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  • Writer's pictureThe Arts VA

Client Stories: Meet... Lee Tassie, Associate Costume Designer

Updated: Jan 13, 2023

At The Arts VA, we are fortunate to work with some wonderfully talented people. In the first of our client case studies, we hear from Lee Tassie about why he needs a VA and what a difference it has made to his working life…

Rolls of coloured thread and buttons on a table

An extremely talented and experienced costume design associate and supervisor, Lee Tassie has worked in the industry for many years, most notably on productions of Miss Saigon all over the world. Currently you'll find him busy getting the costumes ready for the West End return of Joseph.

A busy freelancer, Lee’s been with The Arts VA for three years now. In the first of our client case studies, Lee explains his experience of working with a VA.

Black and white image of Lee Tassie

How did you come to work with The Arts VA?

When Charlie was at Cameron Mackintosh, we worked together a lot on Miss Saigon and Les Miz and we struck up a friendly relationship. I was one of the first people she told she was leaving.

I didn’t know what a VA was so I had no idea how she could help me, but she was marvellous. I didn’t realise how much I needed somebody like that because I’m really busy.

What tasks did you need help with?

The biggest thing for me was deal negotiations. If someone offered me a fee, I didn’t really know if it was good. When Charlie found out, she said she would make sure I was getting the right fees - and she has! She uses her knowledge and experience to help me get the right deal.

Also, what I’m really rubbish at is computers. I’m like Fred Flintstone! I don’t like using them. If there’s any paperwork or anything I don’t understand, Charlie sorts it all out for me and sends it back nicely packaged up. I haven’t got the time or the interest to do that stuff.

A rail of clothes and a jacket being pinned on a mannequin

Does it help having someone to talk to?

It does. I prefer talking about things over the phone than emailing, I think you can express yourself better. Even though I know Charlie is busy she always makes time to speak to me. I like that she adapts to her client’s needs.

What difference has The Arts VA made to your working life?

A big difference. When Charlie is dealing with deal negotiations, she sticks with it no matter how long it takes. She’s like a dog with a bone, she won’t let it go! I don’t have to worry about any of that anymore.

What are the benefits of working with a VA?

I just pay Charlie when I need her, so if I have a quiet few months, it’s nice to know she’s there when things pick up again. I like that I can pick up the phone and ask for her help or opinion. She never says no to anything and we’ve struck up a really good relationship.

Would you recommend a VA?

I recommend Charlie to every single person I know. I sometimes feel like I bother her too much but she is always happy to speak to me. I like working with her, I liked working with her when she was at Cameron. At first I didn’t understand what a VA does, but now it all makes perfect sense!

The Arts News

  • Less than two months to go until Mary Poppins returns! Shows start from the 7th August at London’s Prince Edward Theatre. For a full list of dates head to the show's website.

  • After the news that lockdown restrictions won't be lifted until at least 19th July, Boris Johnson has revealed he is in talks with Andrew Lloyd Webber to help him open Cinderella. What’s On Stage have the full story.

We’d Love to Hear From You!

If you would like to know more about working with The Arts VA, you can contact Charlie on:

  • Email:

  • Mobile: +44 (0)7824 547321

Want to Read More?

Make sure to keep up to date with The Arts VA’s latest news and tips by subscribing to the blog here. If you've enjoyed reading about Lee, you can learn more about some of the other clients we work with in these blogs:


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