Author Topic: What (not?) to wear  (Read 7459 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

missliz

  • Superstar!
  • *****
  • Posts: 569
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • Personal Site
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Experience: Professional
What (not?) to wear
« on: Jun 08, 2011, 11:14 pm »
What do you typically wear for an interview? Any go-to items (or, hell, lucky items)?

Inspired by reading in a womens' magazine today that, on interviews for "artsy" jobs, a lady should wear a piece of statement jewelry, "to show how fun you are!" This also reminded me of the first SM interview I went on in NYC, where I wore a wrap dress and heels and the director commented on how dressed up I was for a stage manager!
I personally would like to bring a tortoise onto the stage, turn it into a racehorse, then into a hat, a song, a dragon and a fountain of water. One can dare anything in the theatre and it is the place where one dares the least. -Ionesco

stgmngr

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 8
  • Gender: Female
  • Live. Laugh. Love.
    • View Profile
  • Experience: College/Graduate
Re: What (not?) to wear
« Reply #1 on: Jun 09, 2011, 12:30 am »
When I went out to interview for grad school this winter, I wore a black skirt, and simple magenta top, with a pair of black flats--simple, yet classy. It worked out well : )

BlueRidgeSM

  • Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 53
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Experience: Community Theatre
Re: What (not?) to wear
« Reply #2 on: Jun 09, 2011, 09:13 am »
It has been a while since I have interviewed as a SM, but if it did happen I'd probably wear some black slacks, a nice top, and some slightly-heeled sandals I have.  I do have a sparkly necklace that I like to wear, not sure I'd call it "statement jewelry" but it's still sparkly.   :)

I will admit I often feel like I am clueless when it comes to tech staff wardrobe - sure, wear all black, but I'm in the booth and no one will see me anyway.  I usually wear all black or at least dark colors - black pants and a dark colored shirt - but I will admit in the summer I do occasionally wear sandals in the booth.  There is no way whatsoever that I would have to be backstage during the run and our booth isn't even connected with the backstage. 

A lot of the time I'm coming to the theatre straight from my day job anyway, so business casual in dark colors.  No one's made a comment one way or the other so I'm thinking it's okay? 

NomieRae

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 246
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SMA, Adelphi University
Re: What (not?) to wear
« Reply #3 on: Jun 10, 2011, 12:22 am »
It's been awhile since I've done interviews (thanking my stars for that one!) but I do have my "lucky top" that I wore to my first professional interview way back when, it's a teal button down that's very classic but bold. Can't say that I wear statement jewelry, but I definitely like to look put together for first meetings with new directors, first rehearsals, and of course openings.

I actually had someone on my current team comment on how they liked how 'dressy' I am during performances since I always wear a dress, flats, and some jewelry to call a show, that it seemed right because I am management and should represent the show and company in a professional way..which I thought was an interesting take. Mostly I wear dresses cause it's cooler in the summer!

A lot of my wardrobe has shifted since I have taken more high profile jobs--I just don't feel right rolling into a rehearsal in jeans and a t-shirt on certain projects. Especially when I am the youngest person in the room-sometimes how you present yourself makes a world of difference.

That being said: When I'm PSM and I don't need to be backstage, I always rock sock monkey slippers during tech. Always.
--Naomi
"First, I honor life, and with it my life in theatre." -- Jacques Burdick

sievep

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 204
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AGMA
  • Experience: Professional
Re: What (not?) to wear
« Reply #4 on: Jun 11, 2011, 02:39 am »
I've always been told I dress far too formally for interviews.  From now on, a nice shirt and a pair of nice slacks will be just fine for me.  Actually, I just interviewed with Cirque du Soleil via Skype and I think I was wearing a casual button up long sleeve shirt.

For first rehearsals I always dress up a little, for opening night I dress up a lot, but for everyday running of the show, I now wear black jeans and a black hoodie over whatever I'm wearing.  For rehearsals, it's jeans and a t-shirt.  I like to wear color when I can.

With that being said, one of the best pieces of advice I ever got, which was from a director friend of mine, is always dress to meet your audience.  The one time I had to walk out onstage and make an announcement to the audience I was so grateful I was dressed well.  Why I had to make that announcement is another story entirely.
"This lovely light, it lights not me" - Orson Welles

bex

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 298
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • Twitter
  • Affiliations: AEA, Auburn University
  • Current Gig: Freelance SM/ASM
  • Experience: Professional
Re: What (not?) to wear
« Reply #5 on: Jun 11, 2011, 11:37 am »
I have a pair of gray slacks that I love- they have become my "interview pants," with various tops and cardigans and such.

I like to dress up a little for first rehearsals as well, especially since I'm so young (and look younger than I am), I like to give the company a businesslike first impression. 

For running, in my current space it depends on the show- if I have to go onstage to do changes at intermission, I wear black jeans and a black shirt. If I don't have to go onstage at intermission, I dress more business casual because in order to get anywhere else in the building from the booth, I have to walk through the lobby.
You will have to sing for your supper & your mortgage, your dental coverage & your children's shoes, over & over again while people in desk jobs roll their eyes the minute you start to complain. So it's a good thing you like to sing.

Jessie_K

  • Superstar!
  • *****
  • Posts: 528
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • International Stage Manager of Mystery
  • Affiliations: AEA, AGMA, SMA (on leave)
  • Current Gig: Queen of the Night
  • Experience: Professional
Re: What (not?) to wear
« Reply #6 on: Jun 12, 2011, 01:04 pm »
I tend to dress like a right hippy in my normal life.  So I have 2 nice button downs and a nice skirt that I generally only pull out for interviews.

missliz

  • Superstar!
  • *****
  • Posts: 569
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • Personal Site
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Experience: Professional
Re: What (not?) to wear
« Reply #7 on: Nov 30, 2012, 01:06 pm »
Resurrecting this thread: I caught a rerun of an episode of What Not to Wear that featured the production manager at La Jolla Playhouse.

http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/tv/what-not-to-wear/pretty-not-provocative-makeover.htm

They focused on a wardrobe that was pulled together but could still go "from moving a couch with the stagehands to meeting a donor in the lobby." I think they had some great tips (though I don't agree with the amount of open-toed shoes :)).

It's season 8, episode 7 for those who'd want to look it up on Netflix or somewhere online.
I personally would like to bring a tortoise onto the stage, turn it into a racehorse, then into a hat, a song, a dragon and a fountain of water. One can dare anything in the theatre and it is the place where one dares the least. -Ionesco

dallas10086

  • Superstar!
  • *****
  • Posts: 562
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Current Gig: Freelance PSM; currently Charlotte Squawks 12
  • Experience: Professional
Re: What (not?) to wear
« Reply #8 on: Nov 30, 2012, 02:28 pm »
Resurrecting this thread: I caught a rerun of an episode of What Not to Wear that featured the production manager at La Jolla Playhouse.

http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/tv/what-not-to-wear/pretty-not-provocative-makeover.htm

They focused on a wardrobe that was pulled together but could still go "from moving a couch with the stagehands to meeting a donor in the lobby." I think they had some great tips (though I don't agree with the amount of open-toed shoes :)).

It's season 8, episode 7 for those who'd want to look it up on Netflix or somewhere online.

I'll definitely catch this!

SMAshlee

  • Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Current Gig: Porchlight Music Theatre
  • Experience: Professional
Re: What (not?) to wear
« Reply #9 on: Dec 01, 2012, 09:20 pm »
I have a pair of gray slacks that I love- they have become my "interview pants," with various tops and cardigans and such.


I have to agree bex, gray slacks are the way to go!  They go with anything. 

As for running, it depends on my calling location.  I have a fear of skirts/dresses... when you've had to unexpectedly go out on the suspension grid on opening night in your dressy clothes, you would be fearful of skirts/dresses too.   I've been known to leave my black sneakers in the booth as well.  You never know!

juliec

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 28
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AGMA
  • Current Gig: Bonjour M. Gauguin (US Premiere)
  • Experience: Professional
Re: What (not?) to wear
« Reply #10 on: Dec 02, 2012, 03:05 am »

Ooooh, I love "what not to wear".  I spent the first part of my career in sneakers and jeans, and being treated like a kid just out of school (which I was).  It was also how I could fit into an environment dominated by rather sloppy engineers.

But after a decade of that, I started dressing up.  It's way more fun.  I wear skirts/dresses 40-60%, depending on the weather.  SMAshlee, if you wear them with leggings, it's almost like wearing pants - even if you need to get down and dirty. 

I'll also wear slight heels (but sturdy ones and closed toe, often boots) so I can climb a ladder or jump from a 3 foot height.  It's weird, but I think dressing well does give you a little more cred.  Also I noticed I liked when SM's dressed up for shows, even in all black.  It just feels more expression-full.

ejsmith3130

  • SM Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 155
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: EMC
  • Current Gig: Coordinating a Move to Napaskiak AK- Harder than any show I've ever done!
  • Experience: Professional
Re: What (not?) to wear
« Reply #11 on: Dec 02, 2012, 07:54 am »
I tend to gague what I wear by two things at rehearsals: 1- what my SM wears (as generally I am asm) and 2- what type of theatre it is.

The more formal the theatre, the more formal my clothes. I tend to leave my hoodies at home when I'm doing opera, and I even pull out my dressier blacks to run the show; although I opt out of dresses. I have seen quite a few ASMs in dresses changing the sets though.

I like to take cues from my SM too- I don't ever want to outdress her/him, and we generally as a rule dress around the same standards as the director... except that one time I had a director that wore overall snowpants to every rehearsal...

Cedes

  • SM Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 123
  • Gender: Female
  • ...
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: EMC, SMA
  • Current Gig: PSM, Arizona Broadway Theatre
  • Experience: Professional
Re: What (not?) to wear
« Reply #12 on: Jan 11, 2013, 12:46 pm »
I usually go for something I feel confident in, and yet have a degree of comfortability wearing. You need to seem like you are in control, and sure of yourself, and if you are wearing something that you don't like, it'll show. That being said, I also like to throw a piece of jewelry or a clothing item that definitely represent me, and show that I have a personality.

My go-to outfit is usually a pair of comfortable slacks (Dressy, but ones I also can wear for shows-usually dark grey or black), A dressy dark top of some kind, and simple earrings. I try to not draw too much attention to my upper half, because of my body type (I'm a rather large-chested girl). My statement piece is a brass cuff bracelet with a 1903 map of Detroit etched onto it. It's a good conversation starter, and shows a bit of my personality.

Oh, for ladies, something I have heard often: Please keep the makeup to a minimum. Yes, we want to look good, but the more natural, the better, because it shows that you aren't trying too hard, and are comfortable in your own skin.

SMrobyn

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 14
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Current Gig: SM - 7 Stories
  • Experience: College/Graduate
Re: What (not?) to wear
« Reply #13 on: Aug 08, 2013, 12:37 pm »
I agree that wearing certain dresses/skirts with leggings is like wearing pants - Im young and my style kinda screams artsy, with fun punky hair, and all black clothing. I dont actually own many colorful pieces. I tend to wear black leggings with sturdy military boots and a long sweater/dress... all in black. If it's an interview I might add a black blazer and my "nice" purse instead of my back pack. I've had positive comments on my clothing because it immediately lets the employer see my personality and style.
A dream is a wish your heart makes... And I dream of lighting cues, prop sheets, quick changes and prompt books :)

Lauren

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 34
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: Western Michigan University Alumni
  • Current Gig: Assistant Stage Manager, National Tour of Mamma Mia!
  • Experience: Professional
Re: What (not?) to wear
« Reply #14 on: Aug 13, 2013, 09:23 am »
For interviews I have a grey suit I love, that matches just about every top I own. Suits can be a little dressy, but they're very me. I have a jade bracelet that I usually wear for interviews or special occasions, and it has a good story to it, so that's  always nice.

For rehearsals I tend to wear either comfortable dress pants or nice jeans with sneakers or closed toe, low heeled boots, and a blouse. If I'm wearing jeans or it's cold in the rehearsal room I'll also often wear a blazer. As many have said, I'm young, especially where I'm working, so I try to air on the side of dressing up more often than not.

For running shows, I usually wear nice black jeans or black slacks, and black sneakers, low heeled quiet black boots (my favorite!) or work boots depending on what I have to do during the show. Some combination of that plus a dark top and a black cardigan always works.

Opening night is about the only time I'll wear a dress, and usually I change into it after the show... Somehow there's always something I end up needing to do where I wouldn't want to be in a dress... They are fun to wear though. (:
"The truth is rarely pure, and never simple" -Oscar Wilde