I suppose Freud would say that I love power tools because my father died when I was four, and power tools -- a domain primary reserved for handsome men with trimmed beards, heavy brows and bulging muscles (such as the men who build cupcake displays in under two hours on "Cupcake Wars") -- are my way of connecting with that absent idea of what a father should be.
The trouble with that theory was that I'm pretty sure my father never used a power tool in his life. He did have a beard and heavy brows but he also had a lean build and long hair :) I know he liked to draw and write stories and that he didn't know how to properly cook fried chicken -- resulting in him almost burning down our apartment when I was three.
It was actually my mother -- the construction worker/long haul trucker/farmer -- who taught me how to use power tools and how to find the right tool for the right job. When we needed a dramatic set for Forge's office, I didn't blink an eye. I just grabbed the family, grabbed my tools, and said, "See this closet no one is using? We're going to knock it out and build a gorgeous wall with glass bricks and French door. Go!"
But that wall project was the last time I got to really build something for "Ghost Sniffers"... until tonight :)
Tomorrow is Day 1 of the three-day shoot for Episode 11. In the episode, three of Forge's friends from her acting club, along with Gogo, Boo and GI Handsome/Jack Chickadee/Dean Earnest, all show up in a fantastical dreamscape. Three of the characters have short swords made of wood and so out came the jigsaw and in a few moments, we were all sparring :) Then came the challenge -- to craft a five-foot-long forked sword for a surprise character in the episode. That took a balancing act, but the great sword is sleeping on the dining room table even now.
One of the things that I love about the series is that cast and crew get to push themselves to try new things, to grow. Sometimes, the way they grow is by playing a small role when they're used to getting big roles (sometimes, that teaches more than anything else, I think). Other times, actors tackle poetry and verse or a tricky cadence that may add just the right amount of mystery to a scene. Tomorrow, for the first time, actors have been asked to memorize their Shakespeare-esque lines. How will everyone do? I don't know. But you know what I like just as much as power tools?
Watching actors grow. Because that's when you know you've chosen exactly the right tool for the right job. And everything will turn out beautifully.