For as long as I can remember, I have loved the world of entertainment; ballets, musicals, movies, entertainers, plays and all the costumes that floated, shimmered along the way. Loving the industry did not mean I knew an thing about it; indeed, it was not until I attended university (University of Lethbridge) that I learned there was such a thing as a Costume Shop.

bio pic

    I worked as a stage hand throughout my degree; loading and unloading shows, setting up sets, hanging and focusing theatrical lighting, and of course, taking every wardrobe call I was offered.

    This gave me a huge insight into the workings of a show; the layers of a show - from a bare stage and empty theatre to a full set with magical lights and costumes. As I became trained as a Dresser, I was able to work on the performances in the Costume Department rather than the Stage Department. Thus, I could get a close look at costumes and how they were created and worn by the performers. This was also the beginning of my backstage training and deportment.

    I soon became a Costume Shop fixture; sewing and fitting costumes, learning new techniques and working as a dresser during performances. Needless to say, I loved it all but would need to move to a larger centre if I wanted to develop a career as a Costumer.

    My first job in the big city Calgary, Alberta was working in a fabric store while I applied to Theatre and ballet companies. Soon the call came for temporary, project based work and I began working as a professional Costumer, Dresser and Breakdown Artist for a theatrical company. After that, I was invited to join film costumers and work with the Extras Supervisor to break down hundreds of background costumes for the film Legend the Fall. That led to union membership and further work as a stage hand in the Lighting Department until costume gigs opened up. Soon I was offered work as a Stitcher, Costumer, Dresser and Tour Mistress for a The Alberta Ballet. 

    Each opportunity to work provided another opportunity to learn from the other film costumers and soon I was invited to work on more films as a Breakdown Artist and Extras Supervisor. After a season or two I was invited to work as Principal Truck Costumer and Set Supervisor. 

    While riding the train to work one day, a passenger asked where he could become trained as a Costumer and thats when I thought I would write a book about Costuming and working as a Costumer. I would write about all the job positions that are included in the Wardrobe Department and what a person needs to know in order to work in those departments. I would add a chapter about breakdown and dyeing and most of all ... offer encouragement to costumers in the same way I was encouraged when I first joined the business. The result of over 20 years working as a Costumer; is the book, The Costumer's Notebook.

The Costumers Institute

    However, once I finished the book and offered it for sale online, I still felt remote and far away from costumers and the work. So I developed a webpage for my business, The Costumers Institute.  I hope to reach other costumers and encourage them through blogs, tutorials, industry links and even bloopers. Currently, I support the Independent Film Industry through my work as a costumer and costume designer.These projects enable me to share the stage and film skills I have learned from those who shared with me...

My Resumé

INDEPENDENT FILM

LOCKDOWN Costumer (Costume Design; Rae Stephens) 2016

THE HITCHHIKER  Costumer (Costume Design; Rae Stephens) 2014

FEATURE FILMS

INTERSTELLAR  Costumer, Breakdown  (Designer Mary Zophres)  2013

THE CLAIM  Costumer, Breakdown (Designer Joanne Hanson)  2000

LEGEND OF THE FALL  Costumer, Breakdown (Designer Deborah Lynn Scott)  1993

SHANGHAI NOON  Costumer, Background Supervisor, Breakdown (Designer Joseph Porro)  1991

TEXAS RANGERS  Breakdown (Designer Wendy Partridge)  1999

TV MOVIES

HUSH LITTLE BABY  Set Supervisor (Designer Brooke Hessein)  2006

FUGITIVES RUN  Stitcher, Costumer, Background Supervisor ( Designer Mary Hyde Kerr)  2002

FOR ALL TIME  Costumer, Background Supervisor (Michael T Boyd)  2000

PAPA'S ANGELS  Principal Truck Costumer  (Carol Case)  2000

THE SHELDON KENNEDY STORY  Costumer (Designer Pauline Chung)  1999

ONE MORE MOUNTAIN  Breakdown (Designer Melanie Ghisays)  1994

THE JACK BULL  Background Supervisor, Breakdown (Designer Ha Nguyen)  1989

FOREIGN TV MOVIES

PEAK OF LOVE   Background Costumer  (Designer Angelika Huhn)  2006

VALLEY OF THE WILD ROSES  Background  Costumer  (Designer Diana Reimann)  2007

VALLEY OF THE WILD ROSES  Background  Costumer  (Designer Katrin Droge)  2008

TV SERIES

CAITLIN'S WAY  Principal Truck Costumer (Designer Debi Miller)  2005

NORTH OF 60: DISTANT DRUMMING   Principal Truck Costumer (Designer Janet Lamonte)  2004

CAITLINS WAY  Principal Truck Costumer (Designer Robin Lewis West)  1999

NORTH OF 60  Breakdown, Background Supervisor (Designer Christine Thomson)  1995

NORTH OF 60  Breakdown, (Designer Christine Thomson)  1994

NORTH OF 60  Breakdown, (Designer Christine Thomson)  1994

STAGE

WICKED; THE MUSICAL  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run Costumer, Dresser   2011

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Costumer, Dresser 2011, 2007, 1998

MOULIN ROUGE, Royal Winnepeg Ballet  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Costumer, Dresser 2011

GREASE  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Costumer, Dresser 1995, 2011

LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR, Calgary Opera  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Stitcher, Costumer, Dresser 2011

YO GABBA GABBA  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Costumer, Dresser 2010

NUTCRACKER; THE ALBERTA BALLET  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Stitcher, Costumer, Dresser 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006

BARBER OF SAVILLE, Calgary Opera  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Stitcher, Costumer, Dresser 2009

MANON, Calgary Opera  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Stitcher, Costumer, Dresser 2009

A CHORUS LINE, Broadway on Tour  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Costumer, Dresser 2009

ANNIE, Broadway on Tour  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Costumer, Dresser  2009

LION KING,Broadway on Tour  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Stitcher, Costumer, Dresser  2009

CHICAGO,Broadway on Tour  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Costumer, Dresser  2008

ARIADNE AUF NAXOS, Calgary Opera   Studio  Stitcher, Costumer 2008

HAIRSPRAY,Broadway on Tour  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Costumer, Dresser  2008

FAUST, Calgary Opera  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Stitcher, Costumer, Dresser  2008, 2001

TOSCA, Calgary Opera  Studio  Stitcher, Costumer  2008

THE BALLAD OF BABY DOE, Calgary Opera  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Stitcher, Costumer, Dresser  2008

RIVERDANCE  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Costumer, Dresser  2008

CATS, Broadway on Tour  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Stitcher, Costumer, Dresser 2008, 2002, 2001

RIGOLETTO, Calgary Opera  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run Stitcher, Costumer, Dresser 2007

MOVIN' OUT, Broadway on Tour  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Stitcher, Costumer, Dresser  2007

THE PRODUCERS, Broadway on Tour  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Sitcher, Costumer, Dresser  2007

MAMA MIA, Broadway on Tour  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Stitcher, Costumer, Dresser  2007

FROBISHER, Calgary Opera  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Costumer, Dresser  2007

ALADDIN  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Stitcher, Costumer, Dresser 2006

ALBERTA SCHOOL OF BALLET  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Head of Wardrobe, Dresser  2006

PHANTOM OF THE OPERA  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Stitcher, Costumer, Dresser 2006

SWEENY TODD, Calgary Opera  Studio  Stitcher, Costumer 2004

ROMEO and JULIET, Calgary Opera  Stitcher, Costumer  2004

MISS SAIGON  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Laundry Person  2004

ALBERTA BALLET  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Costumer, Dresser  2003

LES MISERABLES  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Costumer, Presser, Dresser  2002, 2001

THE NATIONAL BALLET OF CANADA  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run Costumer, Dresser 2001

THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO Calgary Opera  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Stitcher, Costumer, Dresser  2001

DIALOGUES OF THE CARMELITES, Calgary Opera  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Stitcher, Costumer, Dresser  2001

LA BOEME, Calgary Opera  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Stitcher, Costumer, Dresser  2001

TOMMY:A NEW MUSICAL  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Costumer, Dresser  1997

ALBERTA BALLET SCHOOL OF DANCE  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Head Dresser  1997

SHOWBOAT  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Stitcher, Costumer, Dresser 1997

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Laundry Person Dresser 1996

THE WIZRD OF OZ   The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Costumer Dresser 1995

ARTISTS

NEIL DIAMOND  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Costumer, Dresser  2008

SHAOLIN WARRIORS  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Costumer  2007

ART GARFUNKEL  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Costumer  2007

HILLARY DUFF  Calgary Saddledome  Costumer  2007

ROD STEWART  Calgary Saddledome  Costumer  2007, 1998

TIM CONALLY, HARVEY CORMAN  The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium - Calgary run  Costumer, 2006

ELTON JOHN  Calgary Saddledome  Costumer  2006

ERIC CLAPTON  Calgary Saddledome  Costumer  1998

THEATRE

CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, CAMELOT, DANGEROUS CORNER, THE SISTERS ROSENSWEIG  Theatre Calgary  Head Dresser 2001

A GUIDE TO MOURNING Alberta Theatre Projects Costumer, Dresser 2000

THE GLACE BAY MINERS MUSEUM, APPETITE, KNOCK KNOCK, MOTHERLODE Alberta Theatre Projects Pan Canadian playRites2K Costumer, Dresser 2000

ABERHART SUMMER, DYING IS EASY, TWO WORDS FOR SNOW, WEATHER ATP Pan Canadain playRites'99 ATP    Costumer, Dresser  1999

ANGELIQUE, GRACE, GUIDE TO MOURNING, SPEAK  ATP Pan Canadian playRites'98 Costumer, Dresser  1998

VIGIL  Alberta Theatre Projects  Costumer, Dresser  1997

BETWEEN PANCHO VILLA AND THE NAKED WOMAN, EMPHYSEMA, THE HEART AS IT LIVED, TOLSTOY'S WIFE  Pan Canadian playRites'97  ATP Costumer, Dresser  1997

HAMLET, DANCING AT LUGHNASA, A CHRISTMAS CAROL Theatre Calgary Costumer, Dresser 1994

KAWARTHA, SAINT FRANCIS OF HOLLYWOOD, SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED, WHO LOOK IN STOVE Pan Canadian playRites '94  Costumer, Dresser  1994

 LA BETE,  THE KITE, A CHRISTMAS CAROL Theatre Calgary, Costumer, Dresser 1993

ALL FALL DOWN, JOHANNESBURG, TUCK TUCK Pan Canadian playRites'93 ATP Costumer, Dresser 1993

TOURING

DECIDEDLY JAZZ DANCEWORKS  Vancouver  Head of Wardrobe, Wardrobe Mistress  1998

ALBERTA BALLET Head of Wardrobe, Wardrobe Mistress  1994, 1995, 1996

OTHER SHOWS

STARS ON ICE  Calgary Saddledome  Costumer, Dresser  2010

KOOZA  CIRQUE du SOLEIL  Calgary run, Costumer, Stitcher  2010

UNIVERSITY THEATRE

ARTS CLUB OF VANCOUVER, LES BALLETS JAZZ DU MONTREAL, JUDITH MARCUSE DANCE COMPANY, THE ALBERTA BALLET, THE ROYAL WINNIPEG BALLET, THE CANADIAN BRASS, MURRAY McLAUGHLAN and more ...

The Costumer's Notebook,

The book The Costumer's Notebook is a 295 page comprehensive handbook for Costumers for stage and film including a full Glossary of stage and film industry terms. Sections include methods and tricks for laundry, dyeing, breakdown, Dresser guidelines and protocols for Stage or Film and various size charts for men and women from shoes to gloves. Other Sections include diagrams showing How to Iron A Shirt, How to Tie a Tie and How to Tie a Bow Tie. Costume fittings, costume lay out and costume storage are also discussed.