Fall / Winter 2022

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 106 of 143 | Fall/Winter 2022 | SAG-AFTRA 99 A s performers and costume designers, we work closely to build characters and stories through costume. It is vital to maintain the sacredness and safety of the fitting room space. Here are some best practices to keep in mind to ensure that no matter your gender identity, body size, body dysmorphia, disability, neurodivergence, race, age or ethnicity, you will be treated with respect and find the support you need with your collaborators. These responsibilities apply to performers, costume designers and costumers (costume team), as it's our mutual commitment that can ensure everyone's well-being. Our commitment to each other's safety should encompass all areas of our collaboration. Performers have a measure of power on set and can speak up to protect the costume team if they see inappropriate behavior toward them. Costume teams are on the front lines and can speak up to protect actors during body mic placement, scenes with nudity, and at other times when they may feel vulnerable. With mutual respect and shared goals, we can use our close working relationship to positively affect the tone of the workplace. Here are ways to ensure a productive collaboration. Provide A Private Changing Area for Every Fitting It is in everyone's best interest that a private changing area be provided and utilized regardless of individual comfort levels. The area must have adequate space to accommodate the needs of disabled performers, such as changing benches, room for mobility aids, and ADA-compliant restrooms in the facility. A private changing area precludes the most obvious opportunity for potentially harmful behavior from all parties when a performer is in a state of undress, and is therefore important for the mental health and safety of both performers and the costume team. This is a simple way to prevent harm to everyone involved, particularly if anyone present experiences body dysmorphia or is uncomfortable with nudity. In the case of minors, all members of the costume team should leave the room and allow the parent or guardian to help the minor dress in full privacy. Have a Pre-Fitting Discussion During this discussion, the costume designer and costume team should get the following information: • The performer's pronouns. • A performer's current sizes and measurements of their body. It is essential that a performer take new measurements at the beginning of every job, even if they feel certain they have not changed. Without these, the design team cannot be properly prepared for a fitting, which will put production behind schedule. • The QR code at right will direct you to a helpful measurement chart. • Performers can also take their measurements by using a piece of string and comparing it to a ruler or hard tape measure. • Any access needs to consider, including certain fabrics or closures, if assistance will be required navigating to the facility, and that there is adequate space in the dressing area for assistive devices and/or personnel, wheelchairs, canes, service dogs, personal care assistants, etc. • Any allergies or sensitivities to fabrics, specific undergarment needs, and color or cut preferences, if applicable. • Some costume teams may ask for a performer's current weight in order to fit them. However, some performers either cannot or should not share this information and must feel comfortable saying so. Performers in recovery for disordered eating likely know that knowledge and disclosure of their weight jeopardizes their recovery. Others might simply have distanced themselves from weight-conscious culture and no longer own a scale. Regardless, the realities of weight stigma mean a person's weight should be treated as privileged information. If the costume team feels they cannot proceed without it, asking for it should be handled on a phone call between a performer and a costume designer and not included on a performer's fitting sheet. This allows for a private, trusted environment for individual designers to state their need for a performer's weight, and individual performers to explain why they might be unable to provide it. . Scan for Measurement Chart

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of SAG-AFTRA - Fall / Winter 2022