Diary of a production  

The Blue Angel


Premiere on October 10th, 1996 on Intima Teatern in Stockholm, Sweden

Director: Dilek Gür 
Set and costume design: Elisabeth Åström 
Light design: Imre Zsbrik 
Mask and wig design: Lars Carlsson

Here I have written a diary during the production to show how the makeup artist's ordinary workday is like.
August 1996

15 August I am moving up to Stockholm and am visiting the theatre there I am going to be the next two months. The theatre has rented a nice apartment for me, I plan to spend my weekend relaxing there. 
19 August The first rehearsal day usually starts with a complete reading of the play and we look at the set and costume designs. This first reading took approx. 4 hours, quite a bit longer than the play is supposed to be.
During the lunch break I measured all the actors heads so I can start to make the needed wigs without delay. 
20 August  Today my work is starting for real, the whole day I spent making wig foundations ( see the Wig page). Maybe not so many laughs today but at least they became good. 
21 August The hunt for hair has started. I have not yet decided if I am going to use real hair or synthetic hair. Normally I wouldn't even consider using anything but real hair, but this time I am not going to be here after the premiere and in this case it can be easier to take care of the wig during the almost a year the they are playing. I didn't score today but I have gotten quite a lot of tips that I am going to check out in the morning. I also made a visit to the Oscars theatre and borrowed some wigs for some smaller parts in the play. 

Here you can see where I am sitting and some tools of the trade. 

22 August Until noon I just walked around to different wig shops and tried to find hair. I couldn't find any synthetic hair so it will have to be real hair for all my wigs. I found the blond hair I needed, but the red-purple hair was not to be found anywhere so I ordered it from Gothenburg instead. The rest of the day I spent tying hair in back of the first wig. 
23 August The whole day I spent working on the wig, except for the hour I had a meeting with Ann-Britt, my assistant who is going to take over my work after the premiere All the actors has now been here to rehearse and I have talked to almost everybody briefly about how I want them to look in this play. Now it will be wonderful to have two days off. 
26 August Continued working on Regina's wig. 
27 August 

Here I just have a little left in the middle of the forehead and I finished it later. We had a production meeting this morning with the directors, costume designer, lig
ht designer and me. We talked about every scene, so that we all should know all the changes that has been made during this first week. 

28 August Today we all went to the movies and saw a film based on another novel by Henrich Mann. Good movie, but I really don't have time for this kind of activities right now. I have still too much to do. Later I was down to Oscars again and borrowed more wigs, they just keep adding wigs all the time. Before I went home I washed them and put rollers in them.
30 August Today we had the first complete rehearsal and it worked better than anyone could have expected. But to take away the joy of that we ended our week with a more than two hour long production meeting. Wonderful start of the weekend 
September 1996
1 September Still weekend, mmmm. 
2 September  I just had to continue working on Regina's red wig, that is almost finished. We also had a production meeting as always on Tuesdays. 
3 September 
Regina's wig was finally done. In fact, all things I have done so far has been very quickly made, but when you are sitting alone working it feels as if everything takes an eternity. By now I am quite confident what everything is going to be finished on time. on the picture you can see all the things I have done so far. 
4 September 
Today I ran around and shopped some. I also made a false hairline to a guy who is going bald. On this picture you can see how small the knots are. 
5 September  Today I made the first test makeup on Regina and it didn't become so good because the makeup time was reduced from 1.5 hours to 25 minutes. How much can you do on that time. I will get a new chance next week. 
6 September  Boring day. This afternoon I am going home to Gothenburg for the first time since I started here. I want to go now! 
9 September  Ann-Britt ,my assistant starts working today. That is really good because she has a hairdressers education and can help me with all the things that I am really bad at. She will be the one who dresses Regina's wigs and maintains them during the show. I made a test makeup on Lakke and it became good. I will put in a picture later. 
11 September  The last few days has been filled with makeup's tests, and it has been quite hectic. Yesterday I was down to TV4 and made Regina up for an appearance in the tv-show Black or White. Today we also took the pictures for the theatre program of the design crew(including me) and of course I had to do some makeup on those of us who needed it. 
17 September  Wow! Has it already gone a week since I updated this page? This week I have been stressed like hell and I will see no relief for another week or so. On Saturday we are having the first costume and makeup rehearsal, so I'm working my butt off. Last week I worked 12 till 16 hours per day (mon-sat). But all the test makeups are almost finished, but unfortunately I can't put in any pictures yet because my scanner doesn't want to work right now. I do not have any more wigs to make now, so now I am mostly running around shopping , talking to all involved personnel and teaching the actors to put their makeup on correctly. It maybe doesn't sound so hard but right now everybody thinks they are the only one to need my help and it kills me. Now I will have to go to bed before I pass out................zzzzzzz...............What? already morning? 
20 SeptemberThese past days I have prepared the last things before the big day tomorrow, the day when we'll see if all the things I have made during this time will work or not. I am counting on some smaller failures but I hope that at least some of the stuff works. My scanner has started working again so I am putting in some pictures of the test makeups. Please hold your fingers crossed for me tomorrow.
  On the pictures:Ulf Söderman, Lakke Magnusson, Viktor Friberg, Martin Karlsson och Sture Hovstadius. 
21 September  Today it has been a quite hideous day and the expected chaos came, but in some strange way it seemed as most things worked as I had hoped. Sure, some things looked terrible and have to be fixed next week but in whole I am really satisfied with today's results. I am celebrating this by giving away two tickets for the dress rehearsal on October 8. Mail me if you are interested. (Anna-Maria Jönson won the tickets) 
23 September  I had hoped to be off today, but I had to run around and shop for a few hours and sit down and make Regina's red wig a bit thicker. 
24 September  A looong day without actually doing so much. Now when almost everything is finished there really isn't much left to do. We spent the whole day combing the wigs and moustaches that became ugly on Saturday. Late at night we finally got hold of Regina so we could talk about the hairdo of her wigs. At last we agreed and I could go home to sleep. 
 Regina in one her wigs that she uses as a wig on stage and puts it on and off.
25 September  Dress and mask rehearsal of the first act. Went like a charm. How did that happened?  Here is a picture of Mats Helin that I have made a cleft lip on.
26 September  Dress rehearsal of the second act , not much to write about. 
28 September  Production dress rehearsal. If all our plans had fallen into place everything would be ready today, but it didn't quite happened. This evening they have the premiere of "My fair lady" at Oscars and because we have the same light designer and the same costume department ,these parts of our production has suffered some delays. Most of their work is finished but I do not think that everything will be ready until opening night. The rehearsal today was pretty lousy depending on many thing. This has been a very long week so everybody was really tired and in the middle of the rehearsal someone in the building started drilling in a wall and continued for more than an hour. Hope next week will be easy. 
October 1996
1-3 October I don't have much to write about any more. We are rehearsing to whole play every night and I am done with my work. The only thing I still do, is making Regina up an hour before the show and in the intermission. everything else Ann-Britt has taken over. On the fourth there will be audience for the first time, that will be a lot of fun (hopefully).
5 October Yesterday we had 600 persons watching the show, and I think they liked it. Everybody was very tense but everything worked just fine. Today we had to cancel the rehearsal, because Regina has gotten a cold and can't sing. We used tonight's rehearsal for Regina's stand-in, Annika Kofoed. 
8-9 October The two last dress rehearsals. I am not supposed do do anything any longer. So I am just sitting and trying to to do just that. 
10 October 

The day we all knew was coming but didn't dared to think about. Everything went as good as one could have expected, except the guy that dropped his wig on stage in a scene there he is supposed to be really drunk. But I don't think it was so bad because it fitted so well into his character so I am hoping they will keep it. Of course we had a party later on, so I had a hangover the day after.
11 October My last day on this job. It wasn't funny going in today because of all the bad reviews in the press. But everybody is trying to pep everybody else up. I said "Bye" to the gang and left after the intermission. That was that job and now it is time to go on to the next, next Saturday I am working on the premiere of Salome at the GothenburgOpera.