While actors have the black box, and stage crew has the grid, I think that the sanctuary of any costume girl is the costume room itself. Whether a bad day has gotten me down, or I don’t think I can handle the stress in my life anymore, all it takes is a simple trip up to the costume room and my worries wash away. Sometimes I think I could live my life up there and not want for anything. The costume room holds a special place in my heart, no matter where I go.
Juicy gossip is spread like wildfire, but never leaves the floor by the mouth of a costume girl. Hearts are poured out, tears are shed, anger spits out through gritted teeth. The bond between the ladies upstairs is almost unreal; the way we know each other, the way we can predict the breakdowns of others so easily. If actors are driving me nuts, I can simply bury myself beneath piles of fabric or perhaps scream my frustration into a fat suit. I can ponder theories of the universe whilst lying on my back on the dingy, dirty floor and feel completely at peace. The silence upstairs gives me the serenity to accept when I have been wrong in an argument or I need to own up to my mistakes. The ghosts of sewing machines past lull me into a strange sort of calm that is almost impossible to break. So as I sit here in bed, miserable and nauseated, I think of the costume room, where I can perhaps escape to tomorrow. Because the more I think about it, the more I know that that is where I belong, upstairs in the costume room. I may never completely fit in, but I know that I can go to school, and still find my sanctuary.
Written by Molly Haugh (2014)