Costumers Have Choices
The Costume Design & Technology Commission has three exciting ways to stay in touch and involved with Commission members and Commission activities online. Our first line of contact is the Commission website which can be found by going to www.usitt.org, clicking on special interest groups, and then clicking on Costume Design & Technology in the left hand column. The Commissioners are working on a redesign of the web page and will send an announcement soon when the new format is available.
In addition to the sections on the Costume Commission website concerning conference activities and summer symposia, members will find information on the various projects supported by the Commission including the Program Survey and the Commercial Pattern Archive. If members have an idea for a Conference Session, a new Commission Project, or a Summer Symposium, all the information needed can easily be found on the website.
The Costume Design & Technology Commission also has an active costuming dialog on the Costumer's Info list and the Costume Locator Service. They bring together hundreds of costuming professionals world-wide. On the Costumer's Info list, subscribers can exchange sources, ideas, techniques, and products used in any area of theatrical costuming. Subscribers post questions ranging from machinery recommendations, to dye techniques, to textbooks and web sources, to internships and job openings. In the past, topics and discussions on the list have developed into panel sessions presented at the USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo. With a membership of over 500, there is someone out there who has faced the same challenges and would be excited to share experiences. To join the Costumer's Info list send a blank e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For renting costumes, members will find the Costume Locator Service an invaluable resource. This community of people operating rental programs and those looking to rent costumes connect them quickly. The list is not responsible for setting up or monitoring transactions, but for getting people in touch with one another. To subscribe to the Costume Locator Service, send a blank e-mail to email@example.com.
Both lists have a searchable archive so those who join now can benefit from the discussions of the past. Searching the archives before posting a request may be all new subscribers may need to do in order to find an answer to a question. Entering "dye vats" into the Costumer's Info archive, for example, will bring up all posts that contained any discussion of dye vats. Rental sources are stored in the Costume Locator archive. Entering the term "witch" will bring up multiple sources for Into the Woods or any other show where witches were discussed.
Both services are moderated, meaning the list moderator must approve each request or post. This insures the integrity of postings, allows the moderator to edit/combine duplicate messages as well as edit for clarity, and ensures that members are posting to the correct list for their inquiry.
The main features of both lists can be accessed through e-mail alone, but both lists have web pages to access additional resources. Both lists allow the choice to receive either the individual message format (which may result in as many as 20 e-mails a day on the info list) or the digest format which compiles all of the day's messages into one e-mail. New subscribers are automatically enrolled in the individual message format and can switch to digest by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Guidelines for use can be found in the "files" section on the Costumer's Info web site and will be e-mailed immediately upon subscribing.
Any member may belong to either or both lists, and the Costume Commission encourages the use of both lists. Spend some time looking around the websites, which have very detailed help sections. If questions arise that cannot be answered by visiting the web, contact the list moderators – Kristina Tolleflson, firstname.lastname@example.org, for the Consumer's Info List, and Kevin McCluskey, email@example.com, for the Costume Locator list.