When I’m putting on a show, I demand only the best from all involved. No surprise there! However, I usually go a step further, in that everyone must audition. The stagehands, the people working in the ticket office, the people selling popcorn and ice-creams…everything has to be the best of the best! Oh, I don’t care if one of the makeup artists is ill and your best friend did this amazing makeup and beauty therapy diploma in Brisbane, home of stellar makeup services. No sir. I don’t even care if it’s opening night; one weak link can bring the entire thing crumbling down!
Of course, that means I have to be completely fair and impartial. If I allow my abundant emotions to interfere with the process, then I will have failed both myself and the show. It even applies to non-shows, particularly where makeup is involved. One time I was called in to choreograph a fight scene between two Victorian gentlemen for a period pieces. The scene would be opening with them already engaged in combat, the noble-yet-forgotten art of Bartitsu. Naturally, I had to research. Not only did I have to nail the moves, I had to give great thought to the state of their being. Was one person winning? Given their level of skill, who would be more likely injured? And would the environment affect the level of makeup? Eventually I made detailed sketches of how I wanted their faces to appear- one with a gash on his cheek, the other smeared in a very distinctive pattern of mud- and gave it to our resident makeup artist so that there would be no confusion.
And then there WAS confusion, since unlike me, these people did not hold lengthy auditions. This girl had done no makeup artist courses, in Melbourne or otherwise. She botched the design and the men looked like they’d been wrestling pigs. See, this is why you need professionals!