The Costumer

Who I am: Critter Pierce, thirty-three

Where I live: Southeast Portland

What I do: “I manage all aspects of costumes, from how many buttons the actor fastens to how clean (or dirty) the garment should be. A typical day begins by prepping the costumes to be worn that day (steam, iron, or aging and distressing) and setting the costume in the actor’s trailer. On set, I monitor the clothes: how a collar is turned, how tight the belt is, etc. I never rely on my memory, so continuity photos, along with copious notes, are taken. The day ends by clearing the trailers, restocking closets, and doing laundry, including sweaty, stinky socks.”

How I got my gig: “I had been working at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta and in 1999 got a job working on Remember the Titans, my first feature film, in the tailor’s shop, and then became the set costumer during filming.”

How much I make: “Enough to be comfortable and enjoy my time off between projects.”

Worst on-set snafu: “I was on a shoot at a ranch in Central Oregon and there were spiders everywhere. Thousands of them. Crawling on my legs and into my set bag. On top of that, we had to pee in the bushes because base camp was two miles away.”

Brush with greatness: “Recently I did costumes for Untraceable, but I’m not comfortable sharing stories about celebrities because it breaks trust between costumers and the actors we dress.”