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LunaFairy
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#1
Posted: 10/11/19 at 6:38pm
Updated On: 10/13/19 at 06:38 PM
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henrikegerman
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Ugly Costumes?#2
Posted: 10/11/19 at 7:19pm

Is your director happy with the costumes?
 

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dramamama611
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Ugly Costumes?#3
Posted: 10/11/19 at 8:00pm
You wear them. One of tne golden rules of theater: Dont complain about your costume.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
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CATSNYrevival
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Ugly Costumes?#4
Posted: 10/11/19 at 8:36pm
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.
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Ugly Costumes?#5
Posted: 10/11/19 at 9:09pm

 

Updated On: 10/13/19 at 09:09 PM
UncleCharlie
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Ugly Costumes?#6
Posted: 10/11/19 at 10:31pm

People who see the show will be evaluating your acting, not your costume.

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Ugly Costumes?#7
Posted: 10/11/19 at 10:45pm

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.

Updated On: 10/12/19 at 10:45 PM
Dolly80
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Ugly Costumes?#8
Posted: 10/12/19 at 12:26am

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..

Rainah
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Ugly Costumes?#9
Posted: 10/12/19 at 12:41am
I did have one experience with this. We did the photoshoot for the show with faux vintage outfits because we didn't have the real costumes yet. For the real costume I looked through literally thousands of options, ended up driving 10 hours round trip to get the exact one I wanted. It was real vintage, and then we had it altered to accommodate blocking with equally vintage fabric. It was the real deal, and suited her non-showy character.


However, it wasn't as glamourous as the faux vintage stuff we used for photos, and when we proudly brought it out I could see the actor was disappointed and didn't like it. She didn't say anything. I almost wish she had, and we could have had a conversation about why I chose that piece and why I felt it fit the character. It wasn't as nice or as glamorous, but it wasn't a glamorous character and she spends the majority of the show in prison. We were looking for a piece that was a bit beat up.

Perhaps come from a place of questioning? Asking why they chose that item. If they don't have a lot of reasons, polietly suggest an alternative that won't take a lot of their time or budget. "You know, I have shoes I think would fit better. Maybe I could bring them to rehearsal tomorrow?"
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Ugly Costumes?#10
Posted: 10/12/19 at 12:44am

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.

Rainah
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Ugly Costumes?#11
Posted: 10/12/19 at 1:00am
Even if the actor is wrong about their costumes, it's still worth a conversation. If they don't feel good in their costume, they're not performing at their best, and that impacts the show.
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Ugly Costumes?#12
Posted: 10/12/19 at 11:12am
I played Daisy in a community theater production of Side Show this summer. The costume designer did a horrible job, she didn’t read the script. She asked if there was a more outgoing twin, didn’t know that there was a wedding, etc. She also bought the same size dresses for me and my twin, even though we wore two-three dress sizes apart. So I spoke to the director and he and I together basically recostumed the show off of amazon because there was no way we could fit/wear these horrible costumes. I feel bad for the ensemble though, because most of that just had to stay how it was. She was pretty angry about it, but that’s her fault for dropping the ball so badly.
Hunter: Your teeth need whitening./ Heidi: You sound weird./ Jeff: You taste funny.
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Ugly Costumes?#13
Posted: 10/12/19 at 5:21pm

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. 

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Ugly Costumes?#14
Posted: 10/13/19 at 5:37pm

.

Updated On: 10/13/19 at 05:37 PM
UncleCharlie
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Ugly Costumes?#15
Posted: 10/13/19 at 5:56pm

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.

Updated On: 10/13/19 at 05:56 PM
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Ugly Costumes?#16
Posted: 10/13/19 at 11:32pm

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.

Updated On: 10/13/19 at 11:32 PM