Saturday, May 3, 2008

Make-Up with Mrs. Hall

On the 23rd of April, the same day that we went to the theatre to watch Schnee, Mrs. Hall, a make-up artist from the BBC, ran a workshop with us about how to apply stage make-up.

She started off by explaining how effective make-up can be in theatre and briefly explained how it is used to accentuate or manipulate different aspects of a character, for example, age or tone.
We began by off by choosing a shade of foundation to attempt to match our skin. Mrs. Hall explained that the foundation must be applied everywhere on the face, including on the eyelids and over the lips. She pointed out that if you start at the middle of your face and spread it outwards then you won't end up with contrasts around your hairline. Unfortunately, I went a little overboard and looked like I had come straight from the film Troy, minus the muscles - in other words, I had picked a shade a lot darker than my actual skin colour. However, Mrs. Hall explained that this was fairly irrelevant.

Once we had applied the foundation we could then add character. We talked a lot about the eyes and Mrs. Hall went around the room examing people's eyes and the effect that inset or outset eyes had in the theatre. For example, Paul had fairly inset eyes and this can be seen as sinister. By creating shadows or adding light (using dark and light make-up) we can manipulate the eyes and thus manipulate the character. Personally I found it very difficult to apply make-up to my eyes and although I hadn't done so bad on the one eye, the other one looked completely different because firstly I am a novice at applying make-up and also because I have some sort of dyslexia for constructing symmetry.
After the eyes we learnt how to add "racing stripes", as she called them. These stripes, however, had no relation to speed or racing. They are the shadowey grey lines that are applied under the cheek bones to accentuate the cheek bones. The effect of this can be to add beauty, to add age, or to establish a malnutritioned or underfed appearance. To apply these racing stripes we were instructed to suck in our cheeks [seen left on Fritz]. This clearly displays the outline of your cheek bone, thus making it easier to follow it when you apply the make-up. However, this didn't seem to make things any easier for me and my racing stripes just looked like dirt that was smeared on my face. It was meant to look something like the picture seen right of Rosina.

We then quickly went over applying blush to create a healthy looking character. It can also create beauty in females. This was fairly simple to apply and once applied, one looks just as pretty as Fritz, shown left.

The workshop carried on a little bit longer into our lunchtime. However, Claire and myself had an extended essay meeting and had to miss the last part. I quickly ran to the bathroom and removed the make-up with soap and water and drying my face aggressively with paper-towels. I think this was probably a very ineffective way of removing make-up. Even though most people did not notice the remains of the make-up on my face, it made my face irritant and was really itchy. It also made the make-up run into my eyes and they were sore for the rest of the day.
I feel a lot more confident about stage make-up through this experience and can provide help when deciding what make-up to apply to a character. However, my ability to apply the make-up itself is poor and should probably be left to a girl with a lot more experience.


jmriley said...

No way! you do your own face, mate!

Brett said...

Interesting Write Up!
Skin Brushing