Sunday 9 September 2012

London 2012!!

I hope you all enjoyed the Olympic experience as much as I did. Did any of you make it into the Olympic Park or any other venues? The Park is just fantastic and the atmosphere in that stadium like nothing else I've ever experienced. I felt incredibly privileged to be in there during rehearsals for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and got such a buzz just walking into work each day. I won't bore you all silly with stories but wanted to share just a couple of my highlights with you, I'm sure you all have your own!

Setting up on the day of the Closing Ceremony
My role was Assistant Costume Supervisor which is a job quite hard to describe! It involves a whole lot of different things but basically the Costume Supervisor's role is to supervise the realisation of the designer's ideas. This involves arranging and supervising the makers and construction process, sourcing fabrics, running fittings, arranging costume hires, buying footwear, accessories, underwear and generally doing anything necessary to ensure everything looks it's best on the night. With 24,000 costumes across the four ceremonies, that was quite a task! On the nights of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies I was responsible for dressing the Headline Talent which was quite an exciting experience in itself. It was very surreal being in a green room with all those famous names.

That's my arm in the background! Photo from Jessie J's Twitter
Another famous face I will never forget my encounter with was Prince Charles! Along with the Duchess of Cornwall he visited our costume workshop for a tour in the run up to the games and I was lucky enough to have a chat with the man himself. This picture of me was even on The Telegraph website!

Photo: PA The Telegraph
A personal highlight for me was the open day when we could invite family to come into our costume workshop and help make some of the costumes! My Nan, Sister and Stepdad came along and had a fantastic time helping construct the wings for the light up Dove Bikes at the end of the Opening Ceremony. My Nan and Sister enjoyed some hand sewing while may Stepdad took on the more manly task of installing fibre optics! It was so fantastic to be able to show them where I was working and what I was up to.

My proud Nan with her completed tail feather!
The one disadvantage of my job was that I didn't actually get to see pretty much anything in the way of sporting activity during the games, even on the TV. I'm thoroughly enjoying being home during the Paralympics, I don't think my TV's been off the Channel 4 coverage once since the start! However, I did get to share one amazing moment with 80,000 people during the Olympic Games. Mo Farah winning gold in the 5000 metres! During the games we were working partly in the park but in the costume compound situated just outside the stadium, preparing for the closing ceremony so we could hear the crowd but not see the action. However, on this one occasion we stole the opportunity to run down inside one of the tunnels and cheer on Mo. And cheer we did! I have never heard a noise like it, following the athletes around in an involuntary mexican wave and rising to an absolute crescendo on the final lap. The entire crowd were on their feet and physically jumping up and down. Definitely an experience not to be forgotten.

Mo on his lap of honour
Even discounting these few amazing moments the entire experience was incredible, I had to kick myself a few times every day and even now it's hard to believe it all happened. There was a fantastic buzz surrounding the whole ceremonies team that just grew and grew the closer we got to 27th July. Being in the voms of the stadium on the big nights was brilliant. The cast were all whooping and clapping, cheering each other on before their big entrance. The experience of the ceremonies themselves were more than a little bit emotional if I'm honest! I lost count of the number of times I saw the costume team cry as those chimneys went up during rehearsal! 

Action in the vom during the Opening Ceremony
I hope you've all got some great memories of the Games too, I'm so sad it's nearly all over!

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