Just me talking about costume-y kind of stuff
This year I have several new things on my plate. The biggest change is that I'm no longer using someone else's textbooks for my Makeup and Costuming classes. I have decided to write my own books for Professional Developement and have a deadline of July 25, 2015. My internal goals are to have Makeup finished by December and Costuming finished by May. That will give me June to run them by the IT department to get all the bugs worked out. Did I mention that they will NOT be paper books? Yes, ebooks is where the world is headed so I'm jumping in feet first. Phase One will be to publish locally through our BlackBoard server. My students will be my Beta testers. Phase Two (once I get the bugs worked out) will be to publish through Amazon Direct Publishing and make it available to the public.
As some of you may know this is Jerry MacLauchlin's last year as our director/choreographer and soon it will be time to search for a new faculty member. Tell all your friends about our position. I may end up being the Head of the Search Committee.
We have a new Coordinator of Theatre this year and it's Kelly Parker. Congratulations Kelly and good luck to you in your new position. Too bad it doesn't come with a pay raise.
For the first time ever, our department will recruit at a Comicon! It was my idea and luckily the nice gentlemen in charge of our HOT Comicon: Con of the Living Dead, have offered us a free table in exchange for advertising and promotion on campus. Our numbers are low this year so we really need to get more students interested in taking our technical theatre classes. Hopefully our season brochures will be printed by then and we'll get some new audience members as well.
Remember back in May when I did my first ever series of print ads for the Waco Transit Authority? Well, that campaign is ready to roll out. I have seen the first ads this weekend and as soon as they go live I'll be able to post them here so that you can see them too. They look really professional and I'm so proud to have been a part of that. The first one will be showing on the digital billboard at Valley Mills and Bosque, so keep an eye out for it. Julie promises it will be up sometime this week.
On a personal note, I now have three kids at three different schools for the first time ever. It's crazy trying to get Sylvan all the way across town after I drop Sarah off, but I suppose I'll get used to it. He loves his new school, especially Mr. Ellis his reading teacher. I love that he's playing Trumpet in Band! And of course there's still gymnastics for Sarah and piano lessons for them both to keep them busy.
If you're teaching or still in school or have kids that are still in school, I wish you a very exciting start of the new school year. Here's to lifelong teaching and learning!
If you've already read my last blog entry that I just published this morning, then it's ironic that my husband came across this article a mere couple of hours afterwards. Peter Capaldi was recently quoted as saying he wanted his version of the Doctor to dress in a way that kids could easily imitate. I guess, by now, at least one person is aware of how many people are out there putting a huge amount of effort into recreating that one iconic look. Thanks, Peter, for throwing us geeks a bone! My husband is already clamouring for me to make him this suit. The red lining is still going to be a bitch. You only have two options: you either reverse engineer the thrift store jacket to add a red poly lining or you build the thing from scratch. Not easy either way.
He ditched the bowtie. It wasn’t because he wanted to ditch the grandpa outfits. Capaldi wanted to see a darker Doctor, which is possibly related to growing up watching the Doctor in black and white. “There was just one version of it in which I felt like Doctor Who and I thought that’s what we should go with,” Capaldi said. “I also wanted to try and do something that was stark and simple and easily imitable, that kids wouldn’t have to spend a lot of money on, they could just button up their school shirt or whatever and wear a dark jacket.”
Quoted from this article:http://www.ibtimes.com/doctor-who-season-8-spoilers-find-out-whats-different-about-peter-capaldis-doctor-1654190
Now that I've turned my hand to recreating someone else's designs for fun, it makes me aware of just how little thought goes through the designer's head while creating these costumes about the lengths others may eventually go to in order to recreate the original design. Probably not one thought. They are just doing their jobs, wanting to get paid and hoping the show doesn't get cancelled. For example, take Kaylee.
The designer decides to put her in coveralls and boots because she's a mechanic. Of course, she would be in coveralls and of course they would be greasy. Now they need personalizing. so the designer probably thought, it's hot down in that engine room, I'll rip her sleeves off. She probably spends a whole lot of time down on her knees, I'll put holes in them and generally distress the rest of the garment. Again, it's hot,so we'll put her hair up off the back of her neck, but not in a school marm bun or a Buffy pony tail. Pigtails would be too cutesy, so we'll put the pigtails up in buns. We've got to make sure her face is dirty too and her fingernails. Now, we need to show her personality, she can't just be naked under those coveralls, I'll put her in a shirt. I'll make it pink and floral to show her femininity. Oh yeah, almost forgot Joss is wanting everyone to cuss in Mandarin Chinese. I'll write some Chinese characters on her coveralls with a sharpie. Then for my main point: the director/actress thinks Kaylee's costume is great, but if it could just be even more cutesy and little girl like. Her character is so innocent and trusting and believes the best of everyone, we need something that communicates those ideas to the audience. So the designer adds a teddy bear patch over the hole in the knee and a heart patch (big giant screaming metaphor here) and it's done.
The show runs for half a season and gets cancelled. The 3 million people who were watching it originally are devastated, the rest of the world missed it. YEARS go by and somehow (probably through the comic books) the show gets popular--cult status popular. Women all over America are hunting thrift shops, Army Navy surplus, and Ebay for coveralls in just that color of OD green, a pink floral shirt with long sleeves,and combat boots. Once they have the main items, they start scouring Hobby Lobby and other fabric stores for a big teddy bear patch and a tiny red heart. Not to mention the blue Chinese coat with Mandarin collar with buttons NOT frog closures, sandals, and the spiral painted paper umbrella that she only wears ONCE in the first scene. But it's totally iconic and instantly recognizable and because she was such a beloved character, the stereotypical girl next door type, every girl wants to BE her.
The designer never once thought about how easy or difficult it would be for Jane Doe Fangirl to recreate her design. And here we are more than 10 years later and people are still dressing like Kaylee and Willow and Buffy and Spike and tons of other characters besides. You can type "Kaylee cosplay" into any search engine and it will spit back dozens of blog entries documenting how to dress like Kaylee. There's at least one Etsy site where you can buy all three of Kaylee's patches in one convenient location. We have panels and workshops at cons to teach John Q Public how to cosplay. Professional cosplayers get invited to cons as if they were actual stars rather than just people who impersonate the actual stars. We even have a reality show about professional cosplayers on tv now. If you stop to think about it, it's really insane. In theatre everything is a one-off. The show closes, it's over, those costumes go back into storage and no one thinks about them anymore. But on TV and the movies, those costume designs live forever and fans can go back and watch them ad infinitum in order to put together a reasonable facsimile of the original. If you're a costume designer, it's the greatest compliment you'll ever get.