An Interview with Costume Designer, Lisa Fleming
Lisa Fleming (COSTUME DESIGNER) received her BA in Theatre from UCF in 2006 and upon returning to Jacksonville, became a teacher to children with special needs for 11 years. During that time she also became a mother to 3 boys and a makeup artist. You may have seen her makeup skills in Shrek, The Musical in which she designed the makeup and applied the prosthetics. Lisa has had so much fun dressing the cast for The Toxic Avenger and would like to thank PBTS for this opportunity.
Players by the Sea takes you behind-the-scenes to learn more about what it takes to costume a show like The Toxic Avenger.
Q: How many costumes are you prepping for this show?
A: Despite there only being 5 cast members, I am prepping about 40 costumes. Since 2 of the cast play an entire town of people, they require a lot of clothes.
Q: Where do you go for most of your costumes?
A: I mainly tried to pull most of the pieces from the theatre’s costume shop. When I couldn’t find pieces there, I went to the thrift store. All the thrift stores. Every one in town. ( Lol) For the more specific costumes, I used Amazon and even another local community theatre. (Thanks to Theatre Jax!)
Q: What was the most difficult character to create a costume for in The Toxic Avenger?
A: It wasn’t a character I had difficulty dressing, it was two actors. Finding woman’s clothes to fit men is extremely difficult.
Q: What is your process for costuming? From start to finish, what goes down?
A: My process for costuming comes from the directors vision first and foremost. The director wanted to use certain cultural references for certain characters; like the folk singer to reference Bruce Springsteen and the Professor to reference Doc from Back to the Future. From there it was a good old Google search to find clothing pieces that were similar. Once I had a picture in mind, it was hunt, hunt, hunt.
Q: Why do you like costuming shows?
A: Costumes are an actors armor. Once they put that clothing on, the characters really come to life. It makes the actor a whole different person. And in this show, 2 people become 30.
Q: How much sleep do you get?
A: Sleep? What’s sleep? Lol. I have 3 children, a husband, a household to run, and am currently in rehearsals for a show. So I get little to no sleep. Coffee is my friend!
Experience all of Lisa's hard, thought-out work in action in The Toxic Avenger, opening at Players by the Sea on October 25 and running through November 10. Visit playersbythesea.org/toxic-avenger or call 904.249.0289 to get your tickets now!