My Peeps – Marcus

My Peeps – Marcus

I have noticed over the past few months, conversations about “Rachel’s People” have come up, over and over again. It always makes me giggle. Do I have people? My first response was “No! Are you crazy? Of course I don’t have people!” But… then… on second look I realized… oh, maybe I DO have people!!

So, I have started a whole new category called My Peeps.

There are a number of people who are involved in Signing Time that I regularly refer to in my blog and on Twitter. First and foremost there is Marcus.

Marcus handles wardrobe for Signing Time and he is an authorized user on my credit card. He is also the only man other than my husband who routinely sees me in my birthday suit. He is also brilliant at putting together outfits. He buys me bras and hand washes them! I mean Hello?! Everyone should have a Marcus! He would also D-I-E if he saw this post!

When I have any media interview or photo shoot, I call Marcus. He shops. Then he shows up with a rolling rack of clothes that I can only presume he begs, borrows and steals, because that credit card is almost maxed out.

Marcus came over the other night with my Signing Time outfit(s) that he had lovingly hand washed in shampoo for color-treated hair, to keep the oranges orange. He also brought a great pair of shoes, for me. “Do you like them?” he (always) asks.
“How much are they?” I always ask back.
“$30!” He responds proudly.
“Yes, I love them! I have needed brown on brown closed toed pumps for winter!”

Brown on Brown Pumps $30

Brown on Brown Pumps $30

(Marcus picks out better shoes for me than I can pick out for myself.)

See, it has taken Marcus some time to really understand that I feel REALLY uncomfortable with a $400 handbag, $500 boots or even a $100 necklace, even if he thinks it is the most fabulous thing and I will love it and use it for the rest of my life. He knows the first hurdle he will be met with is one question, “How much?” If he won’t tell me, but instead tells me to try it on, I know, that he knows it’s too expensive and he had better have the receipt.

Marcus now knows that the thing I value the most is, well, a good value! My husband appreciates this fact and hates it too, because sure I might get a $350 BCBG gown to wear for the Emmys, but when you say you love it, I tell you, “It’s a $350 dress and I got it for $68 including shipping on Ebay!!!” (Which, by the way, is TOTALLY TRUE!)

Aaron cannot understand WHY I tell everyone what everything costs and where I bought it. Seriously, try it. Next time you see me say, “Oh I love that top!” And I will say, “Thanks! You would never believe I got it for $7.99 at Ross Dress for Less! And my jeans are usually $130 at Anthropologie, my favorite store, but I got them for $18.99 at TJMaxx! Can you stand it?”
(But don’t bother trying it if I am wearing my Signing Time outfit, because each year those puppies get harder and harder to find, so I am not telling!)

Back to Marcus
Marcus does not judge me. He doesn’t care if I’m a size 16 or a size 4. He always figures out a way to decorate the body I currently have and he does a fabulous job.

Marcus not only works on Signing Time, he watches it regularly. He tells everyone about it and is proud to run into people who tell him how much they love Signing Time.

Marcus loves Oprah! Each time we are shopping he will see something great and expensive and say, “We should buy that and save it for when you are on Oprah!” He will also buy things that are similar to something that Oprah had on, like a necklace that is “just like Oprah’s!” He is SURE I will be on Oprah and when I am, of course he will come with me and I will look fabulous. It will be his pièce de résistance!

So- here are a few things I have learned from Marcus and I am happy to pass on to you.

1. Carry Toupée Tape (even if you do not wear a toupée)
Use toupée tape to keep those necklines in place. Since it is double sided you can tape your shirt to your bra so no one ever sees your straps.

2. Never Let Them See You Sweat
Dress Shields are these fabulous oval shaped, soft, moleskin-ish stickers that you can apply right to the underarms of your clothing. So, if you are in jeans, a t-shirt AND a jacket, singing, signing and performing for over an hour under lights… your pits are perfect! And I would like to state for the record that I do not sweat any MORE than a regular person who is running around singing and dancing, thank you very much, YOU KNOW WHO, who posted that I have a “problem” and use dress shields to manage said problem. When YOU KNOW WHO is the person with an actual perspiration problem.

3. Never Let Them Know You Are Cold
Um, well there are these things called Petals. So, just go check them out if you are going to be photographed in the Arctic wearing something that is sort of clingy in the chest area.

4. Spanx = How to Look 5-10 lbs Thinner and Smoother
Did you forget to diet before your upcoming high school reunion? Well, march your hot little self down to Nordstrom and buy a pair of Spanx Higher Power. It will smooth out your waistline and hold everything in tight like magic! You don’t need to hold that tummy in, let your Spanx do it for you! Here’s another tip, once you wriggle your way into that new body(suit) hike it up and safety pin the front center band to the front center of your bra. This will help keep those suckers from jimmying down.
PS- Don’t put them in the dryer!

5. Everything Can Be Altered
I am 5’ 2” tall. (GASP!) I know… Deal with it. I am short… No! I am petite!!! Yes, I am petite. So, nothing I buy actually fits. We (meaning Marcus) usually have to cut off 2 feet of pant before I can walk without tripping. But in Marcus’ world if I try on a dress and it is too big, but it is the last one, he will be heart broken if I don’t let someone “take it in” – but Marcus doesn’t yet understand that NO woman WANTS to buy a bigger size, EVER!… EVER!!… EVER!!! Seriously, NO WAY! – There is something satisfying about buying something that is SMALLER than the size you know yourself to be. There is nothing more crushing and psychologically disturbing than buying something that is a size or two bigger, even if you have it altered. So, stop it Marcus!!

See I lost some weight recently and I have a closet full of clothes that are a few sizes too big. I am happy to clear it out and say “Good-bye!” Marcus wants them ALL taken in!! Uh, no, I think not!

6. Why Iron When You Can Steam?
Marcus carries a professional steamer in his trunk 24/7. This is good. I hate ironing. I hate it. If I accidentally buy something that must be ironed I would rather wear it once and throw it out than iron it! Mostly I just try to avoid buying clothes that must be ironed. If you HAVE to iron something, my advice is only iron the front, you are going to be sitting on the back or leaning back and wrinkle it anyway. (That is MY advice, NOT advice from Marcus) Every time Marcus comes over he brings in the steamer and steams most everything in my closet. I like how he insists on steaming things I am about to pack in my suitcase 🙂 That always makes me laugh. It might make him cry if he saw how I load up my bags after he leaves. He might actually understand the complete futility of it.

When I travel, Marcus brings everything in a garment bag… Let me clarify, EACH outfit is in it’s OWN garment bag and each outfit/bag is tagged.
“Rachel ST! Outfit 1”
“Rachel ST! Outfit 2”
“Rachel Interview 1”
“Rachel Interview 2” and so on… then he has the matching jewelry and accessories in zip-lock bags that he has hung by a safety pin to each hanger. Everything is there, socks, tights, shoes, underthingys, toupée tape and dress shields.

Sometimes he includes a Polaroid of the outfit hanging up, so I can get it right!

Then he leaves. I take everything out of the garment bags and off the hangers and fold, roll, or stuff them into one suitcase.

7. Two Evening Gowns Are Better Than One
Marcus made me buy two gowns for the Emmy trip to New York. I had never even owned one gown prior to that event and suddenly I need two? Remember the little gold cocktail dress? He removed the big dumb bow and bought 5 pair of gold shoes. (I did make him return 4 of them, because REALLY, I haven’t worn gold shoes since I was 4!) “You have to take it to New York, I am sure you will get to wear it to some fabulous party. If you don’t I will pay for it.” he insisted!
So, I took it, didn’t wear it and am still waiting for a reimbursement. (But, that’s ok because I got it at Nordstrom Rack and it was originally $250 but I got it for $45!!! Can you stand it?)
So, I will probably wear it to the next cocktail party I am invited to, because there are so many of those in Utah! (Add sarcasm)

8. Everything on Hangers
There are no dressers or drawers on a film set to put clothing in. Everything goes on a hanger. EVERYTHING. This accidentally became the topic of a Signing Time Chat one evening, because I mentioned that we do not have any dressers in our house. Someone asked, “What do you do with sweaters?” Well, Marcus taught me to hang a sweater and I passed this invaluable knowledge onto you, my friends.

9. I Have Scissors and I am Not Afraid to Use Them
Sometimes Marcus and I take on the alteration process together. This usually happens while I am wearing the clothes and while the crew is anxiously waiting for me so we can start shooting. Neither of us are trained professionals. I mean we ARE trained and professional but sewing is not our forte. But that doesn’t stop us. We have lopped straps off bras, cut out shelf bras from tops, shortened sleeves on the fly and sliced off jeans and scotch taped them in place. In the last shoot, Marcus cut a large button off the front of my jeans and then used gaffer tape to keep them closed! Ha! It’s movie magic! I do not recommend this, it is fun and exhilarating but, there really is no going back once you lop something off. You must be willing to face the music of your quick fix when someone with mad sewing skills clucks their tongue and shakes their head in dismay as you ask them to make it all better.

10. You Can Buy Taste, Even If You Have None
Marcus (or someone like him) can be hired to shop with you or for you. I have trained Marcus to hit the sale rack FIRST. (Thank me later!) Emilie hired him to shop for her husband Derek one year. My sister Julie has hired Marcus to dress her on her talk show. BUT you cannot hire Marcus when we are in production on Signing Time, because even though it looks like I am just running around in the same outfit, Marcus is hard at work!

Marcus hand painted Leah’s cowboy boots for “Leah’s Farm.”

He bought Alex a wet suit for “The Zoo Train” and had orange panels sewn into the sides, so it was more “Alex”

He took a horse costume and turned it into a unicorn for “Once Upon A Time.” The head didn’t fit anyone other than the director, so I just about giggle to death when I think of Travis, in that suit. Travis who will do anything to avoid being filmed is in that hysterical unicorn costume!

Marcus even took the striped tube tops that I wear under my Signing Time jacket and had them made into tank tops, so I can take off my jacket when it is too hot! See? That is love! I know it is love… or it’s his job… or both!

This entry was posted in Behind the Signing Time Scenes and tagged , , , , by Rachel Coleman. Bookmark the permalink.

About Rachel Coleman

The opinions and late night musings published on this blog are Rachel de Azevedo Coleman's alone, and are not ever intended to represent the opinions and sentiments of any organization or product that Rachel is, was, or will be associated with. Rachel Coleman is the creator and Emmy-nominated host of Signing Time!, the children's American Sign Language vocabulary building series. She is also the creator and host of Baby Signing Time, Rachel & the TreeSchoolers, and Rachel & Me. Rachel now serves as the Executive Director of the American Society for Deaf Children, a 501c3 nonprofit established in 1967 by parents of deaf children. ASDC is the American Sign Language organization for families who are raising deaf children. Motivated by her child, Leah's deafness, Rachel has spent the last 18 years creating ASL products to help bridge the communication barrier between hearing and signing communities. In 2006 Rachel founded the Signing Time Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to putting communication in the hands of all children of all abilities. In 2014, the Signing Time Foundation launched a 50-Lesson online ASL curriculum called "Sign It: ASL Made Easy" that is available free-of-charge to families with deaf or hard of hearing children ages 36 months and under. Apply at For those who do not qualify to receive Sign It ASL for free, they can find it for purchase at very reasonable rates on Rachel and her husband, Aaron, live in Salt Lake City Utah. They are parents to Leah who was born profoundly deaf, and is now a senior in college at NTID/RIT in Rochester, NY. They are also parents to Lucy who has spina bifida and cerebral palsy, and recently graduated high school. In 2010 the Colemans were joyfully reunited with Rachel's daughter Laura. Rachel is proud to be Laura's birth mom. Laura was placed for adoption as an infant in 1992 when Rachel was 17 years-old.

21 thoughts on “My Peeps – Marcus

  1. Great tips and funny stories! I had 4 Marcus’ (friends) this last weekend and spent a fortune, but everything was very discounted! I am on a spending roll, think Marcus would join us on a future shopping trip?

  2. Yay!!! It’s about time you gave Marcus a full blog shout out!!! I swear one of these times I’m coming out there with an empty suitcase & my credit card for a shopping trip with Marcus.
    And I love the garment bag/ziploc/polaroid set up. He just rocks.

    Plus you KNOW I am dying laughing here on #3!!!!!

  3. god thats a funny post! lmao! I wanted to say something about your weight loss! way to go!! you look awesome! im a personal trainer. its my job to notice! 🙂

    lets hope marcus is not only a genius dresser but also can see the future “today on Oprah….. Rachel Coleman”

    I too tell everyone proudly when i am wearing a steal! usually its “got it at target on sale can you beleive it!”

    oh and last but certianly not least those shoes are to die for!!!!!!!!!! loooove them!

  4. LOVED IT!! The part that got the loudest laugh was…” Next time you see me say, “Oh I love that top!” And I will say, “Thanks! You would never believe I got it for $7.99 at Ross Dress for Less! And my jeans are usually $130 at Anthropologie, my favorite store, but I got them for $18.99 at TJMaxx! Can you stand it?” I have a dear sister-in-law who does AND says the EXACT same thing…even “CAN YOU STAND IT?” Seriously, she is the biggest bargain shopper (well, I come a close second) and the only family member that uses those words “can you stand it?”. I just can’t stop giggling. Thanks for the laugh…awesome post. Hope you and Lucy are feeling better.

    ND’s biggest ST! fans
    Steph & Joey

  5. It sounds like you have so much fun!

    I’m glad you mentioned that you’ve lost weight because I’ve wanted to complement you on how good you look. But that’s always an awkward subject to bring up. You look great!

    When I “grow up” I want to be just like you 😉

  6. What a fun way to start my day…reading this blog! I too have become a bargain shopper feeling such delight whenever I find a great deal…’s almost impossible to not ‘out’ the great price of the complimented item. I enjoy TLC’s What Not To Wear and I imagine Marcus being a little like Clinton … would love to take either one shopping! I am so in agreement with you on ironing. Our ironing board and iron were picked out by my husband b/c I said I don’t iron….currently the iron is in a cabinet in the laundry room and the ironing board hangs on a hook outside in the garage!
    What fun tips from Marcus – I think you wear it all well! Being just shy of 5’4″ myself, I too find almost all clothes not fitting off the rack….who are they all made for anyway?!
    Now I’m going to have to re-watch Once Upon a Time and have myself a good giggle too. Have a great weekend….get well Leah….and keep on Signing and Singing….we can’t get enough!
    The Phares Phamily 🙂

  7. You gave away a secret…the tank tops were once tube tops!!!!

    You already know my feelings on Marcus. He needs to travel WITH you. I HAVE to meet him! He would appreciate my bubble (made of 100%Calgon) outfit.

    I think that this has to be my favorite post EVAH for a lot of reasons….the humor, the sensitivity to price-points (ahhhh, bliss), Petals (at what point do they call them “pasties?”), Spanx (were you aware that Spanx makes a bra called Bra-llelujah? It’s delightfully lovely—I suppose it would be nicer if you actually had something to fill it with, because when I donned it, it looked like I had a speed bump on my chest–another story all together)…and MARCUS. He’s my hero. For today.

    Thank you, this was a great way to enjoy the first cup o’ coffee o’ the day!

  8. HEHE I learn something new everyday! Things can be taped, tucked, and stuck on to make it look or appear better! I was expecting to see a picture of this misterious Marcus. You always manage to keep us lol’ing!

  9. I am not even going to tell you how many times I have emailed Oprah’s website telling them about your show. They must take notice!
    Love this post…all of them actually…but this one is tops!

  10. SmartBabySignLanguage:
    I can’t tell you how many outfits I have tried on and off with Marcus over the past 4 years. After awhile it is just easier for him to stay in the dressing room with me. Don’t you wish you had someone to help you in and out of things? Think about it, you would never get lipstick on your shirt when pulling it over your head, or white streaks of deodorant on your black tops. Marcus does NOT let that happen.

    YES! The great thing about Marcus is you can give him all of your sizes and he will shop with OR without you. He also takes care of all of the returns. He even has a gun to re-tag items!

    The trip to your place was the first time I experienced the tags and bags… if I remember correctly, you and I were equally amazed. I had just hired him and I think he met me at the airport with my bag packed. When I opened my suitcase at your home – I was in awe and slightly intimidated by what Marcus had done!

    “Plus you KNOW I am dying laughing here on #3!!!” That one was for you. Hey when you are my Hopkins, you are sworn to secrecy about the behind the scenes 😉

    Ah-hem, what Kei would like you to know is that in a REAL fix you could break into someone’s office after hours and steal their scotch tape if you do not have petals with you. And that is ALL I am saying about THAT!

    Thanks for noticing… as a personal trainer you must know people actually like it when you notice a change like that? You were holding your tongue? LOL

    I think we say “Can you stand it?” because we can hardly stand it ourselves!

    Again, are you kidding me? Awkward is, “Are you pregnant?”… You’re not?… No? Oops, sorry!” Heh-heh.

    Now I have the pressure of you all watching to see if I actually keep it off. Honestly I have struggled with my weight pretty much my whole life. So, I figured I’d try the old, “eat less and move the body more” theory and it worked – I lost 1 pound a week for 24 weeks! And now I have a pile of Spanx I hope to never wear again!

    Bargain Shoppers – be not ashamed! Hold your receipts up high! You are not alone!

    If you are not showing them off, they are called petals. That’s my theory.

    I lived with Miss American Fork, back in college and if you want to see things taped in place… check out pageantry! Ouch! Besides, haven’t you seen movie stars who SHOULD, by all laws of gravity and physics, be falling out or at least peeking out of their blouses – they are taped I tell ya, taped!

    Why is it so many people in production hate being seen by a camera?

    My dream Oprah appearance is one where the audience is filled with all of you, my blog reading friends!! Wouldn’t that be fun? We would laugh, we would cry and then we would all go shopping with Marcus after the show… IF he could actually function after meeting Oprah. Maybe Oprah would shop with us!

    (Marcus told me that Oprah wears 2 pair of Spanx at once…shhhh! I have NO Idea how he got that info and I have never tried it myself. And Oprah, if you read that, and it is not true, please don’t keep me off your show over it. I would retract that statement or delete it from my blog forever. I mean, generally, I do believe Marcus, but I also know he could be mistaken when it comes to you and your Spanx… I would take your word over his, I swear!)

    Marcus picked those brown pumps up at Target!!! Can you stand it? ROFL

    Yes, tube tops. Tube tops present all sorts of problems, which is why most of us never wear them. NOW you know that those pesky tube tops can be turned into tank tops. And HELLO!! These are tips for you guys, for the future, NOT things to search for in the DVDs.
    Ahhh, I have SO many hysterical wardrobe stories I would LOVE to share… but I fear I may have already revealed too much! My personas are arguing, so I had better just go to sleep.

  11. I found Marcus!!! Ok, not the real person, but I found out what he looks like. One of the Special Features of Series 2: Volume 1 – Nice to Meet You is the contest where the members of the crew sign the alphabet and one of the people pictures is Marcus!! I don’t know why this makes me so happy, but it does!

  12. First time, long time…

    I thought you might like to know that there is a conversation about the Signing Time series going on in Parenting101 in LiveJournal. People love the show, as they should. The link is

    Also, I wanted to say that my son and I love Signing Time, especially the new Baby Signing Time Volume 3. No matter how unfit to be around he is, if I put that in, as soon as he hears “A New Day,” he sits down on the floor and watches until the credits roll. It has saved my sanity on more than one occasion.

    Oh, and your photo of the shoes is very nice. Maybe you have a second calling in merchandising display.

  13. Pingback: Rachel’s Blog » Wasatch Woman of The Year

  14. rookie131: Thanks for that link, it’s always nice to see that people are saying great things about us.

    Oh, LOL for years and years I sold things on Ebay for friends and family, so I guess I am always keeping an eye on merchandising display.

  15. So THAT’S the genius who dresses you (literally, apparently lol he must have a great relationship with Aaron! I love it). Where’d he find the orange shoes?

    I want a Marcus. What was his degree in, out of curiosity? Where do you learn all those tricks?

  16. awwwww are you sure you can’t share where you get those shirts? I am doing a Signing Time birthday party for my little girl and I’m going to be YOU! (Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery you know!) OH I guess I’ll have to settle for a yellow hoodie. LOL. We are so excited because we have VIP tickets to meet you and see your show in Minneapolis in May… just days before my daughter turns 2. Can’t wait!

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