Monthly Archives: April 2011

My Journey into the Mountains to Become a Kung Fu Master

Is why I haven’t been blogging for a very, very long time.

Just kidding. I’m no better at martial arts (and possibly worse) than I was when I took my impromptu vacation from blogging. What did happen was that I fully committed to making costuming my life. Yes, I’m crazy, thank you for asking. But you guys already knew that.

I’d already been working as a shop assistant in my university’s costume shop since late August, and I took costume design 1 in the previous fall. And I had gotten most of my design work on my theater’s touring production of Cyrano de Bergerac out of the way. But then I signed up to work as a dresser on a whim (dun dun dun) for the mainstage production of Rent.

Part one: I almost died. Whoever came up with the idea of three-year batteries for Mitsubishi Eclipses probably had a good reason, but is also now responsible for almost killing me. But I wouldn’t have been driving at 70+ mph on I-25 in Denver on a Saturday night with a zombie battery if I didn’t feel pressured to force myself to like being a photojournalist.

Note: this is what you get when you Google image search 'zombie battery'.

Part two: During the run of Rent, I never thought I could have the two realizations ‘I want to die’ and ‘I could do this for the rest of my life and be happy and feel successful’ at the same time. To be fair, the second thought was about costuming in general, not specifically about being a dresser. Though I did really enjoy the opportunity to work more directly with actors and see exactly how costuming works once the curtain opens. It turned out my experience with cosplay helped me out in ways I couldn’t even guess backstage.

What I’ve also realized is that it’s harder, not easier, to balance cosplay with theatrical costuming. At least with journalism, cosplay was a great creative outlet to escape from that coursework. So I guess that means I kind of like costuming if I still feel strongly about continuing on with both. I’m still getting my B.S. from the officially discontinued School of Journalism and Mass Communication here at CU, but I’m knocking out all but one journalism course over the summer so I can dedicate my time to experience I will need to become a successful costume designer during my last undergrad year.

Right now I’ve just finished a design project that I wanted to include in my portfolio (which the curious can view here: http://www.wix.com/charlotteballar8/charlotteyballard#!), I’m knee-deep in patterning and constructing an 1850s day dress for my costume construction final project, and I’m working on styling the Studio IV class into French and English Baroque/Restoration era fashion for their salon at the governor’s mansion here in Colorado! And, of course, getting some new costumes finished for Akon in June.

I think that my perspective on cosplay will be a little strange now that I’m experiencing costuming from two completely different angles, but I think that’s just going to make my experience with both even better. Now to go wolf down dinner and cut out some flatlining.

greyrondo