I think every person in theater must have a space dedicated to storing all the things they have solely for theater.
I already discussed makeup.
But what about your theatrical jewelry? Your costume accessories? Your theater shoes? Hats? And your out-and-out costumes?
Plus, you can’t ever get rid of anything from your own wardrobe, because what if you need that piece for a show?
I guess, off-the-rack size people don’t worry so much about costumes; because they are used to being costumed by the theater. But when you’re a FAT old lady, it is often easier to costume yourself. You’d be surprised how “regular” clothes can be used as costumes. You just have to be flexible and creative.
So we have a storage shed on our patio, and a good portion of the stuff stored there is for my theatrical endeavors. And I know, as I get to be a fat OLD(er) lady, I will probably not have a chance to utilize many of the items I have so lovingly (okay, obsessively) collected over the years. But I can’t bring myself to get rid of the stuff.
Because … you never know.
And a lot of this stuff you can’t find anymore – like the jewelry from the 40s and 50s that I have. And the hats from the 30s, 40s, and 50s. And the purses.
As I’ve said before, the secret to good costuming is accessories. Depending on the time period, women wore gloves, carried purses, wore hats, and jewelry sets – and often, all of the above.
And don’t forget the wigs.
Yes, I have quite a few wigs.
They aren’t expensive wigs, but they aren’t plastic melt-me, melt-me wigs either.
Like the rest of me, I have a big ol’ head (though, not as big as I always believed), so finding wigs that fit me is not always easy.
I did discover, after I started chopping my hair off that a lot of what I thought was big ol’ head, was really just big ol’ hair.
But still, when wearing a wig, I like to have my own wig when possible. I’ll know it fits, and I know it’ll look okay on me.
You think having a shoe go flying off during a performance is disconcerting? Try having your wig take a flyer! Or even come just a little bit loose. Suddenly, you are in a show about whether or not the wig is coming off!
So if you plan on being in theater, you need to develop some habits.
Haunt yard sales, estate sales, and thrift stores for hats, purses, gloves, scarves, shawls, and jewelry. Learn where you can get custom bloomers made (yes, there are people on Etsy who will do this for you!). If you actually get clothing catalogs (I do), look through them with an eye to what would work as a costume – you don’t have to buy it, but it’s a good idea to have an idea what is and is not available. Learn how to sew, and collect patterns. And if you see a great deal on something velvety or sparkly – buy it!
And if you end up not needing the stuff; so what?
Like the Boy Scouts, always be prepared!