Saturday, December 10, 2011

Alice doesn't live here any more...

Hello Dhaaarlings...

Princess is quite exhausted from the past few months of toiling over costumes for this fabulous production  and considering that the main lead characters were 15 and 16 year olds they did a fantastic job.

Support roles were younger still... right down to the prep grades at primary school a total of 185 kids took part in the production. All requiring costumes and some of the support cast several costumes as they played up to 3 different roles!

I cannot claim responsibility for Alice... the King and Queen of Hearts... the Cards-men or the Dormouse or the green suit for the Frog Butler
(but I did make the frogs head)... Nor the big red Dodo Bird. Nor am I responsible for the Tweedles... (although I did manage to do a fabulous rescue of their outfits at around 5 am on the morning of the shows opening. Much to the shagrin of their maker)
Their shirts were too short/ long and ill fitting for their build. Both the kids playing the roles were quite disappointed after seeing what Princess had created for the other Leads. So I managed to make them a cummerbund in shiny yellow and red satin that disguised the problems with their costumes.
Both were delighted with the outcome and couldn't thank me enough for making the extra effort to bring their costume to life. I had some lovely feed back from their parents as well... to say just how much their kids attitude to the show had changed since the cummerbunds were added to their costumes...

So as much as it was a rush to do... I felt very rewarded in my effort...

The photos you see here are from the programme so you might note what I am talking about with regard to the Tweedle's...

Those of you with a keen eye might also have noted that there are 2 of my fabulous flowers wearing Daisy Hats. Well Darlings let me tell you... this was no accident. I had been having a devil of a time getting Violet's hat
(purple dress) to stay on her head during the dance scenes and was still working on getting it fixed on the day the photo's were taken... On the other hand Daisy (Yellow Dress) was absent from rehearsal that day due to being very ill (she made a valiant effort to recover to be well enough to perform in the show) But after the photo session with Violet using Daisy's hat, We sent the whole costume home to Daisy so that we would have a photo of her for the programme.... so with the wonders of modern technology.... she was photo-shopped into the picture... Hence the 2 daisy hats!

I have always loved the theatre and costumes... but this has been my first real attempt at costuming on such a grand scale.
I did not know that I had this ability within me... Nor did I anticipate the wonderful reviews, reactions from the kids and their parents and the general public. Nor did I anticipate the media coverage or the level of gratitude expressed by the design team regarding my talents and skills...

Through the process of observation over time working on the costumes it occurred to me as a new comer that there are certain attitudes amongst some of those that have been doing this sort of thing for many years... that although not openly stated some roles/characters are made More glamourous / "special" than others.

It is not in my nature to operate in this manner... particularly when it comes to Kids
I believe that 

"Every kid in the show has the right to look spectacular on stage" 

This became my mantra!

And I think it shows....

I think that I have done alright for my debut... and so must the school... 
There are discussions afoot to include wages in the budget for my continued contribution to their drama programme and involvement in next years production of "Annie".

But right now darlings this tired little Princess is in need a nice big tall gin...
and a good lie down....

Bottoms up Darlings!


  1. What colorful and fun pix!

    Well done, all of you!

  2. Oh, I know, the world of Am Dram is very bitchy! Best to be involved, but not too involved.

    Fab job, Princess!

  3. I love the pictures.
    It all looks fabulous....especially the costumes!

  4. FANTASTIC! they all look so gorgeous, sugar!! i do hope you were paid for all of this work, honey! xoxoxoxox

  5. How wonderful you are!

    I'm especially pleased that the school will sort out wages for you for the next performance. Because I don't know about you, but being creative sometimes feels like being skint (broke, for our US cousins).

    But I'm especially pleased for you for two things: your generosity in making all the kids feel like stars and that your creative talents are shinning through.

  6. Everybody, who has the guts to step out on stage and perform, has the right to look stunning and as good as possible. And earns respect.

    Dear Princess: CONGRATULATIONS!!!

  7. "Every kid in the show has the right to look spectacular on stage"

    I applaud your philosophy.

    And your creative genius.

    wv: menessen...does that mean "maneater" in German?

  8. Dear Mr Lax
    "What colorful and fun pix!"

    They are good fun but what I'm really waiting for are some shots of them all in full make-up!the butterfly looked stunning with blue face paint and hair sprayed blue and Gold and full of sequins...

    Dear Miss Scarlet
    "Oh, I know, the world of Am Dram is very bitchy! Best to be involved, but not too involved."

    thank you for your sound words of advice. Fortunately I am not a "Stage Mother" unlike some. So... there is no chance of becoming over invested... I can always walk away!

    Thanks Bob
    "I love the pictures.
    It all looks fabulous....especially the costumes!"

    I think it was worth all the effort given the end result with both nights being sell outs. The auditorium held 500!

    Dear Savvy
    "FANTASTIC! they all look so gorgeous, sugar!! i do hope you were paid for all of this work, honey! xoxoxoxox"

    Thank you darling. As for payment?
    Well I did !!!VOLUNTEER!!! my services... initially not realising just how much I would end up doing And how much of my time it would consume... But it has been a great experience in freeing up my creativity and is also a channel to get my name "out there". I got recognised in the street today following the article in the paper about my work last week!

    Payment however... is being discussed with the school for inclusion in the budget for next years production of "Annie"

    this year i will just have to settle for a free DVD of the show and a free ticket to see Lloyd Webbers "Love Never Dies" here in Melbourne on Wednesday! so i can't complain....

    Dear Roses

    "being creative sometimes feels like being skint (broke, for our US cousins)."

    Hell yes! Although the school reimbursed me for most of the expenses for costumes/props that I made. I was still out of pocket in that I used some pieces of fabric/ Lining and hat bases from my "stash" along with wire and sticks and things I used to create some of the hats and sea creatures.
    However we have come to an arrangement that I get to keep the left over fabrics and trimmings.

    Thank you Mr Maggs

    And I agree with you wholeheartedly when you say
    "Everybody, who has the guts to step out on stage and perform, has the right to look stunning and as good as possible. And earns respect."

    And not just kids!

    Dear MJ

    Thank you for your supportive comments regarding what became my mantra over the past few months.
    I felt compelled to make sure that every kid performing had a fantastic looking costume and that they felt comfortable wearing it.
    Even to the point of Making a "Walrus Head (With Tusks)" for one of the kids the morning of opening night. The result being that he felt like he was just as important and as "special" then, as everyone else on stage. Up to that point he had been quite despondent about the costume he had been given to wear and had been moping about and not really all that enthusiastic about the show at all... He lit up the stage in his new head gear and sang his heart out!

    It is quite amazing how the little things in life can make all the difference...

  9. I am super impressed and so happy you were recognized for your hard work.