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Nikki Solomon ’17 worked alongside singer Taylor Swift’s wardrobe crew

Nikki Solomon ’17 worked alongside singer Taylor Swift’s wardrobe crew

Otterbein Theatre’s reputation for professionalism and production excellence leads many graduates to find success on or behind the screen or stage post-graduation. That same stellar reputation can also lead to unique opportunities for students while still in school.

When singer Taylor Swift’s tour made its way to Columbus for two nights at Nationwide Arena on Sept. 17 and 18, her crew was in need of additional help with wardrobe for the backup dancers and singers. They called Otterbein Costume Shop Supervisor Julia Ferreri, who recommended Nikki Solomon ’17 for the position.

“It was pretty insane,” said Solomon. “I’ve never seen or worked for a show that big before. There was so much going on all the time backstage. I never thought I would get to do something like this.”

Solomon even had one moment with Taylor Swift, although it could have gone in an entirely different direction.

“I was carrying a stack of coats that I couldn’t quite see over and I almost ran right into her,” explained Solomon. “I gave her a ‘my bad’ wave and she smiled and waved back at me as she went down the hall.”

The junior art major spent last summer as the wardrobe master for all of the Otterbein Summer Theatre productions. Solomon was able to use her summer experience and education to work with Swift’s crew seamlessly.

“My responsibilities and duties with the concerts were very similar compared to Otterbein Theatre. The big difference was just the scale of everything. Instead of ironing only four costumes for a show, I ironed three back-up dancers’ costumes for six hours straight,” said Solomon. “I worked two 12-hour plus days in a row, but it was an amazing experience.”

Besides ironing, Solomon made sure each of her assigned dancers could get through their four or five costume changes during the concert as quickly as possible backstage. She helped navigate all the differently place zippers and difficult shoe clasps and ties. Working around the main lift that propelled Swift and other performers up to the stage above proved to be one of biggest obstacles, but it was nothing Solomon couldn’t handle.

“In professional theatre and stage production, professionalism and being able to adapt to any situation is really important. Otterbein really prepared me in these areas and I truly appreciate all I had learned leading up to this moment.”


Learn more about Otterbein’s Department of Theatre and Dance.

See what’s coming to the Otterbein Theatre Stage this season.