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Musings on m
y life as a busy opera singer, voice teacher, photographer and mom - not necessarily in that order! I consider myself immensely fortunate to have carved out a way of doing all of these things which mean so much to me - it may sometimes get a little crazy, but it's always worth it. Welcome to the madhouse!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Connections and clothes

After a month of connection troubles we will be switching providers. We’ll see how quickly they can get us up and running, but in the meantime access is still somewhat limited (hence the sporadic posting).

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A shout out to all the wonderful costumers, stitchers, tailors and wardrobe mistresses out there!

My latest show involves a lot of falling down onstage and, while I’m happy to do this for the director, it was getting a little, how shall we say…. PAINFUL. I was particularly worried about the costume since I was pretty sure they would be using a dress I had worn previously which had a (very period-correct!) steel-cage petticoat to create the period look (either 17th or 18th century depending on how you want to interpret it!).

(a similar shape to this drawing, but made with more narrowly-spaced and continuous rigid steel hoops - no gap at the front as drawn, but complete rings - hinged so they can move a little bit vertically, but not horizontally. You put it on over your head.)

While I’m prepared to deal with the occasional bruise, I knew that the physicality of the staging in that garment would be a genuine safety risk, and was worried that I’d possibly get caught between the director’s requests and the costume.

As soon as I got to my fitting, I mentioned the potential problem. Fortunately, the wonderful wardrobe coordinator for the show took it in stride and somehow managed to magic up two completely different dresses that were designed to go over a PADDED bumroll/petticoat combination, thus not only preventing me from injuring myself on the original petticoat, but in fact giving me some extra protective padding in the process!

All of this in the space of an hour-long fitting, and both dresses are perfect for the character, flattering and will fit like a dream once she's done the usual "nip and tuck" on them (it's assumed that if a costume was not made for an artist that it will likely need some alterations - it's very rare to have a period gown fit "off the rack"!). Granted, this is a full-service costume rental company and they do have choices available in stock. But given that I’m on the tall side at 5’9” and it can be hard just to find something long enough for me, the fact that she came up with these entirely character-appropriate new options on the fly is a real tribute to professionalism and skill for which I am profoundly grateful!

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