Curtains! finally opened. The gang is dressed. Only a few minor costume breaks/mistakes were made, none that were noticeable to the untrained eye. I am floored with the amount of work that I accomplished and proud of what it looks like on stage. No matter how prepared and how well things went during tech week, or any kind of rehearsal period, things are going to happen. Uncontrollable things such as necklaces breaking at the closure or zippers splitting apart. There’s just nothing you can do to prepare for those moments other than have a back up plan.
I did and I do. Three mistakes happened last night and they were handled quickly and with no disruption to the show. That, to me, makes an excellent costume designer. Granted, I am not saying that this is always the case for me but last night it was. And it’s perfectly fine only coming up with the outfits and creating a colorful atmosphere amongst the ensemble. But to me, that’s just the beginning.
From my perspective, a costumer also has to be prepared for those unpredictable moments which prove your mettle. My goal on performance nights is to remain as calm as possible, which is very difficult for me any typical moment in my life, so as to have the least negative impact on actors. They don’t need the additional stress on production nights and most definitely not on opening night. My favorite phrase of the night, and it makes me laugh to think of this, was “I’m sorry Mercedes but…”
They were all prepared for me to be angry. I don’t think because I let any of my real personality shine through (my friends know what I mean), but I think because they had bad experiences with costumers (and maybe other production staff roles). I had solutions to their problems and I wasn’t upset with any of them. They were all doing what they were supposed to be doing–coming to me when a problem occurred so it could be fixed immediately. That’s all I ever asked and I believe they were truly grateful it wasn’t a rouse.
I think any and all actors can and do appreciate a positive and reassuring presence backstage. That’s a new goal of mine that I didn’t know I needed to portray and be for my cast. The things you learn and the things you take to heart. It was a fantastic opening night. Pictures to come soon. ‘Til next time.