Andrea Berting is a Chicago-based costume designer and technician, as well as the Assistant Wardrobe Supervisor at Drury Lane Theatre. Most of her design work is in the world of burlesque. Favorite design credits include THE BUTTCRACKER: A NUTCRACKER BURLESQUE (Tom Boi Theatricals/The Cuckoo’s Theater Project); GHOSTBUSTY: A GHOSTBUSTERS BURLESQUE and DD7 IN THUNDERBALLS: A JAMES BOND BOYLESQUE (Gorilla Tango Burlesque); and PETER PAN: THE BOY WHO HATED MOTHERS (Stage B Theatre Company). Andrea also designs for several independent burlesque performers around Chicago. She would like to thank Marc for inviting her to join this project!
TCTP: In the play, Megan learns about Japanese Mizuko shrines. What is one of your favorite myth/story/belief from another culture or religion?
AB: I'm Polish on my mother's side, so recently I've been reading about Polish mythology and folklore. One of my favorites recently is the Rusalka, which is sort of a Slavic mermaid/succubus. Rusalka are thought to be the spirit of young women who died tragically (often by drowning) and haunt waterways. They seduce young men to lure them into the water, and drown them after entangling them in their hair.
TCTP: There are multiple times in The Water Children when Megan is at a loss with what to or where to go. Have you ever felt lost or adrift?
AB: Of course. I think everyone has at some point. I made the decision to change my career path about five years ago, and have only found solid footing in my new direction within the last year or so. That feeling of uncertainty was scary, but so worth it once I found my way.
TCTP: Every character in this play shares their opinion and gives advice, whether it's asked for or not. Do people often come to you for advice? Or are you the one who seeks advice?
AB: I must come across as particularly trustworthy, because I find that people will often share very personal information and ask me for advice fairly quickly after meeting me. I like to think I'm a good listener and a compassionate person, so I'm happy to lend an ear whenever I can.
TCTP: The play kicks off with Megan taking an acting gig that she is not exactly thrilled about. What’s a terrible job you had to take, theatre related or otherwise?
AB: I suppose I didn't HAVE to take it, but during college I worked at a chain restaurant (that I will not name specifically) when I was home for summer and winter breaks. I had to wear a men's XL uniform shirt because it was the smallest size they had when I started - for reference, I normally wear a women's medium. The management was disorganized, the music I had to listen to all day was annoying and terrible, the customers were rude, and I went home every night smelling like grease and despair. My best friend worked there with me, and when we both decided to quit for good we burned our training menus and uniform shirts in my backyard. I think still have my name badge somewhere, though.
Come see Andrea's work in The Water Children, running June 10 - July 8 at The Vault at Collaboraction Studios in the Flat Iron Arts Building
Get Tickets Here: http://waterchildren2017.brownpapertickets.com/