Today I wanted to talk about my experience as a Makeup Artist for ‘Battered But Not Broken’. I did this free of charge for all three shows that came to Morgantown, WV and in return my ad was featured in the program. Battered But Not Broken is a stage play about domestic violence. The goal of this play is to spread awareness so the cycle of abuse will hopefully end.
A little background on some of the cast: This play featured Hope Forever Long who has made appearances in Tyler Perry’s House of Pain and various BET productions, Jru Starz who is a Billboard Music Award Winning Musician, Felony Davis who is best known as the front man of Public Announcement, and recording artist Jaz Wilson who also appeared in the comedy Maybe Baby.
The entire cast was very, very nice and the crew was great. As I was applying each person’s makeup, we chatted a bit here and there and I got to know each of them a tiny bit. They were all very professional with me and loved the makeup application. That was the biggest sigh of relief as I don’t think I had ever been so nervous applying makeup. Since I did not have much background of the play, I heavily relied on each of them to tell me what they were looking for their character to look like. Chatting with them helped me in applying their makeup and ensuring it fit their roles.
I definitely used this experience as a learning tool. I learned: Do not do makeup for free. While this was for a good cause, various things happened that frustrated me but now I know better. Before going into this, I had no idea what to expect. I had never done makeup for any type of play or production. I did know that the makeup needed to be heavy and bold so the lights do not wash out the actors. However, the lessons I learned did not have anything to do with makeup.
My biggest frustration was the fact that everyone showed up late both days.For opening night I was asked to be there by 4pm to start makeup for the cast since the show was at 8pm. I had no issue with this and even took off work an hour and half early to arrive on time and get set up. The cast did not show up until 530pm and I barely finished everyone in time. In fact I didn’t finish the last girl until into the first act because she didn’t appear until the second act. The next day I experienced the same thing. I was told to be there at 11am but I wasn’t aware the theatre didn’t open until 12 (3 hours before show time). The cast then did not show up until after 1pm. Due to the fact that they were so late, one of their girls had to do her own makeup. I wasted various hours of my time due to the fact that I was a volunteer. The lesson here is : ALWAYS GET PAID FOR YOUR TIME. I actually lost money since I had to take time off of work and pay for parking. I was also suppose to get a digital copy of the program, which I never received and I was suppose to sign a contract, which never happened. From now on I will be paid and ensure I receive everything I am suppose to as well as have a contract that we both adhere to.
During the matinee on day 2, we learned that a woman had shown up who had been beaten the night before. Her pastor brought her to the play to hopefully get her some help or in hopes that seeing this will bring her comfort. You could tell how touched each of the actors were to be able to hopefully help this poor women. At the end of the play they brought her on stage and had brought the entire cast and crew onstage as well to pray for her and had the audience join in. While this was a very powerful moment, I was too busy trying not to throw up or pee myself. I’m a behind the scenes kind of girl and being in front of large groups of people gives me severe anxiety. While I was trying not to throw up, pass out, or piss myself I was trying not to interrupt the longest and loudest prayer I had ever been involved with. There is nothing wrong with what they did, I’m not saying that they shouldn’t have prayed for her but I would have rather been left backstage. I can’t handle situations where I am stuck in front of groups of people, it feels like I could black out from being so terrified. Its absolutely awful.
For the next and last performance of the night, my husband had come to support me and hang out before we left. I made sure we left a few scenes before it was over. I knew I could not handle being drug up on stage again. I was already frustrated and had been through a panic attack, and I didn’t need to deal with that again. While I do wish I could have gotten to say my goodbyes, I had to get out of there.
I wish I would have taken more photo’s but I was too caught up in the moment and everything going on. Below are a few I did take!
Let me know what you think! If you have any advice, please do share. How were some of your first time experiences?