March 1, 2011

How do you evoke your experience for the audience?

Pomona College play long before my costume design days
I got goosebumps from one line in Julie Weiss' speech as she was honored with the Disaronno Career Achievement in Film and Television award at the Costume Designers Guild Awards.

To set the stage: She told many colorful stories of her life and career as a costume designer.

She apologized for borrowing clothes from friends and family and forgetting to re-alter them before giving them back. She thanked costume houses for staying open late for her (even locking her in while the staff went to dinner). She described her storage units full of acquired costume items and a jar of red dirt just waiting to be used.

And she described the moment when, after spending much time laboring to get every piece of the costume just right, suddenly she realizes...

"The actor has become the character, and you quietly wheel away the rack of other choices and grieve about it later."

I felt like I was inside the costume designer's thoughts and emotions with this evocative line.

Find ways to paint descriptive pictures with your words so your audience can experience your story as though it's happening to them.

Photo: Claremont Colleges Digital Library

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