I volunteer alot in the community through out the year when not working on my own personal projects. I find that I am getting busier with each passing year even though last year was going to be slammed and several projects got delayed or fell through completely. I in fact got called upon to help out with Matilda for the Community Players of Salisbury and then got called upon to do Makeups for Legally Blonde Jr with the Ocean Pines Children's Theater. Then I had a small window where I got to clean up after the Ocean City ComicCon and I got to do some makeups for a whirlwind private session. I actually had 3 models to do makeups on and then was tasked with doing the photos when my normal photographer was unable to be there but loaned me the equipment. I learned alot and now have 3 more models who loved the experience. It was fun but a bit frazzling and now I know how to better manage my time and supplies for next go round. I also learned that I need lessons on how to get the best images from a DSLR camera. I am now helping another budding makeup artist learn some simple tricks and tips for her school Fantasy Makeup Challenges which she is probably going a bit more Gore than her school is used to. Realizing that these girls are more versed in beauty makeup than in Special FX we are walking the fine line between the full Gore I could teach her and the simpler quick tricks that most folks learn for Halloween. Mostly because of budget and the fact she has a 1 hour application window that truly limits what she can achieve. Her teacher and former director we have both worked for has also asked me to be on hand behind the scenes to help with basic bald cap applications for Uncle Fester in an upcoming Addams Family school production where she is in charge of the makeups. He also has in mind inviting me to give basic theatrical makeup lecture to his drams classes sometime. Keep good relations and an open ear to any directors you work with. I find that my willingness to work and listen have helped establish a good rapport with most of the directors I have worked with in the past. This has lead to them calling me back each time they have a chance to put on another production. I am flexible and willing to work with other artisit's when scheduling timelines mean I can not achieve everything that is needed. I do still have actors who will either consult with me before going out or ask specifically for me to do their hair or makeup for shows, but I always try to channel the directors vision when I am involved in helping them bring their show to life. This often means that I am around while the cast are rehearsing lines or running scenes. I sometimes will even consult with or help with the wardrobe if they need it for quick changes as it helps me get a feel for the actors and the roles they are assuming. Overall it helps everyone bring the role to life as a cohesive image. So be willing to work but know your limitations. Be open to both give and accept help. I work with adults and children alike who have been doing drama longer than me so I will often step back if I feel the actor knows what to do and how to do it. The director will give us both pointers if he feels we are off track and then we work as a team to find ways to fine tune a look. In working with large groups and small staff this is key to getting everyone out in time. Moving forward I have made new contacts and tenative talks are in the works for additional projects but more on that as they develop. I have a stint as a leprechaun, a comic convention and then a road trip to New York all before Easter roles around with more theatrical productions and face painting work kicks into high gear. That leaves a short respite before Addams Family & Kiss Me Kate theater calls.
Yes not only do we have a new year ,but a new decade has begun. Who knows what trends and fashions will come out on top this year. Are you ready? Are you at least getting prepared to move boldly ahead? With the new year my schedule goes from quiet to crowded quicker every time. Currently I am lined up as Lead Makeup Artist and Hairstylist for 2 theatrical productions. January will find me backstage at the Performing Arts Center of the Roland E Powell Ocean City Maryland Convention Center with the Ocean Pines Childrens' Theater for their production of Legally Blonde Jr. I will also be running things behind the scenes with the Community Players of Salisbury this June as they perform Kiss Me Kate and have graciously asked me once more to be in charge of the hairstyles and makeup for the cast. In between those shows is a big gap which I hope to fill with both completing my courses in Airbrush Makeup and Makeup Mastery with QC Makeup Academy all while also doing several festivals offering Face Painting to the happy crowds of children. While I am still hoping that I will have time to travel and see my old friends and connections all while enjoying helping out charitable events like Scares that Cares Charity Weekend in Williamsburg VA and Salisbury University Student United Way annual Zombie Infested 5K both of which will be this fall. Time will tell what more I can add in between events as I continue to hone my skills. Happy New Year , happy new decade and Happy New You!!
It is no loss of irony to me that here it is just the beginning of June 2019 and I have been invited to create a horde of Zombies and survivors/victims for a Walking Dead themed photo shoot. Never before have my Zombies had to be able to withstand the onslaught of summer heat, daylight and still be worthy of a planned photoshoot. This is also my first time working with a photographer who is more like a director. I have my line up of Zombies to transform as the end result looks he wants for each actor. I will keep you apprised. Meanwhile I have already been informed that another photographer I have worked with in the past as a customer has contacted me for two character costumes and makeups that will be photographed but are being elevated to Brand Ambassadors for some side projects they are developing. There is the busy summer schedule of face painting to be done for block parties and events in the community. Which will lead up to August and my annual trip to Scares that Care Weekend in Williamsburg VA. This year I am proudly volunteering for several events as well as have a special surprises lined up for that weekend, but that part is a secret. I was thrilled to learn that my fall may be even busier as I learned that I will be tapped as an Extra for the production of " To Avenge" due to be filmed here on our humble shores during the fall so that will be squeezed in amongst the normal Harvest & Halloween events to be followed by Float preparations for the Winter holiday parades and parties. I am hoping my schedule allows me to complete my certification in both Airbrush Makeup and Makeup Mastery in time for 2020 but I will keep you posted.
Well after a busy Halloween season full of contests and assignments things usually settle down for the winter ,but my growing list of contacts means that I am becoming more aware of other opportunities to showcase my work. I managed to conclude successfully two touring groups runs of Into the Woods and enter in several costume/makeup contests consistently placing in the top 5 in each event. As spring approaches my schedule tends to fill with both convention events and face painting opportunities which usually transition quickly into fall with yet more contests and possibilities. As a newer artist I welcome the changes as my assignments can range from simple face painting at craft fairs to costume and makeup competitions and seminars at conventions and duties with any one of the local theater companies as they need staff for hair/wigs and makeup. This fall will hopefully see the launch of my work in the new film Making Apes which is currently in post production. I will keep you posted here.
September and October were a blur here. With preparations for Halloween festivities merged with the demands of rehearsals for a community l theatrical production of Into the Woods my time was in high demand. After months of long days and late nights the parties were done and the show was a wrap. I learned alot and made new friends as I flexed my skills to include more hair styling and wig work along with traditional theatrical makeup. Of course my main tasks were helping off stage with the myriad of hair and makeup changes often needed quickly when characters shift roles. But I learned teamwork with the actors and the wardrobe staff really helps make a daunting task more manageable. My director was clear about what he wanted and what he needed changing but he also was open to my suggestions so we worked well. The wardrobe staff were great and most of my actors knew how to do much of their own stage makeup and hair with only suggestions from me. We did have to tweak some things as the show moved from rehearsal to performance but it was a great learning experience. My own character creations turned out well and I managed to fit in a few costume competitions which I placed well in. So I will keep working. Presently I am in a short respite before Holiday Character parades and Christmas Pageants begin. I had reached out to our local children's theater group as well for their production set to open in January. Wondering if I have truly overbooked myself, perhaps the Junior theater may well not need me this show. That being said I am currently free to indulge in private projects or open to bookings after January 20th- until then Happy Holidays to one and all. Michele