A major role change for me tonight. Instead of playing Rat 2, I am to be Guinea Rat, the first of the rodents to be transformed into character by the Gabriola Players make-up artists.
An image of rat make-up has been found and downloaded from the internet. The challenge now is to figure out how to recreate the image onto an actor. (Oh, get me. An actor.)
Taking the lead is Maddie, who starts off whitening my face as the other five watch and take notes.
Then there’s adding the rat cheek definition.
Then comes the challenge of giving me a ratty red nose and turning my upper lip into rat teeth. Coming along nicely.
The make-up photo from which Maddie is working does not include whiskers, but Jenny, the director, is quite insistent that whiskers are required. Maddie draws them on.
This, it is agreed by all, is a disaster. The whiskers are drawing away from the lines defining my rat teeth. Time to bring Jenny in from the rehearsal for an opinion. One side whiskers, one side not. She can see the problem, but she still wants whiskers.
Maddie tries adding much smaller whiskers. Compromise wins the day. We’re done.
Oops. Turns out no one has brought any cold cream. How to remove the make-up? Not to worry, I say, I’ll do it at home.
Come home, surprised make-up does not frighten cat. Apply Body Shop face wash to face. Yikes. At least 90% of make-up is still on face. Wash it again. 75% of make-up still on. Wash face again. And again. And again. Fill wastebasket with cotton balls. Make-up eventually gone.
Note to self: Buy some cold cream.