Sunday, January 23, 2011

Barnabas-stein

I love acting. It started as that bell in first grade and it has only grown deeper as the years go by. Everything about it makes me happy…learning lines, developing a character, finding costumes, rehearsing, opening night, closing night… the whole shebang.

In high school, I went to NYC with a group of students and four teacher chaperones. We saw all the typical sites and did all the touristy things. We also had the chance to go to a number of workshops. Two stood out. At one, we got to do auditions. I did a cold reading and got high compliments. Yep. I am going to live off that one forever.The other was a make-up workshop. Coming from a Catholic high school (read poor) we made do with whatever make-up we could beg, borrow,or steal (ok, not steal because we were a Catholic high school). Seeing real make-up being done was astonishing. One of my friends came away with a realistic nasty scar. Another looked much like he did later at our class reunion because his thick head of hair was made to look bald.

Dark Shadows seems to have had a Catholic school rather than a Broadway budget when it comes to make-up. It is most evident when they do crazy things like the moving decorative moles on the women when they were in 1795. The shapes and designs really look like haphazardly placed stickers found at the local dollar store. Sometimes the glue used to hold the luxurious sideburns on the men extends well below where it needs to be and shines so brightly there is a glare. A description of the eye shadow would take more space than is available here. Together, it is priceless. But now we venture into new territory.

Dr. Lang has promised Barnabas he can remove the curse forever. How? By placing Barnabas’ essence into another body. Ah, a twisted Frankenstein story. We get to enter a rather silly looking lab filled with bizarre scientific equipment. All the sound effects seem to be a fraction off from the actual action. In the center of the room, a large sheet covers the doctor’s experiment. But when he is uncovered, the make-up, oh the make-up! The stitches on Adam (Barnabas’ soon-to-be new body) are wildly overdone. How they will be healed and covered so the town doesn’t run screaming at the sight of him is yet to be seen.

And yet, even with all the silliness that is bound to ensue, I cannot wait to see what happens next. I will admit, I often imagine myself on the set, crazy eye shadow caked on and decorative mole in place.

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