Lisha’s Artifact 4

Lisha 4

This mustache represents one that Arthur Narracott, the father, would have worn. Makeup, facial hair, and prosthetics can enhance any actors appearance for any show.

Darren Jinks, a wig master at L.A’s opera said it best. “It doesn’t always have to be spectacular to give a ‘wow’. It just has to pull the audience in and also give an artist the sense that they’re part of that time period and feeling within that world that’s being created on stage.” [1]

In the case of Warhorse that is precisely the case. While this show is not a heavy makeup piece, the audience still needs to believe that they are in a different time and place. Makeup, and other various advances in technology, help the actor change appearance. This in turn helps the audience transport to another world. This is what audience connects with and remembers. They leave the theatre feeling as if they were transported in time.

Warhorse takes place around the time of the first world war, which brings a whole new problem to a makeup artist. Depending on the severity of wounds and such, prosthetic pieces can be used. The use of prosthetics was pioneered by a makeup artist by the name of Dick Smith. He was one of the first people to use a prosthetic piece in “quick change” environment. With technology like this, actors have to limit to how they present themselve to an audience.

Makeup in a show like this is fairly simple and should remain so. But it should also enhance the period piece. It should help, not hinder. It should be fun and experimental, not a chore. Makeup and prosthetics are forever changing and getting better. Makeup will always be a medium for creativity and change. With this medium as well, actors can present themselves in a more true and accurate way.

[1] www.stage-directions.com Transporting Effects Jacob Coakley Issue 1. June 2013.

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