The Smart Sets

October 9th, 2005

It's Annie Smart's world -- I just work in it. Annie designed the wonderful, whimsical set for our TV show, and normally on Friday I would have found myself there, hanging out at the kitchen counter or chilling with a guest on the couch. But since I was performing in Austin this weekend, I instead found myself ... on another great Annie Smart set, this one for my monologue Ben Franklin: Unplugged.

Annie has a way of getting inside a piece, finding its soul, and then imagining a visual setting that brings out the show's essential qualities. It's an amazing and mysterious gift, and to work with Annie is to feel one's work being minutely analyzed by a deep and sympathetic intellect. You find yourself looking at her proposed set design and going, "Oh -- so that's what my piece is about!" Very cool.

One thing my wife, Sara, who makes all my magical, colorful shirts, has noted about Annie's work is her incredible facility with colors. Both of her sets for me -- TV and stage -- have lots of colors in them, and yet they don't at all feel too busy or riotous; they feel playful, comfortable, intimate.

In fact, as I've said before, I'd love to actually live in one of Annie's sets. I bet if I could tell Annie the complete story of my life, she could find some pattern there among all the seeming randomness and come up with a design that makes colorful sense of it.

Entry Filed under: let's digress


  • 1. pogblog  |  October 9th, 2005 at 4:25 pm

    Lucky Annie & Sara that you grok color. So many men are color-impaired — one wonders if they dream in black and white?

    An aeon ago I was in old San Juan Puerto Rico and the streets were paved with these deep & somewhat translucent blue glass bricks that were throw-away ballast in the great sailing ships that would return to Europe filled with other cargo.

    Walking on that mysterious & dully gleaming indigo was magical. Our floors & streets & sidewalks are probably the most neglected longing-for-color and design parts of our lives. Let’s get Annie & Sara on it.

  • 2. Josh Kornbluth  |  October 15th, 2005 at 1:46 pm

    Those streets in San Juan sound lovely! And I don’t know about streets and sidewalks, but Annie has painted sweet, colorful floors in both of her sets for me.

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