Costume Assistant Internship - Singing In The Rain
June 23, 2022
Sofie Mo completed a 7 week Masterclass internship on the production of Singing in the Rain as Costume Assistant and Dresser for the production. We caught up with Sofi to hear all about her internship experience.
What happens in the day of a Costume Intern:
No two days were the same! Which made it really exciting. My internship included both preparing costumes for the show and working on the show itself. Whilst the cast were in rehearsals I helped the costume department get costumes ready, they needed to make alterations, create some designs and ensure we had all of the necessary accessories. As Singin' in the Rain was a touring show it was essential the costume and accessories were kept organised and in good condition so they could be moved from theatre to theatre, we kept them in trundles to ensure nothing got broken or lost.
As the Mathew Bourne production of Singin' the Rain was last on in Australia, the first two weeks were spent looking through previous costumes, what alterations would need to be made for the new cast and listing what we didn’t have and sourcing the new items needed. We had a variety of tasks to do, such as painting character shoes the right colour and adding coloured ribbon to hats ready for the show. Singin' in the Rain is a show like no other, the stage floor has wooden slats instead of being solid in order for the rain to fall through. A dance heavy show mixed with the amount of water on stage means all costumes and shoes had to be made safe for the actors. One element of this was to send shoes to the cobbler to get rubber edges, as dance shoes often have a smoother or suede sole which would be slippery on the stage. Tap shoes were also roughed up on the caps to create grip for the performers. I got to learn a lot about dance as well as costume and safety during the process!
What was your biggest challenge?
In terms of learning something new, it was during the show I found my biggest challenge when I took on the role of dresser. Due to a sudden absence of a dresser, I got to take on a principle dressing plot, involving looking after 3 principle characters, Cosmo Brown, Roscoe Dexter and RF Simpson. Since I had been made familiar with the costumes needed for each character during the prep process it made familiarising myself with their plot easier to pick up; ensuring their costumes and accessories were in the right place, helping with quick changes and returning them to laundry. Ah Laundry! Due to the rain, the laundry is a massive job on Singin' in the Rain. On days with a matinee as well as an evening show, the turn around is even quicker as we only have 2 sets of each costume. Super challenging, but also really enjoyable.
What was your favourite part of your internship?
I loved seeing everything come together and meeting people from other departments which we’d been kept separate from before due to Covid. It was exciting to be part of the wider team, seeing how the wigs, hair and make-up team worked as well as the backstage crew. I was really made to feel part of the team.
What’s next for you Sofie?
I really enjoyed working in wardrobe and I’d love the opportunity to do it again. It offers a great variety of tasks and is very different from anything I imagined I’d do when I graduate. I’d like to be able to make costumes and work in wardrobe but once I graduate I’d also like to focus on improving and building upon my knowledge and skills in tailoring as it's something I've found a love for during my time on my course. I got to see a lot of this during my internship, I was able to sit in on fittings for the show, which was the first time I’ve been able to see how that process works! As I'm soon to graduate, reflecting on the internship has given me new found motivation and enthusiasm towards entering the industry and I wouldn't have had as much confidence in myself if I hadn't had this amazing opportunity!