flying through clouds of uncertainty on wings of existential dread
So I published this last week while I was scheduled a ridiculous number of fittings in a super short time, and I was a tad frustrated. I’m concerned that one part of it came off a little too harshly and is not really representative of my feelings on the matter, so while I do stand by what I typed, I want to interpolate on one section.
And actors, and dancers, and anyone I have to schedule fittings with, really.
And look, 98% of my current regulars are SPLENDID, so really, the 2% are ruining things for all of you. Please to have a talk with them.
I’m aware that many of you consider the costume shop that scary place ruled by crazy bitches who are always yelling at you (We don’t yell). We are crazy, though, and you’re why. Excuses that I understand when you can’t work with our fitting schedule:
1. I have to work.
2. I have to pick up my children from school.
3. I have the plague and don’t wish to infect you.
4. I’m pregnant, so you might want to wait closer to opening and get me at my full girth. (Opening night, not vagina opening. Oh god.)
Excuses I don’t give a fuck about:
1. I don’t have rehearsal that day so it’s not convenient for me to drive in.
2. I don’t want to wake up that early.
3. I don’t want to deal with traffic.
Bite me. You get paid (a lot more than I do) for fittings, and you live in Houston, so dealing with traffic can’t possibly be new to you. I know, you want that one time slot directly before your rehearsal, and you should have it, because you’re a precious flower and there certainly aren’t 79 other people who want that time slot. It’s not like I try to save the very limited evening slots for people who work during the day or anything; nope, we just sit around eating bonbons and laughing about torturing you.
Phrases I never want to hear at a fitting:
1. I don’t feel pretty/This isn’t flattering.
Okay, I do actually want you to feel good in your costume, but that’s not always an option. For instance, if you’re in a Holocaust opera, you probably don’t need to whine that your dress fits like a sack. That’s sort of the point. Suck it up.
I feel I’ve understated here how much I really do care when you don’t feel good in your costume. While I don’t care a lot about making your boobs look their perkiest regardless of period, I ABSOLUTELY understand the very real terror of standing onstage in front of a giant crowd wearing something that makes you feel fat, or flat, or hideous. I had a performer (a lovely, lovely lady, with a great figure) burst into tears recently because she felt so negative about her costume and how it was going to make her look, and how we didn’t seem to care about all the hard work she’d done and the weight she’d lost. And we do care. It hurts my heart to watch someone break down like that and know that I can’t really help. Logically, everyone in the show in question is wearing a giant sack of a dress, and it has nothing to do with their size; of course, if logic fixed body image issues, we’d all feel marvelous, right?
The problem is that I can’t do much. We tried; her costume got a sash it wasn’t supposed to have to show off her waist, and everyone told her how flattering it was, and how great she looked, but unfortunately, she can’t see what I see. All I can really do is say that I understand, and I sympathize, and I’m sorry.
2. I forgot to wear underwear.
For fuck’s sake. Nope, this one’s still gross.
3. I didn’t put enough money in the meter.
I told you how much time to put on the meter, and you decided to play meter roulette and assume I was lying so you could save a quarter. Dickhead.
Seriously, y’all. I will bend over backwards for the nice performers — I’ll save them fitting times, I’ll pull them nicer/comfier shoes, I’ll give them the best underwear. Don’t be one of the dickheads. Eventually, the people who hire you will hear about it.
That girl who’s called/emailed you three times in the last three days, but whose name you can’t recall.
P.S. – I almost forgot! MEASUREMENTS are, as you might assume, an appointment during which we measure your body. Ladies, for fuck’s sake, wear goddamn pants. No one wants to reach under your skirt or watch you reach in there to take your inseam, and girth is just going to be stupid looking. A FITTING is when we put clothes on your body. When I call you for a fitting and you argue that no, you already came in two weeks ago, that’s ten minutes out of my life I’ll never see again. When you call or turn up and say you’re here for a fitting instead of measurements, the random person who isn’t me who greets you gets confused and we spend ten minutes sorting out who you are and why you’re here and where you should be. Words mean things. Try using the right ones.
the girl of whom there is only one and thus can’t always be standing by the shop door waiting to greet your ass.