Next up, we have NBF’s Costume Designer: Tinea Abdallah!
We met doing plays in College… And then I brought you in for my second film Red Scare to act in. You offered to help make a few of the costumes. Fill me in on the in-between time. When did you go from acting to costume designing?
I have been acting in plays and various other ventures since I was 9. One of the things that people would tell me, time and again, is to have a back-up plan. I love theater and films and the entertainment industry in general, so while my first passion was acting, costumes was my second love. I had already had my hand on sewing and helping out backstage as a stagehand, but I knew if I wanted to be apart of the “business”, I had to have more to offer. So after I graduated college, I went to fashion design school and after you asked me about red scare, I really wanted to dip my feet into getting some real gritty costume work. You said yes and I’ve been on the train ever since.
Do you still have any desire to act, or have you pretty much moved to costume design?
I love acting and have and probably will always feel like I’m an actor, so the desire has never faded, but at this point, the hard truth is I’ve been more successful as a costume designer than I ever was as an actor, so I do concentrate more on that more than anything, but I would never discredit the work I’ve done acting.
You have now down costume design for Red Scare, Yellow Scare, and Monster Mash. Do you have a favorite project? What’s your favorite costume you designed for us?
I feel like I get better with every project and this latest one, Monster Mash, is probably my best yet. I’m excited about some of the elements that are implicated in the project and working with fun stuff like leather and lace is always cool. I wanna do more!
What was the hardest project & what was the hardest costume?
Yellow Scare had me stepping back a few times and question my life choices (lol).I had 26 people to costume, by myself, in 2 or 3 months. Most of those costumes were custom and I didn’t want to disappoint anyone, so I put a ton of time in it. I found some of the Chinese gear the hardest to achieve just for the small aesthetic, like the buttons or the curve off the armhole or position of the pattern, crazy things like that.
You have done period pieces and modern day horror comedies with us in addition to your work at George Street Playhouse… Do you have a favorite era or style of costume to design?
My colleagues and I will always find the 70’s the best era to work with as well as the romantic era of the 1800’s. Two different Dynamics, 100% fun to costume.
You have a full time job as a costume designer for a major Playhouse in NJ. You have two adorable kids. Where do you find the time to work with us????
Sheer will and determination, my friend.(lol) With NBF, I feel like it’s easy cause you guys are practically family. With George Street, I gotta eat! All joking aside, I’m proud of all my work and works I will have in the future, it’s just a nice balancing act I’m trying to pull off.
Are there any types of costumes you want to work on in the future that you haven’t done already?
Yeah, I’m still waiting for Marvel and HBO to give me a call. I’ll be right here when you’re ready, guys!
I’ll be expecting my copy of Entertainment weekly in the mail!