Describe what you do for Portland Opera
As the Costume Director for Portland Opera, I facilitate all costume needs for our productions, educational tours, galas, displays, etc... I oversee a staff of 1-15, and ensure that all costumes are ready for stage. With 30 years experience in theatrical costuming, I have a broad skill set from designing, draping, constructing, repairing and altering, as well as millinery, costume crafts, and dying/distressing. I use these skills on each project the costume shop is tasked with, and I'm a master multitasker and love using both my creative and analytical skills everyday. I also facilitate the rental of our costumes to local and national companies, sometimes just a few pieces, and other times entire productions including hundreds of pieces. FYI... I love my job.
What music/book/movie/show/poem/place/moment is currently inspiring you?
Currently, I am loving all of the National Theatre productions streaming on their website. The variety of stories, and the high level production value are an inspiration. I've been fortunate enough to attend productions in London at the NT as well meeting the costume staff and director there. The work they do is incredible and their passion is inspiring. Also watching these productions reminds me that someday, I'll be able to travel again!!
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Growing up I wanted to be a fashion designer or an Air Force pilot. From an early age I enjoyed making things. Lots of things. I built a desk out of scrap wood, and a waterbed for my sister's Barbie using my Mom's Seal-A-Meal and a shoe box, lots of little pillows for my dolls, and a nativity scene from toilet paper rolls and scrap fabric (my Mom still puts it out at Christmas). Looking back, it's easy to see how my love of creative problem solving, my excitement for making my own style of clothes, my love for storytelling and movies, all led me to where I am now. That Air Force pilot thing must have been a phase... I do like to fly though!!
In my free time, you can usually find me...
I love working on my house and yard doing as much work as I can to remodel, repair, and replace whatever needs attention. I moved back to Vancouver 5 years ago to be nearer my family, and spending time with them (after 17 years away) is my favorite thing to do in my free time.
What is your favorite Portland Opera memory?
I worked for the POA in the costume shop in the 90s, and one of my favorite memories was our production of The Love for Three Oranges. Honestly, I actually don't remember much about it, but what I do remember changed my perspective of what is possible in the performing arts... it still resonates with me to this day. We take in an opera production with our sense of sight and sound. To then add our sense of smell with scratch-n-sniff card was a revelation and blew my little mind. I am forever grateful for that moment!!