If I worked in the kind of place where I got a desk or a space of my own in which to do my job, all of these things would live in my bottom drawer. As it is, I work backstage and usually put things in a corner. This is my bag which lives at work, and I keep the things I need to do my job inside of it.
Some of these things stay on my body at all times, while others (like the mug and the notebook) are just nice to have.
This is the stuff I always wear: volleyball kneepads (because I kneel often to put on actors' shoes), my knife belt, a pen necklace, and my hip bag. I only wear the wristie when I'm working in the shop- it would get in the way if I wore it backstage.
Before I bought this hip bag, I would use a waiter's waist apron. Some people wear a fanny-pack, or buy something really fancy from Manhattan Wardrobe Supply (the greatest "stuff"-for-clothes store in the world, even if you don't work in a theater), and I believe Makeup artists have a whole other thing going on if they don't have a station for their brushes and palettes. This thing did cost me almost $50, but it's really perfect & has lots of little compartments. Let's take a tour, shall we?
First of all, there's the structure of the bag itself- I can move the two compartments onto my back if I need to crouch, or put one on each hip if I need to sidle past somebody.
I attached a key chain to my safety pins pouch so I can rip it open quickly and easily. My cellphone lives in the zip compartment behind them, since just because I need to run up and down the stairs, doesn't mean I can't look good in a skirt doing it!
The headlamp goes on my head, and I find it infinitely preferable to a bite-light, which is a light you put in your mouth and bite down on when you want it to light up- bad for your jaw AND deeply unsanitary.
For the show I'm currently working on, I also wear a wrist sweatband with french pins and bobby pins stuck in it, as I need to change the actors' wigs frequently.
Inside the pouches on one side I keep my run sheet full of instructions given to me by the Wardrobe Captain, a moleskine for doodling & writing grocery lists, and a spiral-bound notebook of index cards which I can tear out and put in.... the binder.
In the other pouch is the binder itself, my most precious totem. I keep all of my notes on what I need to do each show inside this. Although I generally have the order of things memorized after a week or so, it's nice to have a reminder of what I'm doing when I get back from my days off, and a place to keep all of the little extra notes I might accumulate that don't fit on a run sheet.
The binder came about when I got very jealous of the stage manager's binder, but knew it would be ridiculous for me to carry a standard 8 x 10 binder around backstage- I would inevitably put it down somewhere silly & forget about it. I came across this little gem in Staples and have been using it ever since. A binder is better than a sheet of paper or a notebook because during tech week, things change over and over, and a page with twenty cross-outs is very difficult to read. With a binder, if the order of something changes I can swap around the order of my cards.
So there you have it! My work life in a bag. What are the things you use every day for your job? And what do you always keep inside your bag? I'm nosy & want to know!