Looking through the playbill for American Ballet Theatre’s Swan Lake, I saw this credit:
Costumes executed by Barbara Matera, Ltd.
Took me back to a couple months ago, at work, cutting some huge thing, like an oldey timey vampire priest’s cloak or some damned thing. Really big pattern pieces, big heavy bolt of wool, laying it out on my table, figuring out the best way to cut it.
Leaning out way across my table, on tip-toes,getting ready to cut, I called over to my boss, “you’ll never work at Barbara Matera’s if you have to stand on the table! Haha!”
And he was like, “what?”
And I was like, “You know. That thing! That thing they say in school? When anyone climbs up on their table to cut a big garment?”
‘Cause, see, Barbara Matera’s was the stuff of legend. In school it was assumed that after graduation you would take your skills to either New York or some regional theater. And if New York, you wanted to be at Barbara Matera’s. Because they were the best. They did all the tutus for everybody, as well as everything else that was good and beautiful. In the world! Evar!
So anytime a teacher caught someone climbing onto their table to cut something big it would always be, “Tsk tsk! You’ll never work at Barbara Matera’s…”
Wasn’t exactly literal, had more of a tone of, ‘if you had planned your cutting lay-out better, you could do this more efficiently. And less on the table-y. The professional world don’t play that, Fool.’
So my boss sez,
“Wait- seriously? That was a saying? Girl, please. I worked at Barbara Matera’s! We were all up on those tables all the time!”