It’s my day off and I’m halfway through my dressing work at the theatre on a touring show from the West End.
This week has been one for immense change, reflection and small victories. The work is definitely rigorous, like any in a theatre, but this time around it’s nowhere near as manic as a Christmas show, thank God!
Our responsibilities are purely for dressing and that is it, just like it should be. At Christmas shows, everything is manic. The wardrobe department go on their Christmas holidays so the dressers in their small numbers become dressers, wardrobe, maintenance and laundry all wrapped in to one, working ridiculously long hours. Not that I’m complaining of course, it was a great learning experience, but definitely jumping head first in the deep end! In many ways, that has come in handy as now with a different show, I’ve been able to pick up call sheets and pre-sets a lot quicker than had I not worked on a show so intense.
With this being a touring show, the beauty of that is the company has their own wardrobe, laundry and maintenance, so all we have to worry about it getting the actors in and out of their costumes and taking/picking up laundry baskets at the beginning and end of each show, and that’s it. Another plus is this theatre is proscenium arch, so it’s easier to get around for changes, as opposed to my last show which was in the round, so you had to run round half of the theatre to get to your next change.
The ladies I’m dressing are lovely as is the rest of the cast and crew. I’ve been feeling much more at home in this environment and so far am thoroughly enjoying it. We’ve all been having a good laugh with each other and I’ve so far not been anywhere near as anxious at all! It’s a big change from 6 months ago and I’m proud of myself for that.
The head of the women’s section showing me and one of the other dressers the ropes told me she was impressed by how calmly I was doing pre-set for Act 1 and just laying out the costumes like it was nothing, not panicking our freaking out like a lot of dressers do. I honestly wanted to hug her and say, “Thank you. You honestly have no idea how much that means to me.” Small victories!
Not having to worry about principals, the entire ensemble and being the wardrobe liaison for nearly 40 children has certainly been a tremendous weight off my shoulders! With these shows, it’s, “Here’s you call sheet. Here’s who you’re in charge of. Go.” All in all, so far I’ve been a lot happier on this show.
This week’s set up is going to be a little easier time wise. Because I started on the Tuesday, we had to cram 8 shows in to 5 days, meaning more 2 show days than normal. All of us including the cast have been very tired. But tomorrow, we’re back to four 1 show days and two 2 show days, until Saturday night when the show finishes and moves on to its next venue.
So, here’s to another week on the theatrical front!
All my love,
*Picture – Pinterest/Broadway.com