Sunday, July 18, 2010

Remembering How it All Started


Years ago, when I first started doing stage makeup... well... lets back up.
Back in 1990, a friend of mine called me up and asked if I could give him a hand with a couple of rooms he had at the the Haunted Old Mill. He needed someone who could swing a hammer and I could. As time went on, and as we began to realize that we needed to populate these two rooms with scary monsters... and we had no idea how. So, we went to the library and checked out every book we could find on stage and fx makeup. Then we went to the only shop we knew of to get the stuff described in the books... the Costume Closet. There, I dropped about $200 on cream makeup, latex, blood... lots of blood. The makeup counter used to cover two walls and was terrific. I could buy liquid latex by the gallon... which I did. The people there, especially this one guy... I'm afraid that I can't remember his name... I'd describe what I wanted to do, and he'd tell me how to do it, and what I'd need.
When the Haunted Old Mill was condemned and shut down, all of my makeup supplies went into a toolbox and then into my closet. Occasionally the box would come out on Halloween for my kids, but for the most part it stayed in the closet slowly drying out and aging.
On the rare occasion that I needed new makeup, I would go to the Costume Closet and was distressed to see that the makeup counted, hardly had any makeup available and when they did have what I needed it was as old and dry as the stuff I had in my case anyway.
A couple of years ago, my daughters volunteered me to do the makeup for a musical our church was doing, and so I went back to the library and back to the Costume Closet. The Library worked, the Costume Closet didn't. I ended up buying all of my makeup at another place, and it lacked the magic that it once had.
Now I do about two theatrical productions a year, and am glad to say that the Costume Closet has been bought by a great couple of people who renamed the company to Mask Costume, and have brought the makeup counter (almost) back to it's former glory. And I thank them for that.
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