COSTUMES.ORG -- THE COSTUMER'S MANIFESTO WIKI

Difference between pages "TaraBookprojectsSexcensordick" and "TaraBookprojectsTravel for the soul"

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The Costumer's Manifesto: Fun With Dick and Jane; The Lysistrata CostumeControversy: '''Fun With Dick and Jane; The Lysistrata Costume Controversy:'''Costume renderings are rarely controversial.A notable exception was in 2002 when the costume renderings for
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Travel for the Soul'''Travel for the Soul'''
  
[[Shows100pagesLysistrata|Lysistrata]] were put on display in the Great Hall as usual, about a month before opening the show.The male costumes included traditional extra-large dangling phalli, and the women’s costumes were scanty (although not so scant as the 1896 Aubrey Beardsley illustrations upon which they are based).However, the costumes for the two characters that were added by director Thomas Riccio, team “mascots” of a man dressed as a penis, and a woman dressed as a vagina, for each of the two choruses, were the ones that seemed to have caught everyone’s imagination.
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TRAVEL IS INSPIRING: While I am tolerably certainthat Vadislav Nijinski and Leon Bakst did not absolutely need to go to Greece torespectively choreograph and design the Ancient Greek themed 1911 ballet Afternoon of aFaun, I'm sure it helped. What is more, I expect that they enjoyed it too. And whilethe IRS probably (in it's wisdom) would have frowned upon them trying to deduct it as abusiness expense (had they been modern Americans), it is true that travel is one of thebest methods for any type of artist to get inspiration.
  
Before designing these, I researched examples of theme costumes for these two organs online, and found most penis and vagina costumes to look rather ugly and awkward.I decided to ask myself “how would these costumes look if they were designed to be Disney mascots, or if Jim Henson made them for a Sesame Street special on where babies came from?” Dick (as we dubbed the penis) was smoothed out to the basics in a cheery shade of pink, and Jane (as we came to call the vagina) was stylized to look more like a Georgia O’Keefe flower than an anatomy lesson.I tried to keep them looking like something my mom (an ex-elementary school principal) would think was cute and not gross.I had made far nastier looking costume renderings for Jezebel and The Beast for the previous year’s political satire, Yahoo Nation (2001) and nobody seemed to have even noticed them when they were in the Great Hall.So no one in the Theatre, least of all me, was expecting anyone would blink at the squeaky-cute Dick and Jane images.Indeed, when the first letter objecting to them appeared in the Sun Star I, and a few others, assumed that the letter was a hoax by one of our own students, intended as a joke.
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TRAVEL NEEDN'T BE NICE TO WORK:Travel need not be glamorous or expensive or comfortable to be inspiring. It is a recordedfact that Bertolt Brecht wrote most of the rough scripts for his greatest works (MotherCourageThe Good Woman of Schezuan, and The Caucasian Chalk Circle)while staying in refugee camps during W.W.II, fleeing the Nazis by walking/hitching ridesfrom Germany to Manchuria, going through Stalin's USSR. True he wrote the smooth finisheddrafts of these in the comfort of Southern California, but the inspiration, the ideas,they came from a grueling trek across hostile territory in the midst of a war. Travel isgood for an artist if it doesn't kill her.
  
After the Theatre Department began to get harassing calls, however, we worked out that there were folks out there who were actually serious about this, and who were employing various scare tactics, like threats to the CLA Dean’s office demanding that CLA censor the play and the lobby display (which to the everlasting credit of Dr. Morrow and other UAF administrators, had no effect), tearing down the posters (designed by an Art Dept. student), and destroying table tents in Wood Center.At first the only response to all this came from some students who fired back to the first Sun Star letter.This in turn got a reply from the original angry letter writer the following week, who managed to write a statement that seemed to have tee’d off every feminist on campus, gaining us more support without us having to lift a finger.
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WHAT ABOUT MONEY?: Aftercarefully explaining that as a costumer you will never make any money to speak of, itsounds I know, perverse of me to suggest you do something as expensive-sounding as travel.However, as Brecht's experience shows, you need not travel to expensive places in style.You may also travel to wretched places in appalling conditions, the mode of travel, anddestination itself, is almost irrelevant. In fact, now that I've had a chance to travel ina wide variety of conditions, I have to say that traveling in style (good hotels, cleanrestaurants, air-conditioned buses, tour-leaders, etc.) while the most desirable mode fora relaxing vacation, is the worst possible mode for the artist. You see, all thatair-conditioning and imported toilet paper and bottled water that comes with fancy hotelsinsulates you from the real world you are trying to see. As Temple Fielding, the travelwriter put it, "As a member of an escorted tour, you don't even have to know theMatterhorn isn't a tuba." Fact is, a Holiday Inn in Helsinki is pretty much the sameas one in Honolulu or in Houston. Ah, but a cheap dorm room in London is as different froman Art Nouveau roach-ridden pension in Paris as is a rented flat in St. Petersburg or amotor-court in Tucson. All of them are more inspiring (if less restful) than a HolidayInn. Not only do you meet far more interesting people (and their clothes), but each placehas an atmosphere that is like an extractable essence of place.
  
For the most part, those of us in the Theatre Department were not too bothered by all this, because we were amused at the whole “Degenerate” label, and knew that when people foolishly attack a stage production in this fashion, all they do is provide enormous amounts of free publicity, which means more box office receipts to pay our student assistants.We stuck up a few paper tags that said,“CENSORED” over some of the “naughty bits” in the display case, and would have likely left it at that.
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WHERE DO I GO?: "Where" is not the point.The point is to go and see someplace that is different from where you are. City dwellersare inspired by visits to the country, country folks get charged up from a trip to town.People in New England are blown away at the reds and golds of the canyons of New Mexico,New Mexicans feel the same awe at the same reds and golds in the maple forests of Maine inFall. G.K. Chesterton wrote "What effects men sharply about a foreign nation is notso much finding or not finding familiar things; it is rather not finding them in thefamiliar place." When you go to a new place, you see things, even familiar things,anew. What's more, you see new, unfamiliar things in a direct proportion to how far youtravel out of your usual venue. This need not mean traveling to Tibet (though I'm suregoing to Tibet would be cool too), but can simply be a case of going to an unfamiliarplace in or near your town. No person should dream of traveling abroad before thoroughlyexploring their home base.
  
However, when a second set of our table tents and posters were vandalized and tossed out of Wood Center within 12 hours of their being put up, I actually got angry.In a fury that night I designed 36 bright pink text-only posters, some of which you can see here.They were all designed with a view towards making our free student preview (and hopefully the show as well) the best-attended campus event that season by courting the controversy that had been invented by the would-be-censors.I paid to have them copied out of my own money, and ran around lower campus sticking all of them up myself.A thaw having melted the snow off of Turtle-Sex Park, I chalked invitations to the free preview on the cement for good measure.We then dressed our Dick and Jane in their costumes and visited Wood Center to hand out fliers with me and Lorraine Pettit (my costume shop manager, who incidentally made the mascot costumes) as body guards for the actors and their outfits.
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TRAVEL GUIDES NOT TOURGUIDES: It is real useful, even if you were born in a town, to get a travel guide to yourhome base. Careful reading will inevitably introduce you to a raft of places that younever heard of. As much as artists color schemes or natural textures are good for designinspiration, so too are the color schemes and textures to be found in urban landscapes.Museums, interesting old buildings and strange and unusual experiences can also be foundin travel books. In San Francisco, where I was born, for example there is a museum of thehistory of Levi's, the oldest Buddhist Temple in the USA, and a place hidden in an obscurecorner of Golden Gate Park where you can feed French bread to a herd of Buffalo. I'd neverheard of any of them till I found them in travel books. Using travel books you can mineyour home turf for information and inspiration and get practice at the art of travelingbefore you go further.
  
Preview was packed, and the remainder of the 2-week run was the best-attended non-musical show in our history.Which should demonstrate to would-be censors, that when you declare a stage show and it’s producers “Degenerate”, you are handing that show’s producers more free publicity than they could ever hope to buy.Keep attacking, O Guardians of Moral Purity! ''You are working for OUR side.''Your efforts are duly noted, and you helped our students pay their way through college, and our theatre put on Moliere’s classic Don Juan, and the experimental cyber-ritual show Kartasi with the funds you caused to flow into the box office during LysistrataMuch as Puritan Phillip Stubbes’ lament ''Of Stage-playes and Enterluds, with their wickedness'' in his Anatomy of Abuses (1583) doubtless helped Mr. Shakespeare and his friends stay solvent, you too are helping in your small way to subsidize the arts, as countless others have done before you:
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DO TRY THIS AT HOME:To travel further you either need natural self-confidence, or practice in travel skills,preferably both. You need to be able to read a map, your travel books, phone books, and(ultimately) people. The last is most important once you step away from home, because"tourists" are obvious prey for an amazing assortment of undesirables anyplaceyou go. Practicing reading these four things on your home turf is easiest and least likelyto end in a disaster where you inadvertently board the train for Outer Mongolia, or areslipped a mickey in a Mafia nightclub in Moscow. If you screw up at home you are at worstgoing to be late for dinner or get your wallet stolen. Basically, you need to practiceyour travel skills at home till you have the sense of confidence to venture out further,where the difficulties are greater.
  
''“The learned father Tertullian in his booke of Speculo, saith, that playes, were consecrat to that false ydoll Bacchus, for that he is said to have found out, and invented strong drinke.
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LEARNING WITHOUT LANGUAGE: While it is certainlydesirable to know the language of any foreign country you plan to visit, it is, by nomeans necessary. Language ability will help you to make contact with the people of theplaces you are visiting more easily, and will smooth your travel as you go. On the otherhand to say, like Ralph Waldo Emerson, "No man should travel until he has learned thelanguage of the country he visits. Otherwise he voluntarily makes himself a great baby,-so helpless and so ridiculous," is to miss the point. One of the enlightening thingsabout travel is that you can survive being made to be ridiculous; not only that, -it isgood for the soul. Further, from my own experience I've noted that language ability ofteninduces a sense of false confidence that blinds one to learning the far more importantlanguages of customs, body-language, and conventions. I lived alone in St. Petersburg fora year, and though I can still barely spit out amangled sentence in Russian, I quickly learned (a.) How to safely get anywhere in the cityat night by public transport, (b.) how to silently convince ticket takers at theopera that you are a Russian, so you can use the cheaper resident rate tickets, (c.) where to find toilet paper, art supplies, andcorrection fluid in a single department of department stores, (d.) how to differentiatebetween almost identically dressed Mormon missionaries and Russian Mafia guys,and (e.) whyRussian salesclerks seem to ignore foreigners, and what you need to do to get theirattention. Daily I watch Americans with good language skills clumsily trip over the aboveitems. The key to understanding in foreign places is not language, but observation. And,since ''it is your observation skills that you are trying to hone by travel'',language is merely gravy.
  
''
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Some possible travel photos one might include:
  
Augustinus de civit. Dei, saith, that plaies were ordeined by the Deuill, and consecrat to heathen Gods, to draw us from Christianitie to ydolatrie, and gentilisme.And in an other place:Pecunias, Histrionibus dare, vitium est innane, non virtus.To give money to players, is a greevous sin.
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[[File:RussiaVeday92911_04.jpg]]
  
Christostome, calleth those playes, festa Sathani, feasts of the Devill.Lactantius, an ancient learned father, saith, Histrionum, impudissimi gestus, nihil aliud nisi Libidi, nem movent:The shamelesse gestures of plaiers, serve to nothing so much, as to move the [self] to lust, and unclennesee.And therfore, in the. 30. Counsell of Carthage, the Synode of Laodicea, it was decreed, that no Christen man, or woman, should resorte to playes and enterludes, where is nothing but blasphemie, scurrilitie, and whordome maintained. “
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[[File:TravelRussia92876_17.jpg]]Russia Lots more good photos of my trip to Russia may be found
  
------Phillip Stubbes’ Anatomy of Abuses (1583)
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[[Travel00pagesRusfoto1|here]]
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For more conventional travel images:
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[[File:Travel198992915_20.jpg]]
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[[File:Travel198992915_21.jpg]]
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[[File:Travel198992915_22.jpg]] [St.Chappelle, Paris]
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[[File:PortfolioPortfolioscans2Belgium.jpg]]
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[[File:PortfolioPortfolioscans2Stoneface.jpg]]
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[[File:PortfolioPortfolioscans2Laceshopbruges.jpg]]...Bruges,Belgium

Revision as of 00:37, 23 January 2014

Travel for the SoulTravel for the Soul

TRAVEL IS INSPIRING: While I am tolerably certainthat Vadislav Nijinski and Leon Bakst did not absolutely need to go to Greece torespectively choreograph and design the Ancient Greek themed 1911 ballet Afternoon of aFaun, I'm sure it helped. What is more, I expect that they enjoyed it too. And whilethe IRS probably (in it's wisdom) would have frowned upon them trying to deduct it as abusiness expense (had they been modern Americans), it is true that travel is one of thebest methods for any type of artist to get inspiration.

TRAVEL NEEDN'T BE NICE TO WORK:Travel need not be glamorous or expensive or comfortable to be inspiring. It is a recordedfact that Bertolt Brecht wrote most of the rough scripts for his greatest works (MotherCourageThe Good Woman of Schezuan, and The Caucasian Chalk Circle)while staying in refugee camps during W.W.II, fleeing the Nazis by walking/hitching ridesfrom Germany to Manchuria, going through Stalin's USSR. True he wrote the smooth finisheddrafts of these in the comfort of Southern California, but the inspiration, the ideas,they came from a grueling trek across hostile territory in the midst of a war. Travel isgood for an artist if it doesn't kill her.

WHAT ABOUT MONEY?: Aftercarefully explaining that as a costumer you will never make any money to speak of, itsounds I know, perverse of me to suggest you do something as expensive-sounding as travel.However, as Brecht's experience shows, you need not travel to expensive places in style.You may also travel to wretched places in appalling conditions, the mode of travel, anddestination itself, is almost irrelevant. In fact, now that I've had a chance to travel ina wide variety of conditions, I have to say that traveling in style (good hotels, cleanrestaurants, air-conditioned buses, tour-leaders, etc.) while the most desirable mode fora relaxing vacation, is the worst possible mode for the artist. You see, all thatair-conditioning and imported toilet paper and bottled water that comes with fancy hotelsinsulates you from the real world you are trying to see. As Temple Fielding, the travelwriter put it, "As a member of an escorted tour, you don't even have to know theMatterhorn isn't a tuba." Fact is, a Holiday Inn in Helsinki is pretty much the sameas one in Honolulu or in Houston. Ah, but a cheap dorm room in London is as different froman Art Nouveau roach-ridden pension in Paris as is a rented flat in St. Petersburg or amotor-court in Tucson. All of them are more inspiring (if less restful) than a HolidayInn. Not only do you meet far more interesting people (and their clothes), but each placehas an atmosphere that is like an extractable essence of place.

WHERE DO I GO?: "Where" is not the point.The point is to go and see someplace that is different from where you are. City dwellersare inspired by visits to the country, country folks get charged up from a trip to town.People in New England are blown away at the reds and golds of the canyons of New Mexico,New Mexicans feel the same awe at the same reds and golds in the maple forests of Maine inFall. G.K. Chesterton wrote "What effects men sharply about a foreign nation is notso much finding or not finding familiar things; it is rather not finding them in thefamiliar place." When you go to a new place, you see things, even familiar things,anew. What's more, you see new, unfamiliar things in a direct proportion to how far youtravel out of your usual venue. This need not mean traveling to Tibet (though I'm suregoing to Tibet would be cool too), but can simply be a case of going to an unfamiliarplace in or near your town. No person should dream of traveling abroad before thoroughlyexploring their home base.

TRAVEL GUIDES NOT TOURGUIDES: It is real useful, even if you were born in a town, to get a travel guide to yourhome base. Careful reading will inevitably introduce you to a raft of places that younever heard of. As much as artists color schemes or natural textures are good for designinspiration, so too are the color schemes and textures to be found in urban landscapes.Museums, interesting old buildings and strange and unusual experiences can also be foundin travel books. In San Francisco, where I was born, for example there is a museum of thehistory of Levi's, the oldest Buddhist Temple in the USA, and a place hidden in an obscurecorner of Golden Gate Park where you can feed French bread to a herd of Buffalo. I'd neverheard of any of them till I found them in travel books. Using travel books you can mineyour home turf for information and inspiration and get practice at the art of travelingbefore you go further.

DO TRY THIS AT HOME:To travel further you either need natural self-confidence, or practice in travel skills,preferably both. You need to be able to read a map, your travel books, phone books, and(ultimately) people. The last is most important once you step away from home, because"tourists" are obvious prey for an amazing assortment of undesirables anyplaceyou go. Practicing reading these four things on your home turf is easiest and least likelyto end in a disaster where you inadvertently board the train for Outer Mongolia, or areslipped a mickey in a Mafia nightclub in Moscow. If you screw up at home you are at worstgoing to be late for dinner or get your wallet stolen. Basically, you need to practiceyour travel skills at home till you have the sense of confidence to venture out further,where the difficulties are greater.

LEARNING WITHOUT LANGUAGE: While it is certainlydesirable to know the language of any foreign country you plan to visit, it is, by nomeans necessary. Language ability will help you to make contact with the people of theplaces you are visiting more easily, and will smooth your travel as you go. On the otherhand to say, like Ralph Waldo Emerson, "No man should travel until he has learned thelanguage of the country he visits. Otherwise he voluntarily makes himself a great baby,-so helpless and so ridiculous," is to miss the point. One of the enlightening thingsabout travel is that you can survive being made to be ridiculous; not only that, -it isgood for the soul. Further, from my own experience I've noted that language ability ofteninduces a sense of false confidence that blinds one to learning the far more importantlanguages of customs, body-language, and conventions. I lived alone in St. Petersburg fora year, and though I can still barely spit out amangled sentence in Russian, I quickly learned (a.) How to safely get anywhere in the cityat night by public transport, (b.) how to silently convince ticket takers at theopera that you are a Russian, so you can use the cheaper resident rate tickets, (c.) where to find toilet paper, art supplies, andcorrection fluid in a single department of department stores, (d.) how to differentiatebetween almost identically dressed Mormon missionaries and Russian Mafia guys,and (e.) whyRussian salesclerks seem to ignore foreigners, and what you need to do to get theirattention. Daily I watch Americans with good language skills clumsily trip over the aboveitems. The key to understanding in foreign places is not language, but observation. And,since it is your observation skills that you are trying to hone by travel,language is merely gravy.

Some possible travel photos one might include:

RussiaVeday92911 04.jpg

TravelRussia92876 17.jpgRussia Lots more good photos of my trip to Russia may be found

here

For more conventional travel images:

Travel198992915 20.jpg

Travel198992915 21.jpg

Travel198992915 22.jpg [St.Chappelle, Paris]

PortfolioPortfolioscans2Belgium.jpg

PortfolioPortfolioscans2Stoneface.jpg

PortfolioPortfolioscans2Laceshopbruges.jpg...Bruges,Belgium

This Page is part of The Costumer's Manifesto, originally founded by Tara Maginnis, Ph.D. from 1996-2014, now flying free as a wiki for all to edit and contribute. Site maintained, hosted, and wikified by Andrew Kahn. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License; additional terms may apply. See Terms of Use for details. You may print out any of these pages for non-profit educational use such as school papers, teacher handouts, or wall displays. You may link to any page in this site.