Shannon Fennell's Blog

My life, art, travel, make-up, cooking and the occasional rant!


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Les Miserables

First week of Les Miserables is now history here in Grande Prairie… FOUR standing ovations!

This is an amazing production full of stunning talent and absolutely phenomenal performances.  If you are local, and enjoy music, you do NOT want to miss seeing this show.  Tickets are still available for some performances through Grande Prairie Live Theatre.

I am the Make-Up and Hair Coordinator/Designer for the production and with my crew of nine we are doing the hair and make-up for 60 cast members.  Cast members are also helping out when necessary – and I thank them all!

With a production of this size there are many changes throughout the show – chorus members play multiple roles that require make-up, hair and costume changes.  Beards on, dirty, then beards off, clean them up, then pretty them up, put on a wig, take off a wig, etc.  We have to keep some hair and make-up crew members available right to the end, and wait to get all the wigs back before we can leave.  Once the initial rush is over some of the make-up crew leaves and others take turns staying to the end (except me, I’m always there and Marg who takes care of hair and wigs.)

Here are some photos from the show taken by the producer at dress rehearsal (not in any particular order):

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And these were taken by Beauchamp Photography:

This one is the set as viewed from the balcony – way, way up.

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Master of the House…

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And these are my shots of make-up as we’ve been working – I have charts so the crew can follow what each actor needs done, so I take photos of each time so I can choose the best looks.

This is my initial make-up for Javert – I’ve since darkened up the aging to read better on stage (the lighting is “atmospheric” and we need more contrast for it to show):

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One of the convicts from the opening number… he has to quick change to be the Factory Foreman:

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Madame Thenardier – she doesn’t like having her teeth stained, that’s what that expression is about!

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Madame Thenardier all dolled up for the Wedding.  Her moles move about, never the same place twice.

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Some “lovely” ladies (I have to admit this is loads of fun…):

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Someone made a comment that the Lovely Ladies could be zombies too.  Yeah, I can see that.

The show runs until February 21st!

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Winnie the Pooh and Tigger too!

This is the final weekend for The House at Pooh Corner at Grande Prairie Live Theatre.  The show is really excellent – great set, great actors, great costumes, and ahem, great make-up, of course.

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Piglet, Pooh, Kanga, Tigger, Eeyore and Owl.

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Kanga, Roo and Tigger.

Still time to get tickets for the three remaining matinees!

Monday night is first dress rehearsal for Les Miserables… stay tuned for photos!


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I’m recruiting!

I have a couple of productions coming up for Grande Prairie Live Theatre and I need people for the make-up/hair crew.  These are volunteer roles, but great for learning about theatre and make-up/face painting.

The first production is “The House at Pooh Corner” which will be at Second Street Theatre and runs Jan 16 to Feb 1.  Dress rehearsals are usually the Mon/Tues of opening week so that would be Jan 12/13 but needs to be confirmed.  The make-up for this show will be face painting.  There are two shows on Saturdays and one show on Sunday, as well as Friday evening.  On Saturdays we usually do full application for the first show and then one person sticks around to touch-up for the second show.

I am also recruiting make-up crew for “Les Miserables” which will be running at the College theatre Feb 5-21 (Thur/Fri/Sat evenings), with rehearsal and timing test for crew on Jan 18, and dress rehearsals on Feb 2 & 3. It is a huge cast, with lots of changes (beards, moustaches, wigs, and multiple role playing). Call time is to be determined based on the Jan 18 timing test – estimate at this point it could be 5 p.m.

If you are interested contact me by comment or via Facebook ShannonFennell.MakeUp

Feel free to share if you know people who might be interested. No professional experience or training is required (but it is helpful!) just an interest and good attitude.


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Well, 2014, it’s been swell…

Let’s have a look at the major highlights in my world, of 2014:

January 2014

We had a massive amount of snow to deal with last winter – had to pay a guy to clear the roof, and it kept coming.

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I was hired to do some body painting for a couple of club servers for a theme night at their club – the theme was “Safari.”

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Private customers for Mardi Gras themed fundraisers too.

February 2014

The body painting continued with painting a statue for a play at GPLT, “The Shape of Things.”  It was a great gig as painting the same thing so many times usually doesn’t happen.  Each night was a little different.

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Also face painted at Family Day at Muskoseepi Park, and at the Timbits Jambouree.

March 2014

I took a henna workshop with Michelle Forrester of Fairie Girl Henna in Beaverlodge.  It was fun, but I won’t be adding it to my own business.

Was getting ready for “Macbeth” – I got to create the head for the final scene.

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And do the make-up and hair – I concentrated on the Witches and my crew handled the rest.

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April 2014

Macbeth wrapped up at the theatre and I was busy with Easter face painting and the Swan Festival.

Marilyns granddaughter

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She’s crying because she wanted mustard on her hotdog.

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May 2014

At GPLT we were doing “The Wind in the Willows” so designs were created and painted for each performance.

Badger

Badger

Mrs. Churchmouse

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Groundhog

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Also did some fashion make-up, contouring and age make-up for a disguise for private clients.

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June 2014

In June mom and I drove down to Calgary for a week to see Cher & Cyndi Lauper.  It was a nice trip, fairly straight line too.

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These two theme cars were at the dealership next to our hotel in Calgary.  I am partial to the Spider-car.

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July 2014

Painted some dinosaurs for the Canada Day Parade, then spent a lot of the month building a dinosaur myself.  Even booked a week off from the day-job to get it built.

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It was a long hot summer so the garden looked nice.

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Painted at Muskoseepi Park for Canada Day with a crew of ten.

August 2014

Finished building my Pachyrhinosaurus, and body painted for the Amber Ball.

Got my photo with Dan Aykroyd!

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And with Philip J. Currie!

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September 2014

Painted at the Wembley Demolition Derby. Then built a Tyrannosaurus Rex to match with my Pachyrhinosaurus for the Wearable Art Show at the Centre for Creative Arts.

They were left on display at the Centre for Creative Arts.

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October 2014

Ah, October… my favourite month.

This year I had back-to-back Frozen themed birthday parties.  I don’t mind the princesses but I never, ever, ever want to see that snowman again!

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And, of course, Halloween!

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Always fun!  This year my clients won three contests: Scariest Costume, Best Male Costume and Sexiest Costume.

I face painted at Muskoseepi Park’s Halloween Spooktacular, and the GP Museum’s Spooks and Stooks.

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November 2014

The weekend of the 9th our hot water tank flooded our basement – as of today, STILL waiting for the restoration company to show-up to assess the damages.

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Christmas party bookings started up and planning for upcoming shows.

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December 2014

Christmas parties, and more Christmas parties. And getting ready ourselves.

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And for the first time I will be face painting on New Year’s Eve down at the First Footings Celebration at Muskoseepi Park.

As usual there were lots of birthday parties and events booked throughout – by this time of year it is all a blur.  I enjoy all of them a great deal – I am very lucky to be able to do what I love do and get paid for it!

On the home front lots of frustration – we have had to replace mom’s full time aide repeatedly.  We are on full timer number six in 2014 right now.  Things are good so we hope this one will stay.  Our part timer is coming up on a year with us in January.

In the new year mom is having cataract surgery on both eyes and she hopes to be reading Stephen King to herself soon, again.

I’m planning to get a store set-up online to sell my e-book and other items – there is a learning curve so it may take a bit of time for me to figure it out.  I’ve got the site but need to populate it and figure out the processing side of it.

Happy New Year to everyone – all the best for 2015!

 


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I’ve received an award

A major award!  And no, not this one…

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… although that one did arrive in a box marked “Fragile”.

I was named the recipient of the 2014 Jennie Tetreau Award is for Long Term Outstanding Service by Grande Prairie Live Theatre at their Annual General Meeting yesterday.

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The criteria are: 1) continuous involvement in the activities of Grande Prairie Live Theatre over a period of five years or longer. Or, 2) an unselfish commitment of time and energy in a variety of capacities such as, board member, producer, director, actor, stage manager, production assistance or fundraising. Or, 3) recognized and respected for their contribution among members of Grande Prairie Live Theatre and in the broader community of Grande Prairie and Alberta.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to be there as I had a birthday party booked for the same time as the meeting, but I picked up my plaque this afternoon.

I got involved with GPLT shortly after we moved up here to Grande Prairie.  The first show I worked on was Love Letters in September 2000 so that is exactly 14 years ago.  During those years I have been involved with 71 shows as make-up/hair lead, 7 shows as an actor, 1 as costume designer (along with assisting with costume and props on several others) and I also served a term on the Board of Directors.  I had to go and count the number of productions I’ve been involved with… I have to say I am impressed, I didn’t realize how many there have been to-date!

I love working in theatre – I get a chance to be creative, to interact with a wide variety of people, to make friends, to have fun and to challenge myself.  And there is the immediate reaction to your work in theatre – you know if the audience likes it right away,  unlike film or editorial work where sometimes you never see the final result.  GPLT has given me the opportunity to really utilize my training and skills – from historical period plays requiring powdered wigs like The Miser and She Stoops to Conquer, to designing all the costumes for Charlotte’s Web and working with my mom to create them all, to making Macbeth’s and Dracula’s decapitated heads, to creating the characters from the Jungle Book and, my favourite so far… CATS!

I am looking forward to this season too – I’m booked for Les Miserables, The House at Pooh Corner and Cards on the Table.

I am truly honoured and pleased to be included with the past recipients of the award.  Thank you Grande Prairie Live Theatre for the years of fun and friendship and I’ll be staying around for many more years!

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Photos from the show

As promised here are some photos of the make-up from The Wind in the Willows.  Five more shows – tickets are still available!

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Auntie Hedgehog

Aunt Hedgehog

Badger

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Mrs. Churchmouse

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Groundhog

Groundhog

Judge Owl

Judge Owl

Mole

Mole

Pack Rat (two photos from different performances – there are slight differences…)

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And Ratty.

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I was able to watch last Sunday’s matinee with mom.  It is a very well done and cute show – the kids in the audience really enjoyed it.

 


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The Wind In The Willows


I’ve been working on The Wind In The Willows which opens tomorrow night.  All animals in people clothes, no ears or animal costumes.  So only indication of their animal characters is the make-up.

And I really was having a time trying to decide how to do the make-up designs.  All those rodents… How to make them different looking?

I googled images of all of the real animals and picked some that were nice and clear examples then used them to create the designs on the actors’ faces at the last rehearsal before dress and had the director check them and approve my ideas.  Then I took photos to use for the charts for my crew.

Another challenge is making all the weasels, rats, mice, hedgehogs, etc. look different, yet still the same.

I decided to go with a mask style painting which is mean that the designs are finished and outlined leaving bare skin around it – it is working well.

Mole was rough… I think I finally figured out a workable version last night.

Another issue was that when I went to my inventory of make-up to sort out what I needed for the show I discovered that I only had TWO cakes of mid-brown.  ACK!!!  I don’t use a lot of brown, except when doing lots of animals on a show, and I’ve also been filling up lots of palettes… I wasn’t paying attention to how much brown was left.

So I contacted my usual supplier in Edmonton and she only had some browns in the small 9 ml cakes!  Luckily she did have several different shades so I think we will be okay.

There are four of us on the make-up crew and we are getting done in just in time for curtain.

I’ll post some photos on the weekend after the show opens.

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