We go into dress rehearsal for the show, Bat Boy:The Musical this coming Sunday. My costumes are in good shape - still a few hems or little things still to do - pulling hosiery, etc., but over all pretty good. Of course there are the unexpected glitches - I made pants for the Wolf in Into the Woods a couple of years ago and was expecting to use them on the character of Pan in this show. After several summers of making and repairing Sesame Street Live costumes, I have no great love for faux fur. By using these, all I would have to do was exchange the wolf tail for a goat's tail. Our students searched through costume storage - no luck. I finally got the brilliant idea to ask the actor who had played the Wolf if he knew where the pants were. You guessed it - he has them. Well, his dad does, but as he is not in contact with his dad any longer, the pants are as good as gone. So, tomorrow I am cutting out fur pants and a tail for Pan. Tonight is for cutting the gold lame´ graduation gown for Bat Boy - don't you just wish you were me and could have all this last minute fun???
Okay, I have a confession. I was the Big Bird specialist for Sesame Street Live in the years I worked with Vee Corporation - the company that built those costumes. Thousands of yellow dyed turkey feathers each summer helped pay my expenses in grad. school. But I had plenty of experience with fur, too. Whenever there were fittings for the smaller Muppets, I was called on. You see, each dancer playing the Muppets has to be within a certain height range. A tall gentleman would be needed to keep Big Bird the required height (he is 8'2" on the tv show) and small dancers would play characters like Elmo, Rosita, and others. That's where I came in. At 5'3" I was one of the smaller people in the shop, the perfect size for some of the smaller characters. I must say, I do not know how the dancers did it. I would be in those hot fur costumes for a few minutes and be hot and sticky when I climbed out. Imagine dancing under hot stage lights wearing totally synthetic (read, non-breathable) fur outfits and heads!
A graduation gown awaits! Adieu.