Saturday, December 27, 2008

Creative Claim

I made most of my own costumes. I was talking with some friends about costumes and acts the other night. One makes costumes for other people. Another has a costume piece made by someone else. The discussion came around to costumers claiming creative rights to a dancer's act just because they made all or part of the costume. There's also the dancer feeling that it's not totally her act because of that one made piece.

The costumer who was there makes wonderful specialty pieces for people. She owns that she made those things, but she doesn't try to make dancers feel ineffective because they didn't make the pieces themselves. She also doesn't lay claim to any of the acts as her creative property. I've heard that this happens with other costumers sometimes. Because she's good at what she does and because she's not claiming credit where it isn't hers, I'd gladly recommend her and have her make pieces for me as needed.

I have had costumes made for me by Augusta for her shows. She's taken two numbers I've performed in other costumes and put together new pieces to fit in with one of her theme shows. She doesn't lay claim to my acts as her creative property but she does appropriately take credit for the costuming. She's also good at what she does and she doesn't claim credit where it isn't hers. I endorse her fully.

In regards to the play, our costume designer was given very lots of creative freedom. For my fan dance costume, she was told that I was doing a fan dance and needed to look nearly naked. Since this was her first time to costume a burlesque dancer, we told her that it had to be sturdy enough that it could land on the floor multiple times without falling apart. As she put together the costume, we figured out that everything had to be removable with one hand because my other hand was holding fans. She selected the colors, hand beaded the pearl strands on the shimmy belt, and did some embellishing. I created the dance and completed the embellishment. As poorly as our relationship ended with her, she never laid claim to my creative work just because I wore a costume she made. (Since this is a Myspace photo, you can't see all of the embellishment and work we both did on the costume.)

I guess the lesson here is to make your own stuff or have stuff made by people who won't try to lay claim to your act where it's not theirs to claim. I know Leg Avenue doesn't say they made my act because I wear their fishnets and ruffle panties.

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