Block 266: November 26, 2013

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Did you guess brown today?

Date: November 26, 2013

Crane: 266

Days Spent on Project: 283

Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC

Person I would have sent it to: Shari C.

Shari was the Craftsperson who worked at Actors Theatre of Louisville. She was another was one of the lifer’s, who formed a cornerstone of who the costume shop was. When I interviewed in Louisville for the position, they were working on a production of Constant Star and Shari was introduced to me while she was making a Victorian PURSE.

I was floored. A theater that had someone on full-time staff who could make accessories? At 22, I felt like I had been thrown from the little leagues into the majors.

I know now that this isn’t that uncommon. (I mean, even *I’ve* made hats and recovered parasols.) But it’s exciting to walk into a theater, as a costume designer, and have someone there with that specialty… someone who can tint your fabric, age or distress it, make you a period hat or gloves, work with leather or weird materials… and have that someone be good at it and like doing it.

Shari taught me how to make tutu’s, the importance of pinking tulle, how to sew leather, how dye more effectively, how to cut steel corset bones, and how to remount a show and have fun. She was tasked annually to remount the production of A Christmas Carol that ATL produced. Every fall (in late October!), she’d go in the basement and start hauling up all the hundreds of costumes and bins of accessories that made up that production. Actors Theatre still mounts that show, but I think it’s been redesigned by now.

For two years, Shari and I fit those old clothes on new actors and make adjustments to freshen things up. It was a lot of fun.

Music I listened to while sewing: Today I’m listening to Calvin Harris.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: One half of the dance concert is done! I’m tackling the other half this afternoon!

And they actually paid me yesterday! HALLELUJAH!

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