Santa Barbara Zoo

Costume Attendant (Seasonal)


Santa Barbara, CA


Full Time

Help make Princess Day a wonderful experience for our guests, staff and volunteers!

If you like taking care of costumes, fitting costume characters in a fun work environment, and you have prior experience doing so: this is a great opportunity for YOU!

This is a part time, seasonal position: February 23-March 12, with event on 3/10 & 3/11

Compensation: $15.00/hour


Job Description


Under the general direction of the Director of Marketing, Marketing Associate and in direct collaboration with the Manager of Volunteer Programs, the Costume Attendant is responsible for selecting, fitting and maintaining and organizing costumes to be used by Zoo staff and volunteers for the Zoo’s special events.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES include the following:

  • Inventory stock to determine types or conditions of available costumes.
  • Inspect and clean and/or sanitize costumes before and after performances and perform any minor repairs.
  • Construct, mend or fix costumes, or send them to tailors for major repairs, or alterations before and/or after events.
  • Collaborate with various staff (e.g. Special Events Coordinator, Show Actors, and Volunteer Coordinator) to discuss and execute costume design details or costume orders.
  • Purchase, rent, or requisition costumes or other wardrobe necessities with manager’s approval.
  • Check the appearance of costumes on stage or under lights to determine whether desired effects are being achieved.
  • Arrange costumes in order of use, to facilitate quick-change for performances.
  • Distribute costumes or related equipment the day of event, and keep records of item status.
  • Review event information to determine costume or makeup requirements.
  • Provide assistance to cast members in wearing costumes properly, or assign cast dressers to assist specific cast members with costume changes.
  • Examine costume fit on cast members and sketch or write notes for alterations.
  • Direct the work of costume support staff and volunteers during events as necessary.
  • Return borrowed or rented items when event is over, and return other items to storage in an organized fashion.
  • Adhere to the Zoo’s policies and procedures as outlined in the Employee Policy Manual.


  • Cross-train other staff as needed.
  • Other duties as required.

Guest Relations

  • Greet every guest with a smile.
  • Thank guests for supporting/visiting the Zoo.
  • Answer phone calls, voice mails, and e-mails promptly.
  • Insure the Zoo’s presentation standards for cleanliness and maintenance are met by keeping work areas clean, picking up trash, reporting unsafe or unsightly conditions.
  • Associate with guests to assist and share information.
  • Respond to all guest inquiries, complaints, and comments according to Zoo guest relations procedures.
  • Maintain a clean neat appearance and adheres to the Zoo’s uniform dress code.
  • Take responsibility to stay informed about happenings at the Zoo, such as reading employee communications and attending meetings.
  • Reflect the qualities outlined in the Guest Relations Statement and the Employee Pledge.
  • Ensure cleanliness of event back stage costuming and make up areas


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.  The requirements and environmental characteristics described below are representative of the knowledge, skill, ability, and working and physical elements required of the position.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Education and Experience:

  • Minimum 18 years of age
  • High school diploma
  • Prior theater and wardrobe/costume maintenance experience

License, Certification, or Preferred Qualifications:

  • Valid driver’s license with good driving record is desirable
  • Successful completion of a DOJ LiveScan background check post offer and prior to event’s training date.

Knowledge, Skills and Ability:

  • Knowledge of costumes in general and basic sewing skills for costume alterations.
  • Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Ability to operate under time pressure in a fast paced environment, with various interruptions and working with different individuals at the same time, with composure.
  • Working knowledge of MS Window, especially Word, Excel.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Effective time management and planning skills. Ability to manage one's own time and the time of others in an efficient and effective manner.
  • Effective oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to  actively look for ways to help people, and be aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do (social perceptiveness)
  • Conflict management skills with the ability to adjust actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Ability to handle stress, and maintain composure: accept criticism and deal calmly and effectively with high stress situations, keeping emotions in check, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Ability to  talk clearly to others to convey information effectively, to give full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Proven team player with strong interpersonal skills, and the ability to relate well to diverse audiences and large groups of people.
  • Ability to interact courteously and respectfully with everyone, as well as the ability to develop friendly and productive relationships at work
  • Ability to gather, analyze and report on data collected.
  • Ability to exercise safe work habits.

Physical Demands & Work Environment:

  • Ability to work effectively in shared open space work environment with frequent interruptions
  • Must be able to lift 20-50 pounds occasionally, and 10 or fewer pounds frequently.
  • Ability to exert some amount of force frequently and constantly push, pull or otherwise move objects, racks and costumes.
  • Ability to kneel, squat, and stand for long periods of time.
  • Ability to keep hand and arm steady while moving the arm or while holding the arm and hand in one position.
  • Ability to operate a variety of office equipment as well as electric carts.
  • Ability to see details at close range within a few feet of the observer.
  • Ability to negotiate the zoo work environment including lawns, gravel, hilltop, and costumes storage area.
  • Ability to work weekends, holidays and day(s) of the event(s).

Tools Used:

  • Standard office equipment, including PC and Windows software.
  • Hand tools
  • Two-way radio
  • Costume racks, hangers, costumes and props
  • Basic sewing equipment (needles, threads, scissors...)
  • Cart

This job description is representative of the expectations of the position described.  Additional duties, reporting relationships, and/or position criteria may be assigned as deemed necessary by the Chief Executive Officer or authorized representative.  No changes to this job description shall be made without written permission by the Chief Executive Officer or authorized representative.

The Zoo reserves the right to revise this job description at any time.  The job description does not constitute a contract for employment, and does not guarantee employment for any specified period of time.  The job description does not in any way alter the at-will employment relationship.

* * * * *

“I have read and understand the terms of this job description.  I understand that measurements and evaluations of my performance in the described position shall be based in part on this job description.”

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