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Re: Overshadowing costumes...

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  • Curtis Kidd
    ... Y know, my personal take on it would be, thank goodness I ve given them SOMETHING worth talking about in a positive light. ;) At least your director gave
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 9, 2006
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      > From: "catslave54" <zimmermanel@...>
      > Subject: When the costumes overshadow the rest of the
      > production
      >
      > I feel as if my costumes overshadow the rest of the show.
      > I could
      > have done a much simpler version of everything: Lion's
      > mane out of
      > yarn,that kind of thing.Everyone has said how great the
      > costumes
      > are,but I feel like they were the ONLY thing about this
      > show TO
      > compliment.It's like wearing a sumptuous ballgown to the
      > Dollar
      > Store!
      > Has anyone else ever had this problem? Elizabeth

      Y'know, my personal take on it would be, thank goodness
      I've given them SOMETHING worth talking about in a positive
      light. ;)

      At least your director gave you some kind of clear
      direction to work in. I feel bad for our designers from
      last year... they did, basically, what the director asked
      for (especially the set designer...our set is basically
      just a flat wall that needs to be painted into a backdrop
      that fits the entire feel of the show--works for a music
      review...but the director said he wanted something 'classic
      Hollywood, kind of like from the black and white era'.
      That's exactly what he got...and then he complained that
      the set was too gray...) Personally, I thought the
      costumes from the show last year looked really good...with
      one or two exceptions; but he thought they were appallingly
      bad. It's been one of those 'I'll shut up--you're the
      boss' experiences, but it's taught me to make sure that I
      get the director to explain EXACTLY what he's looking for,
      and also that I point out potential problems, in advance,
      with the design they're suggesting, if only to cover my own
      backside ("Well, y'know, I told you that it would be really
      difficult to find six distinctive jewel-tone colors for
      those opener gowns...sorry that three of them are too
      close, but at least they're all jewel-tones."--yes, that
      was one of his gripes about last year's costumes...after
      the designer twisted his arm to change from jewel-tones to
      a palette that allowed for a little more diversity!)

      I'm glad your production will have something to save it
      from the 'just another high-school-production' file of
      really bad shows...;) Congrats on managing to keep
      yourself sane, despite the changing demands for your time
      and efforts!




      Curtis Kidd
      "Remember, the light at the end of the tunnel could be you!"

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    • Julia Trimarco
      From: catslave54 ... I don t have personal experience of this as the designer, but many times as a member of the costuming staff. I
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 9, 2006
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        From: "catslave54" <zimmermanel@...>
        > Subject: When the costumes overshadow the rest of the
        > production...I feel as if my costumes overshadow the rest of the show...but I feel like they were the ONLY thing about this show TO compliment...Has anyone else ever had this problem? Elizabeth


        I don't have personal experience of this as the designer, but many times as a member of the costuming staff. I have had friends compliment shows I worked on by saying, "The costumes were fabulous!" I take the compliments graciously, but I know how it feels to have put my best work into a show that lacked in many other areas outside of my control.

        But you can't let it get you too down, and certainly don't ever let the worry of that in the future make you compromise the quality of your work. If a production is not acted nor directed well, if the story or writing itself is not a good choice, that is the fault of others, and not your concern.

        On the other hand, I have seen costumes upstage otherwise perfectly good productions. The only way to know when to pull back is to attend as many rehearsals and creative team meetings as possible, or send an assistant to take notes. Voice any concerns during the process. If it's too late, apply what you've learned to your next project (and perhaps think twice before working with the same team again -- and if you do decide to work with the director -- or whoever -- again, voice your past concerns at the first opportunity).

        -Julia


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