Is your director happy with the costumes?
People who see the show will be evaluating your acting, not your costume.
If you have a small part or are a member of the ensemble, then I agree with the posters before me: keep quiet and do your job. Most of the time, nobody will be looking at you and in the long run you will be served better by a reputation for being "easy to work with".If, however, you are playing a lead, PARTICULARLY if your character is supposed to be attractive, then I think you might have a brief and private sit down with your director. Be prepared to accept whatever s/he decides. (If you do this, you may impress the director with your attention to character, or you may offend hir and appear overly aggressive. That's the risk you take.)But nobody wants to see an unattractive or unflattered Laurie, Nellie, Marian Paroo, Rosabella, etc. Even Fannie Brice in FUNNY GIRL outgrows her awkward phase as she rises to stardom; she may not become a true Ziegfeld Girl and may remain "interesting" more than "beautiful", but she isn't supposed to remain unattractive.To me, this is the difference between "stars" (whatever the level, including community theater) and "chorus girls". Stars are always aware of how they are being presented and do whatever it takes to make a positive impression.I write this as someone who has been on the opposite side--as a "production coordinator"--and had to make hard choices as to how precious dollars would be spent. Angela Lansbury, to take one example, was about the loveliest human being I can imagine; but she didn't wear clothes that made her look ugly.
CATSNYrevival said: "You’re an actor. Your job is to act not to criticize the creative team. If the director was unhappy with the costumes they would be changed."Ahhh if only all actors actually took that advice..
Dolly80 said: "CATSNYrevival said: "You’re an actor. Your job is to act not to criticize the creative team. If the director was unhappy with the costumes they would be changed."Ahhh if only all actors actually took that advice.."I don't think we'd be better off. Actors aren't puppets or robots. They aren't always reliable as to what is best for the play, but on the other hand they may know their instruments (i.e., themselves) better than any creative jobbed in to work one project.I am reminded of Beverly Sills (I never met her, but she had a reputation for being a good collaborator). She talked about some role she sang early in her career that is often costumed in a gold dress; with her vivid red hair, however, the gold only clashed. So she asked for a silver dress instead. And asked. And asked, etc., throughout the rehearsal period.Finally, she took a pair of pinking sheers and cut the gold dress into small shreds of fabric, at a cost of thousands of dollars. And she had her silver dress by the next rehearsal.In telling the story, she said the point was not only that she looked much better in silver, but that it was important to impress on the creative management that she had some temperament as well. Of course, one has to be Beverly Sills to pull that off; I don't recommend it until one is at that level of success.
Ugly in what way? As others have said, do the costumes suit the character? If it's just a matter of being in a low-budget production, at least for female character costumes, the right undergarments and accessories can make some difference. If it has to do with how things fit and you don't know how to do alterations, a few discreet safety pins can help. I wouldn't recommend straight pins. Too easy to get stabbed accidentally or stab your scene partner.
Your first comment was that the costumes were "extremely ugly and unflattering". Now you're saying your concern is actually that they are too flattering and too nice looking given the character is living on the street. Well, that's not contradictory at all. If you feel that strongly about it, talk to the director and share your concerns and suggestions and let that person instruct the costumer to make any changes he/she feels are appropriate. It's the director's vision of how he or she wants the character you're playing to look. If I was the director and you went directly to the costumer to change the look I thought was appropriate without talking to me, I would be less than thrilled.
This thread is full of good advice on how actors may be part of the collaboration process. I have no idea why the OP felt the need to delete the title and hir posts. All s/he did was ask a reasonable question.I appreciate the posts that show costumers aren't infallible. I wrote a musical about a lesbian wedding (20 years ago) in which one of the brides always wore pants and had AN ENTIRE SONG about how she felt alienated and uncomfortable in a traditional wedding dress.The costumer brought in his sketches and he had designed a PANTS SUIT instead of a wedding dress for the character!So I wouldn't assume your costumer has even read the script. (Don't say that to the costumer, just keep it in mind before you assume s/he is an expert.)ETA I don't mean this as a diatribe against designers. On the whole I've had very good experiences. But a lot happens to a production during the rehearsal period and designers often aren't present to see the show evolve. Don't assume they know the show better than you do; just remember to pick an appropriate time and place to raise a question, and be respectful when you do it.
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