See how Shrek ac­tor Luke O’ha­gan be­comes an ogre


Style Magazine - - Contents -

The Toowoomba Phil­har­monic So­ci­ety is bring­ing a much-loved Tony Award-win­ning per­for­mance to town, in the form of Shrek — The Mu­si­cal.

In­nu­mer­able hours of prepa­ra­tion goes into a pro­duc­tion like this, with so much more than dress re­hearsals go­ing on be­hind the scenes.

One as­pect of bring­ing your favourite char­ac­ters to life, is theatre make-up, ap­plied by a team of qual­i­fied and be­yond-tal­ented artists.

One such lady is Ten­nielle Cop­son.

Ten­nielle stud­ied a Diploma of Cinema­graphic Make-up through the Aus­tralian Acadamy of Cinema­graphic Make-up in Bris­bane.

She learned to do ev­ery­thing from beauty to special ef­fects make-up, like pros­thet­ics and wounds.

Ten­nielle and her team will be re­spon­si­ble for creat­ing the faces and other at­tributes which make Shrek, Don­key, Fiona, the Gin­ger­bread Man and the rest, so fa­mil­iar to fans across the globe.

She cre­ated all the de­sign con­cepts for the dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters and she’ll have face charts de­tail­ing the ac­tors’ looks for the team of make-up artists to repli­cate onto the ac­tors’ faces.

To make a stage ac­tor look like any of these char­ac­ters, is a mon­u­men­tal task which re­quires tech­ni­cal knowl­edge of dif­fer­ent paints, brushes and ad­he­sives, as well as count­less hours of prac­tice.

The make-up has to with­stand the rigours of per­form­ing, from the heat given off by stage lights, to the sweat and nat­u­ral skin oils of the per­form­ers and move­ments of their faces.

Spe­cially made by Ten­nielle, Shrek’s light­weight cowl (the head piece onto which his ears are built) con­sists of a special ab­sorbent foam, which is great for deal­ing with sweat on stage.

“We use a water-based ad­he­sive to glue the pros­thetic down. It’s a stan­dard in the in­dus­try and ad­heres for a long pe­riod of time with­out ir­ri­ta­tion,” said Ten­nielle, adding that the ac­tors’ safety is their first con­sid­er­a­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to her, one of the most in­volved char­ac­ters to cre­ate, is Shrek him­self, due to his cowl-piece.

A sim­pli­fied de­scrip­tion of the process is set­ting the cowl and glu­ing it down, smooth­ing the edges of the pros­thetic, paint­ing and con­tour­ing, and set­ting the paint with a wa­ter­proof sealant.

“This takes at least an hour to com­plete,” she said. For ac­tor Luke O’ha­gan, play­ing Shrek is a bucket list role.

“It’s some­thing I’ve wanted to do for ages,” he said. Luke has been act­ing since 2014 and singing since he was seven-years-old and he uses the cos­tume and make-up to en­hance the char­ac­ter of Shrek, in­stead of wor­ry­ing about be­ing un­com­fort­able.

“Un­com­fort­able is a very Shrek thing to be. Fight­ing against the cos­tume and make-up is a los­ing bat­tle, so it’s bet­ter to use them,” he said, adding that he’s sure his cowl and make-up will hold up well dur­ing his per­for­mance.

As you might ex­pect, the make-up is hard to re­move and takes its toll on the per­form­ers’ skin, which is why Luke hopes to give his skin some TLC af­ter the show.

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