I started building scenery in 1986. Those skills acquired from farm chores had developed into a way to make my work the business of play. I worked as a scenic carpenter apprentice at UT and work-study while at UH. I also worked as wardrobe craft intern for Houston Grand Opera, Master Elec. for the Houston Shakespeare/Children's Theater Fest, and as a Technical Director for both UH Opera and San Jacinto College while attending UH.
After school I returned to Austin and was the first Shop Foreman for Austin Lyric Opera and had my first movie work on A Perfect World. After a few months we started the NAFTA project, which was based in Houston, so I returned and opened an office there. I built a complete touring package for the show (lighting, audio, set and costumes) which toured Texas and went to Mexico City.
Austin was still my part-time home during those days, and in addition to building scenery I was working in custom homes, swinging a hammer. (Only figuratively of course, everything is pneumatic these days.) It was a great opportunity to pick up different tricks and techniques that could apply in scenic construction.
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