Your Apartment as Costume Shop

In addition to the amount of schlepping you'll be doing, the other thing no one tells you when you are in school for costume design is that you will be staging all of your first shows from your apartment. Yes, my friends, this is where the magic of Indie Theater happens: your living room!

I have refined my technique for apartment to costume shop transformation. I'm lucky because I live alone and I have a relatively large apartment, at least by New York standards. Today I will share how I transform my space.

Here is what it looks like in normal circumstances. 

I got the table at a second hand shop years ago in Queens. It's kinda perfect. Collapsed, it takes up only a bit of space and is great to have a few guests for dinner. Expanded, it serves as a pretty good cutting table! I also set up my sewing machine here and can fit a small ironing board at the same time.

I originally got this desk to use as a...desk. However, I realized I never sit at it. I curl up on the couch with my laptop. Instead, I transformed it into notions and sewing storage. Closed, it hides everything. Open, I can use the fold out as extra table space and take advantage of vertical storage, a must in NYC. 

Years ago, I invested in a small, collapsible, rolling rack. It's not really that great, and it doesn't like too much weight, but it gets the job done. I also have a bunch of name markers. Both of these things help keep me organized. I do now, and have over the years, worked in an actual costume shop, so I just transfer those organizational methods to my living room.

In those interim years when you're designing small shows and keeping a day job, you will be building a lot of shows in your apartment. I'm lucky to work within the industry, so that gives me a resource many people don't have. Yet, I still find myself using my "home office" often. While I could stay late at work to do personal projects, it's more comfortable to be at home, especially when you have to stay up late into the night.

Well, that's my costume shop! Gotta go now; those buttons ain't gonna sew themselves.


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