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BWW Blog: Stitching Together A New Skill

BWW Blog: Stitching Together A New Skill

The more time I spend in college, especially as a Drama Major, I find myself really living by the first rule of improv: "Yes, And." This semester has been full of opportunities where I've agreed to do it something on a whim and had to figure out the logistics later on. It keeps the thrill of performance alive since it throws me into the thick of research and preparation that I love so much. The nervous-excited feeling in my stomach when trying something new in the world of Drama has become one that I now crave and chase.

I sensed this feeling again when I received my crew assignment for the semester. At Hofstra, all Drama majors are required to take five semesters of a course called Drama055. In this class, you are assigned to a crew for one of the mainstage productions and spend three nights a week working on the technical components of the show. You can work on the scenic build, costume construction, costume maintenance, run crew, board operation, front of house, or publicity. Before the semester, you fill out a form listing your preference for assignment and then find out which show and crew you are on a few weeks before classes begin.

BWW Blog: Stitching Together A New SkillFor this semester, I was assigned to the costume construction crew. I was initially concerned; I had never had real experience sewing more than on home economics class in sixth grade. The first few days of training were intimidating as I learned that one or two wrong moves could break the entire $900 sewing machine. However, the more time I spent in the basement of Emily Lowe Hall the more I felt a part of a vibrant and loving community. The costume shop allows several students to complete work study or volunteer for grant hours in addition to the crews. There is a report between those students and the two shop managers, both of which are incredibly warm, helpful, and hilarious. As the weeks went on, I felt less anxious asking for help or clarification and shared a good laugh with the shop manager when I did an entire cuff hem in a beautiful slip stitch when she asked for a cross stitch. I began to look forward to my evenings at the sewing table, where I would build friendships with my crewmates while we whip-stitched a seemingly endless amount of dance costume name tags.

As our last day of crew approached this week, we found ourselves bummed out that we wouldn't spend the end of our semester gossiping over garment hems. I realized that I would not only be leaving the costume shop with a valuable life skill, but also new connections in my department. I plan to request costume crew again for my spring assignment to put my energy into an area where I have budding friendships and professional passion. It proved to me that if I have faith in my "yes, and" ability and lean-into that nervous feeling, the outcome will be especially rewarding.

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From This Author Student Blogger: Madeline Oldham

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