Saturday, July 13, 2019

"Wig school" was so much fun!

DePaul University's Theater dept. offers a week-long wig styling & maintenance class, which I attended at the end of June.  There were only 7 of us, plus 2 students who worked in the university wig shop and were assisting the instructors.

I was a little intimidated to learn that I was the only amateur in the class.  Everyone else was a theater professional, most of them in some aspect of costuming (cutter, draper, wardrobe) who wanted or needed to learn about wigs because they sometimes got tapped for "wig duty" for one show or another.  Two of us had also taken the wig-making class taught the week before.  I might consider taking it in some future year, but for now this was plenty.

They showed us SO MUCH!  The size curls you get from different rollers, ways to color a wig (temporarily or permanently), how to wash a wig, how to wear and clean the lace on lace-front wigs, how to do your own wefts, how to do fingerwaves, and so much more.  Most of our time, however, was spent on styling wigs - setting the styles, drying them, brushing them out, then styling them.  I wasn't terribly successful - only got 2 right on my first try - but I took a lot of notes on what I didn't like and how to fix it, which is probably more helpful.

It was very productive, in that sense - we each styled at least 5 wigs in just 5 days' time:  an 18th-century man's wig, a modern man's wig, and at least 3 add'l styles (1940s, 1640s, and pre-Raphaelite for me).  I took so many pictures that I actually maxed out the data usage on my phone, for the first time since I got it 3 years ago.

Now I want to re-do some of the wigs I styled for my spring shows - the 1920s curls would look better, the 1780s "hedgehog" wigs would be bigger, bushier, and generally better.  As for the Duke's buckles, well, my first lesson was to use yak hair instead of the slippery, silky, static-y stuff on the wig I was trying to work with.  (Those side curls were the bane of my existence - I had to reset them for every performance!)

Gimme a period show to style, somebody, please!  I'm itching to use all my newfound knowledge! 😁

Another lovely birthday bash

Several years ago we learned that my former pastor and the Chief both have July birthdays, so we started having joint birthday parties.  Sometimes it was just the 3 of us, sometimes more; sometimes we grilled, or cooked in, and last year we experimented with having an Italian place cater it.  (Not bad, but not as good as we'd hoped.)  This year the Chief decided he wanted to host a group for lunch at the Italian place.

Today 10 of us assembled at noon and filled up a round table, so we could all face each other.  The restaurant serves groups of 8+ family style.  This meant that we chose a salad, an appetizer, 2 pasta dishes, 2 meat dishes, and 2 desserts for the table to share.  They brought out 2 plates of each item, with the salad & appetizer coming out together, and starting around the table.  We quickly found that passing the dishes around, and "who wants the last stuffed mushroom?" or "anyone want more lasagna?" only added to the fun.

Not only were we celebrating the 2 birthdays, but 2 of our number were newlyweds, adding to the fun.  M, who's a talented photographer, got pictures of everyone on her phone, including the plate of pretty little cookies w/ lit tapers anchored in a strawberry, presented to each of the birthday boys.

The service was leisurely, which was just fine - we had a group that didn't get to gather nearly often enough, and the new groom was new to most of us, so we had time to get past introductions.

What a wonderful way to pass nearly 3 hours on a perfect summer afternoon - the day was not too hot, the humidity was (finally) low, and there was a nice breeze.  The Chief is already talking about what he wants to do next year - go back to this restaurant, find a different one, or do something here at the house?