I recently learnt a great phrase I’d never heard before – “dress for your diary”. It’s very appropriate for my job, because it’s a typically relaxed environment with occasional need for business dress, or sometimes full-on formal. Or sometimes hard hats and steel-toe boots. It’s a mix.
The challenge with the dress-for-your-diary concept is when you have a formal meeting in work at 4, but need to be in the theatre ready to crew by 5.30.
What I’m saying (in a roundabout way) is that I’ve found a new theatre, and reignited my passion for moving things quietly in the dark. It’s been a couple of years, and I’m much more tired and old-lady-like now (which is what having a full-time job will do to you, basically) but I am honestly having the most fun. I don’t know why I ever left really.
I think it probably says a lot about me, that the biggest challenge of going back to technical theatre has been the fashion side of things. Firstly, remembering to rescue my steel-toe boots from under my desk at work, where they’d been gathering dust following the end of our major building refurb (it was immeasurably helpful that I had my own pair, because apparently your standard construction site spares don’t come in tiny size 4). Secondly, having to go out and buy more plain black clothes. It only takes a few years of mostly being seen during daylight hours to force you into buying clothes with actual colour (or at least various tones of grey, my usual look).
Finally, and probably most challenging, has been picking out outfits which are appropriate for work, but which either transition to backstage easily, or fold up small enough that I’m not carting around an entire second wardrobe each day. Having coached myself into the world of coloured clothes I now don’t really want to go back, which means changing at least one item day to evening.
I didn’t ever think I’d be preoccupied by fashion choices. It’s amazing what a few years can do.