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Re: [TheCostumersManifesto] What do you wish someone had told you about costuming?

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  • Cat Devereaux
    Get into the job because you love it. If you re looking for a 40 week and good pay, try business school. Don t just take the director s word for what
    Message 1 of 12 , Mar 28 2:17 PM
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      Get into the job because you love it. If you're looking for a 40 week
      and good pay, try business school.

      Don't just take the director's word for what costumes need to do. Go
      over the scrip yourself in detail making notes about anything unusual.
      Meet, discuss, pin it down.

      Be willing to stand up to a director sometimes when something can't be
      done in the time/money requested. BUT, have a couple of alternate
      suggestions to replace the unreachable demands, pointing out how these
      will save time/money/mess/be more successful.

      Be willing to stand up to a director and just say NO when something is
      going to be unsafe for the actors.

      When you're under a budget/time crunch, meet with the director. If you
      can pin down something that will only be seen from the front of a
      costume, or the background (or back of the stage), and the director
      agrees to the limits, you can cut out a lot of time/work/expense. (Of
      course directors don't like this limit... and they don't care about
      time... always speak about saving the budget, best bang for the buck,
      etc. Remember to coach everything in their terms, not yours.)

      Once you get started with costuming, it's almost impossible to get it
      out of your blood! Beware! But... have lots of fun, too.

      -Cat-
    • Carin JACOBS
      If you are on a tight budget, the easiest way to make your show look well designed is to use color....characterize using color, group people together using
      Message 2 of 12 , Mar 28 2:33 PM
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        If you are on a tight budget, the easiest way to make your show look "well designed" is to use color....characterize using color, group people together using blocks of color...tie individuals together with color...show character evolution with color changes.

        Carin
        www.CarinJacobsCostumeDesign.com
        562-547-9276 cell






        To: TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com
        From: zimmermanel@...
        Date: Sun, 28 Mar 2010 00:38:47 +0000
        Subject: [TheCostumersManifesto] What do you wish someone had told you about costuming?





        My niece is doing the costumes for a local production. She wanted to know if I had any tips. After composing a tretise that will take her days to read, I got to thinking. What do you wish someone had told you when you started? Elizabeth






        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • KEVIN LARSEN
        Remember that stage costuming is different than screen costuming. Layer.... I always try to get everything wearable, and functional on stage and then go back
        Message 3 of 12 , Mar 29 7:04 AM
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          Remember that stage costuming is different than screen costuming.

          Layer....
          I always try to get everything wearable, and functional on stage and then go back and add trims and details as time and budget permits.

          Cat's ideas about talking to directors are right on. Presenting ideas based on budget, and having workable alternatives just in case. You certainly don't want to alienate any director because you never know when you'll be working with them again later.

          Be flexible when working with others like stage managers, choreagraphers, set designers, even lighting. If your not invited to those staff meetings, Invite yourself and go anyway. It may seem like it doesn't apply to you but one comment about how "hot" the lights are going to be or how many stage levels there are going to be will have an impact on your design. You may decide to scratch the 3 foot train on a dress when you find out the actress has to climb up and down a staircase on stage.

          Don't let your actors or actresses costume themselves. Be open to concerns about safety and movement, but color, style, and that adorable brooch, or hideous tie are all up to you...

          Plan, Plan, Plan. It will save you lots of work later...

          Have fun!!! Costuming is a blast. Seeing it all come together is one of the most rewarding feelings you will ever have.
          Lastly, Don't stress out. It always gets on stage in one form or another. Have chocolate and tea always at the ready, and learn how to laugh a lot.
          Break a leg.

          Brandie
          www.butteoperahouse.com

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • llsturts@greatlakes.net
          Greetings, all I need to craft several horse costumes--the kind the actor wears so it appears they are riding the horse. Often the rig is supported over the
          Message 4 of 12 , Mar 29 12:27 PM
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            Greetings, all

            I need to craft several horse costumes--the kind the actor wears so it
            appears they are "riding" the horse. Often the rig is supported over the
            actor’s shoulders, like by suspenders, I think. Has anyone built such a
            thing? I'm looking for and and all the guidance, advise and ideas I can
            get!

            Thanks in advance,

            ~lisa.s

            --
            ~lisa.s llsturts<AT>greatlakes<DOT>net
          • history_lady25
            Oh boy do I agree to that one! I just finished assisting with costumes for a show where the director did just that! He added 12 full costumes (and wanted to
            Message 5 of 12 , Mar 29 2:03 PM
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              Oh boy do I agree to that one! I just finished assisting with costumes for a show where the director did just that! He added 12 full costumes (and wanted to add more) to the over 110 full costumes already planned and in construction for the show, within two weeks of opening night. The costume designer ended up having to go way over budget because she had to purchase ready-made costumes and pay for rush shipping to get everything to the theater by opening night, and one of the costumes didn't make it in time to be worn until the second performance! We had to make the actress something to wear at the last minute ...

              Elizabeth Urbach

              --- In TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com, Terry Dunlop <dunlopterry@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > Beware of directors that start adding chorus characters to scenes the last few days before the show and learn how to just say "No".
              >
              > Terry Dunlop
              >
              > Love is a promise, love is a souvenir,
              > once given never forgotten, never let it disappear.
              > ~John Lennon
            • Patricia Rohrbach
              And the producer was ok with this? Oh my what a thing to do last min. ... From: history_lady25 To: TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com Sent: Monday, March
              Message 6 of 12 , Mar 29 2:25 PM
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                And the producer was ok with this? Oh my what a thing to do last min.
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: history_lady25
                To: TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Monday, March 29, 2010 2:03 PM
                Subject: [TheCostumersManifesto] Re: What do you wish someone had told you about costuming?



                Oh boy do I agree to that one! I just finished assisting with costumes for a show where the director did just that! He added 12 full costumes (and wanted to add more) to the over 110 full costumes already planned and in construction for the show, within two weeks of opening night. The costume designer ended up having to go way over budget because she had to purchase ready-made costumes and pay for rush shipping to get everything to the theater by opening night, and one of the costumes didn't make it in time to be worn until the second performance! We had to make the actress something to wear at the last minute ...

                Elizabeth Urbach

                --- In TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com, Terry Dunlop <dunlopterry@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > Beware of directors that start adding chorus characters to scenes the last few days before the show and learn how to just say "No".
                >
                > Terry Dunlop
                >
                > Love is a promise, love is a souvenir,
                > once given never forgotten, never let it disappear.
                > ~John Lennon





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • history_lady25
                The producer said just do whatever you have to do to make it work. He meant well, but it took all the designers complaints (because the director was making
                Message 7 of 12 , Mar 30 7:00 PM
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                  The producer said "just do whatever you have to do to make it work." He meant well, but it took all the designers' complaints (because the director was making similar changes to their designs at the last minute) to get him to say "all right, NO MORE CHANGES!" We got the last two days of tech week with no changes, but the whole experience was extremely frustrating ... Anyway, it's over, and only those of us who knew the backstage drama could see the effects on stage.

                  --- In TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com, "Patricia Rohrbach" <pattyjo110@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > And the producer was ok with this? Oh my what a thing to do last min.
                  > ----- Original Message -----
                  > From: history_lady25
                  > To: TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com
                  > Sent: Monday, March 29, 2010 2:03 PM
                  > Subject: [TheCostumersManifesto] Re: What do you wish someone had told you about costuming?
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Oh boy do I agree to that one! I just finished assisting with costumes for a show where the director did just that! He added 12 full costumes (and wanted to add more) to the over 110 full costumes already planned and in construction for the show, within two weeks of opening night. The costume designer ended up having to go way over budget because she had to purchase ready-made costumes and pay for rush shipping to get everything to the theater by opening night, and one of the costumes didn't make it in time to be worn until the second performance! We had to make the actress something to wear at the last minute ...
                  >
                  > Elizabeth Urbach
                  >
                  > --- In TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com, Terry Dunlop <dunlopterry@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Beware of directors that start adding chorus characters to scenes the last few days before the show and learn how to just say "No".
                  > >
                  > > Terry Dunlop
                  > >
                  > > Love is a promise, love is a souvenir,
                  > > once given never forgotten, never let it disappear.
                  > > ~John Lennon
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                • annybanany2
                  Beware of directors that tell you this job will be easy, only 6 characters run the other way!
                  Message 8 of 12 , Apr 13, 2010
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                    Beware of directors that tell you "this job will be easy, only 6 characters" run the other way!

                    --- In TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com, "catslave54" <zimmermanel@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > My niece is doing the costumes for a local production. She wanted to know if I had any tips. After composing a tretise that will take her days to read, I got to thinking. What do you wish someone had told you when you started? Elizabeth
                    >
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