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Where have I been!?!? COSTUMING!

I haven’t been posting as much as I have in the past.  Wondering why?  I accepted a full-time position at The Rose Theater as the Costume Shop Foreman, so I’ve been keeping QUITE busy.

Corner office with a view.

I’m still adjusting to working on children’s theater costumes from 9-5 and then working on my own brand during lunch breaks, evenings and weekends. I’m used to working a lot, but this new ratio of working outside the studio vs. time in the studio has been a rough change.

Repairing butterfly wings at my dayjob.

At first I was really concerned because of all the time I would NOT be spending on Audio Helkuik collections, but I’m really so grateful for this job.  If I have to have a 9-5, it’s pretty much the perfect for me.  Children’s theater is really random and wonderful.  My supervisor is really good and really, really, REALLY fast, so I learn a lot from her.  I can’t wait to be able to design, pattern and sew as quickly as she does.  So many of the skills I’m perfecting in the costume shop are exactly the skills I need to continue making Audio Helkuik better and better.  I love to learn.  I love getting better.

Day job work desk essentials: fur, leather, goggles, specs and coffee.

With my new position, I get to design a few mainstage shows each season.  Right now I’m working on designs for a show about a little family of singing mice.  Children’s theater.  So random.  So wonderful.

Designing outfits for singing mice.

My table at a staff design presentation event. Mice!

Really excited to see my designs on the stage again.  I love costume design.  I love fashion design too.  Don’t you worry.  I have LOTS of projects in the works for Audio Helkuik.  Screenprinting.  Leatherworking.  New collections.  Photoshoots.  SOOOOOOO PUMPED.

The future is looking up. Life is good.

One of my desk drawers at work is filled with antique irons. Cool. Random.

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Posted by on 03.29.14 in Audio's Life, Costumes

 

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How I Spent my Fall Semester

Since the morning after the Omaha Fashion Week Finale Runway Show in August, I’ve been in Orange City, IA working as an interim Costume Studio Manager for Northwestern College’s Theater Department.  I had zero recovery days after the chaos that is known as Fashion Week.  While it was a bit of an exhausting transition to go from runway work straight into a fast-paced theater costuming gig, I truly love my work.  Here at Northwestern College, I teach, I learn, I laugh, I love.

Instructing a student on how to stitch trim onto some belts we made.

NWC has one of the nicest costume studios I’ve ever worked in.  Most kind of have that “super cluttered basement” feel to them.  This one is big and bright with TONS of windows and the workspace is pretty much clutter-free.   It makes me want to cut down on the clutter in my own studio, which is always a challenge for someone who loves to collect fabric and supplies.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a bazillion large storage rooms to help keep my workspace completely clutter-free, so I just try to keep it under control

Showing NWC theater students how to create whiskers on masks.

Despite the great workspace, after three months on Orange City, I’m definitely ready to come home. Orange City is a small, conservative town that makes me miss Omaha, my Homaha SO MUCH.  I will also miss the NWC theater department when I leave.  They all also love to teach, learn, laugh, love.

Photo credit: Stephen Allen Photography

 
 

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audio helkuik: temporary costume studio ninja

Most of my costume design gigs are done in a freelance sort of manner.  I’m contracted for the design of a particular show with a company and then I’m back out on my own.  Right now, I am working in an entirely different setting. This fall, I was brought into a college theater department as their interim Costume Studio Manager while their costumer is away on maternity leave.  I’m at Northwestern College’s Theater Department, which is an educational theater program.  Every theater wants to make great productions and sell tickets, but here the main focus is to teach and mentor.  The amazing productions and ticket sales are a by-product of the educational work we do.  This is a great environment for me because I love to learn. I’m supposed to be doing the teaching here, but I learn as much as I teach, if not more.

It’s a cool gig because I am doing more than just designing a show and then scampering off.  I’m way more involved with this theater than the others I freelance at because I am managing the entire studio.  I have workers, a crew, budgets, a costume rental program to run, department meetings to attend, several deadlines to juggle, and I also have the responsibility of teaching all my students theater costume contruction and techniques through a very hands-on way.  I’m also designing costumes for a production while I am here, but we have student designers that I mentor through the process.  I am given about a dozen students for my costume crew, most of which have never sewn anything.  I quick teach them how to use a machine and then we sew an entire show together.  The students’ faces morph into wide-eyed panic when projects go from “Let’s practice a straight stitch” to “Okay, now stitch this dress together.”   It’s fast-paced.  It’s hard work.  It’s rewarding.  It’s theater.

Oh!  And at this studio, I have my own office! Before we were too deep in chaos this semester, I made a little temporary nametag for outside of my temporary office.  I figured I pick my own title of  “costume studio ninja” because, really, who’s gonna stop me if I’m the one running the place?

audio helkuik: temporary costume studio ninja

 

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