Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Theatre 101: Clothes Really Do Make The Man…Or Woman

I’m back with another “behind-the-scenes” blog about my play and how acting often relates to writing. One of the most exciting times in the production process is getting your costume. For the most part in rehearsals, we’re all dressed in our regular clothes. So, if you’re playing an opera singer in a 1890s melodrama (which I am) it’s a little hard to imagine actually being that person when I’m wearing jeans or something. That all changes when you put on the actual costume. You suddenly feel more like that characters. It’s like slipping into another person’s skin (not in a gross way, but a cool way).

A few weeks ago, the cast of our play made a field trip to a costume store. Well, I should clarify because this place was a HUGE warehouse filled to the rafters with costumes from every era in human history. It was like Disney World for everyone who loved to play dress up as a kid. The owners get many of their costumes from Broadway shows (they apparently sell old costumes) and trunk sales, and many are made specifically for certain shows. You want to dress as Queen Elizabeth I…they have that costume. A 1920s Flapper? They have that, too. Dracula? Yes. Jesse James? Yep. Big Bird? Oh yes… You name it, they probably have it…or they can make it.

Hat Connoisseur
I finally got to try on a fancy gown that represents my “Noted Opera Singer & Hat Connoisseur”. As soon as I did, I could feel an immediate change. I can’t really post that picture because I don’t want to spoil the big reveal at show time, but wow could I feel the difference when I put it on. I could suddenly imagine my character in a way I hadn’t done before. It was heavier than my normal clothes, with silk and velvet and full skirt that swished when I walked. Costumes force you to move differently, sit differently. You really do feel like another person.

Sorry I can’t post my actual costume, but here’s one of the hats I tried on.

And here’s another fun item. No, it’s not my costume, but I couldn’t resist trying it on.

Not my actual costume
In a weird way, authors have to put on the "costumes" of the characters they write about. Or at least imagine what they would wear. They have to imagine what an unmarried Regency-era heroine would wear as opposed to a widow or "scandalous" woman. How would the quintessential billionaire CEO dress in comparison to a small-town sheriff or a Navy Seal? What kind of shoes would a pampered socialite wear compared to a single mother working to make ends meet? Many authors look online for pictures of what their characters might look like or dress. Some cut out pictures from magazines & create character boards. These can include what the character would wear. You have to know these things in order to make your characters 3-dimensional and real, just as putting on a costume helps an actor understand his/her character. 

Have you ever gotten to put on a cool costume for a show? What did you wear? Did a make you feel different? Are you an author who likes to find pictures of your characters? Do you look for their clothes, too? Or make character boards? 

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Be sure to check out my latest book release, STRAIGHT ON TOWARD PARADISE, Book 2 in the Shellwater Key Tales. 

Chef Emma Bertram’s life is a recipe for disaster, but she’s about to discover that love and forgiveness are the perfect ingredients for a happy ending.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

2 Days Till Launch Day for Straight On Toward Paradise

So since it’s January and much of the country is freezing and snowed in until spring, I thought I would torture (umm…I mean) warm you up with some images of my sleepy, Florida beach town. Shellwater Key is quiet and isolated, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Although it’s a fictional town, there are actually places still like that along the west coast. Places like Siesta Key, Ana Maria Island, Captiva Island & Sanibel Island.

I thought I would share a few images that look a bit like my fictional town…so close your eyes and imagine lazing in the sun on the beach or enjoying a warm breeze on your cheek….You’re welcome.


Remember, if you buy Straight On Toward Paradise by January 24th you can enter for a chance to WIN a Kindle Fire! Once the book downloads, just click on the link inside to enter. You can share the giveaway for multiple chances to win.



As a bonus I’m offer Left Turn At Paradise (Book 1) for only 99 cents so if you missed it, now is your chance to get caught up on all the action that came before!