Today I have two shows. One after the other.
The first one is in a church. Yes, in a church, cathedral or whatever they call it. Again the first morning “shift”. Again an early wake up call.
Made from stones, the ancient cathedral is letting the wind pass through. In the makeup and hair room there is a heater to warm us up. With hair dryers and many people inside, it is warmer than outside, but still not warm enough. But backstage, where we have to change, it is a different story. It is like outside.
The wind is whistling through the cracks, the clothes on the hangers are moving with it. The dressers are under full winter equipment. When we start to change, they take off their gloves and every touch is like an icicle. They make us stay completely dressed in designer clothes in the middle of the bleak room with no heater for 40 minutes before the show starts. We complain about that loudly and in unison, like an unhappy choir. And with that atmosphere, poorly lit, everything looks morbid. We hug each other to warm the bodies with our own temperature, but it is not helping much. By the time show starts we are completely blue.
I don’t know how we will look under the stage lights, but backstage with this poor light we look ready for a horror movie’s scene with zombies.
Maybe this is a conspiracy against models’ beauty? I am kidding. It must be the designer’s vision for the next season. Maybe he thinks it’s cool for women to have blue, frozen-looking skin as a makeup trend for next season. In order to get that feeling, they would have to put makeup on our bodies. But makeup leaves stains on clothes, so it is not a good idea. Better idea is to make girls freeze: less work, less damage on the expensive clothes, and great results. But what about the girls? The client doesn’t care. It is part of a modeling job; girls have no right to complain.
Let’s move on.
Today’s second show is in the evening, but we have to be there 8 hours before show time.
Come on! 8 hours!
What are they planning to do to us for 8 hours?
The moment I step backstage I have the answer: the stage is all in stairs, some straight and some spiraling. That means two hours of rehearsal minimum.
Yes, a little bit more than two hours for rehearsal and a little bit less than 2 hours for hair.
The hair is Marie Antoinette style. Three pairs of hands are needed for it. Just the thought of having three hairdressers on top of my head, pulling and pushing my head and hair makes me nervous. But I have no choice.
Luckily the “head dresser”- the hair dressers team leader- chooses to work on me, so I will have my hair done in the first attempt.
Yes, it is done after the first attempt, but it takes him much longer. Because somebody is asking him something or showing him their work every five minutes. My ass is numb from sitting. There are spasms in my neck muscles from the hard work of holding that construction on top of my head. I hope that make- up time will be relaxing.
I am just about to relax completely and enjoy my time in the makeup artist’s hands when production calls for rehearsal. It is time for madness. Good luck to us.
The choreography is so complex that the people explaining it to us don’t understand what they are talking about. They are correcting each other while explaining the order to us, and they are arguing too, so the models are completely confused. One girl is walking up the stairs, one is walking down, the first one is waiting for the fifth and sixth girl while the third and fourth girl are walking on the spiral version of stairs downhill, and the seventh girl is walking uphill. Confusing and unnecessarily complicated. Of course, the girls don’t understand when, how, and where they have to walk. We try a hundred times, but it is as clear as the sky that we will perform with a hundred mistakes. Everything looks funny because the girls are insecure and more aware of where and when to walk than how to present the clothes. But that is the production’s problem, not ours. My part is easy, but I am nervous and insecure too. I cannot wait for this day to be over.
Do I have to say that not even one girl did it the right way? They all improvised their own ways, no one paid attention to anyone else, they all were in a rush to finish their part and run away. I tried to do my part as I was asked to, but I had to improvise too: if not we would look like a mess on stage. In any case the end of the show is done with pleasure. The audience responds nicely. They can’t know that the show isn’t supposed to look like this. But production and the designer do know. I cannot escape the thought: what do they have to say now, after everything has been done in an improvised way? It would be nice at the end of this day to know some details, like who blamed who for the fiasco…
I am running home now; my dream’s kingdom is calling me.
Tomorrow is Gypsy Queen’s show.
The Gypsy Queen’s show was booked two days ago, but half an hour before I have to leave the apartment, the agency calls to tell me that the show has been canceled for me. I was confirmed two days ago after the fitting. And now I am canceled and that explains the strange feeling I had at the fitting. The reason for cancelation, the reason told to the agency, is: the dress that I was supposed to wear did not fit the collection completely, so the dress got canceled and me with it. Fine.
I feel sad, it could have been a big big thing for me and my career, but I will not feel sad for long. I will continue, I will not give up.