Wednesday, March 18, 2009

In Order of Appearance - The Process

Since I have spent so much time away from you, I thought I should explain myself. I hope that you will allow me to indulge a bit. I love what I do as a volunteer costumer for our fine arts program. It is sometimes a bit more than the schedule can handle, but I seem to make it happen anyway.

Dress rehearsals, opening night, sitting in the audience, sending John out for water, then tape, then socks, then medicine, then kleenex, is part of the stress of theatre. I could not do this without him. Nagging actors to hang up their costumes in such a way that makes my job easier is not a lot of fun either. They are young. And, some are slobs. I am not their mother. I am not their mother. I fulfill more roles than the program bares witness to. I am the designer, shopper, coordinator, cleaner, and wench of costumes as well as teacher, pacifier, moral builder and hugger. I work behind the scenes, at home, at school and backstage.

Like with my writing, it is the process I love. I am on the play selection committee - something I take seriously. During selection this past year, I noticed the committee leaning heavily to Moliere's Tartuffe. Although I love the word play, the fun, the characters, I was not hot on the idea of creating costumes for thirteen actors like these...
and these...As a joke, I e-mailed that I thought bouffants and go go boots would be a great way to go. I was just kidding, but apparently I was the only one who knew that. The next thing I knew, we were placing Tartuffe in the 1960s rather than the 1660s. I was thrilled to have such a fun era to play with. As I work my way through the process, I hope you will recognize some iconic figures of this era - some quirky images of things we, the over forties, knew in our lives.
I am included in the auditions and Jon, our director, makes decisions but not without imput and I love that I can give some of that imput. I love watching these actors grow into their roles and I love helping them do so by the clothes I create for them.

I would like to share a bit of my process and some of my sketchbook. I am not an artist, so collecting images is how I begin to shape the ideas that eventually transform into my art on stage. So, without further adieu, I introduce you to the OTC Fine Arts Program's cast of Tartuffe...fully dressed.
Mdme. Pernelle
This is Helen. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature. Her day job identity is as a real estate sales extraordinaire and is a dynamo actress with a wonderfully snooty Scottish accent. I mean this in the best way possible. I wish I talked like that. She is adored, and brightened tired minds often during long rehearsals.
Helen played Mdme. Pernelle an overzealous mother and woman of high fashion and high conviction! She is fooled by Tartuffe more than even her son, Orgon. She speaks of and to Orgon as if he is a bafoon. I suppose we are all bafoons from time to time. Mdme. Pernelle evolved out of my experience with and knowledge of Coco Chanel. Sprite, witty, and speaking her mind, I gathered images of Coco and her suites. Mdme. Pernelle could afford the finest the sixties had to offer. I was lucky to find this wonderful pink boucle suit at a Junior League second hand store. The lining had a two inch separation in a seam and the shop knoocked off $30.00. It was a great find at $70.00. This suit is beautifully made, three pieces, with a gold weight chain at the jacket hem. Her shoes were also purchased at a second hand store in town - $3.00. Helen is a redhead, but a Queen Elizabeth wig, made the transformation complete and Mdme. Pernelle judged and scolded her way across the stage. She was great!
For Vintage Thingies Thursday - I present Mdme. Pernelle's pearls. I found these at one of my very favorite thrift stores. Three pearl bracelets from the Dollar Jewelry Store and my Chanel pearl earrings made things just right.
Visit Colorado Lady for Vintage Thingies Thursday and share your vintage treasures. If you would like to join us, visit Suzanne's lovely blog, post a comment to her vintage treasure post. Create your own Vintage Thingies Thursday post and create your Mr. Linky connection.

20 comments:

  1. Sounds like you have an interesting job. I love the vintage pearls.

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  2. What a great post! I think I have that necklace, a cast-off from my mom for playing dress-up.
    I love local theater!

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  3. Your costume choices are marvelous!
    The characters come alive on stage
    with these costumes! Bravo! and a
    fun post too!

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  4. Loved the pearls and your story.
    Happy VTT and hope you have a great weekend.

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  5. Kelly, the pearls are beautiful. I also loved the pictures of the 60's dos. I always wanted "puffy" hair...

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  6. This was a great post. I love the pearl necklace...I think I had one of these long ago!!

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  7. Brilliant using the 1960's and your costume is wonderful...very Chanel and I love the pearls.

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  8. WOW that was ssoo much fun!!...what a fabulous job :)

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  9. wow.. nice pearls! love it!.. thanks for sharing and have a nice day!

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  10. Fab job, Kelly! Congrats on a fun show! Wish I could've been there!
    Tim

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  11. She must be one terrific actress; just look at those facial expressions! Thanks for sharing. Happy Vintage Thingy Thursday. Here's mine: http://smilingsally.blogspot.com/2009/03/grandpas-needle-and-safety-pin.html

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  12. Great finds! I keep getting more and more jealous that I couldn't be there.

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  13. Wonderful post...I enjoyed it very much. Somewhere, I have some pearls almost like those...somewhere!!
    xo bj

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  14. Cool job! Love bouffants and pearls.

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  15. Great posting! Sounds like you keep very busy! Loved the photos - how cool!

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  16. The pearls were the perfect accessory to finish off the Mdme's fashionable persona. I have a box of similar accessories stashed away in a drawer somewhere!!

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  17. Wow...what a great post...the pearls are divine...looks like you are very talented also...

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  18. What a wonderful time. Although I know the work involved in a production such as this, I have also experienced the joy in being part of the theater experience. I have been able to be a part of many theatrical musicals, both on stage and behind the scenes. I have nothing but fabulous memories from each and every one, although they do take you away from from "real life" for a time. In recent years most of my family was involved too which made it much easier! How Fun!

    Stay Cozy, Carrie

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  19. you have done a great job with those costumers but what a hectic life..now is time for you to chill I think!!

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