Q: When should I get into wardrobe?

When you’re about to go on set, don’t wait to get into your wardrobe – do it as soon as possible to get one more thing out of your detail filled day’s way, and to avoid the potential for scheduling disaster.

So, you’re finished rehearsing and marking, and you’re headed back to your trailer while they set up the lighting and the camera. Does the crafts table look inviting? Did you want to say hello to and banter with that actor you haven’t seen since scene study class?

Don’t wait. Get back to your trailer as soon as you can, and get into your wardrobe. This isn’t just to avoid that embarrassing situation when the set PA comes to your trailer and tells you that picture will be up in around 3 minutes, it’s to make sure that your wardrobe is the least of your worries

Your mission between marking and shooting is to make sure that you’ve got all of your tasks taken care of – you know your lines and you have made strong choices, you’ve hit the bathroom so you’re not bothered with that sort of thing should you be on the actual set for several hours, you’ve eaten so you’re not hit with hunger pains while shooting, you’ve been to makeup and they’ve pronounced you gorgeous, and lastly, you’ve made sure your wardrobe fits you like a glove and nothing about it will interfere with your acting.

Getting into wardrobe the moment you get settled is paramount. Several things can be wrong with your wardrobe, and the more time you have to fix any or all of them, the better.

First, is the wardrobe yours? This is the rarest of issues, but, once in a great while, the name on the trailer door might get changed after wardrobe has been delivered to the room, or the name of one character is similar to another, and the wrong outfit entirely gets placed on the rack. Getting to the task of getting into wardrobe lets you find out very quickly if you’ve got the right costume.

Second, are all of the pieces of your wardrobe waiting for you? If you’re shooting a scene where your character removes articles of clothing, or you have accessories like gloves, shoes or jewelry that will be seen on camera and perhaps toyed with, you need to make sure that those items are there – it may not be wardrobe that has to go hunt them down, as props sometimes gets involved with the dressing of an actor.

In addition, if you’re shooting in inclement weather, and your thermals or undergarments have been forgotten, you’ll have more time to let the set PA and in turn, wardrobe, know that they are missing.

Third, are all of the pieces of the wardrobe your versions of those pieces? This has happened to me several times, as a stunt double’s pants or a stand-in’s shirt has been mixed in with my clothes. If your double’s sizes are the same as yours, wonderful. If not, getting into wardrobe as soon as you can can reveal size and color differences, as well as construction differences that would be apparent on camera.

Finally, there’s also the possibility that your wardrobe person isn’t nearby – maybe they are on set with another actor, and can’t get to your issue right away. Most of the time, the wardrobe department covers each member with another, but when shooting gets hectic, someome may not be available right away – getting into wardrobe as soon as possible gives wardrobe some breathing room when it comes to handling your problem.

What’s your answer to this acting question? Let me know in the comments below.