Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands.
Psalm 90:17

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Picture night

Last night was picture night for "As You Like It". That's when the director grabs a couple of pictures to send to the newspaper for publicity purposes. I hate picture night. For some reason, no matter how much I try to prepare for it, it never works right. Because of the shorter turnover time between the start of rehearsal (when I meet and measure the actors) and opening night, there is no way I can have EVERYTHING picture ready two weeks before opening. It's just not going to happen. So I have to have as much as possible done because I never know until just before what he wants for pictures. I concentrate on the principals, for sure, and maybe a quirky character that takes longer. Invariably, it seems I am just not where I want to be for the pictures. This time, I got conflicting lists of the scenes/characters he wanted to photograph and the frustration level rose. I arrive at the theatre early to dress those selected. Always there are a couple of actors who were sure they were supposed to be in the picture and when I have to tell them they weren't on the director's list their feelings are hurt. I feel bad. Frustration rises. An actor says he came in early because he was told he was to be photographed. I know nothing about it. Frustration rises. The director asks if a particular character can be dressed 'right now' for a picture. He wasn't listed and is particularly difficult to fit. "Can't you just throw him in something?" No, he is not a standard size and I am not a magician who can make clothing appear. Plus he is one of those 'quirky' characters that I designed a particular look for. So he says ''Can we photograph him tomorrow?' "Yes, absolutely." Okay. Moments later--- the actor is ordered to the photographer with a prop hat and having his picture taken. Frustration level hits the roof! I know the director needs to get this done but what he doesn't seem to care about is this: That picture is representative of MY work. That's what people will see to entice them to come to the show. They'll think "THAT is how the costumer saw that character?" It's not me. It's not my work. It's not my vision. There will be 'real' pictures taken later for archive and scrapbook purposes but very few will see them. It's frustrating. I hate picture night. Of course, I never get any pictures because I'm running around like a chicken with it's head chopped off. So I'll leave you with a shot taken at sunset from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel. It's calm and peaceful. Unlike picture night.


Donna said...

Hi Mickey,

Thanks for the comment. I would think you would know since you make costumes too. I've made tons but not for plays. I plan to post some later. I had a great time making a poodle skirt for a friend a long time ago. But I never got a picture.

It sounds so exciting what you do! But I'd bet it would be tough getting every one ready for the big group photo like that. PS. You like to do cakes too? Me too! I don't do them as much because it seems like I'm always sewing more. But I love that cake on your other post.

Your daughter looks lovely! Have you tried making her a more feminine style suit? The patterns for ladies suit jackets are so '50's ' and very feminine and even pant styles with the flared legs look unmistakably so. My daughter is working on a very feminine jacket.

Julia said...

I have considered contacting a nearby theatre to see if they need a costume designer and creator. After reading this, I'm not so sure. This is something I have thought about for a long time. After finding your blog, I've thought about it even more. I don't think I could add anything to my schedule now with my mom's situation and 2 new grands on the way, though.
That wedding cake is gorgeous!!!!