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TAAP Class 2016: Ana Langmead, Costume Design Apprentice

August 16, 2016

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If you told me earlier this year that I would be spending this summer in Aspen working as a Wardrobe Apprentice, I would have thought you were nuts. Theatre Aspen was not even on my radar as a possibility, but when I started communicating with some of the wonderful staff here, I was thrilled. I am constantly awestruck by how outstanding the people at Theatre Aspen are. Since I have been here, there has not been a single person that has not made this experience more enriching. Working with such genuinely kind and caring people has been an inspiration. The concern people have for one another is a heartwarming sight.

This summer has been filled with countless experiences that have had a deep impact on me. The most recent of which is my work as the costume designer for the Theatre Aspen School’s production of Bye Bye Birdie. This project has provided me with the full spectrum of emotions. For a time, I was consumed with how stressed the work made me. I am grateful for my much-needed wake up call to remind me that I am doing this because it’s what I am passionate about. It was when I finally started working face-to-face with the kids involved that my work took on a different meaning for me. Yes, I was overwhelmed when I had fifteen girls throwing poodle skirts and leotards at me during fittings. Yes, the constant screaming about Conrad Birdie got to be a bit much at times, but it was all worth it. I was taught many important lessons about theater in general, but specifically about doing theater with young people. The emphasis is placed on how the kids feel and making it the best possible experience for them. I was able to contribute to that by making them feel special with their costumes. Having all of the actors coming up to me throughout tech and performances exclaiming about their costumes and how grateful they were for my work made the related anxiety worthwhile.

I came into this summer with very specific goals about what I wanted to improve upon. At the beginning of the summer, it was essential for me to get to a place where I was more comfortable in who I was and what I could do. With the help of the people around me, I can confidently say that I met each of my goals. I am immensely grateful to all the amazing people I work with who have helped me have such an incredible summer.