1. What type of education did you receive before going in to the field of set decoration?
Answer: I majored in theatre at Utah State University but left before I graduated. I worked in Theatre in Los Angeles for several years before one of the plays I was working on was made into a TV show. Believe it or not, I think the most important class I ever took was a typing class!
2. Which sources would you say are the best tools for research and learning?
Answer: I have found that the internet is an amazing and important tool- so much information and all you have to do is find it.
Some of my favorite websites include,
Lennie Marvins' www.propheaven.com
I love the ability to shop in the middle of the night!
I also do a lot of people watching and read the newspapers.
3. Name three of your favorite projects and why.
Answer: MADtv has been very good to me, if you spend 11 seasons anywhere, you better be having a good time. My projects with Jeff Foxworthy (including Blue Collar TV) have been rewarding because the people involved are so nice, the research is fun and there is travel involved. The Mickey Mouse Club, in retrospect was a great training ground for me, I made lifelong friends. Of course I can not discount “Strip mall”, Julie Brown was great....can everything be my favorite? It is so hard to choose.
4. What has been your biggest challenge as a set decorator?
Learning to check my ego at the door. When I figure that out I will let someone know.
5. If you were able to design a bedroom any way that you desired, what style or styles would you choose?
Answer: I would do something very modern because I don’t get the opportunity to do that often enough.
6. What are the current contents of your car?
Answer: A Thomas guide, a small survival kit, a camera, a decorative chalk board with a cooking pig on it, an I Pod, a Tide stick, wet wipes, a phone charger, breath mints, business cards, a pen, a measuring tape, a clean shirt, a Fox ID card, a Hollywood Center ID Card,...... I think that pretty much covers it.
7. What advice do you have for those interested in the field of set decorating (including those new and already in the profession)?
Answer: You really need to keep up with modern technology. Also it’s important to learn to utilize any life experiences and use them in your work. Make yourself irreplaceable, meet as many people as you can and make sure you have a fallback position.
8. Which three tools of your profession can you not be without?
Answer: Cell phone, computer and a measuring tape.
9. Biggest set decorating disaster?
Answer: I drank a bottle of cough syrup at 4:00 one morning while I was supposed to be filling the Coliseum with cardboard people. Of course it made me very loopy. The director followed me around taking pictures of me (for some reason). Then there was the time I had to find an enormous washing machine for a space ship set and it leaked. Or the times we have struck sets before we were done shooting them and had minutes to put the whole thing back together. I guess the correct answer would be: It depends on what day you ask the question.
10. What advice would you give other members of the SDSA on how to get the most benefit from their membership?
Answer: You have to be involved in everything you possibly can. The SDSA is an organization that is member driven. The successes belong to everyone, so do the failures.