When you first become a costume supervisor for touring productions you know that your job involves of a lot of details, making sure that every piece is accounted for, pieces show up at the right place at the right time, that the integrity of the design is upheld, that your actors get in said costumes at the right time, and a million other things involving the costumes. However, you soon learn that you have a second job that has nothing to do with costumes at all, taking care of your actors.
You are the person that shows them where the bathroom is, you let them know what the wifi code is, where their dressing rooms are, finding medicine when they don’t feel well and the list goes on and on. It wasn’t until 14 years into my career that I realized I would be expanding my job responsibilities working as the touring costume supervisor for The Chippendales.
One time, I had a Chippendale who was, let’s say “absent minded about things”, constantly losing his stuff, constantly late to rehearsal’s because he didn’t hear it in our nightly meetings and so forth.
He was always two seconds away from missing bus call, which means the bus leaves without him and he has to find his own way to the next city or country on our tour.
This guy had to find a ride more than once to make it to rehearsal the next day to keep his job. Lord help me but I had a soft spot in my heart for this sweet hot mess of a guy.
One night as our performance was finished, he comes back from the meet and greet in the lobby and looks totally stressed and confesses “Theresa, I don’t know what to do there is this girl I really want to have sex with but I only have 30 mins till bus call, what should I do?”
First I have to say I was proud that he even knew when bus call was, and probably that was the reason I decided to help him. (Yep, I told you my job title felt like it was expanding) I wasn’t even fazed that he decided to tell me something so private, this was my new reality. So taking on my new responsibilities with gusto I said, “You know you could always set an alarm for say 20 minutes so when it goes off you can get back to the bus in time.” He just looked at me like I had literally saved his life. He told me that I was brilliant, which I quickly agreed I was, though I’m not sure I wanted my fast, logical thinking to be used for this kind of situation.
As he was about to sprint back to the lobby, I remind him to at least take his book bag back to the bus as he already had lost two on tour. He kissed me on the cheek grabbing his bag and takes off towards the bus. As he runs to his date with destiny (I don’t think that was her name, but hell it could have been) I, on the other hand, finished up the last details on my load out for the night before heading to my bus to relax and wait for our departure to the next city.
About ten minutes later, my dancer comes back to the bus with a huge grin on his face and looking extremely proud of himself. Hell, I was proud of him too and I said: “Good job dear you made it back to the bus in time!”
He looked at me in all seriousness and says “Didn’t even need an alarm!”
Well, what could I say to that except, “That might not be something to be so proud of, maybe you can do better next time.”