Dance!

Some costume designers are drawn to the field through a love of fashion. Some people find a career in costumes through a love of sewing. I decided to become a costume designer when I discovered that it is a combination of all the things I love: teaching, art, psychology and communication.

During my undergraduate education I changed majors several times: education, art, art education, and communication. Through participation in the college theatre department, I discovered a knack for hair and makeup and the applied arts of costuming.

In the end, I graduated with a B.A. in Theatre with a Minor in Communication. What is theatre, after all, but a mass, transitory communication? Armed with a general knowledge base, a love of researching and minimal sewing skills, I headed to graduate school. Three long years later, I received my M.F.A. in Costume Design.

The most important things I learned in graduate school were not learned in the classroom but through the practical application of costume designs. While I was learning to render, drape, pattern and sew in the shop, more important questions were being answered out in the "real world" through the execution of the design: How do you effectively demonstrate your intentions for each character to the director? How visual is your director? How do you reveal the essence of the character? How much input should an actor have in the process? How do you deal with difficult people and with politics? How much time is there to execute the build? How much support staff do you have available? What are the financial resources for fabric, staff, wigs and supplies? What are the parameters of the project and how do you do the best possible job within those parameters?

As I add to this website, I hope to help you find the answers to some of those questions and to lead you to some resources that were not available or difficult to find when I started out years ago.

 
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