Every actor has that one costume that really made a defining impression on them… made them feel legitimate… nudged them into character… My defining moment was in 2006. Beauty And the Beast.
I played two ensemble characters: first, a villager in the opening scene with the super-important solo – ‘You call this BACON?’
And last but not least…
Oh, the Splenda! (oops, I mean splendor!) With the shiny white tights and glassy, emotionless eyes to match. The flower-pot, one of the serving utensils, and myself all had to use the elevator to the stage on the second floor because our costumes did not allow for things like stair climbing.
One evening, President Bush, sr. came backstage after the show to congratulate the cast. On his way through, he grabbed my costume. He chuckled, and proceeded to say, “I grabbed your sugar.” Well played.
My favorite costume-related memory also came from this production – and it took place every day before ‘Be Our Guest’. I’d go on to wait with my friend, the flower pot – and we’d noticed that the floor and most of the wings were littered with at least twenty enormous plate costumes – face down with legs protruding from underneath in an eerie elephant graveyard configuration.
The costumes themselves were too heavy for the small girls playing the saucers, so they fixed the problem by laying face down when they weren’t on stage, and the only way back up was to be assisted by stage hands.
I still look upon those days, and the resulting styrofoam sugar cube scars under my arms with a fond admiration.