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By: Grosh Backdrops and Drapery | August 20, 2014
Grosh Backdrops and Drapery Warehouse Manager, Eric Mueller, celebrates his 35th anniversary with the family owned company by starting a Hollywood behind-the-scenes blog, called "Eric's Corner."
The first entry will be "Eric Sits with Alice Cooper." Mueller called the rocker a "gentleman's gentleman." "Very down to earth, church going guy... I would even consider him conservative," Mueller said.
Since his first days with Grosh Backdrops and Drapery in 1979, Eric has acquired a seemingly endless list of anecdotal stories about the celebrities he has met, such as Samuel L. Jackson, Don Rickles, Jerry Lewis, Carol Burnett, and Dick Van Dyke.
Mueller has also worked with a myriad of artists from big and small productions companies. Among the most memorable artists who went to Grosh for assistance was George Howard, a designer for theatres, auditoriums, television studios, and Las Vegas showrooms. "He was a brilliant man who after reading through a book of specifications and looking through rolls and rolls of drawings for a specific job would go into a meeting without a briefcase or note book and recall page numbers in the specs as well as the dimensions on drawings," Mueller said.
The beloved Grosh team member has become a staple in the industry. Mueller authored a book on backdrop care and maintenance. He is among a few in the industry to be state certified in fireproofing backdrop products. That certification helps Grosh's customers meet local code requirements at their respective venues.
Mueller has also compiled an endless knowledge of the Grosh company's 85-year history. He described his first 20 years at Grosh as a roller coaster ride of feast or famine. Technological advancements came at a dizzying pace. "The developing of green screen technology and computer generated backdrops are probably the two biggest advancements I've experienced," He said. "I viewed both as a passing fad that would never take off."
Miscalculating those industry trends prompted Mueller to adopt an ongoing professional goal to keep up with the times. "When that time comes that I am no longer able to keep up, my goal is to leave this department in the hands of a person that will carry on my legacy," he said.
His endless dedication and service to three generations of the Grosh family is why the company threw him a surprise 35th anniversary party complete with a massive "Happy Anniversary" backdrop (of course). "The party was over the top," Mueller said.
Grosh presented him with an animated drawing of Mueller on a golf course, dressed in golf attire, hitting a golf ball. Grosh enlisted four scenic artists to produce it, and sent it to Warner Brothers to be printed. Then, all his co-workers signed it. "It is hanging proudly in my living room and is a focal point for those who enter my apartment," he said.
Grosh cares for its employees the way it cares for its customers, Mueller said. "I have yet to work or hear of a more generous employer.....There is a team spirit here," he added. "When something needs to happen at a moment's notice we all take it to heart, pull together to get the job done."
Grosh Backdrops & Drapery is among Hollywood's longest supporting partners. Grosh provides the highest quality themed and theatrically produced hand-painted backdrops for professional stage productions, dance recitals, school performances or corporate parties. Grosh also offers an excellent drapery selection including rain curtains, Austrian puffs and velour drapery panels.
Grosh strives to constantly improve how scenery comes to life in the theater world by evolving with the industry. Among the improvements, Grosh has greatly simplified how backdrops and drapery are hung by designing and developing a portable telescoping lifting system, called the "BackdropLIFT." For more information about Grosh Backdrops and Drapery and their other divisions, Grosh Custom and BackdropLIFT, you can visit www.GROSH.com.