Teaching as a Theatre Artist
I have always enjoyed teaching, and now that I have my MFA I am qualified to teach at the collegiate level. This excites me and opens up some fun opportunities like the one I was able to have teaching a wig workshop in Virginia.
When I was working towards my masters degree I worked at Virginia Shakespeare Festival for two summers. While there I worked as the cutter/assistant designer and formed a close relationship with my work team and designer. She happens to be the head of the costume department at a Virginia university. Before graduating a design opportunity was offered to me, but unfortunately I was still in classes and the timing was not going to work out. After graduating I was approached again, but this time to come and teach a workshop on one of my other passions, wigs.
There was a small class of students learning to style wigs as a semester long class, but my workshop was to be a supplement to their course. I would teach ventilating, which is something I enjoy doing. I spoke with the designer and shop head and we created a weekend workshop to introduce students to theatrical hair ventilating and construction. I had a blast teaching.
"I can do that"
After finishing up my summer stock contract, I was just moseying around my apartment, packing for my big trip across the pond. I had some extra time with nothing really to do, so I reached out to some local overhire opportunities as well as some of the theatres I used to work for to see if they had any job I could do.
Lo and behold, one did!
The Omaha Community Playhouse was one of the first places I worked after graduating from undergrad. I enjoyed the people and theatre there very much. They were one of the places I contacted, and they snapped me up very quickly. Originally I went in just to bring to life some of their older Christmas Carol wigs (they were balding and needed some ventilating).
Once I was there working, the resident designer asked if I would style some wigs for the upcoming musical, Sister Act. I said, "I can do that!"
Next I was asked by the associate designer to style a wig for her show, To Kill A Mockingbird. Again, I said "I can do that!"
It is important to me to say "yes" as much as I can. That small little word opens so many doors and opportunities. Not only did I style the wigs for Sister Act, but working with the designer, she had me design then as well. This lovely design credit and experience would never have happened if I had not have said "yes".
For all of you who have ever wanted to style a wig for a costume, cosplay, or show, below is my VERY simplified basic four steps for creating a bun updo with a lace front real hair wig.