Wardrobe Internship - Delal's Experience
January 10, 2022
Delal Yapici has just finished her 7 week Masterclass internship on the production of A Christmas Carol as Wardrobe Assistant and Dresser for the production. We caught up with Delal to hear all about her internship experience.
What does a day in the life of a Wardrobe Assistant/Dresser entail?
Every theatre does things differently depending on the Head of Wardrobe, and how they like to operate. For A Christmas Carol I assisted the Head of Wardrobe with laundry, taking washed and ironed items to the applicable dressing rooms and ensuring all the right items were correctly placed, from socks to mic belts – each item is just as important. Once that was done, I would go down to the quick-change area on stage right, and pre-set costumes, hats and accessories on to chairs ready for the actor's quick changes.
During the show, I had quick changes for any actors leaving stage right, including big changes for Scrooge and Mr Fezziwig. The Head of Wardrobe would dart from one side of the stage to the other to help with super quick costume changes, as sometimes 2 pairs of hands were needed! One of the most exciting changes was for Scrooge’s nephew, we pre-set one jacket inside another jacket, whipped them both on and added a cravat and a hat all in a matter of seconds, no time to fuss about on that one!
At the end of the day, I would return the costume to either laundry or back to the dressing rooms, ready to go again for the next performance.
What new skills did you learn whilst working on this project?
This was my first major production in a commercial theatre, before this I had only volunteered for small productions. I learnt everything there is to know about a big commercial production and a lot about what not to do, for example you are not meant to leave the building once the half hour call is announced – luckily, I didn’t make this mistake before someone told me the rule! I learnt a lot about other roles by observing them, which has made me think about exploring an ASM role in the future, but I really enjoyed working in the wardrobe department and would like to carry on exploring this role for now.
What big challenges did you overcome and how did your internship enable you to overcome them?
Because it was an internship, rather than being thrown in the deep end, the Head of Wardrobe was ready to teach me what the role entailed and how it all worked. They showed me how to do a quick-change, what to check, everything from simple tasks to more complicated parts of the role. I felt like I could ask about anything. One of the biggest challenges during my internship was when a dress, which was super old, tore on stage. The dress had individual pleats sewn on to the bodice, which we had to continuously sew back onto the dress, but this tear was too big! The dress was meant to be worn again in another scene, so I ran the dress to the Head of Wardrobe who helped me safety pin it back together. The next day the wardrobe team were able to fix it properly.
What was your favourite part of your internship?
I loved all of it! Meeting lots of new people, everyone was really down to earth and kind. I also loved working in a big theatre, but my favourite part of the internship was the job itself, dressing actors and getting to learn more about costumes.
What roles in theatre do you now feel confident in applying for?
I feel confident to apply for wardrobe and dresser roles in the West End and Regional theatres.
What do you hope to do next?
I have been applying for more dressing and wardrobe roles and have had a few interviews for those. I want to continue to learn and would love to go on tour in this role, an international tour would be really fun. Since my internship, I have been offered a role in the wardrobe department of Eastenders and am super excited to start – it wouldn’t have happened without this opportunity!
I really loved my internship and have learnt so much, I’m excited to get back onto a theatre team soon.
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