Pozzo Diaries: Costume

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I hadn’t mentioned Pozzo’s costume here—I probably don’t write enough about costumes considering how much I like dressing up in them. I am, unsurprisingly, wearing most of my own clothes, with the exception of a cream-colored long jacket I wear during most of Act One, and of course a bowler hat. Oh, and the necktie that matches the jacket (and Lucky’s waistcoat) isn’t mine either.

There is an appalling sort of trend in my acting life, where I am cast to play a buffoon (which of course is my forte) and at some point the director or costume mistress decides that my everyday street clothes are the appropriate outfit for my character. My Pozzo outfit is largely indistinguishable from what I wear to work every day. My inappropriately-flirtatious funeral director in Final Arrangements wore an ascot, but otherwise my costume came out of my everyday wardrobe. Polonius? My clothes. Jaques? My clothes. Malvolio? My clothes, plus yellow socks. Aside from the basic point, which is that I do not do theater in order to wear my own clothes, what the director and costumer are signaling to the audience is that the person who wears these clothes is not to be taken entirely seriously. Which, I suppose, is what I am signaling to the world every day. Ah, well.

Lucky’s hat (or rather his Act One hat) is mine also, or more accurately my Best Reader’s. It’s a terrible beat-up old bowler hat, and I don’t really remember why we kept it when we got rid of some of the more costumey pieces (we no longer own a deerstalker or a top hat) that we never wore. At any rate, I brought it in for use as a rehearsal hat, and it became part of Lucky’s actual costume, in large part because it can take an awful lot of damage and look much the same at the end of the night as at the beginning. At the end of Lucky’s tirade, Pozzo “snatches the hat […], throws it on the ground, tramples on it”. There’s actually a nice bit (imao) where I jump on the hat with both feet, and Lucky, who is lying on the ground semi-conscious at the moment, twitches as if he feels the damage to the hat. Then I jump up and down on it three times, to make it sillier and less vicious—I feel like Pozzo needs to straddle the line between being actually terrible and being funny. There are, or should be, moments when his monstrosity is not funny, but then also moments where it should be.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,

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