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4391Re: [TheCostumersManifesto] Starting Over

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  • K Murphy
    Feb 1, 2004
      Hey there, Sylvia and K (Stickfries) --

      Sylivia, the project you saw Karen attending as a "completed" assignment was for the Neo-Futurists, and it was a completely different project from the one I worked on with Karen. I assigned her seven costumes to design and build for a production of "Here Comes the Sun," an original children's theater piece at the Raven Theater in Chicago.

      And yes, I talked to Karen at great length about how the business works, what kinds of jobs are out there in costuming, and also how she couldn't expect just to jump right in to paying design work with no training or education or theatrical costuming experience or rendering skills. She was very nice and glad I was honest with her, and she understood that she was at a disadvantage due to her background. You can tell from watching the show that she also wasn't very enthusiastic about the specific opportunity she had with me. I encouraged her to pursue work in the costume rental business or in wardrobe (especially film and tv because they are more lucrative) because they are easier to break into without an education.


      On TV, you've only seen us together twice, but believe me, we had worked together a great deal more than that before my second appearance (last week), when I told her I'd have to fire her if she was working (as opposed to volunteering) for me.

      I know what "really" happened, but we'll all just have to stay tuned and find out what the "Starting Over" folks decide to show you. I recently found out that one of the original producers of the show (Mary Ellis Bunim) has been very ill and just passed away, which may or may not have contributed to the confusing editing of the different stories.

      "Starting Over" seems to me to be more about emotions and drama than about "reality," so it's not too surprising that they leave out the meat and potatoes and only show you the gravy. It is also very exploitative of the women, always getting them to bare their souls (or legs) and that was something I think Karen chafed at. And once the "Life Coach" decided (several weeks ago) that all Karen needed was "to believe in herself," well, so much for education, training, experience...even the desire to actually do the work.

      Kate Murphy



      sylvia@... wrote:
      Hi Kate,
      ...This concerns past shows so I gather
      you can answer it.

      We saw Karen get together with you a few weeks ago and you gave her an
      assignment to make some costumes for one of your shows. Then we saw her
      go to the opening of said show. Then there was nothing about her for
      awhile until just the other day when we saw her meeting with you again on
      what was apparently a new assignment. Is this the case? Or were they
      flashing back to the first assignment you gave her? It was rather
      confusing. I'm just trying to follow her progress since she is involved
      in the same business so many of us on this list are.

      I also wanted to bring up her problem with hating to sew. I totally
      sympathize, however, I have wondered why no one on Starting Over has
      brought up the point with her that one doesnt automatically get to
      design without putting in years of either construction work or school
      training. Without any prior theatrical experience, does she really think
      that someone is going to hand her a design job, especially one that she
      wouldn't have to sew herself? Has anyone taken the time to explain to her
      how the business really functions?

      Sylrog




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