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!”
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!