Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Once upon a time, when I was in Actors Equity (the stage actors' union) and working in Lort theatres, I had a makeup kit. Just the very basics: foundation, eye pencil, some rouge, and a dark lipstick I would sometimes dab on my lips depending on how I was lit. On large stages, at a distance from the audience and under theatrical lighting, theatrical makeup was necessary.
And for greying my hair, when needed: white shoe polish applied with a tooth brush. Seriously. Dab tooth brush in white shoe polish, lift hair, comb from root outward, starting at temples. Tends to dry the hair out but is quite effective on stage.
For a while, I did not act at all. I moved across the country, lost the kit somewhere, and didn't work at all. When I came back into acting, I was a has-been, lucky to work on small stages. I've been on small stages (under 99 seats) for years.
This has required much less makeup. I'm usually very close to the audience and the lighting is not so harsh. Cake foundation, if any; eye pencil; and we're good. Playing Tybalt outdoors this summer, I even got away with eyeliner only:
This winter, however, I have been cast in the ensemble performing Thornton Wilder's Our Town -- the first play to be performed at NMSU's new performing arts center, which features an impressive full-size theatre. I mean, take a look at it!
I haven't been on a stage of that size since, oh... 2004. (My last Equity show, actually.)
Living in Deming, I had to go online to equip myself with proper stage makeup and applicators. A lovely box given to me by a cousin years ago holds it all elegantly. Packing up a new kit has brought on some nostalgia.
At the same time, though, I also remember how much my skin dislikes makeup.
Gonna need some olive oil and hot cloths.