Thursday, September 24, 2009

Diva fit

Remember this childhood dream?: You are in the middle of a huge crowd. They are all staring at you. The reason: you are butt-naked. You are naked, fat, and your things dangle, and they all point at you and laugh.
I haven't had that dream for years, but it actually happened to me , sort of, the other day.

A couple of weeks ago, when I was able to try my costumes for the first time, I had a big concern, (which of course I expressed to the costume department); All of my dresses (and there are plenty.. many more than the usual 3 or 4 changes), were designed for a completely different kind of body. For starters, all of them are made of stretchy, clingy material that grabs and holds to your skin.

Having been a teenager of 86 kilos, materials such as these, find no hardship in grabbing all they can on me.
As opposed to a skinny-girl gone fat, Fat girl gone- skinnier will always retain some schnitzel somewhere on her body, no matter how much cardio she might do (well, at least this is true in my case),
So, having dress after dress hug the flabby points of my body (which normally I know exactly how to hide), was already raising a big red flag.

But I do put my trust in opera house tailors- They all have years of experience under their belt. So for the next time, I was pretty hopeful to have a wonderful costume adjustment.

But when I stepped into my first dress; The one in which I have to make my big entrance, and sing the Habanera , (and in it I immediately transform from Rini to Carmen, feeling fierce and sexy) , looking in the full-length mirror in my dressing room, all I could see was a frumpy , dumpy, short and fat woman staring at me with horror in her eyes.

I tried really hard to hold my tears, and somehow managed, being rushed onto stage , where the show already has begun.

I made my entrance and started singing the first line. But instead of feeling like the desirable, beautiful woman, the object of all women's envy and all men's desire, I instantly turned into that fat naked girl, and everybody- the chorus, the soloists, the people watching me from the house, were pointing at me and laughing.

I was literally choking on my vocal lines and was planted into the stage in a catatonic state. That's at least how it all felt to me.

At the end of my scene which I just somehow did on "automatic", I ran back to my dressing room, and cried:
" I can't".

They all (feeling sorry and largely apologetic) had to agree with me, and the General Director of the house came by and asked that I should wear whatever would make me feel, and be my best . This was not only a kind allowance but also a smart, invested one.

The following day was my only (and final) dress rehearsal. In the morning I arrived at the costume department and we went through several different dresses and shoes that were similar to the original costume, but had a much better outcome. We eventually found a few perfect pieces, that got me safely onto stage, back with the "oomph" , and the security that clothes do give me, being the center of a large clothed crowd.


Anonymous Cee said...

Oh Rini, that's so terrible! I'm happy to hear that there's a happy ending, but I'm nevertheless sending you hugs from afar! But truth be told, you could put on three of those fat suits like Charlize Theron in Monster, and you'd still slay them with your natural acting, vocal power, and undeniable charisma.

11:35 AM  
Blogger sestissimo said...

Oh my god I totally totally understand you. I have cried because I thought I looked horrible in my costumes (with me it's not worrying about looking fat, but because I'm so tall, I often (when I'm a girl) feel like a gigantic unfeminine tree stump or something). I'm always amazed when people don't care about their costumes, or when the theater doesn't care if you look like a fudgesickle. I'm glad you got it solved, but I agree with above comment that your charisma and beauty would show through a potato sack.

9:53 AM  
Blogger An Untidy Mind said...

I really feel for you and totally agree that a costume is so important to get you in the character and if you don't feel right then it makes a big difference to how you sing. I've just finished a run of Orpheus in the Underworld and I turned up to the dress rehearsal to find they wanted me in a skimpy leopard skin dress... I wore it but must admit it affected my onstage confidence. Glad the house helped you feel more comfortable.
I'm playing carmen in 2 productions next year in the UK, and hope to god my costumes are great :0)

11:55 AM  

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