SPOTLIGHT ON HILARIE CARIAGA: THE LOFT STAGE’S VOLUNTEER MVP
Before we get to the questions, and by way of introduction, explain how you got involved with costuming and how many shows you’ve sewn for.
My first show was Seussical, which involved helping the students hot glue decorations on their “Who” t-shirts and making Gertrude’s wings. From this I moved to Stillwater Community Theater where I costumed Annie. This was a huge undertaking, as I had NEVER done a show on my own. After Annie, Marcie Berglund asked me for some help with Woodbury Community Theater’s production of Amahl. All together, I have been involved in over 10 shows in the last 4 years.
Q1. Regarding your time as costumer to the stars, select and briefly elaborate on TWO of the following talking points: High Point, Low Point, Boiling Point, Freezing Point, Exclamation Point, Vanishing Point, Turning Point, and Point of No Return.
WOW, how do I answer this? I guess the High Point was working on You Can’t Take It With You. Not only did I help with the costumes but with some of the set decorations. Sometimes costumes and set construction blend into one another. After all you are “dressing” the set. The Point of No Return has to be White Christmas and 39 red dresses. I had nightmares and woke up in a sweat over this. I realized that no matter how hard I tried I could not do this on my own. So with a quick post on Facebook my true and dedicated friends stepped up to help. I also met a new friend from church who saved me in more ways than one. Joan Eggert will be my lifelong friend and go-to gal for just about anything to do with sewing. She is amazing!
Q2. What’s the hardest/weirdest (pick one) costume or set piece you’ve been asked to create?
The hardest costume was one from Seussical. It started out as a yellow pleated dress that we were asked to take apart and make a skirt out of it. That was the easy part, but then we were asked to take the skirt and turn it back into a dress. You have no idea how hard it was to put all the pleats back together. Sometimes the Director will ask for something that is nearly impossible but you just try and do your best. Remember that a happy Director makes for a happy show.
Q3. Your generosity as a Loft Stage volunteer is legendary. What words of wisdom would you impart to hesitant prospective volunteers?
Don’t think about it, just jump in and do it. Many times I thought, “I can’t do that,” and then surprised myself. Be willing to try and to ask for help. One person cannot do it alone, but many hands make light of the task and it is more fun.
Q4. In your experience, describe ERHS’s most memorable wardrobe malfunction.
I can’t think of any malfunctions, only a few costumes that we could have done a better job of fitting.
Q5. The unthinkable has happened. A Zombie Apocalypse is upon us, and you, Hilarie, are a zombie (sorry, friend). Turns out scientists have discovered dining on fresh brain confers some of the brain’s assets on the undead diner in question. With that in mind (pun intended), whose brain would you eat and why?
One thing I learned early on was to try and get into the Director’s head to see their vision for the show. So I guess I would consume all their brains. Directors can and do change their minds, so remember not to eat too fast.
Thanks so much Hilarie–you’re the best. Ahem, directors, if there IS a Zombie Apocalypse, take heed.