Having the chance to work backstage of any theatre production is a great opportunity for any makeup artist, however to work backstage in a full scale musical theatre production of We Will Rock You in one of WA’s most prestigious venues is an amazing opportunity!
Through our industry contacts, TSA College of Creative Arts was able to secure the opportunity to take a group of Diploma Screen and Media students to His Majesty’s Theatre to be the Makeup Artists to the cast.
We Will Rock You is a musical based on the songs of British rock band Queen with a book by Ben Elton. The musical tells the story of a group of Bohemians who struggle to restore the free exchange of thought, fashion, and live music in a distant future where everyone dresses, thinks and acts the same. Musical instruments and composers are forbidden, and rock music is all but unknown. With a cast and crew of over 100 people this is the largest production that TSA College of Creative Arts has been a part of. Local Perth-onalities in the production included Courtney & Chris Murphy, Dean Misdale (AKA Feminem) with national treasure Normie Rowe as special guest. Opening Night was electric and the cast were treated to Ben Elton himself attending!
The production already had a makeup designer that chose bright and graphic designs for the cast, but it was identified that many of their cast lacked the experience of applying these designs, so this is where our students experience was able to be utilised.
We tried and tested the designs for 4 dress rehearsals in the theatre before opening night and where able to identify any changes that were required due to the addition of stage lighting that altered the look of the makeup. We also had to track our timing of the makeup to ensure that we were able to get all applications done on the cast prior to their vocal warm ups and Directors notes that happened prior to the beginning of the show.
Everything ran incredibly smoothly for the makeup artists however on one night (in true backstage drama) a lead character could not continue into the second act due to illness and the Understudy was called in. The intermission was delayed while the Understudy performer vocally warmed up, was costumed, wigged and makeup applied in less then 20 minutes (The makeup alone for this character usually takes and hour). Unless you have been in this position before you will not understand the pressure that you are faced and we are proud to say that our students approached this with a sense of calm and urgency that I would expect of a professional make-up artist!
TSA College of Creative Arts prides itself on being able to provide our students with many Work Experience opportunities throughout the duration of the Diploma of Screen and Media and this has been an amazing opportunity for our students to be a part of a sell-out performance.
Manuao Te Aotonga