Aloha Friends of the Actor’s Group. Time is a ticking and in a few days, The Realistic Joneses will be opening. One of the people who works their fingers to the bone right up to opening night is our set designer and constructor: Rick “Pops” Crowell.
Rick, affectionately known around the theater as Pops, is a retired Tattoo Artist of 40 yrs. He is also an artistic designer, resident artist, set designer, and does set construction. This is Rick’s 10th set designed for TAG. This past summer he received two Po’okela awards; one for set design for Superior Donuts and one Service Excellence award. He also designs and makes props. He loves working around wonderful directors, actors and playwrights. This is his second year at TAG and loving every minute of it; except when it floods!
Pops has been featured on our blog before, but I asked him a few additional questions about how he became associated with TAG, and how he got into the business of creating sets for theater.
So Pops, how did it all start?
[Well,] after long conversations with my 2 sons, who own Tattoo Shops on the Island (Loyalty Tattoo), we decided that it was time for me to retire. I was sitting in Hank’s Bar and Laurie [the production manager] was [talking] to this guy about a set designer gig at TAG. He wasn’t interested, and left Hanks. [At the time], I was bummed, and I not sure about what I was going to do after 35 years of Tattooing. Well, I built up enough courage to ask Laurie about the job, and she gave me a try. For the first set I worked on at TAG, I worked with Mike Mazzola to complete a set that needed work on immediately, and afterward I was given a contract to do the next set, as well as keys to the theatre, and complete trust. And it truly was a live saver for me!
Actors who influenced me? Well, I have had the pleasure to worked with them all, but Dennis Proux had the biggest influence for me, as he is a set designer and a great friend. Most of all the audience also feeds my artist ego with a “nice job on the set.”
Pops is a builder, painter, and all-around master crafter. Brush and roll artist “old school”, interior and exterior painting & graphics for special theme rooms, such as children’s bedrooms, Hello Kitty, Transformers or any theme. Wallpaper, borders, stenciling. Also carpentry work, inside or out. Lawn care as well! Anything, we can talk about it. Faux painting; marble, wood or tile or any of the many techniques you see in my sets. He does freelance work throughout the island of O’ahu, and if you have some additional work that you want this artist to help you with, contact him at: email@example.com