My Thoughts After Working as an Assistant Costume Designer for BU Players’ ‘Be More Chill’
My name is Michael Lamberti; I am a videographer, editor, actor and costume designer. As of the time this article is published, this would be my first musical I ever costume designed and also my last sense I am a senior here at Bloomsburg. In this article, I share my thoughts throughout the past 10-week process.
I started costume designing when I was 12-years-old and was always fascinated by the acting, cinematography, visual effect and costume design. I would watch tons of movies and plays and seeing everything that was put together just fascinated me. As a kid, I wanted to do everything, and I am still wanting to do everything. It may sound crazy, but if you want to tell a story and you’re fabricated to tell that story within different media, in my opinion, it helps you stand out more by adding different skills and making you a well-rounded person.
An assistant costume design position was open for BU Players’ “Be More Chill” and “Everybody.” I wanted to do “Be More Chill” because I felt that was more of a challenge for me because the show was a musical, there were different costume for different scenes, more collaboration with actors and the director Dr. Carrie Winship and being able to work with a new facility member, Dr. Elizabeth Wisalar, who was the main costume designer for “Be More Chill.”
Throughout this process was an overall positive experience. I learned so much with levels of details of the costume, how it affects lighting, proportions, different costume techniques, and collaboration. One thing I didn’t know that totally threw me off and was kind of hilarious was that Max Kriess’ (Michael) shoes didn’t fit him. Some people would just go buy another pair. NOPE! When you’re on a deadline, you gotta make it work in some way, shape or form. So Elizabeth comes up to me and said, “Hey! Just in time, we need you to wear Max’s shoes to resize them.” In my mind, I didn’t know if this was going to work or not. So I was like, “I can do that!” Elizabeth and Sara (Costume Shop Supervisor) gave me two bags for my feet. I head outside, I put the bags on, Sara is spraying me with a liquid that helps the resizing of the shoes. Sara later explains to me I have to walk around for 15 minutes to complete to resizing. So I was walking around outside, in shoes that did not fit me one bit, covered in baggies, while other people and cast and crew members were just looking at me like I was crazy while listening to Snow Patrol’s “Make This Go On Forever.” Each day when I was working with Elizabeth I found myself learning a lot of different things in the costume design world and learning techniques exist that I never thought of, well, existing.
I had a lot of fun being an assistant costume designer for this semester. I really wished there would be more opportunities like this more often. It really helps me as a theater major who wants to get into more design work and make it more known towards people who might want to pursue this as a career. I haven’t felt this type of positive energy since I work with Diagonal View (Sky Media) over the summer. And to be honest, I didn’t want the show to end. I loved working with Elizabeth, Ethan, Sara, and Carrie on this show alone. Without their guidance, I don’t know where I’d be today. It sucks that my job is officially done, but I’m looking forward to the next job that awaits me!
Catch BU Players’ “Be More Chill” on Oct. 31 through Nov. 3, 2019, at the Alvina Krause Theatre (226 Center St.)! Also, make sure you follow my social media for any questions, including clicking the link to find out more about auditions for future projects!
https://intranet.bloomu.edu/buplayers-current (Imaged used)