Hello! I have been off the radar for a couple of weeks because I have been in rehearsal for "Dial M for Murder" at the New London Barn Playhouse. I am playing the character Margot, who was made famous by the impossibly beautiful and blonde Grace Kelly in the 1954 Hitchcock film adaptation. For various reasons the director and designers considered giving me a wig to play this character. I tried on brown wigs and red wigs and blonde wigs, and it was one of the blonde ones that The Barn had in stock that ended up looking the best. So I braced myself for a blonde transformation. Eleanor Seaman, who works in the costume shop, became interested in costuming from making things for events like Comic-Con and this summer she has expanded her skills into becoming a wig expert. She has learned to custom make lace fronts for wigs so that they blend seamlessly into a persons hair line and give the appearance of natural hair growth (that sounds like an ad for Rogaine). This process can be applied to improving the quality of even the cheapest halloween wigs.
Eleanor mummified my head in plastic wrap and then traced my natural hair line with a permanent marker. She then strategically put masking tape on the plastic wrap so that it would hold the form of my head once she lifted it off. The next step is to place this on a head form and use my hairline to cut a piece of the lace material. Eleanor told me that the most difficult part of this process is getting the lace front to lay flat to the persons forehead by a series of discreet tucks and pleats underneath. The part that is most impressive to me is that she then applies individual strands of hair through the lace and ties them into tiny knots.
As it goes in theater, there were last minute changes and I ended up going with my natural hair in the show. But I am glad to have gone through this process because it gave me a little more awareness and respect for wig making. Thanks Eleanor! - <3 ~ Mer