My work in the back woods is nearing an end. It has been a lot of work, a lot of fun, and a long time away from tango! I dreamt about tango last night, and this morning was practicing boleos as I made pancakes, much to the amusement of my roommate who wandered in and could not figure out what exactly this pancake flipping technique was that I was using. Heh heh heh….
Here are some snippets of my daily interactions from the past few weeks that I thought were amusing.
The diva who behaved like a toddler – if she did not want to wear it, she hid it. Behind the mirror, under her own clothes, behind the props table backstage, under props…. Funny, I always found it and brought it to her, saying how strange it was that it was misplaced, and made her put it on. How did I find it? I thought about where my 5 year old goddaughter would have hidden it. I never accused her, the ensuing argument was not worth it, but I did take perverse pleasure in the deflated look she would give the hated item/s when I would hunt her down and put it on her.
The clueless chorus member. We don’t dress the orchestra chorus, they are supposed to arrive in their concert blacks. One chorus member came into our little costume shop opening night and asked for her outfit. We stared at her blankly for a few seconds and then explained that we don’t supply her clothing, she does. She then points to the preset costumes that are hanging in our room and asks to borrow “One of those”. At this point our shop manager explains that those are for the show and she can leave now. “But what am I going to do??? Maestro will be furious with me for forgetting my concert dress!!” Hmmmm…. Not our problem. Good luck with that!
The other diva who behaved badly – “But I could not possibly wear that!! It will make me look fat!!”. I hate to tell you darling, but the costumers are not here to make you look fat and ugly, unless of course you are playing the fat, ugly stepsister in Cinderella. We are here to make you look as best as we can and as close to the designer’s vision as possible. And yes, that does mean that you have to wear the control top pantyhose that we purchased for you and the dress that we altered to fit your body perfectly. We don’t care if it is “Something I would never buy!!” You don’t have to wear it off stage, only on stage. And just because something is not your style, does not mean that you look fat in it. It just means that it is not your style. And whining about it every time I have to dress you will not endear you to me or make me sympathetic to your plight. It makes me tired. Just put it on.
The quick change wonder – one of the quick changes that we had in the show was an entire change of clothing, from civilian to soldier, including shoes to boots, in 53 seconds. And the tenor I was assigned to was phenomenal. He moved quickly, he stayed focused, and he did not wiggle around. We always got it done in 48 seconds. He was great, and tonight he is getting a toy soldier as a present for being my quick change superstar.
In opera the “extras” are called supernumeraries, or supers for short. I had the super women to dress, and I barely had to do a thing. They were always dressed on time, they picked up after themselves, and they always hung up their costumes at the end of the show. I love them, and they all got presents opening night to show my appreciation for their professional and friendly demeanor. They rock.
The male super who gave T.M.I. – he asked what was being done with the costumes after the show as he and his girlfriend like to “dress up and play roles.”
Uhmmm…. Ick. Too Much Info, and now we all have to think about that when we dress you. And you can not have anything, it is not yours, and we could not possibly give any costume piece to you knowing what you would do with it. Piece of advice, next show you are in where you want to take home a costume, simply ask what is being done with the costumes, don’t offer the added tidbit of info, we worked hard on these costumes, and we don’t want to think of ourselves as costume pimps.
The darling diva – there was one principal who was just an absolute doll. She always thanked me for helping her, she never mistreated her garments, and she always cleaned up her space at the end of the night. So when she asked me to place her lip gloss backstage for her so she could reapply between scenes, I did and along with it placed a cold bottle of water for her and a small hand mirror. Karma my friends. When you are lovely to people, it comes back to reward you tenfold. She is being gifted with her shoes closing night, as she always told me how much she loves her Act One shoes. She did not ask for them. So she is going to get them. Because we love her.