• Backstage for Ballet Makeup

    • February 9, 2013
    • Author | Celena Rubin

    Having grown up doing theater from the age of four all the way into my twenties, I spent a lot of time on the stage.  There is nothing else like it. There is a certain kind of energy before each performance as the actors prepare for the performance, dressing in their costumes and continuing their transformation with theatrical makeup.  You can even smell the makeup in the dressing rooms. It’s theater makeup. It’s thick, it’s dramatic, and it’s painted on. New faces are created with this makeup.  And unlike film and TV, once the play has started, there’s no turning back. There needs to be a cohesiveness with the crew and the actors to make the production flow through the entire show without being able to call, “Cut!” and shooting another take. With this team work comes a kind of theater family, and that is what I remember, and that is what I miss.

    Gnome makeup to be applied on the children dancers

    Since I started my school, Art of Makeup, it has been fun for me to teach theater makeup to my students, but it never occurred to me that I would be working in the theater again.  With great fortune, one of my student graduates, Brittany Nowers, connected me to Sara Beukers, makeup artist for the Oregon Ballet Theater, and she has invited my students to do makeup for the upcoming performance of Swan Lake as well as future performances. Recently, she came into my class and taught the 3 looks they will be doing. I was absolutely thrilled to have her, and of course I couldn’t resist to also get involved. I am so excited for this opportunity for my students, but I am also so excited to be backstage again. I can’t wait to smell the makeup!