Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [TheCostumersManifesto] Questions for University Shop Managers

Expand Messages
  • Cheryl McCarron
    Hi Kate, I manage the costume shop at Hofstra University in Long Island, NY.  I pattern & build all the costumes for 3 drama productions and one dance concert
    Message 1 of 6 , Dec 14, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      Hi Kate,
      I manage the costume shop at Hofstra University in Long Island, NY.  I pattern & build all the costumes for 3 drama productions and one dance concert per semester. I supervise student crews 3 days a week for three hours each and have 6 student aides that work for me. I also design for the department although that is separate from my responsibilities as shop manager.
       
      I spend most of my time patterning and cutting and then handing stuff off to my student aides to assemble. I also teach my student aides patterning as most of them are very motivated to learn and it helps me as well. Technically though, the department is not allowed to say that I "teach" because my position is in the secretary's union and secretarys don't teach. That is the most annoying aspect of my job. It's sort of a glitch that happened many years before I was hired and any effort to remove my position from the secretary's union has failed.
       
      Another frustrating (I wouldn't say that anything is really difficult) part of the job is dealing with students who are forced to do crew but don't want to be there. Some of them have no pride in their work or motivation to do anything that they feel doesn't relate to acting.  Fortunately, they are the minority. I am very lucky to get lots of students who really want to learn and have a sense of pride in the work they accomplish, which is the best part of the job for me.
       
      The big advantage to managing a university shop is being able to use the shop when I need to. I do a lot of freelance design work and love being able to do it in a spacious shop rather than my studio apartment. I also have access to the costume stock and to students who I have trained who are always eager to make some extra cash if I need stitching help on freelance projects. My department has allowed me to be very flexible with my hours which has enabled me to continue my freelance design career.
       
      On the flip side, I have occassionally had to turn down design jobs due to the university schedule. And since I am also full time during the summer though there is little to do, sometimes finagling time away to do summer projects can get challenging.
       
      Hope this is helpful. Good luck with your decision.

      Best,

      Cheryl McCarron
      NYC Fabric Finder

      --- On Thu, 12/11/08, Kate Murphy <costumerkate@...> wrote:

      From: Kate Murphy <costumerkate@...>
      Subject: [TheCostumersManifesto] Questions for University Shop Managers
      To: TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Thursday, December 11, 2008, 8:35 PM






      Since I'm considering a university position, I thought I would ask
      those of you who are costume shop managers at colleges or universities
      a couple questions -- I could use some input!

      First, what would you say you spend MOST of your time doing?

      What do you think are the most difficult parts of the job?

      What do you like least about your position?

      What do you like best?

      Do you think you are better or worse off than you would be in a
      professional shop? Why?

      THANK YOU to anyone who can respond; I truly appreciate it.

      Kate


















      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Cheryl McCarron
      Hi Kate, I just read Paula s response to your e-mail and want to add a couple of things to my response now.   In my department, I have gained the reputation
      Message 2 of 6 , Dec 14, 2008
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi Kate,
        I just read Paula's response to your e-mail and want to add a couple of things to my response now.
         
        In my department, I have gained the reputation among the students of not tolerating lateness for fitting appointments, so it is usually not a problem. If a student is late or doesn't show, they receive a strongly worded letter from the chair of the department which means it usually doesn't happen again.
         
        As far as my student aides, I give them a sewing test before I hire them. I am not looking for an extraordinary level of skill - I just want to know that they can follow directions and sew a straight line. If they have some pride in their work and are interested in learning, I can teach them sewing skills. As a result, my junior and senior student aides are capable of assisting me in supervising the student crews. Sometimes, I have three crews at a time with 30+ students, so it is too much for me alone. Occassionally, we do have to fix some of the crews' work, but I rarely have to fix the work done by my student aides.
         
        Also, since my position is in the secretary's union, I am paid hourly based on a 35 hour work week. For any hours over that (and I do lots), I get paid overtime. I think, however, that is unusual for shop manager positions.
         
        If you have any other questions, feel free to e-mail me at NYCFabricFinder@....
        -Cheryl 
         
         
         
         

        Cheryl McCarron
        NYC Fabric Finder

        --- On Thu, 12/11/08, Kate Murphy <costumerkate@...> wrote:

        From: Kate Murphy <costumerkate@...>
        Subject: [TheCostumersManifesto] Questions for University Shop Managers
        To: TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Thursday, December 11, 2008, 8:35 PM






        Since I'm considering a university position, I thought I would ask
        those of you who are costume shop managers at colleges or universities
        a couple questions -- I could use some input!

        First, what would you say you spend MOST of your time doing?

        What do you think are the most difficult parts of the job?

        What do you like least about your position?

        What do you like best?

        Do you think you are better or worse off than you would be in a
        professional shop? Why?

        THANK YOU to anyone who can respond; I truly appreciate it.

        Kate


















        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.