Make Up Planning and Make Up Rehearsal

We work with student actors who may never have applied stage make up before.  Part of their requirement for acting in a department show is to buy a make up kit, created by Ben Nye.  Make sure your stage manager announces to the cast at first rehearsal they must purchase this kit.

We have instituted the Make Up rehearsal to alleviate the crisis and drama of first time make up application at first dress rehearsal.  One week prior to dress rehearsal, on a Satuday, the actors will come in to the make up room to practice applying their make up using their kit.  You as the costume designer must approve the final make up.

If you require special look or hair style for a character, you must provide a make up design and/ or some research for the actor, and you must purchase the special make up.  The design may be as elaborate as a digital design created in PhotoShop, it may be a Xerox from a make up text book, or it may be a photo of a face you found in research.

If you have elaborate make up or wig effects in your show, you may use part of your costume design budget to hire a make up artist, have wigs styled, or you may recruit a student to design the make up as a portfolio project.  If you would like to do this for your own portfolio, you are invited to do so.

If you require nothing more than straight make up and simple hair styles for your characters, the make up workshop will be relatively simple giving actors pointers on their final look.  You may suggest less or more eyeliner, a different shade of lipstick, etc.

If your show calls for aging effects, please supply a zerox from a text book for the actor and be prepared to answer questions or give minor help.  You are not expected to apply the make up for them, but you will assess whether they’ve created the effect you would like.

Wig Design, Creation and Fitting

We do not yet have a full time wig or make up designer on staff or faculty.

There are several ways you can obtain wigs for your show.  You may hire Peter Hermann from the San Diego Opera, who has agreed to be our unofficial wig designer.  He is patient and a good teacher.  He will think of ways to create affordable looks if you are short on budget.   You must create a line item for his fees and wig rentals from your costume budget.  Many of our shows have been able to afford his services.

Some local community colleges or universities offer hair and make up design.  Their students may be looking for projects to include in their portfolios.  Please talk to Vera about this arrangement for your show.

For contemporary shows, you may purchase wigs or partial pieces at a local wig shop, and ask them to style the wigs.  Contemporary, affordable wigs do not have a lace front, and often contain too much weft to look natural.  Be prepared to thin the hair, or use this method for exaggerated styles only.

You may recruit a fellow or former student with stylist experience to help you as a portfolio project.  You may also choose to save money by doing some styling yourself.

For period shows, you may find wigs in LA and mail order suppliers.  Be very careful with this option, and spend some time researching your options..  If your show demands a large wig design, please consult with Vera or your mentor right away how to achieve this requirement.

This make up rehearsal slot is the best time for wig fittings.  Plan to have your wigs and all necessary supplies by this date.  You may have to help an actor learn how to create pin curls and how to pin a wig into a wig cap.  If you are unsure what to do, please ask one of your fellow TAs to take charge of this aspect of your show as part of their TA duties, or consult your mentor for advice.



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