to be the green room and two separate rooms divided by various types of drapery stood the dressing rooms.
So, to begin the time line of what we did, here is what I had to work with upon arrival.
My heart started pumping with excitement the same way it does when I’m driving towards a half-price sale at Saks. I knew this was going to be a lot of work, but I also knew that I could get it done on a tiny budget which was important for a non profit project. Don’t forget, I had piles of props to choose from so I didn’t need to buy any furniture. I was a very lucky girl.
I called and booked my niece Nikki to come down from New Hampshire and assist me on this job. She works so hard and we have a lot of fun doing projects together. Luckily, she accepted and I was off to buy what we needed for the job. First stop was #Christmastreeshops where I knew I would find inexpensive sheer panels to replace the old draperies that hung all around the dressing rooms. I was going to have to pick up 40 panels so they could be bunched together for privacy and create that boudoir look that David wanted. I chose slate grey and bright white to alternate and create a privacy wall between the dressing roomsand thegreenroom.
Driving home with my bags filled with piles of sheers, I was passing by #oceanstatejoblot store #joblotfinds and saw drivers unloading carts filled with mysterious big bright colored rolls of God knows what so I made a u turn and pulled in to see what they were. The colors were magnificent against the gray cloudy day but that day quickly turned from dreary to lucky for me. I followed them in and low and behold the most awesome 9x12 outdoor rugs I had ever seen. The best part was the price. $32.00. I could barely carry them through the store, but I knew they were going to go out as quickly as they came in once people saw the prices. I grabbed the grey and white ones for the dressing rooms and the bright orange ones for the green room which don’t forget was actually a dark basement. This was the perfect color to brighten it all up. So here I am five feet tall lugging out five 9x12 rolled carpets knocking down everything in the aisles on my way to the register. What a sight. I should have had someone snap a shot of that!
I had two more stops to make now that I had the drapes and the rugs. #Pier1love for pillows and #PartyCity for heavy duty vinyl tablecloths. Remember, this is where makeup and lots of beauty products are used so everything needs to be durable and easy to clean. Hence the outdoor rugs and vinyl. #Pier1 is my go-to for fill in the blanks on almost every job I do. You can always find what you need there and there are sales happening all the time.
The day finally arrived for @nikkiowens13 and I to get to work. We pulled out and pulled down all the old drapes, rugs and furniture to clean out and prepare the space. Scattered throughout the basement were these folding dividers which were exactly what we needed to cover up all the props and furniture lining the walls. We climbed through and picked out what we wanted first and then pushed everything back up to the wall and set the dividers up. Worked like a charm. Nikki set to work hanging the sheers and we re-used the old black drapes to separate the two dressing rooms. We kept the new ones for the outside between the green room space. TC supplied us with all new matching makeup mirrors and we switched out the chairs for black ones with polka dot seat cushions.
Not bad for a six-hour day with a few hundred dollars. The best part is how happy everyone was with the finished product and even Rocky approved. The handsome Cotuit Center for the Arts rescue mascot made my day even more special. #adoptdontshop