Amalgamation of Life


WHYYYY did I think this one was going to be possible?  With my schedule and everything else I on my plate in the month of July.

  • Sew one item of clothing from archive of patterns

This will be a short post as I explain, yet again, how life gets in the way of the wants and desires of my inner creative soul.  It does exist, but I don’t nourish it enough.  I often put myself dead last, but I never think anything is wrong with that because who doesn’t do that?  Don’t we often lose ourselves when taking care of our friends, family, significant others?

Aside: I’m going to try to use the word ‘often’ less often in the remainder of this post.

It is true, however, that the more we become enraptured with new people, new activities, current responsibilities and general life qualms – we lose a part of ourselves and what makes us internally and externally great.  A majority of my friends, mainly my coworker friends, do not know that I can sew.  Unfortunately, a majority of my theatre friends do know that I can sew and they often (dammit) use it to the advantage of their show.  Granted, I am no seamstress – even though I have several certificates that says I can make a straight seam and can fuse pretty well – but I get the job done.

Another Director, a close friend of mine, just the other night, told me about an experience with a costumer who had a meltdown two weeks prior to show opening.  I try to have my meltdown when I am away on vacation (something I have done twice on him now, I leave either opening weekend or very near tech week) or very early on when the initial overwhelming feelings hit me.  He has never raised his voice or been upset because he knows that after I have my meltdown, there’s no holds bar.  I get everything done.  I craft or purchase whatever my actors need.

He also doesn’t mind when I use that term – my actors.  As a member of production staff, even when I am only a costumer and theoretically no longer necessary on set after opening (short of any major rips/tears/buttons lost), I stay for rehearsals – late during tech week and attend every single performance.  I stay to gauge any feelings of restlessness and uncertainty a cast might feel – as another staff member they could vent to when and if they need it.  Even though I might personally feel like a failure (and wish I had picked a different dress for a character) it does and does not end up mattering – as long as every one is dressed (short of it being the Full Monty).

A costume is one of the pivotal moments for an actor.  One of the plays I worked on with my director friend I made the mistake of being too hard lined with what I wanted and I made an actress feel uncomfortable.  Things were changed and I had to let it go but I don’t think either of us had an entirely enjoyable experience at the end of it all.  With one of my shows following this, I made absolutely sure all of my actors were more than prepared and adequately comfortable with my ideas in their outfits.  Despite one hiccup, I can honestly say that this has been an improvement on my part and continues to be a learning experience for my future endeavors.

I will say that even though I may not have sewn an item from my archive, I repaired several buttons during my directorial debut (didn’t I tell you that I was also the costume assistant for those 8 shows? Unbeknownst to me).  I am preparing to create a make up plot for one show and several costume plots for another show come December/January.  I’ll stay a busy bee as long as I can and continue to learn from these past experiences, hopefully you can learn from my mistakes, too.  ‘Til next time.


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