April 27, 2012

Sewing for theater Guys & Dolls




Let’s recap: In December 2011 I announced my pending move to Iowa. B2 (the BF) left me in Michigan as I had intended to stay in the mitten till the end of the winter semester due to the fact that I was slated to teach and had been offered an opportunity to serve as an Assistant Costume Designer in Eastern Michigan University’s production of Guys and Dolls. As things tend to do, life let me down. I should restate; the Apparel Textiles and Merchandising Program at Eastern Michigan University, namely one former “mentor” in that program, let me down time after time. This time, said “mentor” informed me right before winter break that I would not be teaching due to “low enrollment” via an e-mail message.


Q: What is an under- employed girl stuck in a state that is under water, to do?
A: Tough it out, make do, carry on, and fully absorb a once in a lifetime offer to learn the ins and outs of theatrical costume design, of course!
In January, as my financial woes began to swallow me whole. I went in for a job interview and sewing test at the infamous David’s Bridal (leaving college I swore to myself I would never settle for doing alterations for money ever again. It’s funny how fast self ideals dilute when you can barely make your low rate rent for the sickening slum you reside in). I am not going to lie; I really did not think I would get the job. I had such a horrible time interviewing for jobs since graduation on top of that I was only planning on staying in the state until May and I tend to be over honest in an interview do there was no holding that back. Yet I was intrigued by the sewing test: what was involved within the “test”, whether I would pass it, or if I was even skilled enough to work on wedding gowns and formal attire. (I have the worst case of low self esteem know to man). Somehow this scenario worked out well for both parties involved, I got the job and have had the opportunity to meet a group of the nicest, kindest and interesting like-minded women who not to mention possess the most intense work ethic!

So the new gig was paying for me to pack it up and move it 500 miles away. But in the interim I got skilled in the field of costume design. I went head first, sink or swim, into the opportunity. I entered with very limited knowledge of theater; I came out with a broad range of firsthand costuming experience that I could not have duplicated anywhere else. I also had the invaluable opportunity to work directly with a mentor who valued my worth, appreciated my integral skills, and genuinely wanted to see me succeed while pursuing my goals and dreams.


Bushel and a Peck.

What I adored about costuming is the details, nothing is overlooked, every character, head to toe, costume by costume. G& D is a wonderful show for costumes as there is such as large cast. We built some pieces and I got to help with the costume construction (which is what I love). I also was given a chance to design pieces for the show; I made 7 hats for the hot box gals! They were too cute, if I do say so myself. http://emutheatre.tumblr.com/

Take Back Your Mink. Look at those cute hats!
In one week I will be back to making my dresses but I will be in my new location, IA.
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