Wonderland in Wynwood

Most likely as a result of Wynwood being a Mecca for the homeless and hipsters, there’s quite a bit of insanity running around. During the day especially, when they have yet to settle and still fritter about mumbling to themselves and gathering cans or propositioning passers-by for pennies. Set in a bumbling, metropolis-adjacent back left corner of the city, Wynwood is a maze of old abandoned warehouses, beautiful art installations and many combinations of the two. As you might have imagined, when our company was commissioned to help with an Alice In Wonderland event centered here I wound up a little lost.

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Feeling as if I had stepped through the looking glass myself, I had to wander the maze of dereliction for a few minutes before I gave up on Google Maps and decided to just follow my intuition. Among the burnt out husks of textile factories and hole-in-the-wall bars the area is littered with, sat a building of enormous proportions colored in a pristine white that greatly differed from it’s neighbors. It seemed I had followed and found my own gigantic white rabbit.

 

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Down The Rabbit Hole

Getting onsite and inside was a cake-walk in comparison to finding the venue itself. Our part in all this was to provide airbrush artists to bring more detail to the book characters that would be touring the event come show-time. I stepped past the mushrooms and through a section of hedge maze looking for someone official enough to lead me in the right direction. Most everyone passed by without a single inquiry as to who the new strange person was in Ünderland but I guess having a company logo on your shirt can get you past the strictest security, or at least a guy texting in a golf cart at the front gate. It helps with the espionage if everyone is too distracted with the vision of their assigned portion of Wonderland coming to life to notice you.

There were still several hours before the festivities began, but I had a short window of time before rehearsals began for the floor show and it would be impossible to get any pictures of our artists work for marketing purposes. Stumbling along, while doing my best to not actually stumble lest I bring down some important irreplaceable set piece, I noticed someone wearing a headset (Take note: Headsets are serious business for event coordinators). A moment later I was ushered into the most expansive part of the building that I can only guess was an airplane hangar in a previous life.

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Yes, buildings can follow Buddhism. (I don’t know if that’s actually true)

Luckily enough, though my guide was unsure as to the exact location of my Point of Contact or my artists, the client who contacted us to begin with was headed straight for me. Had there been a little more light in this testament to high ceilings, I may have noticed how frazzled she looked at this point. We had met on several occasions, yet she didn’t recognize me. Though I could recognize the expression of someone whose cogs were too busy grinding to take new input (Again, a logo on your shirt is a life saver). She snapped to reality and rushed us into the backrooms where most of the cast was gathered.

Tucked away in a set of dressing rooms that you imagine whenever you hear of an actress going to make-up (Billion-bulb mirror included) were the airbrush artists I work pretty closely with back at Silly Farm Supplies. Already hours into their work, I could see a good progression of their most complicated subject for the night; A flower-nymph who was to greet guests in the hedge maze. Having begun work on her when they arrived at noon, she was only nearing completion as my time supporting our artists was as well.

There wasn’t much room for me to be productive in that area, so after grabbing some refreshments for my artists, I began to tour the hall.

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It became clear rather quickly that in the scope of what was taking place that night that our role, however important, was one of many smaller commitments to a vision of a grand evening. Echoing through the hall seen above was a singer training his pipes for the nights performance, and periodically arguing with the sound engineers about the volume of his track against the music. Meticulous layouts surrounded the banquet hall. From end to end were clear signs of a concise effort of many to become one gorgeous affair. Even a short trip into the bathroom had me face-to-face with The Red Queen.

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These didn’t even exist yet! In his defense, he was a man. But by the end of his make-up routine, he wasn’t supposed to be.

It was clear by the time I hopped on my motorcycle and rode home that though this event had only had my influence for a few hours at a time scattered over a few weeks, there were countless man hours putting into production. Had anything we organized for this event gone awry, it had potential to bring the night tumbling down. Between furniture, decor, make-up, hair styling, rehearsals, and set-ups any innocuous mishap could have caused a catastrophe. In this business, if you aren’t moving in time with the rest of the event, you are a busted leg on a Millipede. Nothing whole moves forward without all of it’s parts in synchronicity, with the same vision of the future.

Vision

 

 

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