As a little girl I wanted to be a painter, but soon realized that textiles and clothing were my medium. What I love about costume design–which is different from fashion–is that I am creating characters, parts of new worlds imagined by a writers, directors, set, lighting and sound designers—and even the actors—we’re all coming together to create a living, breathing canvas, to tell a story.
My first crucial career contact was made at portfolio review at the end of my last year at CalArts. I met Matthew McCray, the producing artistic director of Son of Semele, who hired me for Our Class. Through that, I connected with Jessica Kubzansky at the Theatre at Boston Court, for which I did Everything You Touch. That was a huge endeavor, atypical for a 99-seat theater. I had more than 130 costumes for an eight-person cast, and there were a lot of logistical and technical issues, before we even before got to the creative. There were three model characters that had to represent scenery, that went off stage and back on several times, and changed into different parts because there were, literally, 22 scenes that switched back and forth between two time periods. A lot of theater magic!
To someone considering applying to CalArts, or to an accepted student, I would say this: explore all of your options, meet, collaborate, and network with as many people as possible—and remember that this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Make the most of it.