Sunday, September 8, 2013

Clockwork Droid Photo Shoot

A few weeks ago, we did a photo shoot with some of our costumes at the Mayslake Peabody Estate.  The mansion was built in 1921, and is simply breathtaking!  We've been there for many of the First Folio theatre productions, including The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe and Searching for Peabody's Tomb, both of which take place in various rooms throughout the house, and The Turn of the Screw, which was performed in the indoor chapel.  Due to the several performances we've attended, we've become pretty familiar with the interior of the house.  Last October, we were attending The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe for the second time.  The play begins in the library, and as we sat there waiting for it to start, I was staring at the enormous fireplace.  And I realized ... hang on, why did I never think of this before?  It's the perfect place to do a Clockwork Droid photo shoot!

The mansion is in the process of being restored, so there is almost no furniture in it.  There will literally be a chair in one room and a folding table in another.  There are a few pieces of period furniture on the landing of the main staircase, but that's about it.  They store all of the furniture for the theatre productions and special events somewhere else, so with a few exceptions, the entire mansion is completely empty.

We scheduled a shoot for late July, and we literally had the entire mansion to ourselves.  I stopped by one afternoon to drop off my paperwork and a quick tour of the house where they showed me which rooms I could use, and I decided to add a few more costumes to the shoot.  (I'll post those later.)  The entire shoot was an incredible experience.  The only other people around during the shoot were a few office workers, and they just left us alone.  The entire mansion was silent.  As I dressed in the bathroom and made my way through the house to the library, my footsteps echoed ominously on the wooden floors ... Seriously, it was a bit unnerving to be in there alone after going to so many creepy plays!  Not only is the mansion this grand, historic building with incredible architecture that makes you feel like you're in an English country house, it had also been a monastery (a reportedly haunted monastery), and now serves as a theatre (and everyone knows that theatres are haunted), and according to Searching for Peabody's Tomb, there have been multiple paranormal phenomena at the mansion.

Anyway, if you're in the Chicagoland area, go visit.  It's part of the DuPage Forest Preserve system, so they hold art classes there and do tours.  And if you want to do your own photo shoot, their package is very reasonable, and your rental is for a full two hours.  (I don't believe they list the photo package on their rentals page, so contact them directly.)  Considering that it's a one-of-a-kind location and the money goes towards supporting the forest preserve, it's definitely a worthwhile investment.  I'd absolutely book with them again if a future costume fits the location.

Here are some of the photos of the Clockwork Droid that were taken by our photographer, Peg Tierney of Brewster Street Studios.  Enjoy!

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