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Uniformity

Robin Koob Violinist

Which uniform was the most flattering? I’ve gotten to wear ball gowns for some orchestra performances. The best was one my dad surprised me with when I was about to play my first big show with our university orchestra. Not very like him to buy his girls dresses on the sly, so I’ll always remember it. Which uniform was the worst fit? Lumiere, the candlestick. I was age 11, wearing a skin-tight gold- and black-striped spandex cat suit with giant foam carved hands and a head perilously spray-painted with gold sparkles. I spent five shows singing “Be Our Guest” and can-canning while inhaling the sparkly fumes.

photo: sui

Did you ruin any of these uniforms? How? I was an Ocean City beach tagger for two weeks and not a day more when I was 14. I dare anyone to comb the beaches of New Jersey for eight hours per day in July, telling topless middle-aged dudes to either pay five bucks or get out. We wore gray shirts with the city logo on them and had walkie-talkies (which was cool). By the end, I had second-degree burns on my shoulders and a whole new vocabulary. Which uniform do you feel most sentimental about? Why? The same summer, I switched to a job in the Old Timey Photo Booth on the Ocean City Boardwalk. When things

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were slow, we dressed up in the salt-air infused costumes and took photos of ourselves in ridiculous positions. There was one green half-dress (they all tied up at the back). I hid it in the back so that tourist girls wouldn’t find it. Girls are weird at 14. Tell us a story about wearing a uniform somewhere where you felt out of place. Eighteen, touring Europe with the American Youth Orchestra Burgundy Tour. We played the theme song to Pirates of the Caribbean. We were given bright red blazers, navy pencil skirts and white-collared shirts to wear and strolled down the beautiful streets of Salzburg and Vienna. At our last show, our conductor pulled out pirate hats for us all. America! Which uniform would be considered the least fashionable? When I first came to Beijing, I worked at Wall Street English. Rumors about a mandatory teachers’ uniform floated around the centers for ages. Then one day, we saw one. It was just a sample but it was pretty terrible. I left the company soon after. Thankfully those babies didn’t get through. Catch Robin Koob, Remedios and the Harrodans on Dec 13 at Jiang Jin Jiu.

December 2013

the Beijinger December 2013  
the Beijinger December 2013  

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