Holly Victoria - Costume Designer for Parson's Nose
Q: Where are you from? What was your family like? A: I am California born and raised, Temple City in fact (don't worry if you have never heard of it, it's a tiny town just south of Pasadena). I can proudly say that despite my birthing state, I had a very Southern upbringing. My father and his family came from a very small town in West Texas so I was raised on protestant church, family and sweet tea.
Q: When did you begin designing and how did you get into it? What was your first production? A: I can safely say that other than my role as a Buddhist monk in my high school's production of The King and I, I have been able to scathe the title of actor. I am a costume designer by trade and prefer being backstage. I had no idea that the world of theater existed until I was in college studying Fashion Design and Merchandising and I took a costume history class. I was in love! I suddenly realized that there was a job title that combined my interests in fashion, history and culture, "Costume Designer"! My first design opportunity came shortly after. I designed Pasadena City College's production of Lone Star and Laundry and Bourbon.
Q: What are your favorite shows you've designed for and why? A: As for shows I have designed, it is really hard to pick a favorite. I feel blessed to have a job that is always changing, teaching me and inviting new challenges. Every time I design a new show, I have the opportunity to not only work with new people but to research a culture, an era, or event that I know little about. The challenge and the acquisition of new knowledge is the real pleasure for me.
Q: When you're not designing, how do you like to spend your time? If you weren't a costume designer, what other profession would you have liked to explore? A: When I am not designing, I spend my day with my three kids or in school. I went back to school full time to get a B.A. in French and I finish this year. I love to travel and learn and I had an amazing opportunity to study this summer at the Sorbonne in Paris. I do not yet know how I will use this newly acquired language but it is a true passion for me and I do not doubt that new opportunities will be revealed. As far as other professions, I would love to be a professional explorer. Does anyone know if I can get paid for that?
Q: Share a story about "the joys of live theater". Either something ridiculous that happened during a show you were in, something you saw in another production, or any other anecdote about things that can only happen in live theater. A: Well, on the design end of the spectrum, "the joy in live theater" happens in my interactions with other artists. I find that so many theater folks, particularly actors, have a lot of superstitions about going on stage whether it be a mantra they chant before, a good luck charm that has to be in their pocket or dressing room prior to each show, or a routine that has to be performed diligently prior to a performance.
Q: What's the most embarrassing thing that's happened to you personally while working on a show? A: Well, I have to say as a costume designer and someone that works backstage, sometimes in the most intimate of settings and situations, there are lots of embarrassing things that have happened. Let's just say if I was in the business of tabloids and selling secrets, I could have a very steady income.
Q: What have you been working on lately? Where can we see your work next? A: I am currently gearing up for PNT's production of The Middle Class Nobleman this fall and I can't wait. Between Molière's wit and the talent of the PNT cast and crew, I can promise you it will be a great show!