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Unread 04-23-2013, 10:10 AM   #1
Ororo Monroe
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Quick Change Advice. Please and Thank you.

Has anyone ever done an on stage quick change? Any input would be helpfull. I tried the forum search but nothing came up.

The idea so far: Character walks on stage and presents skit. The quick change is suppose to be a part of the skit. If its a sheet that two people bring out or a curtain or whatever, I don't know. It's part of the reason I need input. I have a vague idea the the screen will have a "one moment please..." sign of symbol on it, maybe transformation glitter... Meanwhile the character is striping out of one costume to another one underneath, possibly with help. The Character then busts forth in her new outfit. Anyone on stage helping would be dressed all in black.
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Unread 04-23-2013, 03:41 PM   #2
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Cute idea. BUT. There is a lot to be considered. Time limit will definitely be a major factor in this. If you can't change your costume in less than 10 seconds, I would consider doing something else. Count it out for yourself. 10 seconds is an eternity on stage.

If you can change that quickly, great. Moving on. Is a screen necessary? Is there an artful way you can change or is it going to involve a bit of unsightly twisting and pulling? Being able to change gracefully in front of the audience is far more interesting to them than a blank screen since they're then involved in the transformation, even if you have a couple of invisible helpers. Doing it that way would also mean that you could take more time to make the change.

Hope this helps! Let's just say I'm used to taking things off on stage.
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Unread 04-23-2013, 11:41 PM   #3
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The only time I've seen costume changes done well in the context of a masquerade is when it's a costume hidden beneath another where the top layer is very easily pulled away - like tossing off a large trenchcoat, cloak, bathrobe, etc. It's usually referred to as a "reveal." A friend of mine did an amazing performance last year where she did five different concept Wonder Woman costumes in less than 45 seconds - each layer was an instant easy peel-away that she was able to undo and swish elegantly off her body while doing a twirl across the stage until she got down to hipster!WW in jeans and a t-shirt at the bottom layer. The key was in designing how the costumes would flow from one to the other and then incorporating it into the performance itself.

That said, masquerade performances aren't the same as theatre. A lot of things that fly on a theatre stage won't do at all on a masquerade stage. Not the least of which is disappearing for more than 10 seconds. It really does depend on the costumes, though - I would not recommend an actual stripping down and getting into another costume. You would do better being able to wear both at once, in layers, plus or minus a hat or prop or something that can be handed to you when the change is complete. People really enjoy reveals, it's part of the ooh and aah factor of masquerades when you reveal a whole 'nother costume somehow. But completely changing, particularly if your character is the focus of the skit and/or you don't have an enormous group carrying the rest of the skit while you disappear, is much harder to do.
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Unread 04-24-2013, 11:09 AM   #4
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Thank you, your comment we're helpfull. Basically what I'm getting is do it quick, do it gracefully, and do it in the open (as part of the skit). Maybe it would help if I stated what the costumes are. A Vanellope Von Sweetz Princess Version and a Glitch Version underneath (Wreak it Ralph).

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Originally Posted by EmpressofSquee View Post
Cute idea. BUT. There is a lot to be considered. Time limit will definitely be a major factor in this. If you can't change your costume in less than 10 seconds, I would consider doing something else. Count it out for yourself. 10 seconds is an eternity on stage.

If you can change that quickly, great. Moving on. Is a screen necessary? Is there an artful way you can change or is it going to involve a bit of unsightly twisting and pulling? Being able to change gracefully in front of the audience is far more interesting to them than a blank screen since they're then involved in the transformation, even if you have a couple of invisible helpers. Doing it that way would also mean that you could take more time to make the change.

Hope this helps! Let's just say I'm used to taking things off on stage.
Yes. With practice I think the wearer could get the first costume off in ten seconds. Velcro and helpers would allow for the ten second change but the wearer would need to step out of the costume. There might be unslightly twisting and pulling. Frankly, I think the wearer would be too nervous to change gracefully or artfully in front of everyone.

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The only time I've seen costume changes done well in the context of a masquerade is when it's a costume hidden beneath another where the top layer is very easily pulled away - like tossing off a large trenchcoat, cloak, bathrobe, etc. It's usually referred to as a "reveal." A friend of mine did an amazing performance last year where she did five different concept Wonder Woman costumes in less than 45 seconds - each layer was an instant easy peel-away that she was able to undo and swish elegantly off her body while doing a twirl across the stage until she got down to hipster!WW in jeans and a t-shirt at the bottom layer. The key was in designing how the costumes would flow from one to the other and then incorporating it into the performance itself.

That said, masquerade performances aren't the same as theatre. A lot of things that fly on a theatre stage won't do at all on a masquerade stage. Not the least of which is disappearing for more than 10 seconds. It really does depend on the costumes, though - I would not recommend an actual stripping down and getting into another costume. You would do better being able to wear both at once, in layers, plus or minus a hat or prop or something that can be handed to you when the change is complete. People really enjoy reveals, it's part of the ooh and aah factor of masquerades when you reveal a whole 'nother costume somehow. But completely changing, particularly if your character is the focus of the skit and/or you don't have an enormous group carrying the rest of the skit while you disappear, is much harder to do.
The first costume would completely cover the second. Unfortunately, it won't be as easy to take off as a trenchcoat or similiar. The stripping down and switching props is what I was going for. Twirling seems to be the key here. If I can make a top costume she can twirl out of then the rest is easy.
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Unread 04-24-2013, 02:36 PM   #5
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Twirling seems to be the key here. If I can make a top costume she can twirl out of then the rest is easy.
YES. Also, do consider snaps rather than velcro. Velcro sounds easier but it really isn't, plus the sound might travel to the audience. We use large snaps in strategic areas when something has to come off quick. Either way you choose, "condition" the fastenings by opening and closing them repeatedly.

All the best!
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Unread 04-24-2013, 06:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapsuleCorp View Post
A friend of mine did an amazing performance last year where she did five different concept Wonder Woman costumes in less than 45 seconds - each layer was an instant easy peel-away that she was able to undo and swish elegantly off her body while doing a twirl across the stage until she got down to hipster!WW in jeans and a t-shirt at the bottom layer.
Apologies for briefly going off topic - but HOLY CRAP that sounds amazing!! Is there a video of this by any chance?

Regarding the OP's question: CapsuleCorp and Empress of Squee gave some great advice. They're right - reveals definitely go over well with masquerade audiences and can add sizzle to a performance. The main thing that came to mind when I saw your question was this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ao7GS7uUDsw

IMO they totally nail it - they managed to do it in an artful, visually interesting way (note the super-colourful ninjas and backdrop!), the costume was something that was layered (and therefore came off easily), and the overall 'flow' made sense and added up to a really cool end result.

Here's another example from the same group: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WovLXcYWSc

Good luck! Quick change is definitely something you don't see very often in masquerades, so this could be really neat
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Unread 04-24-2013, 09:16 PM   #7
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Oh man, I don't know. I don't think anyone filmed it at Geek-kon last year. I think she did it at CONvergence, though, so they will eventually be putting that on the CONvergence Masquerade channel on youtube. It's not up yet, though.

Ororo - I think you can pull off a change like that. It would be a matter of constructing the princess gown in easy-to-shed parts. I agree with Empress of Squee, use snaps - the ripping sound of velcro might give the audience the wrong idea! I don't know exactly what the princess gown looks like but I would guess that there's a bodice and skirt that probably can be twirled out of. In that case, go for it.
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Unread 04-25-2013, 01:08 PM   #8
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http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Vanellope_von_Schweetz

Here is the best pictures I could find of both.
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Unread 04-25-2013, 11:43 PM   #9
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Practice many many many times. I was at a masquerade where three of three costumes with dramatic reveals didn't work. Either a layer didn't come off or the top layer took the bottom one with it. The costumers kept going with their performances, but it didn't shine the way they wanted it to.

On the other hand, if it works, it's great. I won best in class with a performance that involved removing an overlayer (and then doing a bunch of lightsaber forms, because, y'know.) The judges specifically complimented the smoothness of the reveal. The audience also loved it.

Make sure nothing will snag or catch, and be sure you know what movements are involved. Practice way more often than you think you should, in full costume.
And post video here!
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Unread 04-25-2013, 11:48 PM   #10
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Holy hoopskirt, batman!

Actually, there's a couple of ways you could pull it off pretty easily. The first step might be in making the dress as separates - a bodice, and the skirts. Whether you make the skirt as a true under-skirt and over-skirt and attach them together at the waistband, or make it a fake overskirt (the underskirt is only the front panel), you can probably get away with a snap or even a tie in the back that you undo while people are distracted and then let them drop, so you can step out of them. Getting out of the bodice is a little tougher but here's where layering it right, doing a twirl, and having other people in your group or designated stage ninjas help grab/pull off the top layer.

Either way, you do have options to make it work. It'll take practice to make the transition smooth, but maybe that'll give you some ideas how to construct the princess dress itself to make it easier to get out of.
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Unread 04-26-2013, 09:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapsuleCorp View Post
Holy hoopskirt, batman!

Actually, there's a couple of ways you could pull it off pretty easily. The first step might be in making the dress as separates - a bodice, and the skirts. Whether you make the skirt as a true under-skirt and over-skirt and attach them together at the waistband, or make it a fake overskirt (the underskirt is only the front panel), you can probably get away with a snap or even a tie in the back that you undo while people are distracted and then let them drop, so you can step out of them. Getting out of the bodice is a little tougher but here's where layering it right, doing a twirl, and having other people in your group or designated stage ninjas help grab/pull off the top layer.

Either way, you do have options to make it work. It'll take practice to make the transition smooth, but maybe that'll give you some ideas how to construct the princess dress itself to make it easier to get out of.
Totally agree with all of this. You could even take it a step further with the bodice by making the sleeves detachable, then have the bodice open from the side to make it easier to twirl out of.

Also, listen to tereshkova2001 and practice, practice, practice!!!

*in my best Vanellope voice* OMGOSHTHISISSOEXCITING!!!
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Unread 04-26-2013, 02:47 PM   #12
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Thank you all. I had a feeling that construction would have alot to do with the reveal. Which is why I wanted input before I even attempted to draft the pattern. I am sorry to say that I am now wondering if I'm up to the task.

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Holy hoopskirt, batman!
Thank you I needed the laugh. Can you imagine the dirty looks if that went through the halls?
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Unread 04-29-2013, 10:52 AM   #13
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Thank you all. I had a feeling that construction would have alot to do with the reveal. Which is why I wanted input before I even attempted to draft the pattern. I am sorry to say that I am now wondering if I'm up to the task.
OH NOES! Don't be discouraged! It really isn't as complicated as it sounds! Once you've drafted the full pattern, just break it down into its separate parts and give yourself a little extra seam allowance along the breaks. If you're not sure where to make the breaks, cut up an old sweatshirt or two first to see what works. We're here if you need help

I do hope you'll give it a try; I'm really looking forward to the result.

All the best.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 01:55 AM   #14
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Another hilarious quick-change I've seen is from a Panty and Stocking skit done at Otakon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fr_VPWqfwh0

They manage to get out of the second layer in under 8 seconds and also incorporate it into the skit in a comical way.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 07:51 AM   #15
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Apologies for briefly going off topic - but HOLY CRAP that sounds amazing!! Is there a video of this by any chance?

Regarding the OP's question: CapsuleCorp and Empress of Squee gave some great advice. They're right - reveals definitely go over well with masquerade audiences and can add sizzle to a performance. The main thing that came to mind when I saw your question was this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ao7GS7uUDsw

IMO they totally nail it - they managed to do it in an artful, visually interesting way (note the super-colourful ninjas and backdrop!), the costume was something that was layered (and therefore came off easily), and the overall 'flow' made sense and added up to a really cool end result.

Here's another example from the same group: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WovLXcYWSc

Good luck! Quick change is definitely something you don't see very often in masquerades, so this could be really neat
Right. Going to need more stage ninjas.

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Another hilarious quick-change I've seen is from a Panty and Stocking skit done at Otakon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fr_VPWqfwh0

They manage to get out of the second layer in under 8 seconds and also incorporate it into the skit in a comical way.
Kind of what I had originally thought.
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