Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Das Opera

Have you ever been filled with so much awesomeness that you can’t stand it? Today was my Robo-Makeover – the day I got to be transformed into the Olympia doll!

I adore our wig and makeup ladies: Ronell Oliveri, our Emmy-nominated Wig and Makeup Designer and Sarah Opstad, our Associate Wig and Makeup Coordinator. (Curious about how our wigs are made? Read the entry from The Pearl Fishers blog.) Not only were they as psyched to make me over as I was, but they’re really helpful. AND they let me videotape it!

The process was both more and less complicated than I expected. First Sarah pincurled my hair and fitted me with a stocking cap. Then she put the gold makeup on the lower half of my face and painted my lips with a bronze color. (The makeup is a brand called Krylon Aqua Color – just in case anyone wants to replicate the Olympia look.) Then she put the headpiece on my head, pinned it, and Velcroed the gold mask to the headpiece.

It seems simple, but I was immediately struck by a few things. One, gold is surprisingly my color. Two, Pam Armstrong is a superhero. She must be, to wear the headpiece (which was pretty bulky and heavier than I expected) and the outrageous doll costume. Don’t get me wrong – I would steal that green dress in a heartbeat. It’s gorgeous. But the skirt is four feet wide! I didn’t even put on the dress and still had new appreciation for what Pam has to go through. The mask also has these gigantic fake eyelashes, which look really cool, but took some getting used to. I can’t imagine wearing all that AND acting AND singing. Ergo: Pam is a superhero.

Once we finished the video, Ronell helped me take the wig and mask off and I proceeded to scrub off the makeup. Since Pam will be playing four different characters, she has four different sessions in the makeup chair – in one night! So she has to get made up like Olympia, scrub it all off, get made up like Antonia, scrub it all off, get made up like Giulietta, scrub it all off, and get made up like Stella, and scrub it all off. Whew!

I found out this show has the longest run sheet of almost any opera we’ve ever done. What’s a run sheet, you say? Excellent question! A run sheet gives the production cues. A wig and makeup run sheet, for example, lets the wig and makeup gals know who needs to look like what and when. The run sheet for this show is 37 pages! To put that into perspective, the run sheet for The Pearl Fishers was only 4 pages. Not only is there a large cast, but there are several cases of multiple roles per artist, so the cast goes through a lot of makeup and time.

But it’s all worth it on Opening Night to see everyone’s jaws drop. I can’t wait.

And if you can’t wait to see my transformation, check out the video:

See you next Friday – you’ll get to hear all about the final dress rehearsal!

1 comment:

San Diego Opera said...

And you didn't dance the robot!!??? Seemed like a missed opportunity...