Author Topic: COSTUMES: saftey with a peg leg  (Read 9117 times)

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prizm

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COSTUMES: saftey with a peg leg
« on: Dec 08, 2005, 12:39 am »
OK so Im in my prep week for a production of Treasure Island and of course our Long John Silver is going to have a peg leg. I have talked extensivly with director and designer and they explain the sctor will have his real leg strapped up and a peg attached to his knee. I have many concers all of ahich I have broched with the approite people. So much so that I now have an evtire mock up of the set being built for rehearsals (the show is on a rake and has lots of stairs). I have talked to the PM about weekly medical exams (though I have no idea what he might need in that area I just know there will be blood loss if his leg is strapped up). and I have insisted he start using the leg with first rehearsal ( I have scheduled him for a fitting firday before to have the leg fit thank god for rep)
I guess my question is has anyone worked with a peg leg before. What are the things I should know about working with them. What should I have on hand that he might need (a heating pad to incourage blood flow when we are on break maybe)
What are other saftey concerns I should address?
Im not worried about it working I am assured that they have done this before.
I just want some feedback on others experiences.
the things this job leads to, never in my life did I think I would put on a daily schedule xyz actor 12-12:30 leg fitting
ahhh theatre
« Last Edit: Jun 08, 2009, 10:58 pm by PSMKay »

MatthewShiner

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Peg Legs
« Reply #1 on: Dec 08, 2005, 12:46 pm »
I used one in Sherlock Holmes - they are a pain.  We found a knee pad helps to buffer between the knee and the peg leg.

It's fine to insist he use the leg from day one, the problem is that he may not be able to wear it that long and it may get in the way of more basic acting things (like character, learning lines, etc . . .)  I found if he could wear it two hours at a time (the show length) then that was enough.  Making him wear it all tech would be cruel and unusual punishment.

Also, just try to find a good phyiscal therapist - that may help.
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prizm

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saftey with a peg leg
« Reply #2 on: Dec 08, 2005, 12:50 pm »
that is true, I meant that he need to have it avaliable to him from first rehearsal. Our shop has a habbit of not getting what they call accesories done untill the last min.
I had no plan to make him wear it all the time. I just need him to try walking on a rake and up and down stairs in it, within the context of his character ect...

nook

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saftey with a peg leg
« Reply #3 on: Dec 10, 2005, 04:56 am »
the summer shows at my college did Irma Vep with a Nicodemous that had a "peg leg". The actor basically had a humoungous platform shoe that he walked in that had about 8" of wood from the bottom of his foot to the floor and the rest was strapped on with some creative costuming to make it look like a leg was missing.  (Vep is notorious for the number of quick changes, etc. and involving a wooden leg with a bent knee would be near impossible.)

Anyway, I'm working with that actor on my current project and he is still recovering from some pretty major back issues gained from hopping around at such an odd angle.  If you have the financial capacity to get a rehearsal set in place with a rake, I would suggest hooking the actor up with some massage therapy or chiropractic help.

Leaving the peg as an option (not requirement) in rehearsal is best, but if he's overzealous he might do some damage.  Maybe it's worth it to establish a schedule with the leg?  Sounds stupid right?  This gets to that experience that I saw happen with the other actor.  He didn't mention the pain/discomfort for fear of being the spoiled apple or diva.  I think making sure the actor's health it taken into effect by asking him what he needs before the actor requests it would be a good step.  (Not that I'm saying anything new or earthshattering there.)

I think the best bet is preventative therapy before pain becomes a problem.  Knee pads are a great suggestion, but it sounds like the problems might be larger depending on the angle of the rake.  

Insisting on railings for the steps and maybe an extra costume piece like a cane to give the actor a third point of contact might help make him feel safer.

centaura

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saftey with a peg leg
« Reply #4 on: Dec 11, 2005, 10:12 pm »
I've never worked with a peg leg before, but I think I would treat it like any heavy physical exertion - that is easing the actor into it.  Working himself up to the two hour show time by slow incriments.  Maybe during the first week of rehearsal he starts walking around for 15 minutes or so while he's not being rehearsed, to get the feel of walking that way.  Then working up to more and more time, slowly fitting it into rehearsal when you get to working scenes.  Learning to walk on a rake now is going to be invaluable!  He can have time to get comfortable with it.

-Centaura

prizm

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saftey with a peg leg
« Reply #5 on: Jan 12, 2006, 12:00 am »
Just a follow up to anyone who wants to know or is looking for the same info. Our Peg situation couldn't have worked out better! Our actor is a pirate so he has rather large pants (which helps in hiding the leg) but they have been rigged with what we call the leg zipper, there is set of zippers on the back of his leg so that when he is offstage he can let the leg out of the harness holding it up and get some bloodflow. we have added hand rails to the ramps in the voms and the rake was made rough to add traction for the leg. Also the theatre has agreed to pay for weekly chiropractic visits for him. I spoke with his doctor today and he says that there is a little tension in his back but he was able to get it out and feels confinedt that there wont be any long lasting damage. So thank you for your help in this having examples helped when sitting down with producers and designers and voicing my concerns.

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