Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day

There are some weird fashion rules out there and I hardly abide by them...One of them being the rule about wearing white after Labor Day.
Listen, I think all white outfits are pretty gross anyway, wedding dresses included.  It...just...kind of creates unnecessary bulk...?

As for white shoes, Keds have inevitably made their comeback so I can't really say much about that.  

Aside from all that, I wanted to take a minute to reflect on Labor Day.  
I have worked a lot in this life and I feel like I've learned something from every job which has lead me to the life of a Costume Designer.
As a child of a Korean immigrant, I have worked illegally from ages 8-15 at my uncle's wig store.  That place was terrible but that is where I had my first experience with drag queens and know what happened after that :)

My first legal job ever was at Baskin Robbins.  This is the place where I saved every single paycheck and bought myself a brand new car.  Woohoo for being lactose intolerant!  
Every week, the school for the deaf would come in and order all kinds of everything and it would be chaos for about 45 minutes because none of us knew sign language and their attempts to speak their orders were beyond difficult to understand.  Everyone dreaded this day because it would get so crazy and my coworkers had less than kind things to say.  I took it upon myself to learn some sign language, concentrating on food and the alphabet so that the ordering process would be educational for both parties involved.  Over a decade later, I am still signing.  
Next, I worked as a Beauty Adviser for a salon under the Regis corporation.   This is where I fell in love with hair.  I am a hair product junky and I can spot a bad haircut a mile away.  You wanna brag about your ugly $5 haircut?  I will read you to filth like its field day at the library!
I also worked as a greeter for Wet Seal.  I learned from here that if you're not a traditionally pretty teenager, management (aged 20+) will treat you just as bad as the popular girls at school.  I lasted 2 weeks there.  I could not take the hatred.

Next I worked as a barista at like 5 cafes.  It was brutal but I really got into coffee and espresso culture.  My palette matured and learned to be picky about the types of drinks I pay for as a consumer.  I also learned caffeine addiction is a very hard thing to kick but its an amazing feeling once you've beat it.  
As I got older, I got my bartending license and branched out from coffee to adult beverages.  Again, my palette got to learn new things like pairing wines or sipping limited edition bourbon.  Sometimes I waited tables during this part of my life and I learned that bartenders get way way way more respect than servers.  Also, due to my background, I learned that white waitresses who are [again] traditionally pretty, get better tips.
There was a moment in my life when I was a music box technician and worked with miniature tools fixing-yes you guess it-music boxes.  I learned that one doesn't necessarily have to be called a surgeon to perform "surgery".

In college, I joined a work-study program as a janitor for 2 years.  Yep, I totally cleaned shitters.  This is probably the most humbling job I've ever had, but it was full of lessons and fun memories.  I got to rock out on my Sony discman and think of cool stories to write while I'd be elbow deep in waste.  The shift in respect from certain students and faculty always fascinated me because they'd feel that by knowing me, the janitor, they'd somehow be allowed to bypass "cleaning time" and just use the bathroom while I was in there, thus often leaving an even bigger mess for me to clean after them.
Years later, this job would come in the most handy when I'd start working as a production assistant on motion picture sets...

I know there are a lot more jobs I've had, but those are the ones that stick out most in my mind.  
I am now a Costume Designer, Wardrobe Stylist, Makeup Artist, Reiki Master and Master Barber.
I am in 2 unions and though I don't particularly feel the solidarity I'm supposed to as a member, I just feel good that I worked hard to be considered a "sister".  What I failed to mention is that I held most of these jobs at the same time to support my family and then to pay for my education.  I hardly slept and worked my fingers to the bone.  I never lived a glamorous lifestyle, nor do I live one not let the fancy titles fool you.  
But you know what?  I'm earning my money by working hard and having the day kick my ass.  I wouldn't have it any other way and I wouldn't trade my work ethic for anything.