Pigeonholing.Monday, February 24, 2014
Wednesdays are Mike's day off so I tend to slack off and hang around him all day. He read my blog for the first time today and I think he was a little embarrassed that I talk about him so much. I can't help it though, I kinda like him.
Anyway, I realized that there are folks who are reading my humble little posts who may be wondering, who the heck is this chick anyway? I thought I should probably introduce myself before we get to that awkward point where we've had a big long conversation then we realize we don't know each others' names. So today we take a time out and veer a little off topic.
Hi, I'm Becky. Becky Marshall. I live in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago, in my fourth owned property with my husband Mike and my sweet German Shepherd, Hailey. I was born and raised in the suburbs, but please don't think less of me as not a true city kid. The suburbs were good. I had a great time as a kid, making mud pancakes on the street in summer, huge paper bag cities with my brother in winter. I was always a creative kid, sewing clothes for my stuffed animals or what have you.
In high school my friend Robyn said hey, let's do make up and costume crew for a theater production, so I said, huh, ok. Who knew that simple suggestion would determine more than half my life's course.
Oddly, for an introvert such as myself, I thought hey, I wanna be an actor and my parents were so generous in allowing me to pursue that in college, Ithaca College to be exact. Thankfully the bright folks there told me I sucked and should stop it. The theater department chair at the time, Bruce Halverson, kindly took time to talk to me about it and suggested I try scenic design. What a revelation. He said, "go be an art major and we'll allow you to take any theater class you'd like." I'll never forget his generosity and I'm forever thankful.
After college I tried Northwestern University's graduate program in scenic design but they kicked me out after the first year. I can't thank them enough for that. Yeah it hurt at the time but it propelled me into a successful 18+ year career in professional theater all around Chicago. (Please don't start doing the math; I know, I'm not a spring chicken.)
I started out trying to design scenery but picked up a few prop jobs and was thence known as a prop person. Just like acting, or anywhere really, it's tough to move away from what people see you as. Either way, I made it to the top of the pile here, as prop master for Steppenwolf for several years.
I hit that proverbial glass ceiling. What do I do now? Ah, grad school! For what.....well, Columbia College Chicago has an Interior Architecture program. That sounds great! Off I went and after three years of blood, sweat, and tears, I emerged with an MFA and more rounded.
Since then I've been freelance drafting for several different architects around town, on houses, stairs, a casino or two, restaurants, various other projects, and lots of Bar Louie restaurants. I've designed a couple of things and I'm currently working on an office downtown.
Last spring I answered a Craigslist ad and a whole new chapter opened up. Suddenly I was a set designer on Chicago Fire, the television show. That led to work on the movie Jupiter Ascending, coming out this July starring Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis. That led to work on Sirens, a new show from Denis Leary for USA Network premiering next Thursday, March 6 at 9 pm central time. You should watch it, it's hilarious. Yes, that's a plug.
When people ask me, "what do you do for a living," I have a hard time answering. I usually look at Mike, "help," say my eyes. He usually looks back at me, huh?!, what am I supposed to come up with?! I do so many different things, it's hard to pin me into any one tidy category. No one thing seems to neatly cover it.
So yeah, that's me in a wacky little nutshell. Thank you very much for taking time out of your busy day to read what I've been writing. I hope you stick around and keep reading!
Tomorrow we're back at it, finishing the vanity project and installing the new funky retro master bath light fixture. Stay tuned!