I am thrilled, and, if I’m honest, I am terrified. My dream is real. Countless auditions, endless rejections and penny pinching, will soon be history.
My schedule says report to wardrobe to meet an icon. Edith.
My hand trembles as I open the door to Wonderland. Aisles and rows of clothing reach to the ceiling and extend as far as I can see. I gasp. The number of clothes, hats, jackets, dresses, pants, is overwhelming. As I am taking it in, I feel someone watching me. I know it’s her.
She is shorter than I imagined. Dark bangs frame her large round glasses with blue-tinted lenses. Lips pursed; she regards me in silence.
“You’re Gary,” she says.
“Uh, I’m Jason. They want me to play Gary,” I stammer.
“You. Are. Gary,” she repeats as she pulls a pair of faded Levi’s and a flannel shirt from the mound of clothes stacked on the table behind her.
“Or you will be. Put these on.”
I duck behind the curtain to change. Glancing in the mirror I feel different. Pulling the curtain open, I grab a blue fedora jamming it on my head.
She snatches it away, swapping it for a different hat.
“Does it matter?” I ask.
“Think of yourself as a product. In order to achieve success, you have to sell that product, so start right now thinking of how you can improve it,” Edith says.
“Hi, Edith. I’m Gary,” I say as I shake her hand, and Edith smiles.
****** “What a costume designer does is a cross between magic and camouflage. We create the illusion of changing the actors into what they are not. We ask the public to believe that every time they see a performer on the screen, he’s become a different person.” Edith Head
Edith Head was nominated for 35 Oscars, winning eight times, more than any other costume designer and any woman in any category in Oscar history. She is also the inspiration for the character Edna Mode in The Incredibles.
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Jo Hawk The Writer