Where to Change Clothes When You’re Standing In

By | 2016-12-29T07:29:30+00:00 December 28th, 2016|Concepts, Principles, Tips|0 Comments

You show up to a TV or movie set, ready to work as a stand-in. Then you find out you have to wear color cover — clothing that matches the color your actor is wearing.

And this clothing may just so happen to be something you can’t just throw on — you have to change into it.

Where do you go to change clothes when you are working on set?

Great question! Here are some answers.

Wardrobe Truck

If you are working on location, you may have been handed color cover from staff in a wardrobe truck. This wardrobe truck is likely a large tractor trailer, inside of which are racks of clothing lining the sides.

Often these racks are segmented in such a way that that allow for privacy curtains to be drawn across the central aisle. For example, you might be able to change at the back of the trailer by simply drawing the curtain at the back.

If the wardrobe truck is not busy at the time, changing in the truck may not be a huge issue. Wardrobe may even provide a bag inside which you can hang the clothing you wore to work. But if the wardrobe truck is busy, you may need to change somewhere else.

Background Holding

The next logical place to change into color cover is background holding, which very well may be the place where you reported to work.

Usually in background holding is a designated changing area, like flats or personal tents where you can change in privacy. Given the background holding is supposed to be a secure space, it may be okay to leave any of the clothing you wore to work in holding.

Bathrooms

While it is generally inappropriate on a union set to change in a bathroom, if you’re in a pinch, finding a bathroom in which to change may be your next most viable option.

Bathrooms near holding are one possibility. Another possibility might be a bathroom closer to set. Should you change in a bathroom, keep in mind that others may need to use it — especially if it only serves one person at a time.

Watch for Surveillance Cameras and Paparazzi

If you decide to drop everything and change wherever you are, there may be surveillance cameras that could compromise your privacy. If you are on location, this is probably more of an issue than if you are in a designated changing area at a production studio.

If you are working outside, keep in mind that paparazzi or members of the general public may be able to photograph you, whether it be with a long lens or just a smartphone. Stay away from changing near windows or in areas that are not secure from all sides. While you might be able to have some friends shield you from others on the ground seeing you change, a camera from above may capture everything.

Request a Changing Area

If there are no viable options for changing clothes, ask the background PA, a wardrobe crew member, or the 2nd 2nd AD for a place where you can change.

If they are without ideas, be forward and protect your dignity: Ask to change in an available dressing room. Dressing rooms on location may be available in the honeywagon — which is another tractor trailer that also holds bathrooms.

Conclusion

Finding a place to change clothes on set is a serious consideration. Don’t accept changing out in the open, especially considering the threat of being recorded. If you aren’t provided a dignified place of privacy in which to change clothes, assert yourself and ask for one.

Have any stories about changing into color cover on set? Have any additional advice? Post your thoughts below!

About the Author:

Ben Hauck (Editor, Stand-In Central) has stood in on a number of projects shot in the NYC area. In addition to day-playing, he has stood in on major projects for John Oliver (Last Week Tonight), Jason Bateman (The Longest Week, Disconnect, and The Switch), Jason Sudeikis (Sleeping with Other People), Seth Rogen (The Night Before), and Peter Facinelli (Nurse Jackie and American Odyssey). Ben is an actor and improviser, author of the 2012 book Long-Form Improv (Allworth Press), and host of The Acting Income Podcast. http://benhauck.com

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