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Anyone In Costume?


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#1 cat123

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 01:04 PM

I'm not a performer and never ever will be, but still my dream job would be to work in costuming for theatre. I have a Fine Art degree (not fashion, sadly) and at the moment I mostly do ebroidary and quilt making as a hobby. I love the making side of things, though I'm no way a fashion designer (more of an embelisher. Sewing sequins on and the like!) I'm very open to working for free *anywhere* vaguely relevent to get some experience, I'm wondering what the best in road is. Is anyone here in the industry? Would my lack of specific qualifications and technical training work against me, or would enthusiasm and a willingness to learn be enough?

I've emailed a bunch of AmDram groups in my area about helping on their productions but so far that hasn't got me anywhere. I'm currently working on building up a portfolio of what I've done/can do and I'm trying to teach myself more technical sewing skills (rather than just winging it like I usually do! rolleyes.gif ) It's also occured to me to find out the names of wardrobe heads at theatres and write to them, but I don't know how I would do that and I'm not very good at being pushy.

I've rambled a lot without really saying anything, I know, but any help/advice would be very much appreciated. smile.gif

#2 bananafrit

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 02:29 PM

QUOTE(cat123 @ Mar 28 2009, 01:04 PM) View Post
I'm not a performer and never ever will be, but still my dream job would be to work in costuming for theatre. I have a Fine Art degree (not fashion, sadly) and at the moment I mostly do ebroidary and quilt making as a hobby. I love the making side of things, though I'm no way a fashion designer (more of an embelisher. Sewing sequins on and the like!) I'm very open to working for free *anywhere* vaguely relevent to get some experience, I'm wondering what the best in road is. Is anyone here in the industry? Would my lack of specific qualifications and technical training work against me, or would enthusiasm and a willingness to learn be enough?

I've emailed a bunch of AmDram groups in my area about helping on their productions but so far that hasn't got me anywhere. I'm currently working on building up a portfolio of what I've done/can do and I'm trying to teach myself more technical sewing skills (rather than just winging it like I usually do! rolleyes.gif ) It's also occured to me to find out the names of wardrobe heads at theatres and write to them, but I don't know how I would do that and I'm not very good at being pushy.

I've rambled a lot without really saying anything, I know, but any help/advice would be very much appreciated. smile.gif


You should try writing to theatres and asking if they require any dressers. This is a great way to get in - and West End theatres tend to have a lot of shifting around so there's nearly always a vacancy there somewhere - Try Phantom especially as there are LOTS of dressers on that show.


#3 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 09:09 PM

You should try regional theatres to see if they need any Dressers for upcoming Tour's, just send your CV to the Stage Manager along with a convering letter.
If you get a job Dressing on the Tour you can get to know the Wardrobe Mistress/Master and let them know you are interested in any future work, you never know when they might need another Wardrobe Assistant to Tour or work on a show on the Westend.
Obviously, like bananafrit said, you can also send your CV along with covering letter along to the Wardrobe Mistress/Master at any westend show as big shows tend to need lots of dressers.

With big upcoming tours coming like We Will Rock You and Sound Of Music etc, regional theatres will definitely be looking for more dressers.

Good Luck!

#4 dory

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 12:14 AM

QUOTE(Guest @ Apr 3 2009, 10:09 PM) View Post
You should try regional theatres to see if they need any Dressers for upcoming Tour's, just send your CV to the Stage Manager along with a convering letter.
If you get a job Dressing on the Tour you can get to know the Wardrobe Mistress/Master and let them know you are interested in any future work, you never know when they might need another Wardrobe Assistant to Tour or work on a show on the Westend.
Obviously, like bananafrit said, you can also send your CV along with covering letter along to the Wardrobe Mistress/Master at any westend show as big shows tend to need lots of dressers.

With big upcoming tours coming like We Will Rock You and Sound Of Music etc, regional theatres will definitely be looking for more dressers.

Good Luck!


iv been dressing 3 years iv done westend too and its a lot harder to get tour work, you need years of experience, and the trouble with regional is it will probably be casual work like it is for me, it maybe best to see stage managers face to face as they dont always ge time to reply.

regional tend to have more dressers on stand by and unfortunaly its first ones in get the work, but you have to be persistant.

good luck.

#5 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 11:58 AM

A lot of theatres take on tour dressers with no experience whatsoever, but it depends how lucky you are with the time you apply etc! And yes, they will normally have a pool of dressers and depending how far down the list you are depends on how much work you get.

#6 dory

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 11:47 PM

QUOTE(dory @ May 19 2009, 01:14 AM) View Post
iv been dressing 3 years iv done westend too and its a lot harder to get tour work, you need years of experience, and the trouble with regional is it will probably be casual work like it is for me, it maybe best to see stage managers face to face as they dont always ge time to reply.

regional tend to have more dressers on stand by and unfortunaly its first ones in get the work, but you have to be persistant.

good luck.


wehn i said it was much harder to get tour work i mean going on otur as an wardrobe assistant, to get that role youd need a good bit of experience to get that far.

#7 Guilty Pleasure

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 06:50 PM

I know the National Theatre in London takes people for work experience and they do have a costume department which will take people on. I'm not sure on what the requirements are for this however it's worth looking into. They do get a lot of people seeking work experience so could take a while to reply. This is the same for most if not all theatres so best to just keep on applying and don't take it personally if they don't get back to you. My stage management lecturer has actually told us when we apply for anything, if we don't hear back in a couple of weeks, call them and ask if they have received it and if you would be able to go in and talk to them about it and maybe take them for coffee or something. At least if you try to follow up it will bring your application back to their attention and then even if you don't get in there, you have left a good impression and they are aware of how determined you are to work in theatre. Good luck.

#8 Guest_Guest_woodpusher_*_*

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 08:57 AM

I am amazed that no-one has suggested the costume houses such as Angels and Cosprop.

#9 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 09:05 AM

Hi,

I'm also interested in working as a dresser, I've dropped off my CV with a cover letter to several theatres early this week.  Do any of you know if any theatres are looking at the moment? I've not heard vack from any (I know it's early), do you think it's advisable to call up as well or will that just irritate them?

Thanks.




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