Chickens, Turkeys and Costumers
Musings on fowl and giving thanks
I think I might be over yellow feathers; I’ve had my fill of them after spending the past two days making a giant chicken costume. Yeah, you heard me, a giant chicken. Maybe I should back up…while most grad students spend their days writing papers and teaching undergrads and laughing and playing, costume design grad students MAKE MAGIC HAPPEN. Need a Gandalf the White costume? Tibetan monks? Giant chickens? Done. Yes these costumes are all in production for the same show (Miss Witherspoon) and yes I will be spending my Thanksgiving “break” sewing in the costume shop or at the Unicorn Theatre helping actors get their quick changes down.
I don’t make giant chicken couture everyday. Some days are spent doing more mundane tasks, quick rigging costumes, hemming, taking in garments or letting them out, etc. But when I complain about having to do my homework, it usually involves painting or something completely random like North American smocking. Lately the project I’ve been putting off has been a 1820’s bonnet for my millenary class, which sounds like a fun project (and actually has been as fun as it has been frustrating) but good lord hats take forever to make. And while it’s true that I would much rather be painting or sketching or making a hat than say, writing a dissertation on dung beetles, I still find myself groaning and procrastinating. Are we just programmed to complain, even when we’re lucky enough to be doing something we enjoy?
Since I complain more often than is necessary, I would like to take today to say what I am most thankful to have in my life: (Prepare yourselves, the following will contain cheesy goodness) I’m thankful for the people in my life: my family who are as supportive as they are nutty, my friends who encourage my impulsive nature and my professors who continue to make me laugh with their inappropriate humor and strive to be a better person and artist. I’m thankful for the roof over my head and ability to take care of myself, especially in this crappy economy. I’m thankful for my health and the opportunities I’ve been given and the unexpected surprises and delights the world continues to offer.
Maybe it takes a giant chicken or a day centered around turkeys to remember how fortunate we are…I’m pretty sure fowl of some sort is necessary for the realization process. And so it’s moments like these, when I’m crouched behind a dress form, concealed by the giant foam chicken body I’m diligently working on, swathed in a cloud of yellow feathers, that I think to myself, “let other grad students obtain high paying jobs in medicine or law or business, I just made a giant fucking chicken costume, and it looks good.”
Happy Thanksgiving ya’ll. Although I’ll be missing my Mom’s pumpkin pie this turkey day, I’m lucky enough to have a gang of costumers to eat, drink and be merry with…or in our case, stuff ourselves, get sloshed and play highly-competitive Pictionary with.