Monday, March 9, 2015

In Search of Great Expectations

     Is it me or does it seem as if the world of wardrobe is illusive? As a member of IATSE, I had assumed that I received a golden ticket into the entertainment industry. On the contrary, I feel as though I'm still at square one. Don't get me wrong, the union did solicit a list of names & contact info of Wardrobe Supervisors in Film / Stage / Television. My experience is in live performance. My objective is to branch out into film & television. After all, that is where my education lies. Breaking into this business feels almost like joining a secret's not what you know, more so than who you know. Not many people would like to admit this fact, but it's true, especially when it comes to dealing with clothing. Try searching for my position in any job listings. Nine times out of ten, the position won't be posted. I can't just show up at a company with the expectation to meet with someone in the Wardrobe Department. So, how the hell does one go about getting work?! Obtaining work on the stage has seemed to be easier than any other avenue. I can show up at the stage door & drop off my resume. If I'm lucky, I can get the opportunity to actually meet with someone in wardrobe to physically hand them my resume.  I am grateful for any gig that I receive. After all, this is my chosen career.

   It baffles me as to what I may be doing wrong. I was advised by the union to search for a listing of all the production companies in NYC and just email them my resume. That just seems so impersonal. I have strong doubts that my email will even get noticed. Rejection is about 99% of the entertainment industry. I'm not any where near the point of disappointment. All it takes is one opportunity. I look at rejection as the universe telling me that my availability needs to stay open because something special is just around the corner.

   New York is an interesting town. It's full of so much energy. It's no surprise it's easy to feel overwhelmed & stressed. However, there is so much available. People constantly say that this is an expensive place. It's all matter of perspective. People move here all the time. From my experience, I have been able to manage to find a way to still live within my budget without sacrificing my lifestyle. When there is a will there is a way. This truly is a magical place. Whatever you expect, it'll happen, which is why it is so imperative that I remain optimistic. One false hope could lead me to finding an escape out.

  I don't know what to expect in the months to come. Each day is a blessing. It's also a struggle, but the best things always are.  

Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Beginnings

Happy New Year everyone! So much has changed for me in the last few months. My brief experience with New York City back in September led me to a whirlwind decision to pack up & head north. So, here I am, living in the big city. Adjusting to the hustle and bustle wasn't a challenge. Dodging through the traffic of people is no different than navigating through the crowds of tourists in the theme parks. I adapted to the cold weather quicker than I imagined. That has a lot to do with the fact that I have wonderful friends who look out for me. I was gifted two very warm winter coats. The first few days I looked like an eskimo ready for a blizzard on the tundra. Weeks later, I'm acclimated enough to where I can judge the thickness of my coat.

It's been three weeks since arriving to the Big Apple. I think the biggest adjustment is the cost of food. I discovered that shopping at Whole Foods here is way more economic than in Florida...go figure. I'm living in the thick of it.

 It's really convenient that I'm only walking distance from the Theater District. This is a huge blessing since I already have wardrobe work on Broadway. 

I've been very blessed in being able to experience the various cuisines this city has to offer.  

It's been fun wandering around with no sense of direction...stumbled upon a Banksy by chance.

I'll be calling Chelsea 'home' very soon. I love the neighborhood. It's ironic that the 'industrial' look appeals to me. However, I'm more drawn to the low foot traffic on the sidewalks. It's bohemian without all the hipsters ruining it with commercialism. I like that I'll be close to a lot of food markets. I thought I died & went to heaven when I visited the Chelsea Market for the first time.

My Christmas was very low key. I spent all day at home relaxing. New Year's eve I ended up working an event, which was say the least

I had to get the to other side of 45th. I don't well in thick crowds. Thankfully NYPD helped me avoid that anxiety. A very kind officer escorted me across a barricaded clearing. I think New Year's has to be the only time of year where strangers on the street randomly hug one another & wish each other happiness. After the ball dropped, the streets were filled with drunken merriment. Key West is miniscule compared to this island's debauchery. Don't ask me how or what possessed me, but I managed to break up a fight between two females inside a McDonald's. The customer was clearly drunk and verbally harassing an employee. The employee lunged at her. Next thing I knew, I was peeling the girls off each other. The greatest part is, I got a hug from both women after they calmed down.

I really like New York. I never imagined myself being here. So many people have told me that I belong here. I'm here because I'm following my heart. My intuition has never failed me. My faith lies in knowing that no matter where I am, everything is going to be okay. I'm grateful for every moment I experience in this magical city. I look forward to discovering where life takes me.
 This is the year for new beginnings...a new chapter in my book of life.

Monday, September 8, 2014

My First Time In New York City

        Being fabulous in New York City is quintessential to anyone interested in fashion. My first experience in the city felt like something straight out of a Candace Bushnell story. Even writing about this makes me feel like Carrie Bradshaw.


I can't believe how friendly everyone is! I was put under the impression that New Yorkers are brazen and generally keep to themselves. On the contrary, my experience was anything, but that.  From the moment I stepped off the train at Penn Station, strange things started happening...coincidence?

I'm so use to facades, I had to keep reminding myself that the buildings are real.
(Disney Hollywood Studios NYC street facade)

Tips I wish I knew ahead of time...

1) All these real buildings, but not a lot of real bathrooms. Every Star Bucks from Penn to Time Square had a bathroom line longer than the coffee line itself. Toys R Us in Time Square was my relief. Now I know why New Yorkers walk so fast. They all have to pee.

2) There are characters walking around, they will try to persuade you for a tip. Legally, they can't ask for a tip straight up, but this isn't Disney World.

Off to my next adventure...To meet up with my friend, Autumn Cohen. She works on Broadway as a Wardrobe Assistant. She had to go into work for a bit before meeting up with me. She suggested Schmackarys Cookies on 45th Street. I think I have a famous doppelganger that lives in the city. While I was trying to overcome my indecision on what kind of sugary substance to devour, the woman behind the counter mentioned that I look familiar. I smiled & told her this is my first time in New York. A woman standing behind me then tapped me on the shoulder. She apologized for bothering me, but wanted to add that I look familiar to her as well. I think this may be a sign that I'm photo bombing too many people in the parks. I decided on a Creamed Corn Cookie. I wasn't in the mood for something too sugary. The sweet & savory combination was a great recommendation. It was like eating a sweet cornbread with bits of macadamia heaven. I took my cookie and did something I've always wanted to do...

 ...I parked my butt on a real NYC brownstone stoop.
This is where I normally watch the world go by (Universal Orlando NYC street facade). 

It wasn't long till my friend met up with me. We walked a couple of blocks over and had lunch at Yum Yum Too. 
The food lives up to the restaurant's name.

As Autumn and I were walking away from the restaurant, I accidentally brushed my bag up against an elderly man. The street traffic on 7th Ave was thick. I barely touched the man, but because I acknowledged it, the man proceeded to make a mountain out of a mole hill. In an elaborate display, he fell backwards on an unsuspecting woman. She freaked out & ran out of there. My first impulse was to turn & keep walking, but I stopped & extended my hand to help the man up. Another woman stopped as well & offered her hand. As soon as the man stood up, I bolted out of there. Autumn thought I was nuts for turning back. I was putting myself in a very vulnerable situation. 

So, the real reason for my visit was to attend a fashion show. As the new Social Media Manager for, Fashion Hope, my first assignment was to write an article on David Tupaz showing at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.

The mission of Fashion Hope is to build awareness about ethical fashion , while raising funds to resource front-line organizations.

I find it extremely rude to be out in public & be preoccupied with an electronic device. I had to juggle social etiquette and my new job. I'm extremely grateful for Autumn. She helped me stay focused & up to date. 

front row!

Posing with the Designer, David Tupaz backstage.
'modeling' one of David Tupaz's hats

To wrap up my magical time in NYC, Autumn and I went searching for a great place to eat that would be off the beaten path. It really didn't hit me that I was in New York till I was in a gown walking down Park Ave. My friend & I went on a mission to find a memorable place to eat. We happened to settle on the perfect place, Park Avenue Tavern.
Not only was the food unbelievable, but so was the atmosphere. I couldn't contain my excitement. Of course, I would be the one who would blow out the candle by accident. I followed it up with, "Happy Birthday!" The owner of the restaurant came to my table to make sure the candle hadn't blown out again. As Autumn & I were leaving the restaurant, the owner held the door for us. He asked if we were off to "tear up the town". I was too full and tired to edit my response. "No, I'm going back to her place to tear up the sheets". Autumn elbowed me, "Phrasing!" 


Designer, Linda Bruner 

Rj Ensalad & Joe Thompson for sharing your wonderful photos.

Hairstylist, Jessica Harned at J. Christine Salon & Blow Dry Bar
Thank you 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Wizarding World of Harry: Diagon Alley

I've been so busy working, I wasn't able to post about this sooner. It's been a whirl-wind adventure being part of the opening team for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley. It's been two months since the grand opening and the excitement is still fresh. It's been an amazing process, watching everyone come together to make such a magical world a reality.

Hermione Granger's Yule Ball dress is available for purchase exclusively at 
Madam Mathin's.

Take a peak at a couple of shows that I work on:

Celestina and the Banshees      

The Tales of Beedle the Bard 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

What's In My Apron

To those who are unfamiliar with the world of costuming, I would like to shed some light on what I do exactly. My job requires that I stay 'on my toes', even if that means, 'hurrying up and waiting'. I work directly with the performers. I assist in helping the talent put the costumes on & take them off. Some of the costumes can be very intricate & require an extra hand. This is to protect the integrity of the garment and in some cases get the performer on stage as quickly as possible.

Today, I want to share with you the tools of my trade. It's very important to come prepared to work. Each day can be different in the set of tasks that's performed. However, the job is always to make sure the costume & the performer looks good.

What's in my apron....

My apron, at the moment, has the bare necessities. These are the items I use on a regular basis. If I don't have these items readily available, it could mean making a performer late for their queue.

Be prepared for anything to happen. When you're not prepared, then the worst could happen. Your next project / job could reflect how well you're prepared in the job you're currently performing. Having an apron is essential. I'm constantly stuffing things in my pockets. I only have two hands. Having an apron allows me to carry bits and pieces on top of hauling an arm full of garments. 

These are just a few items I use on a daily basis. 
  • Small notepad and pen (pencil can be great because you don't run the risk of accidentally marking a garment) Having a sharpie & highlighter on hand is essential. 
  • Safety Pins. I keep them pinned at the bottom of my apron for quick access. Nothing is more aggravating than digging in my pockets for a pin.
  •  Multi-tool.  Pliers & small knife can be useful for stubborn zippers and faulty hardware.
  • Small extra sharp scissors. I have an extra sharp point on my scissors. It's served me well in last minute situations where I need to make a small snip on a costume that a performer is wearing. It's very important to develop safe habits. When you're not using the scissors, even for a second, always put the safety cap back on. No one likes blood, especially on the costumes. It's also good to have clear communication with the performer you're dressing. They may not be aware that you have a sharp object pointing at them. 
  • Seamstress tape and measuring tape. That may seem redundant, but I assure you, having both is helpful. I like having both options because measuring tape is stiff, where as seamstress tape is flimsy. It's important to NOT roll or fold seamstress tape because it'll curl & crease easily. Take care of your seamstress tape and it'll be easier to work with. It's not a cliche' to have your seamstress tape hang from your neck like an open scarf. In fact, it serves two purposes being there. It's easy access and protects the tape. Always remember safety. Depending on the task, having something dangling from your neck can be dangerous. 
  • Seam Ripper. This may seem redundant to the small sharp scissors. There's been plenty of times where I've found myself using my small scissors instead of a seam ripper. However. a seam ripper is still a tiny blade. There will be times where a seam ripper is needed because the scissors are too big.
  • Pin Cushion / Pins / Needles: I love using a curved needle on everything. It's my personal preference because I'm able to work faster with one, especially on buttons. Be mindful of how much is in your pin cushion & how you're sticking them in. Again, safety first. Also, it's good practice to not have a lot of needles with thread still attached stuffed in the cushion. That's a good way of making a tangled mess. You'll spend more time fumbling with a nest of pins & thread than performing the needed task. 
  • Flash Light: I have two lights. I carry a head light. You can find these in sporting good section. I also use a small hand held flash light. Having good lighting can speed up the process of a task. Even if I'm in a well lit room, sometimes a flash light is used if I can't see down into a garment, especially if I'm having to look for something that is tiny or hard to reach. 

Of Course, there are more supplies needed for the job. A lot of the stuff I use is supplied by the show. It's good form to always be prepared, even if you suspect that everything will be provided. It'll show your level of professionalism in demonstrating good habits. Good habits can mean better opportunities. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Universal Entertainment's Annual Golden Woody Awards 2014

It's the Woody Awards again! It was tough finalizing a dress. I went through four dresses before finally deciding on wearing the same dress as I wore last year. I don't care about the taboo.No one noticed that I made a repeat. This year's award ceremony was held at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando. No doubt, the ambiance was beautiful. I'm truly privileged to be able to work with so many talented people. Congratulations to all the nominees & winners! It was a fun night full of wonderful memories.