[Above image: Komische Oper: Magic Flute © Iko Freese / drama-berlin.de]
Over the past week, I had the privilege of working alongside my colleague Shannon Murphy and 10 others make-up artists on the highly prestigious world recognised Komische Oper Berlin’s, “The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte). We feel incredibly lucky to have been given this opportunity as it is the first time the Komische Oper Berlin has come to Australia. The show was a part of the Perth Festival playing at His Majesty’s Theatre, led by internationally renowned Australian director, Barrie Kosky.
After arriving at the theatre to set up and be trained by the German team of make-up artists, I was struck by how incredibly skilled and efficient the team were. During the demonstration I noted a few tricks of the trade that the team continued to inspire us with throughout the show run. For example: The way Theresa turned her brush to create the perfect 1920’s eyebrow in one move – this reminded me that no matter how long you’ve been in the industry, there is always something new to learn.
As a wig dresser from the Broadway musical theatre world, I was particularly interested in how they applied the Postiche and wigs. This is where I learnt my most valuable lessons about time management and speed of application. Our team of make-up artists had the responsibility of looking after all of the male cast, utilising 1920’s inspired looks with full Postiche (beard and moustache) application. As in the first picture above, all the make-up and wig application needed to look exactly the same on each cast member for the context of continuity. Shannon and I were filled with questions and took on every new tip with eager enthusiasm.
To see make-up artists from other countries work is such an exciting experience and we had so many questions, like: What are your make-up colleges like and how long do you train for?
The answers were incredible. Imagine as a make-up student having to go to college to learn your craft for 4 years – yes that’s right, 4 years! These make-up artists are skilled, their detail work is amazing and they do not miss a thing. I have to say in my make-up career this was with out a doubt one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.
Never stop learning, always be the student as you will be surprised every time.