Friday, February 3, 2012

Shoes Make The...Character

I think I did exactly what I should have done today.
I did not go to town. I did not go to Monticello. I did not even take a walk.
I watered my porch plants, swept my porches and then...began the task of trying to figure out my costumes for this play.
My character is a middle-aged (haha!), feminist-Romantic-Novel-Book-Publisher who lives in Santa Monica.
California, I am assuming.
Okay. Sure. Whatever.
She could dress in woman-suits or in jeans or in funky western/gypsy/Bohemian wear. Who knows?
Well, shit. I ought to know. Right?

Jan and Jack are very strong in the opinion that the actor gets to develop his or her character which includes costumes. I mean, if you ask for help or suggestions, you'll get them but otherwise, it's your oyster, baby.

There are going to have to be several changes which are going to have to happen FAST. I mean too fast to really change. Whip this jacket or shirt off, put on another and change shoes. Maybe for the shoes, maybe not. That's part of the equation I am dealing with. Another part is that I do not want to dress either too old or too young. Also, I am workin' with what I got here, folks, which is a body which is far from perfect. I have good legs. Other than that- forget it. I went to the Goodwill one day two weeks ago and found one dress and one pair of shoes. I wore the dress for a test run last night and it did nothing for me at all. Nada. I did not feel good in it. So scratch that one.
The shoes however. Well.
In real life I am a comfortable shoes type of gal. The shoes I wear at least 90% of the time look like this:

Let me just say that my goal in life at this moment is to buy enough pairs of these shoes to last my entire lifetime. There is, for my purposes, no finer shoe which basically means there is a very light sole attached to my foot with the smallest straps possible. You can wear socks with them if it's cold.
Plus, I think they're cute.
And if you don't, keep it to yourself.

BUT, when I am acting a part, I do love to wear shoes that I, personally, would probably never wear. I don't know. It just delights me to do that.
So when I was in the Goodwill and found these in my own personal size:

I knew I'd found my shoes.
They're sorta crazy, huh? And I got them for half price so they were like four bucks or something. And I am only going to wear them for one scene, but they did help me to formulate, as it were, an attitude of character. Not heels- platforms. Clunky, chunky and buckled.
And mostly red.
A little hard to walk in but what the hell?

So. With those as a start, I spent all afternoon trying on everything in my closet and making outfits.

My bed looked like this:

I dug out things I'd forgotten I'd owned and it dawned on me once again that almost all of my clothes either come from the Goodwill or from Lis. And that I own clothes which I have owned for decades.
I tried on this with that and then with that. The opening scene should make a statement as to character, right? The outfit I came with for that is one that Jan and Jack are maybe going to look at and say, "Try again." But you know what? I like it. Well, I liked it this afternoon. My character, Harriet Copeland, is going to wear silver all the time. Silver bracelets from wrist to elbow. Silver earrings. She doesn't have time to change that shit, y'all, so silver is going to be her jewelry of choice.

I am wearing no pants. Although I will wear panties. Skirts. Some shortish. There will be tights and stockings. Also, one pair of leggings. I tried and tried to get my red cowgirl boots in there but they're just not going to work.

I will have a small screened area in which to change so undergarments need to be universal. There are no slips involved. Yes. I will wear a damn bra.

So that's what I did today. I changed clothes and looked at myself in the mirror. Over and over again.

And do you want to know what Mr. Moon did?
He went to Monticello and helped with the sets.
He is...well.
My hero.
He is the darling-est man I know. I didn't ask him to do that. He did it on his own. Called Jack himself and came home early from work and put on his overalls and took his tools down to the Opera House and built and painted. And he's going back tomorrow morning.

Jesus. Just when I think my life is one big sobby fest, one big whoa-is-me, something happens to remind me that I am not just loved, I am supported.

Have I told you that Jessie and Vergil are coming on Thursday? And that one of my oldest and darlingest friends is coming to stay on Wednesday night? And that we are going to go see Lon and Lis play tomorrow night?

Well. Now I have. And who knows? I might just rob Harriet Copeland's wardrobe to go out to see them in.

Or at least a pair of her shoes.

Gotta get my four bucks worth out of those.

Happy Saturday night, y'all.

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. Good hooker shoes. I am sure that you will look great and do well regardless of what you wear.

  2. I could see a Santa Monica feminist publisher wearing red cowboy boots with leggings.

    I love your sandals! What brand are they?

  3. You will be fabulous on stage. I know it. The photo of your pile of clothes made me smile, as did the fact that Mr. Moon does sweet things like that for you without you asking him. He seems like such a sweet person from your descriptions. :-)

  4. Fabulous! Can't wait to see photos of you all dolled up for the play...

  5. Syd- Hooker shoes? Good Lord. I never thought of them in that way.
    But I guess that means they are good.

    Rubye Jack- I did too, but somehow, despite hours of trying, it didn't work somehow. Damn.

    Nicol- He is a good man. He is.

    Lisa- With make-up and everything?

  6. Love the red shoes with buckles! My bed looks like that every morning before werk.

  7. Love those Croc sandels. They are all over California as far as I can see ;-)

    Then there is the flipflop... in the olden days called thongs. They are worn everywhere. All the time.

    I love your red sandels. Somebody said that the boots & leggings would work, and I second that motion.


  8. I'm a little worried about the tights and/or hose. I've never seen anyone wearing a pair of hose in Santa Monica. I'm not sure they're even available out here! I'm serious! I could definitely see the shoes -- particularly the platform thing. I'm also thinking some wrinkly linen/Eileen Fisherish clothes or the brand Flax, maybe? Feminist publishers also wear good Levis with tight white tee-shirts and belts -- maybe a jacket.

    This part must be fun -- I can't wait to see a picture of you in character.

  9. I think the cowboy boots would look great with tights in a contrasting color and one of the shortish skirts.

    I love the red-buckley shoes. I look in thrift stores for shoes and then build an outfit around the shoes and the jewelry. I have almost always shopped that way.

    (My bed looks like that every day, too, which is why I often why I sleep in the chaise longue).

  10. Mr. Moon is awesome, and so are you. You two are very inspirational and I quite enjoy hearing all about the stuff you do. Hope it all goes well this weekend. Take care.

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  12. You have such a wonderful man.

    You must be worth loving in ways you can't imagine. I think it might have something to do with how beautifully you love. I'll bet you are like the mammy in Help who says:

    You is smart
    You is kind
    You is important

    only not just with words (and with proper grammar when you do use them)

  13. Madame King- I remember when I used to get dressed for things. Now I just put on men's shorts or jeans and a shirt and that's pretty much it until I have to go to dreaded town.

    Laura- Yeah. I think the boots would work too. Maybe I'll get 'em in there. I used to wear flip flops. Then I found those Crocs. Buh-bye, flip flops.

    Elizabeth- I tried on my Flax linen stuff about fifty times and it didn't make me happy. No way I'm wearing tight Levi's. And don't tell anyone here about the tights- if I'm to bare my nicely-shaped legs, they need some coverings. Plus- this is a feminist ROMANCE novel publisher. Makes no sense does it? Neither does the play. Trust me.

    Pamela- Y'all like the leggings and boots, don't you? Well, me too.
    Glad you have a chaise lounge.

    Mr. Shife- Thank-you, sir!

    Jeannie- I try to misuse grammar as much as possible in order to piss people off. (Sort of.)

  14. I love those shoes.....the acting should try wearing them out for a day who knows where they might lead you!!! good luck

  15. I love those shoes. I can't imaging picking what to wear for a character, I hate picking what to wear just to be me!
    Your Mr. is a peach. Good luck with the play.


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