I guess we should start at the beginning of our process. On Wednesday, we went up to the Nederlander to test out some of the supplies we'd researched and to take before pictures. Whenever it feels like we didn't accomplish as much as we'd hoped...I look at this pictures from the before and realize how much we truly did.
As you can see from this first picture...
Not everything posted was love for the show, or the actors.
A lot of the things people wrote were Rent related, but many were also disrespectful, inappropriate, and just plain stupid. A very popular one that unfortunately I don't have pictures of is "I AM REALLY THIS TALL" That was written at the top of almost every wall...
As you can see, people are writing over each others stuff. People are just being stupid now. There are drawings, there are rude things, etc etc...
So after that, we went and put our money together with the money that was sent to us (THANK YOU SO MUCH, btw the two of you who did that.) and we got all of this:
We ended up having to buy more toward the end of the night, but it was the main source of our supplies. We also spent a week saving water bottles which we filled with tap water and brought up there so we could wash everything down.
Once we saw that the stuff worked, we were super excited and couldn't wait. I think over the course of the night we had twelve people in and out. Two of my friends came from Jersey and even though they could only stay an hour (had to catch a train back) one of them managed to clean a whole wall in that hour!
Super excited with our dorky tshirts lol
There's another group picture, but alas, it was on someone elses camera. But then...the cleaning began.
and got covered in grim, pine sol (that's the green, not paint), and dirt...
Until four thirty a.m. I don't know how many people walked by, but it was a lot. Most people just walked by, some stopped and asked what we were doing. But, there were a few that really thought it was cool, which was nice.
I think some of the best quotes we heard were:
They make you clean after hours?
Were you arrested?
Did you do that and now they're making you clean it?
And my absolute favorite...
Guy 1- Are you on jail release?
Guy 2- Nah man, this is a theatre, it's their home away from home.
That made me smile. Someone who works at the theatre showed up around 2 a.m. He asked what we were doing besides cleaning. We said nothing. He went inside, we thought perhaps he was going to make us stop and leave, so while he was inside we started doing as much as we could like crazy. And when he came out and told us it was fine, I told him thank you for letting us to this. And he said, "No, thank you." That also made me smile. Knowing that we were doing something that was appreciated by more than just us. It's a good feeling.
At the end, we put up signs. This is technically the only illegal thing we did. We knew they wouldn't last long, but oh well..
Le Group at the end:
There were actually about six more that had to go before the end, and then obviously one taking the photo.
So, this morning, we returned to see what it looked like in daylight. Obviously, the signs were blown away by the wind (except one), but here are the after photos:
She spent most of her night on this wall lol
Jenny's clean wall:
Yes, even that wall behind the open door was COMPLETELY COVERED
As I said before, it's not completely clean. There's no way that even in five more hours we could've done it all. But! We made an improvement. From the front, at least the place doesn't look trashed. We lightened a lot of the marks we didn't get off. And remember...there wasn't even ONE space of just green paint on any of those collumns, so...there's a reference point for you. I think the best thing was the renewed hope we gave some fans and the guys who work the lotto. They'd gotten to a point where they didn't even try to stop people anymore, because it was just completely covered. Today, during lotto, one of them made an announcement to tell everyone that this wall outside was infact NOT the "RENT WALL" and that it should NOT be written on. And then, later, someone went to write on it, and they actually stopped them! So, if nothing else, we've given them back hope for their theatre. They said they'd keep making the announcement at lotto, and when he saw it, Derick said, "Yanno, it's nice to see that someone still cares about this place."
And that...was enough.
I hope if any of you are around next time, you'll be able to come. And I also hope that you'll spread the word to people and ask them not to write on the wall. This theatre means a lot to a great many people. As that random guy walking by said...it's kind of our home away from home, and it's so sad to see it defaced this way. We appreciate all the support and well wishes we got for the project, let's just try and keep it clean for a while, yeah? Spread the word!
No Day, But Today.