To: DIRECTING II - Spring 2005
Subject: TEACHING NOTE RE: Costume/wardrobe & Chemistry

Hi Guys,

Also, something that will be helpful when working with actresses – if they will be wearing heels, skirts, long skirts, corsets, maybe even hair up/hair-down – it’s very helpful to have them rehearse in that. Or maybe rehearse in different options to see how it works.

It’s actually helpful for all actors – many famous actors & actresses when interviewed state that they become the character when the hair & wardrobe are in place – it makes them feel like the character. Move like the character. And even think more like the character. (i.e. What we want.)

So when ‘character’ is especially important (in the sense that it’s different from the everyday personality/wardrobe of the actor) - this is an especially helpful thing to work with – for you and for the actor. (And you can get stuff from a thrift store, etc.)

Also, I just thought of Matthew’s McCabe & Mrs. Miller scene last night – and not only would the corset & long skirt have helped (as I went over in class), but she may (and this would be an optional character choice) have had cleavage rather visible – which adds a whole other ‘weapon’ to the scene. Wouldn’t it? (Trying to avoid looking at it/them could add a whole new – and fun – obstacle for him – that we might enjoy watching him struggle with.)

You could, in fact, work this way with lips, hips, etc. - i.e. in terms of parts of her body that he just can’t help wanting to touch, kiss, etc. You could just say that to the actor and it will do a lot to help create ‘chemistry.’ For both of them (also for the actress as she senses his attraction she will naturally respond.)

Yes? Make sense?