Pulling Back the Curtain: Get Your Wig On

Wig Room (L)

The Hair and Make-up Room at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company during “A Christmas Carol” (2014).

When people think of the backstage world, they usually envision a dressing room door with a gold star and “Mrs., Ms., or Mr.” with a celebrity last name. Tell them the words “Hair and Make-up” and the response is filled with fascination at being a personal hairdresser to the stars. While most assume this career would be filled with glamour, the reality is that working in the Hair and Make-up Department isn’t like working as a cosmetologist in a salon. After exclusive interviews with Hair and Make-up Designers and Assistants for theatre and film, I have great respect and a deeper understanding for this department, their artistry, and their craftsmanship at helping an actor develop their character. Want to learn more about this industry? Then travel with me as I go behind the stage curtain to reveal the skills, talents, and reality of those who work in Hair and Make-up. Continue Reading ›

A Look Through Lashes

Nick’s long ebony upper eyelashes with a hint of cerulean and gold flicker and wait with a sigh for lower eyelashes to be carefully attached with a thin layer of glue.  His hazel eyes blink a few times, anticipating the possibility of being glued together and then look down at me as I carefully hand over a pair of black sequin boots with six inch heels.  This scenario is anything but a wildly unbelievable dream; it has been my reality for the past seven and a half weeks dressing actors for The Legend of Georgia McBride, a play about drag shows.  Night after night, a vast amount of long elegant lashes are applied to be a sign of dramatic feminine beauty, but I wonder, how can it be beautiful when you’re an actor carrying around the weight of a heavily padded fat suit, a dress with turquoise sequins that scratch at your arms, and platform boots in which you have walk with confidence?  Plus, you can’t forget about the microphone decorated with pink foam and rhinestones to look like a penis that’s stuffed in the rear of your costume.  It’s a constant reminder of the old adage, “Pain is beauty,” as you sit down with your ass against the microphone every night for layers of rose-colored blush, ice blue eye shadow, and magenta glittered lip powder to be applied.  Is the exotic and exaggerated make-up what exemplifies the persona of a woman?

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