Master of disguise

    While studying towards an anthropology degree at the University of South Alabama, Jeremy Floyd discovered the costume shop. He hasn’t looked back since — nine years later, the 29-year-old graduate student studies costume design at Northwestern.

    “I’m an artist, but I’m an artist that works in conjunction with others,” Floyd says.

    He uses each script as a jumping-off point that helps him and the director; dramaturge; scenic, lighting and sound directors determine what story they want to tell. “We all speak with visual images as much as we do with words — often more,” says Floyd.

    “I start by drawing my research to try and find what it is in my research that excites me. Everything else is really about executing what you’ve already found,” Floyd says.

    Floyd’s designs are subject to change at a moments notice: Once after seeing an actress in her costume during rehearsal, Floyd realized his design did not work. He completed a new costume by the following day. “Every designer has to be willing to adjust. There are too many variables that come into play and can cause a complete disaster,” Floyd says.

    Although Floyd doesn’t rule out the possibility of working in film or television at some point in his career, he plans to remain in Chicago after graduation and pursue work in the city’s vibrant theater scene.

    “There’s a form of expression that happens on stage that can never happen in a film, because with a film the audience is actually removed from the living, breathing art itself. There’s also the spontaneity and uncertainly of live theater. It could go wrong at any moment and that is what’s exciting about it,” Floyd says.


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