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 Research Resources Needed

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Kara
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PostSubject: Research Resources Needed   Sun Jan 20, 2008 10:33 pm

Help! I'm seeking some help from those of you who actually do watch movies and television (those of you who know me personally know that I don't , shamefully) . I'm looking for some research references...

Recently, I was cast to play the Dark Lady of Shakespeare's Sonnets, and, literally, I will play her as...a dark lady. Or at least considerably darker than I naturally am (fair skin, green eyes, reddish-brown hair). I am a professional makeup artist by trade, but I've yet to encounter the challenge of a full-on race change. Therefore, I'm looking for references to use as research guides. As this not a comedic role, meaning that it's supposed to be convincing that I'm playing a Moor, it's imperative that I pull this off in a way that is not in any way offensive to the audience or embarassing to me as an actor, nor should it reflect poorly for the theatre for which I'm performing. In short, I feel that there is a lot at stake if I don't do my homework here.

I've considered the makeup design for Angelina Jolie recently in "A Mighty Heart", though I didn't see the film. Did anyone? Any thoughts on the makeup?

Any other makeup designs recommended?

I'm considering doing some tests and posting photos of them here in this forum for some feedback. Anyone interested in seeing the transformation from Modern White Chick to Elizabethan Dark Lady?

Any input would be so appreciated. Thanks!

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QuantumCowboy
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PostSubject: Re: Research Resources Needed   Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:05 pm

It's racial madness! Don't worry, you're not alone. I'm dealing with some of the same issues myself for "Exonerated". I'm neither white nor black, yet I have been cast as several side roles in a play in which all the roles are very specifically one or the other. It's a bit uncomfortable actually, having to use the n-word and affect African-American accents with African-American actors being in the room. They've been very supportive, so I guess if they are ok with it and the director's ok with it, I'm ok with it, but still... I know what you mean about being wary not to offend anyone.

From the wikipedia article on "moor": During the medieval period, Moor became a common term to refer to the Muslims of Islamic Iberian Peninsula and North Africa, who were of Arab or Berber descent. In English, the term has only historical contexts, with no proper present-day referent.

You may not have to go as dark as you are thinking. Many north Africans are quite fair, as they generally differ historically and racially from sub-saharan Africa. For example, check out this picture of a "woman in Moorish costume."

You should also research images of Lebanese, Persians, and north Indians (e.g. Bollywood stars), who tend to have the same coloring. Try going to images.google.com and searching for "Bollywood." I'm sure you'll get quite a few results in that department.

Good luck!

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"Acting is all about honesty... if you can fake that, you've got it down." --Oscar Wilde.
"You must unlearn what you have learned." --Yoda, Jedi Master.


Last edited by on Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Kara
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PostSubject: Re: Research Resources Needed   Mon Jan 21, 2008 3:01 pm

Thanks, Master Yoda. Hey, can I just call you "Master"?

I totally agree with you that going as light as possible will be beneficial (Bollywood-style), especially since my facial features will lend themselves better to a North Indian/Lebanese/ Persian look --high cheeckbones, almond-shaped eyes, small narrow nose--getting around my green eyes will be difficult, but this is where we just have to count on the audience and that whole "willing suspension of disbelief" thing, right?
I was checking out a makeup book I own, "Fine Beauty", written as a beauty reference for Black women, and getting some good ideas. A good rendering will be needed to start, of course, and a good wig will be imperative.
Luckily, one of the most popular hairstyles among society women of the time was a look called the "frysse" (pronounced "frizz") and it looked, ironically enough, like a loose afro or jheri curl parted in the middle and swept away from the forehead. White women went to great pains to get the extremely tight curls needed to create the "fryssed" look, but moorish women wouldn't have had much problem, unless they had naturally straight hair, of course.
At any rate, I appreciate the input, and it's nice to see that someone else shares my concern for doing this right.
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James Jay
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PostSubject: Re: Research Resources Needed   Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:15 pm

The only movie reference that immediately comes to mind was, and I can't believe I'm admitting I saw this, was Soul Man with C. Thomas Howell. However, knowing you and your awesome makeuping abilities (you're a wonderwoman, right?) you'll pull it off........

If nothing else, maybe they'll put a cloak over you?? lol!

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Kara
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PostSubject: Re: Research Resources Needed   Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:40 pm

James Jay wrote:

If nothing else, maybe they'll put a cloak over you?? lol!

That idea's not half bad, Jay. Maybe we should think about something like that if the makeup thing doesn't succeed as hoped...
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keltroncybo
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PostSubject: Re: Research Resources Needed   Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:46 am

Kara,

When we did Comedy of Errors at EWU Gene wanted us to look VERY Mediterranean so we used that Ben Nye Bronzer...I'm not sure exactly what it was called but I'm sure you know what I'm talking about...using that on arms hands and even decolatage (sp?) and neck might give you some room to use a nice dark foundation...incidentally, correct me if I'm wrong...but it is not COMPLETELY unheard of for a middle eastern or even north African person to have light eyes...think how much more bewitching a dark complected woman would be with your stunning eyes!! What a Face
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Tamitha
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PostSubject: Re: Research Resources Needed   Mon Jan 28, 2008 2:18 pm

Kara

Let's visit on Wed. about this.

Tamitha
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QuantumCowboy
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PostSubject: Re: Research Resources Needed   Mon Jan 28, 2008 2:46 pm

keltroncybo wrote:
it is not COMPLETELY unheard of for a middle eastern or even north African person to have light eyes...think how much more bewitching a dark complected woman would be with your stunning eyes!! What a Face
One of the most famous photographs of all time is of an Afghan woman with caramel skin and light eyes. People, city/street, wildlife, and landscape photography 101: "find out how National G did it, and then see if you can get remotely close."

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QuantumCowboy
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PostSubject: Re: Research Resources Needed   Tue Apr 08, 2008 7:27 am

So.... are you going to post before and after pics of your test run? Smile

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