Friday, October 15, 2010

Week 5: Entry 3: Dress

Dress rehearsals are like a mini performance, and we were fortunate to have a number of students come along to form an audience. Suddenly the piece sprang into a whole new life. We suddenly were reminded just how funny the play is. Tilly is really quite a quirky character: she has humour and charm, and is touching in her desire to please. While we knew this was latent in the text, it took the live presence of the audience to ignite that dialogue and texture.

Just like tech rehearsals, I love dress rehearsals. There's an excitement and preparatory state, and Miles, Reed and Sabba have been perfect in creating a good, collaborative, working environment. And the Dress rehearsal is about Dress! And I have 6 wonderful costumes, which under the lights look even more impressive than in the fitting room.

Also, there's now hair and make-up. I have a terrific dresser, Myrelle - a Design major - who just knows how to create a perfect dressing room atmosphere. Myrelle has learnt how to do something with my hair to make it look appropriate to the period, and she's a natural. I've also been taught how to create an appropriate amount of dramatic make-up, with the dark German Expressionist eyes and the bright red lipstick. I find it hard to recognise the person looking back at me from the mirror. Myrelle is particularly good at creating a very calm atmosphere. She knows at what time we need to start curling the hair, at what time to step into the costumes (I wear 5 of them all at one time, so once I'm in them, there's no getting out! There's no last minute rush for a pee!). She's great at setting the personal props that are put in pockets in the costumes. She's terrific. And she's never done it before. She intuitively understands the rhythm of the backstage life and the gentle build-up to performance.

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