When it comes to her job, Monique Woods will tell you that her best attribute is her steady temperament. That’s because for the last seven years, the Entertainment Business graduate has been working side-by-side with the principal cast of movies and television shows as the person who makes sure their costumes are ready, appropriate, and consistent from take to take.
“Besides hair and make-up, costumes is the department that works very closely with actors and so we spend a lot of time with them in their personal space,” Monique says. “You end up working with many different personalities and they all need to be handled with grace and professionalism. You have to have the right temperament for that. Luckily, I have a very steady personality, I don’t take things personally, and I can control my emotions very well.”
This, coupled with exceptional organization skills and a great work ethic, has propelled Monique from the costume PA job she started in 2006, to roles as costume supervisor on Lifetime’s Devious Maids and Drop Dead Diva – her current series. Monique has also worked on The Vampire Diaries, Road Trip 2, and The Crazies, as well as the premiere season of Rectify, the Sundance Channel’s first scripted series.
“My main function is to break down the script so the designer and costumers know how many changes the characters have,” she says. “I then create the continuity bible, and also manage the budget – submitting our estimated spending to the producers. Beyond that I make first contact with all of our actors to get their size information, arrange their fittings, and manage the costume crew. It is definitely a job that requires serious multitasking capability.”
Since Monique works freelance from project to project, she’s never sure what kind of opportunity will present itself next. But she’s optimistic about all the filming that’s happening around her hometown of Atlanta thanks to Georgia’s generous tax incentives for filmmakers. “Looking for the next job is always a little bit of a concern, but there are so many movies coming here. At this stage, it has so much to do with the connections you make.”