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Jean Sewing Machine
October 7th, 2012, 07:40 PM
Cleaning the litter box was the best thing that happened all day.

Now, there is not cancer, accidents, or other really earth shaking horrible things that happened, but right now, I'm pretty well done with being a costumer for community theatre groups.

I was asked last November to be the costumer for this theatre groups's version of Sweeney Todd, to be done in November this year. Sweet talked, you might say, by a charming director. He made contact with me throughout the year, with plans and general reiterations of his plans for me to costume his show. I nagged him quite a bit during the spring and summer to get together for some concept planning, but that didn't happen until early September. Opening date of this Show is Oct. 28. The cast has 35 people in it, and had some very interesting off-beat concepts going for it.

I was promised a bucketload of helpers, a hefty budget, and the promise to have artistic license in interpreting the concepts. Ha.

Not many helpers, limited budget, and lots of interference in the conceept planning that limited how I would costume. Well today, the lid blew off of the whole thing.

Through an email to all cast members, we were told to appear at 1 at the theatre for fittings. No questions asked if the costumer could actually fit that into her schedule, just be there. So I schlepped all the costumes I had made so far into the car, rushed out of church so I could get to the theatre on time, and my car wouldn't start. I do have two vhicles, so I schlepped the stuff into the other car, and called the director to say I might be a few minutes late. He proceeded to inform me that there was a very good chance that he would be bowing out of directing this show, and today was the showdown with the board of directors, and if he didn't get his way, he was going to walk.

He met with his board, they wouldn't back down, he didn't get his way, he walked, and with him, he took the entire concept of the show, saying if we tried to duplicate what he had created, we'd have the lawyers on our doorstep. How much fun.

So, the entire body of work that I've done over the last month will have to be scrapped, along with the costumes, fabrics, many trims, expensive equipment to make this show look good. And now, I have 2-1/2 weeks left to completely do over the entire look, concept and dress 35 people in some sort of coherent way, with a new director at the helm.

So coming home to clean out the cat box was about the most enjoyable thing that happened to me today, and tomorrow, I get to decide how to dress those people with no budget, no time and do it with a smile. Good grief, Charlie Brown!

And get my car to run.

Thanks for listening.

Bailey65
October 7th, 2012, 07:47 PM
OMG, Jean I am so sorry! I know no matter what I say it probably won't help you feel any better. That's horrible!!! I wish there was something I could do to make you feel better.

grannyann
October 7th, 2012, 07:55 PM
God what a terrible day for you.I can not believe what they put you through.
You must have a lot of patience because I would have refused to do anymore and walk away.
I pray God will help you out some way, some how.Good luck and hopefully things will all work out in the end.

RFREE
October 7th, 2012, 08:04 PM
Are you kidding me??? This makes "me" mad. What nerve!! My dad used to say "Give em and inch they will take a mile" sounds like they have royally dumped on you. I don't think I would have it in me to "redo" anything. Especially after all the time and beautiful work you have put into this. I would love to have something to say to make you feel better but... don't have a word. So sorry Jean. Your heart is alot better than mine. I think I would walk. Just sayin.......

dizzyLiz
October 7th, 2012, 08:40 PM
Oh Jean I'm so sorry. I know the hard work you have put into this, not to mention the aggravation of dealing with this director.
Honestly I would be tempted to send a bill for what I'd done, and waLK AWAY.

MRoy
October 7th, 2012, 08:43 PM
Jean, I don't have any great words to say except that I don't know that I could stick with this production like you are. It sounds like continuing with this may be hard on you physically and mentally. Keep your own well-being in the forefront and don't let this project drag you down with it. ((((BIG Hugs!))))

Deneldac00p
October 7th, 2012, 08:58 PM
What a bummer!!! I do hope that you will be compensted for the work you have already done. that guy sounds like some kind of prima donna. Wish I had words to make you feel better.

Sandy Navas
October 7th, 2012, 09:14 PM
I would sell them the costumes and bill them for my time. How dare . . . no matter what the difference was between the first director and the board, the show must go on . . . perhaps without Jean!!!

lilmouse
October 7th, 2012, 09:17 PM
Jean, I would definitely say enough is enough...here is my bill and I am finished...find someone else!

Lonna
October 7th, 2012, 09:35 PM
Jean like the others I wish I had the words to bring you some comfort and peace. And like the others I am afraid I would have to walk away from all this drama. Life is too short to deal with all the unhappiness this is causeing.

pcbatiks
October 7th, 2012, 09:41 PM
Hi Jean, I agree with everything Lonna just said! I think I would have to give it up and spend my time quilting for those who appreciate the work!

Jean Sewing Machine
October 7th, 2012, 09:53 PM
You know, walking away from it would be the easy way out, and I'd be cast in the same light as the director, a quitter, a ratfink, a liar, and that just isn't me. Besides, I love these people I've been working with, and they were so excited to see what I had made for them. I just can't walk away now, I have to somehow make it happen for them. We're all having to really step up to the plate, so we'll see how it goes.

MRoy
October 7th, 2012, 09:59 PM
I admire your tenaciousness and loyalty to the group. I hope it works out in the best way possible for everyone involved and especially for you Jean!

HandsOffItsMine
October 7th, 2012, 10:07 PM
Jean, I feel for you 'cause I've work with the Covina Theatre as their Marketing Director for 2 years gratis and have dealt with the various directors of plays and music. Oy! Now as the Graphics and Illustrations of each play/musical were mine, I would say the costume designs are your! They are your visions, your designs/creations not his - I don't think he can claim them unless "He" gave you monies.

There were moments that directors were divas or actually walked as well, and trust me I wanted to walk as well but like you, I didn't there were too many others involved plus too much money invested by the theatre to quit right before the play.

Hope that everyone can come together and get it solved, most of the time it ends up being a better play than expected. :)

Bubby
October 7th, 2012, 10:16 PM
So sorry about all the mess, Jean. Granted, it's not the fault of the people in the play, but you have been treated without any respect or consideration all the way through this ordeal. If the show has to go on, it would have to go on without me. This could be too much stress and drama for you, Hon. Do what's best for you....we love you! Barb

Jess1377
October 7th, 2012, 10:17 PM
Jean, I admire you so! You have a great heart, I wish that didnt happen to you! I hope you are able to get some actual helpers maybe though? The actors get to act, do their thing but you as the costume designer / creator dont really get a break from it likely until the play literally starts. I actually think you have alot more work to do than any of 'em. Even more than a set designer / creator. I wish you the best in this though! :)

Jean Sewing Machine
October 7th, 2012, 10:29 PM
Jean, I admire you so! You have a great heart, I wish that didnt happen to you! I hope you are able to get some actual helpers maybe though? The actors get to act, do their thing but you as the costume designer / creator dont really get a break from it likely until the play literally starts. I actually think you have alot more work to do than any of 'em. Even more than a set designer / creator. I wish you the best in this though! :)

It is a lot of work and I do put in more hours than practically anyone. 2 years ago, I costumed the show "The Producers". The cast size was 35, and each had at least 5 different costuems to wear. We built most of them, myself, I built over 150. We have an "Arts for Life" recognition program in our city, much like the Oscars, Emmys, etc. The show was nominated for 13 different categories, from different actors to all of the production staff. When the awards ceremony came, Jean walked away empty handed and the rest of the nominees from that show had their awards. That just about finished me for wanting to go all out with time and energy into making the best costumes I could for shows. I just haven't had the enthusiasm for it since then. This one could have been good, but won't be, because we'll have to throw stuff together at the last minute. My 10 minute "sheet skirt" and 15 minute trouser pants will be on stage, instead of the lovely corsetry I made for the ladies. Oh well, it will be over soon, even with a lot of work in the next few weeks to get it done.

mommadeb
October 7th, 2012, 10:31 PM
All I can say is WOW. That old director really left things in a mess. Keep your chin up. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

Jean Sewing Machine
October 7th, 2012, 10:49 PM
Thanks, everybody! I value your words of kindness and support!

toggpine
October 7th, 2012, 11:11 PM
Did he give you concept designs for the costumes that he had drawn up and copyrighted himself? If not, then the costume design is really yours.
Get rid of some of the gears & goo-gaws that make it "steampunk" and go with it.
Have you been paid for the supplies?
If so, who paid for the supplies? The theatre group may actually own the costumes if they paid for them.
I hope the BOD looks in to the goofball's threat. I'm not sure he can sue them if they continue with the program as it was originally planned. Again, look to see if the darned thing was copyrighted.
I hope this goes better than it looks at the moment.
Hugs, Cathy

New York Sue
October 7th, 2012, 11:25 PM
You know, walking away from it would be the easy way out, and I'd be cast in the same light as the director, a quitter, a ratfink, a liar, and that just isn't me. Besides, I love these people I've been working with, and they were so excited to see what I had made for them. I just can't walk away now, I have to somehow make it happen for them. We're all having to really step up to the plate, so we'll see how it goes.
Three or four posts in, I'm thinking you're not walking away. No way, no how....I CALLED IT! But that's a mute point 12 posts later. You'll make it work, Jean.
But, ALAS, this 'step up to the plate' term is only good when people 'show up' for the game...
Please let us know how this unfolds. And my Best To You!

candy
October 7th, 2012, 11:27 PM
Oh Jean I am so sorry! You have worked so hard and your costumes are beautiful! It will be a shame to have to scrap them. I hope things get better!

shannonsaulter
October 7th, 2012, 11:35 PM
Oh wow that really bites..could you at least sell the others to recoup some of the cost?
Maybe the show should be delayed. Did they have a contract with this guy?
He may not have the rights to the artistic vision of the show

Jean Sewing Machine
October 7th, 2012, 11:40 PM
Oh wow that really bites..could you at least sell the others to recoup some of the cost?
Maybe the show should be delayed. Did they have a contract with this guy?
He may not have the rights to the artistic vision of the showThat's what the arm chair lawyers think! We'll be checking with a real lawyer to see where we stand. I'm not in on the law part, but going crazy that I have so much to redo.

K. McEuen
October 7th, 2012, 11:43 PM
Well he certainly didn't coin the term or style of "steampunk." I think you could still use the costumes, especially since you did all the work.

Donna F
October 7th, 2012, 11:43 PM
DITTO!!
I would check on this before I started over.



Did he give you concept designs for the costumes that he had drawn up and copyrighted himself? If not, then the costume design is really yours.
Get rid of some of the gears & goo-gaws that make it "steampunk" and go with it.
Have you been paid for the supplies?
If so, who paid for the supplies? The theatre group may actually own the costumes if they paid for them.
I hope the BOD looks in to the goofball's threat. I'm not sure he can sue them if they continue with the program as it was originally planned. Again, look to see if the darned thing was copyrighted.
I hope this goes better than it looks at the moment.
Hugs, Cathy


Jean, I feel for you 'cause I've work with the Covina Theatre as their Marketing Director for 2 years gratis and have dealt with the various directors of plays and music. Oy! Now as the Graphics and Illustrations of each play/musical were mine, I would say the costume designs are your! They are your visions, your designs/creations not his - I don't think he can claim them unless "He" gave you monies.

There were moments that directors were divas or actually walked as well, and trust me I wanted to walk as well but like you, I didn't there were too many others involved plus too much money invested by the theatre to quit right before the play.

Hope that everyone can come together and get it solved, most of the time it ends up being a better play than expected. :)

MayinJerset
October 8th, 2012, 01:26 AM
Hope the real lawyers find that they not he own the concept of the costumes and that you don't have to scrap everything. May

Madeforyouinma11
October 8th, 2012, 01:39 AM
You were already under a hard to meet deadline and now it's already the 7th and they expect you to do everything over!!?? That's crazy! Unless you were under contract ( which would have been broken when he walked) I would definitely walk. No way you should have to go through that again. I'm so sorry this happened and hope, if you decide to stay on that you find a way to make it work with as little stress as possible. (((((HUGS)))))

bkthomas
October 8th, 2012, 02:48 AM
Jean, This makes me just sick to hear all this! Kuddos to you for continuing on and I also hope the lawyers can help so that these costumes can be used! Prayers for you and EVERYONE else on this forum - I am just amazed at all the difficulty everyone is having lately!!!!

Winniesfriend
October 8th, 2012, 04:54 AM
Jean good on you for going ahead and helping out the production, I hope every one else pulls together much better now and helps you out, I so also hope they also appreciate all of the work you have put in to the previous costumes.

Jean Sewing Machine
October 8th, 2012, 08:22 AM
Well he certainly didn't coin the term or style of "steampunk." I think you could still use the costumes, especially since you did all the work. That's true.

Blondie
October 8th, 2012, 09:02 AM
What a total bummer. I so dislike artsy-fartsy geniuses showing their crinolines. You're a better man than I, Charlie Brown.
Considering that huge load that got dumped on you yesterday, I am sure that the kitty litter felt more like a penance for the puppet show they put you through.

Hugs. And more hugs.

PS - since cleaning litter boxes seem to make your day, I will save up Dinah's for you. Be here by 1. Consider that an open invitation. I promise it will always need to be cleaned. She's a busy kitty.

dwil23
October 8th, 2012, 09:12 AM
Are you kidding me??? This makes "me" mad. What nerve!! My dad used to say "Give em and inch they will take a mile" sounds like they have royally dumped on you. I don't think I would have it in me to "redo" anything. Especially after all the time and beautiful work you have put into this. I would love to have something to say to make you feel better but... don't have a word. So sorry Jean. Your heart is alot better than mine. I think I would walk. Just sayin.......

Jean, what a nightmare. I have to say I totally agree with this. You have put so much time into this and it would be totally unfair for them to expect you to redo in 2 1/2 weeks what you have already been working on for weeks and then some. When would you sleep? Your health is far more important than costumes for a play! I would tell them to check out costume rentals online and get back to your quilting.

JMHO!

CrazyMtnLady
October 8th, 2012, 09:55 AM
I admire your tenaciousness and loyalty to the group. I hope it works out in the best way possible for everyone involved and especially for you Jean!

I agree. You are a wonderful woman and I hope you get some help and it turns out even better than it would have with the other director.

quiltingtrish
October 8th, 2012, 10:16 AM
OH MY JEAN! I will pray for the right stars to cosmetically come together for the right things to happen, but my biggest prayer is that you don't get sick over all this. Goodness, can't have you get run down for having to do all things over? Sounds crazy to me, they certainly need to give you some help somewhere along the line if it's expected that you redo everything.

There are too many people out there that their head is bigger than their pea sized brains and this fella sounds like one of them. Obviously he can be replaced and he is surely mad about that. But, I can't see where he has any rights to anything at all about the production/costumes/etc. if that is how he 'worked'. Doesn't sound like he worked much at all on it - too busy trying to get his pea sized brain to function on other not so important things.

HUGS (and I've got 2 litter boxes to clean out so I think you should come to my house before you hit Blondies house :) ),

Jean Sewing Machine
October 8th, 2012, 11:07 AM
What a total bummer. I so dislike artsy-fartsy geniuses showing their crinolines. You're a better man than I, Charlie Brown.
Considering that huge load that got dumped on you yesterday, I am sure that the kitty litter felt more like a penance for the puppet show they put you through.

Hugs. And more hugs.

PS - since cleaning litter boxes seem to make your day, I will save up Dinah's for you. Be here by 1. Consider that an open invitation. I promise it will always need to be cleaned. She's a busy kitty. Gee, thanks for the invitation! I'll bring my pooper scooper!

Jean Sewing Machine
October 8th, 2012, 11:09 AM
OH MY JEAN! I will pray for the right stars to cosmetically come together for the right things to happen, but my biggest prayer is that you don't get sick over all this. Goodness, can't have you get run down for having to do all things over? Sounds crazy to me, they certainly need to give you some help somewhere along the line if it's expected that you redo everything.

There are too many people out there that their head is bigger than their pea sized brains and this fella sounds like one of them. Obviously he can be replaced and he is surely mad about that. But, I can't see where he has any rights to anything at all about the production/costumes/etc. if that is how he 'worked'. Doesn't sound like he worked much at all on it - too busy trying to get his pea sized brain to function on other not so important things.

HUGS (and I've got 2 litter boxes to clean out so I think you should come to my house before you hit Blondies house :) ), Gee, Trish, you and Blondie have made my day! I've gotten so many job offers from this post! Maybe that will be my new walk in life after retiring in December, cleaning up other people's S**t! I sure feel like that is what lies ahead of me for the next couple of weeks.

rebeccas-sewing
October 8th, 2012, 11:30 AM
I'm with others on this. He may have no legal rights to insist on exclusivity. I hope the management gets this sorted out. Would it be possible for them to rent costumes from another theatre? I know money is always tight when it comes to productions. I just don't see how you can possibly costume the show all over again under the time restraints. Can you tell us why he walked away from the show? What were his demands? I'm so curious as to why he would take a chance on ruining his reputation. I, for one, would have grave doubts about hiring him once word gets out that he walked like this. I guess I'm just wondering what on earth his justifications were for making such a drastic decision to walk away on them at the last minute.

toggpine
October 8th, 2012, 12:15 PM
Jean,
We don't have any cat boxes here. I do have a barn, but I wouldn't make you clean that. Although, it is nice to have someone to talk to while that project is in progress. I have a comfy lawn chair, a cool beverage, and the goats will entertain you while I pitch!
So when you are done cleaning up other people's crap, come on over!
Hugs, Cathy

auntiemern
October 10th, 2012, 02:43 AM
There is no way I would start over. I would walk away and tell them to find someone else. That just isn't right. So very sorry you had such a terrible day.

Monique
October 10th, 2012, 07:26 AM
I don't know what I can add to what has already been said. Cudos to you for hanging in there. I hope you get some kind of recognition after this one. Best of luck to you.

Jean Sewing Machine
October 10th, 2012, 07:46 AM
Right now, we are working with a new director, new concept, and some indecision as to which direction to go that is going to send me to the grave if they don't get their act together soon! To not work on stuff when I know so much needs to be done is driving me crazy. The name of this company is Act 2, we are working on Act 3 or 4 at this point!

Blondie
October 10th, 2012, 08:05 AM
Oy, Jean. I have some Execdrin for Migraine if you need some. But I have a feeling you may need something stronger.

PS - Dinah is waiting for your arrival and so am I. Don't worry. I have a super duper pooper scooper