Thursday, August 25, 2016

Organizing Costumes

My friend T started a costume rental company.  She also has been doing contract jobs for several theaters in the area doing their costumes.  She is the one who got me the job of doing costumes for the theater summer camp that I mentioned before.

When a theater group that we had done volunteer work for before (forced volunteer work really as for our kids to be in the show the parents had to put in hours) closed down, my friend purchased their costume stash.  To that end we had to move the costumes quickly because the lease on the storage space was ending.  When we picked up the costumes we stuffed our vehicles with as much as we could carry and dumped them into T's house.  (some went to B's & my houses as well)

Yesterday we went to T's house to attempt to organize the costumes and try to get her house looking more livable.  We started on her son's old bedroom (he has moved out) where the majority (? okay, maybe only half) of the costumes went.

First we had to move a bunch of costumes out of the bedroom so that we could get in.  We also needed to move garment racks into the room to put the costumes on.  {there was also some dog negotiations going on as T's dog was sure that we had come to see her and was mad at T for hogging HER guests!}  Once that was tackled we went to the task of looking at each item, determining what it was and then where it should go.

Determining where things should go became a work in progress as we would put things in a spot and then when more and more pieces of a show appeared have to move the group together. 

Surprisingly we were able to work our way through the piles and get everything looking much more organized.  There is even still room in the room for more...which is very good as to have garment racks for the room, T pulled costumes off the racks that were upstairs and brought the racks down.  We determined that we could fit at least two more racks in the room.  T is going to get her husband to install two garment bars in the room's closet for hanging short items.  So we can put shirts on the top bar and pants on the bottom bar.  That will free up more space on the 5 racks currently in the room.  We may also decide to put certain shows into bins.

After we left T moved some of the piles of costumes she pulled off the racks upstairs downstairs.

So we are going to need at least 1 if not 2 more organizing trips there.  I can probably organize the costumes that I have at my house by myself (although I can also enlist my daughter to help me.).  I don't know if B is going to want our help to organize what she has.  I do know that she insisted that we get everything organized so perhaps she has been working on her stash already.

Eventually we'll need to catalog the shows at least and/or the costumes so that they can all be rented.  We noticed while organizing that many items were missing and know that those were rented or loaned out by the former owner and not returned to them...several things were sold or gotten rid of also.  It will be frustrating recreating costumes that we have already made.  sigh

Sunday, August 07, 2016

the joys of having a job

After all these years of volunteering to make costumes for theater, my friend got me a job getting paid at it.  This summer I costumed 4 kids summer camps where they attend the camp every day for 3 weeks and put on a mini version of a show at then end of their camp.  Each camp for this age group is a half day with several kids taking two camps so they are there the entire day and doing two shows.

It has been interesting.

There was the frustration in locating costumes for shows that had been done over and over by this theater company and then making what I was unable to find.  Pictures would have been helpful!  as I learned the reason that I couldn't find one of the costumes is because I thought it looked like something else!

I didn't initially apply for this job because of the distance to the theater and because the next two days of my life for the final show.  See Kiddo is in a show also (I'm not costuming that show!) and this is her show week as well.  So Friday I will miss her show for the one I am working.  :(

The camps were held at two locations, each doing two shows.  Show 1 at location A and then show 2 at location B...then show 1 at location B and finally this week show 2 at location A.  Location A is an hour from my home and is also where they store the costumes for the shows.  (another reason I didn't jump at taking the job)... however, after doing the job I got over the distance as for most days most of my time was the driving to and from... the job itself isn't difficult and is right in my skill set.  So thanks to my old volunteer job for giving me the skills to do something that I can get paid for.

Last week my friend who got me this job asked if I could help her with another job she is working on.  The show she is doing is renting costumes from another theater and she was told that she would need several cars to transport the costumes.  The costumes were an hour away.  ugh!  Unfortunately, the only day that she could get the costumes was yesterday...which is also my daughter's voice lesson day and trying to change her lesson is now impossible.  double ugh!

Our plan of attack was that we would get there at 11am.  Load up my car and I would head back home so that I could get kiddo to her voice lesson at 1pm.  We would work out getting the costumes from my car to my friend's house later.

SCREECHING HALT!  when we arrived at the rental theater about 10 min early, the gal is no where to be found!  When she finally does show up at 11...she informs us that the costumes aren't actually at that location.  WHAT?  So we caravan to the storage facility which is about a mile down the road.

Luckily, the costumes were all in labeled bins and easy to load up.  Unfortunately, while the costumes needed several of this person's sized cars to transport... they could have all fit in my car (yeah, I drive a big gas guzzler that has a lot of cargo room!) and we didn't need 3 cars to get them back.

We loaded my car with 4 of the 7 bins and I zip out of there by 11:15.  Praise God that traffic was not backed up and it only took me an hour to get home with plenty of time to get kiddo to her voice lesson.

After voice we had to get Kiddo ready for her dress rehearsal.  She is in Thoroughly Modern Millie... which requires her to have her hair bobbed short... her hair length is to the middle of her back.  so we have learned how to do a faux bob.  It looks really good and she totally looks like she's from the 1920's.

Get kiddo to dress rehearsal at 5.  Meet with friend to inventory the costumes I brought back and transfer them to her car.  At 6:30 go to rehearsal for her show (the one we got the costumes for) so we can measure the cast.  Have a lot of awkward moments with the cast...I had them all hold the tape for their inseam and diverted my gaze to the floor to get the measurement.  Most all of the men had been measured for a suit before and totally understood how to get this measurement.  whew!  although, most of the costumes for this show don't really require pants...soooo

Get finished with that show at 9, rush to my house to pick up two costumes for a different show (btw: I'm currently storing a bunch of costumes in my basement) and then run back to pick up Kiddo...who was finished early.  oops...IDK why my phone didn't ring...perhaps that was when I was in the basement and the phone was upstairs.

Of course instead of getting a good night's sleep, I'm up early this morning.  :p  I told hubby that I was practicing for tomorrow where I'll have to be in traffic at this early hour.

Back on Monday Kiddo was doing her laundry and hubby asked if I could wash something he needed.  I told him I was doing our laundry on Wednesday.  This morning, I'm up and ask for the item...he is wearing it!  After he changes out he asks if I am using the new batch of laundry soap.  and then says to not bother to wash his item with the new soap as he doesn't like the smell of it.  I figured out how to wash his clothes without using my soap (I used dish soap, borax & washing soda instead)...but I have to figure out how to alter the scent of my batch of detergent that I made so that my family doesn't turn their nose up at it.

Thursday & Friday I needed to be up at location A for the dress rehearsals at 8:30 in the morning.  In normal traffic, you can get there from my house in about 1 hour 5 min.  However, in rush hour it is another story.  If I leave my house at 6:10am I can be there by 7:15.  If I leave my house at 6:30, I might not make it by 8:30!!!  :o   so to be sure that I was there on time I left each morning at 6:10 and just hung out at a local coffee shop, using their free wifi for an hour before heading just down the street to work.

However, on Friday I needed to be there from 8:30 to "12:30" (I actually ended up being able to leave at 10:20) and then return by 5pm for the 6pm show.  I didn't really want to drive all the way home and then go back up there.  So I decided to go get my hair color done by a girl from our church who is attending beauty school...she's almost ready to graduate.  I arrived at the beauty school way too early for my 2pm appointment though and went across the street and got my nails done also.
Unfortunately, getting my hair done took a bit longer than we anticipated and with traffic I was a tiny bit late in returning to the theater.

Not a big deal...the cast and everyone were able to start getting the kids into their costumes without me and were mostly done by the time I arrived...they started a bit early.  Got the kids all in costumes and ready to go.

After the show, I loaded up and headed for home.  Since Kiddo's show would be done in about 30 min, I decided to go hang out at her theater instead of going straight home (even though my house is just 5 min down the road).  Chatted with the mom of one of the cast mates and saw a few friends after the show.

Now that my summer camp job is over, we'll start on the next show.  I get to sew a pink bunny costume and we'll see what else I have to do.  :D

Kiddo is going to audition for 2 more shows coming up...that I may help costume as well.  My friend has the contract for them and I might be asked to assist her.  It will be nice to not have to drive all the way to location A for a good long while.  :D