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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Quick Change Artist

My actor did not look like this... 


In college I worked as a costume assistant for Shakespeare Santa Cruz, a professional, avant garde theater company who used the text of Shakespeare's most famous plays, but turned production values on their heads. As You Like It was set in the 70's in a trailer park, another piece had everyone dressed in leather.

My job was to hide in the blackness of backstage with a completely rigged quick-change outfit for a strapping, sweating actor, who would then come barreling toward me with less than a  minute to strip out of one character's ensemble and become someone else. It was tense. I still recall the anxiety that accompanied the sound of ripping velcro, as this man tore off his too tight Pound of Flesh suit and yanked on the next look. Buttons were faked with snaps, the bow-tie was pre-sewn on, and safety pins were used swiftly but cautiously.

Little did I know, night after night of keeping my cool under duress and shoving this man's feet into boots and spats would be perfect training for another future daily challenge: dressing my two year old and four year old simultaneously. So when I have that little niggling thought after the Cheerios but before the 5-Point-Harness car seat, "I went to college for...this?"

The answer is, in fact, yes. And I'll take the sweet scent of baby powder and kissy feet over the other option any day.

Is there anything cuter?

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