This series of opinion pieces about theatre personnel is reprinted with the kind permission of The Lovers, The Dreamers and You. The Lovers, the Dreamers and You consists of some very creative minds. They create a Podcast about passion, inspiration, loving what you do & following your dreams. Read their blog & download their podcast. They can be followed on twitter at @LoversDreamersU
Costume Designer??? Lots of passion for fashion – that’s for sure. But a passion for fashion isn’t enough. You may enjoy dressing yourself, but do you enjoy dressing others? In different time periods – perhaps real or imagined? Do you love thrift shopping? And sewing? Because all of these desires and skills are a must for a great Costume Designer.
The best are creative and usually on ridiculously small budgets. Sure, Broadway and Stratford designers can buy the finest silks for their gowns, but for the regular theatre folk, scrounging, repurposing and borrowing is essential to costume a show on a simple budget.
The passion for fashion will allow the great Costume Designers the opportunity to find and sew amazing outfits for men, women, children and sometimes creatures that you could barely imagine. They’ll make them in a variety of sizes to match a large chorus of dancing boys and girls and they’ll find designer gowns abandoned in Value Village and scurry them home to their personal storage for some future use – because they are certain that they’ll be able to use them in the future… for something.
They’ll deal with Diva actresses and actors who don’t want to wear what has been chosen for them. They’ll deal with directors who know exactly what they want and others who have no idea what people should wear in 1950, Victorian times or even today. They’ll deal with deadlines and schedule changes, missing actors and torn or soiled items and do it all with a smile. And when the show is over… they’ll take all the costumes home and clean them, fix them, sort them and store them lovingly away for the next time they are called into use.
Then… they’ll start again – on the next show!
What makes the best …
Producers are tough, because no two are alike and no two see their roles the same. Some folks like be very hands off and others demand to be in the thick of the production.
Creativity goes with the entire job – and is vital to every aspect of being a director. You’ve got to be creative in everything you do and always be on the lookout for new ideas.
It’s a tough job. Sure it can be fun, rewarding and at times even lucrative, but acting is one of the toughest gigs in the whole business of show. Here’s why…
the show belongs to the Stage Manager. It won’t happen without them. No calls are given, no audience is admitted and no curtain goes up without them.
A great Set Designer needs to be able to take their artistic sensibilities and skills and apply them to the whole vision of the show.
The best Lighting Designers will read the script. And read it again, and again, and probably again. Their medium is very, very visual and ephemerally so.
A Music Director is in the Director’s corner and has his/her back on the artistic decisions that affect the show. They know how to take that vision and translate it into the music
For Choreographic work in Theatre the skills are specific. The dance should, whenever possible, further the story or service the plot in some fashion.
Good people. That’s what you need more than anything is good people who are willing to give their time to a project. Then you got to let them run with it!
Ceris Thomas is a creative person. She teaches by day – and finds as much creativity in her job as she can and by night, (and during every spare minute she has), she creates through directing/choreographing and performing plays, drawing, writing, podcasting and now, sewing puppets.
She likes to help others find and nurture their creativity and she loves finding out about other people’s path to their own creative projects. The Lovers, The Dreamers and You can be followed on twitter at@LoversDreamersU