Author Topic: PROPS: Prop Recipe Exchange  (Read 32924 times)

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PSMKay

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PROPS: Prop Recipe Exchange
« on: Oct 14, 2008, 07:12 pm »
It seems to be a common trait among these online communities that people like to exchange recipes.  Now, I know y'all like food, but considering our mutual schedules it might be somewhat unlikely that we'll jump all over a nice recipe for lemon chiffon cake.  We've got small threads about various prop problems scattered all over the place, but I do so like to keep things tidy.

What recipes have you use for creating prop substances onstage?  Blood, wine, alcoholic beverages, fire, and for what reasons?

I'll start with one from "Beauty Queen of Leenane."  For those of you familiar with the script, you'll know that it calls for lots and lots of fake urine, poured out of chamber pots and at one point thrown onto an elderly actress.  In order to safely cover for the latter issue while still making it look like the real thing, we used aloe juice (in the US I've seen this at Walgreen's in the vitamin section) diluted 1:3 with water.  It is potable, light enough to not stain if you wash it out quickly, and not full of sugar. Bear in mind that aloe juice needs to be refrigerated once opened.
« Last Edit: Jun 09, 2009, 02:40 am by PSMKay »

zayit shachor

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Re: Prop Recipe Exchange
« Reply #1 on: Oct 15, 2008, 02:32 pm »
Actually, there's one I've been stewing over for several days that I could use some advice on.  We're doing a props project for a play called "Vincent in Brixton," which has (among countless other food items) a bottle of Guinness being opened onstage, poured into a glass, and sipped at by the actor.  Guinness is so thick and dark that the normal sparkling cider/apple juice/what-have-you tricks won't work.  Any ideas?

ewharton

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Re: Prop Recipe Exchange
« Reply #2 on: Oct 15, 2008, 02:38 pm »
root beer would be the closest thing I can think of in terms of color. I don't know if that would give you the nice foamy head that Guinness has though.

zayit shachor

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Re: Prop Recipe Exchange
« Reply #3 on: Oct 15, 2008, 03:21 pm »
root beer would be the closest thing I can think of in terms of color. I don't know if that would give you the nice foamy head that Guinness has though.

Root beer!!  Genius.  Thank you!  :)

RuthNY

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Re: Prop Recipe Exchange
« Reply #4 on: Oct 16, 2008, 09:40 am »
<snip>
What recipes have you use for creating prop substances onstage?  Blood, wine, alcoholic beverages, fire, and for what reasons?
<snip>

My contribution from a previous thread, repeated here:


(Try Caramel Food Coloring for brandy, whiskey, etc.  It has no flavor and very few calories!)

Beverage Recipes

Red Wine:
112 oz (2 pots) hot water
10 Celestial Seasonings’ Wild Berry Zinger tea bags
1 ˝ teaspoons red food coloring
16 drops blue food coloring

White Wine:
56 oz (1 pot) hot water
4 Celestial Seasonings’ Chamomile tea bags

Brandy:
1 gallon water
3/8 teaspoon caramel coloring

Tea:
3 Lipton tea bags in pot


Coffee:
1/2 tsp. caramel coloring
1 pot water

Whiskey
1/4 tsp. caramel coloring
˝ gallon water
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loebtmc

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Re: Prop Recipe Exchange
« Reply #5 on: Oct 16, 2008, 02:32 pm »
oh chamomile tea for white wine - brilliant - I have always used very light black tea with (depending on the lighting) a touch of yellow food color - but this is great! And recipes - I have done it by feel/look for so long .....

Champagne works well mixing tea and club soda, tho if the lights are bright enough you can use a light sparkling cider that you may need to lighten a tad. (But with Ruth's suggestion, now I will try club soda and chamomile!) My champagne recipe is: pot of black tea with 2-3 drops of yellow food coloring. In a clear bottle, pour about 1-2 inches of tea mixture into the bottom and fill most of the bottle w club soda - keep pouring off a glass to look at the balance until you get the right look for your space, and lock it.

I had to do all the booze in Savage in Limbo (a full bar, most of which gets used during the show) and learned how to do all kinds of variants out of tea - very proud to say the audience thought they were drinking the real thing - the most important thing to remember is to check it under the lights, cuz the size of the theater and heat of the lights will change what appears perfect backstage. And to lock the recipe once you've found it, or you will be playing the "is this too dark or too light" game for the whole run

MarcieA

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Re: Prop Recipe Exchange
« Reply #6 on: Oct 16, 2008, 02:50 pm »


Whiskey
1/4 tsp. caramel coloring
˝ gallon water

If the color doesn't look quite right under the stage lights, a drop of blue food coloring can help.
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RuthNY

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Re: Prop Recipe Exchange
« Reply #7 on: Oct 16, 2008, 05:13 pm »
In the spirit of full disclosure, all "Ruth's suggestions" were collected from various wonderful prop departments around the country over a period of many years!  I can't claim them as my own recipes.

<snip>
 (But with Ruth's suggestion, now I will try club soda and chamomile!)
<snip>
"Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you."
--Alan Alda

maximillionx

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Re: Prop Recipe Exchange
« Reply #8 on: Oct 16, 2008, 11:00 pm »
Thought I'd contribute too!

Blood(not for consumption):
-red food colouring
-liquid clothing detergent
This recipe is for pure body blood and since it is made out of detergent, it can just be thrown in the wash.

Blood(can be consumed):
-water
-corn syrup
-red food colouring
-blue or green food colouring(if needed for accuracy)
There is no real amounts to use, but mix water and corn syrup to a good consistency and add colour as necessary.

Glass:
-1/3 cup water
-1/2 cup sugar
-1 cup of light karo syrup
-parchment paper
Mix all the ingredients together in a pot and put over med-low heat. When small bubbles appear and the colour begins to change to a brownish gold, do the following test: get a glass of cold water and drizzle the glass into it. If you there is a cracking sound (almost like glass breaking), it is done. Take it off the heat and pour it all out on your prchment paper, allowing it to set until it is maliable enough to mold.
Depending on the thickness, it should be okay to break over someone's head. I know fight glass is expensive so this is a nice and cheap equivilant.  Just make sure you practice forming bottles or plates or whatever.

As far as fire goes...I imagine that is up to your local fire marshal.  I am in school in RI so they are very strict because of the station nightclub fire. We can sometimes get away with using fake, herbal cigarettes instead of real ones, but they have a whole different smell to them.

Hope this helps!

killerdana

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Re: Prop Recipe Exchange
« Reply #9 on: Oct 17, 2008, 02:07 am »
Thought I'd contribute too!

Blood(not for consumption):
-red food colouring
-liquid clothing detergent
This recipe is for pure body blood and since it is made out of detergent, it can just be thrown in the wash.


I always add a drop (or less) of blue to the blood.  It gives a richer color.
Science without art is sterile.  --Albert Einstein

MarcieA

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Re: Prop Recipe Exchange
« Reply #10 on: Oct 17, 2008, 10:25 am »
Does anyone use peanut butter in their blood? I've done that before, as well as Simple Green (for non-edible), which is an amazing recipe and came out of a white dress shirt every single night without bleach.

Now if i could just find it...
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zayit shachor

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Re: Prop Recipe Exchange
« Reply #11 on: Oct 17, 2008, 02:58 pm »
I always add a drop (or less) of blue to the blood.  It gives a richer color.

I like to use the blue laundry detergent as a base.  Often it gives you the same rich color as a drop of blue food coloring, but sometimes you might need to add some anyway.

heatonSM

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Re: Prop Recipe Exchange
« Reply #12 on: Oct 17, 2008, 03:49 pm »
This is a different prop question:

I'm doing a show where a character starts off with a nose, looses the nose, then regains the nose.  The audience will see both stages.  At this point we're hoping to do it realistically but I have no ideas on how to achieve the effect.  Also, the theater is a 50 seat house and the audience is so close that I'm afraid of it looking awful.  Anyone have any suggestions or links to something that might work?
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KMC

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Re: Prop Recipe Exchange
« Reply #13 on: Oct 17, 2008, 05:11 pm »
I would suggest something like this, and it'll only run you about $2.  Just kidding, sorry, couldn't resist  ;D

On a more serious note though, you can buy prosthetic noses for stage use (one example here)  They can be attached with wax fairly easily once you get the hang of it.  I'd bet if you have a good wardrobe or makeup person you could get it down to 2-3 minutes. How much time between when the character is seen without nose, then seen with the nose?  If it's 5 minutes or so, this route would probably look the best.
Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

heatonSM

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Re: Prop Recipe Exchange
« Reply #14 on: Oct 19, 2008, 04:19 pm »
Hi Kevin,

Thank you very much!  I especially like the clown nose...that could be just the effect we're looking for!  :)

Thanks again for the link the prosthetic noses.  We actually need to have the nose come off and go back on while the character onstage.  A very difficult effect, I know...The character will have a nose--then have something to indicate no nose--then back to the original nose.  5 minutes will be too long.  I need something that can be done in basically no time.

We may need to think out of the box as this effect just may not be possible.

Joseph Heaton, AEA
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www.josephheaton.com

 

riotous