1986, I got the opportunity to meet Bob Fletcher, the Costumer Designer for the
Star Trek movies, at Paramount Studios, on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. He was
just wrapping up work on his third installment in the series ‘The Wrath of
Kahn’. Our meeting was set up as an introductory one and he was quite
impressed with my portfolio*. As it turned out, he had a project in mind that he
thought I’d be
perfect for. That project turned out to be the ‘Little Shop of
was the production designer for the Howard Ashman/Alan Menken musical that would
make its debut at the Santa Barbara Theatre Festival. And although he had
already secured a supervisor for the project, he wanted my expertise on board to
help guide and create the four puppet versions of Audrey II, the carnivorous
With roughly three and a half weeks to finish the
work our 'Little Shop' crew assembled in an old warehouse
in downtown LA. All of
the four versions of Audrey II were free formed using various grades of
polyurethane sheet foam which left it light-weight and breathable. The larger
pods, number 3 and 4, were
reinforced with the addition of a light weight aluminum frame.
Audrey II crew pictured above, clockwise, from the top are: John Harrington: Armature/Latex Technician,
Cil: Draper/Seamstress, Tina Hatainan: Project Manager/Painter, Cil's assistant, and myself.
show starred: Lorna Luft, Adrian Zmed, and Patrick Cassidy. I was offered
the part of puppeteer in the show but graciously handed it over to a young intern
on our production team, Erica Zaffarano. She did a great job too.
assignment I received was
handed to me right at the portfolio stage. The importance of a good
portfolio is essential. Make sure your portfolio is clean , concise, and honest.