Recently, I was asked by a past student what are some other jobs he can use his costume degree and skills to do when he doesn’t have design opportunities available. He like myself has a strong technical background as well. So looking through my CV and thinking of odd jobs I compiled this list for him. It began:


Being a new yorker, and dealing with the large amount of living costs and inflation, and rent, and blah blah blah insert more boring info on the high cost of living in new york city (we have talked in depth on this)….I have started thinking about all the random jobs I have had where I was paid for my services. Let me start by saying often I find when you meet someone new here you go through the usual, what do you do? often you’ll hear ” iI work (insert money job here) but i also do this (insert random or fun job)” or you get a series of “oh i do (7-10 ) different jobs”. As a young designer, I often take other jobs in the field or in the “art realm” jobs so far the jobs have been as follows:

  • costume shop management
  • assistant design work
  • shopper for costume houses or designers (also includes swatching)
  • first hand for costume houses
  • working art installations or with artists who need sewing
  • freelance alterations
  • developing costumes for burlesque or circus performers
  • draping for commercials
  • crafts artisan
  • writing about costumes in magazines or encyclopedias
  • re purposing old couches, making drapes or cushions and other scenic sewing
  • styling for photo-shoots/head shots
  • bridal work
  • make-up special effects application and design
  • hair styling/ wig styling
  • wardrobe (my least favorite! and I avoid like the plague!)
  • teaching
  • alterations/stitching/draping for commercials
  • mask and craft work
most of these jobs were acquired by referral or word of mouth, on the rare occasion craigslist list or playbill/backstage jobs. (and the email continued…)

I know there are so many more categories that I haven’t had the chance to work in. Can anyone add stuff that they have done and how they got them? Much appreciated.