Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Minimum Items to Perform

On Saturday, the hafla ended up running a little early so I had to scramble to get myself ready.  I was teaching the last workshop of the day and ended up being pressed for time. That was my fault as I could have done things differently and not be so pressed for time but, hey, live and learn.

That prompted me, though, to think about writing something in case you are ever confronted with this situation. When you are pressed for time, you'll need to make some decisions as to what you will perform without.

Now this post will assume that you are a soloist. If you are in a troupe, then you'll need to either have everything on like everyone else or they will need to do the same as you. If you're the lone one who doesn't look like the other ones, you'll definitely stand out and probably not for the best.

Note that this is obviously not AT ALL an ideal situation but, let me tell you, you're better off shaking an item or two than be late to perform.

Costume elements
Wear underwear. Whatever happens, wear underwear. That's a must. But that'd be the topic for its own entry and how not to leave the audience guessing.

Bottom.  You'll need to wear something on the bottom, obviously. Depending on your costume, this can be one layer or multiple layers. If it's one layer, then it's very simple: you need to wear it. If you have multiple layers, though, like pants/pantaloons, skirt(s), scarves/shawls, you may ditch one or more layers. Now which one to keep will be dependent on the fabric of the items and which movements you'll be doing in the piece. But, again, if pressed for time, consider if you need all the layers or if just one would work.

Top.  Again, you'll need to wear some top. Generally speaking, we only wear one layer so then it's very self evident that you need to wear it. If, however, you're wearing something like a choli with a coin bra over it, you could wear just one of the two.

Belt. Depending on who you ask, the belt falls under costume elements or jewelry. It might depend on the belt too. :p The belt on a costume will really showcase your hip movements well so you don't want to skip it. Worst case with a belt: you could put it on as you're walking up to the stage. Try to make it look like you're really re-adjusting it as opposed to putting it on for the first time. ;)

Bare minimum. So if you're absolutely, crucially, pressed for time and can't do the whole makeup thing, at a very minimum, you need to put on some eyeliner, mascara, blush, and lipstick.  That being said, this bare minimum will make you look bare indeed and utterly undone.

Medium minimum. So a step above that would be wearing foundation or at least some powder to even your skin tone. You'll want to also wear at least one eyeshadow on your eyelid.  And consider doing your eyebrows as they are a very expressive feature in your face.

False lashes. Essentially, what I typically will do without makeup-wise will be the false lashes when I'm pressed for time. These take a lot of time to apply correctly (and if you're trying to rush, it will take even longer) so, if I see that time is of the essence, I just won't wear them. But I will do my full makeup as much as I can because I find that the face being fully done conveys more stage-readiness than a half done face.

Bindi. I don't typically wear bindis for my solo projects so that's not an issue for me. But if you do, consider skipping this step, although it's one that really can be fast to do, especially if you're using those bindis that are self-adhesive.

Well, can you skip something for your hair? It depends. It thoroughly depends on what you had intended for your hair but, really, you can always perform with your hair down. Make sure that it's not looking like a hot mess, though, so contemplate brushing it a little or at least taming it with your hands.

This is probably THE place where I will skimp the most on when pressed for time.  You could go on stage without any jewelry but that'd be really bare.

Bare minimum. At a bare minimum, I will wear a necklace and at least one bracelet.  You can skip the earrings (if you're not already wearing some) and the rings and the extra bracelets.

Time Management
So, what it boils down to is having good time management skills. That involves knowing how much time you have to get ready and how long it takes you to do certain steps.  You can get creative with your time and assess if there are ways that you can make things more efficient for you. For example, if you have everything within arm's reach and items were laid out so that you can easily access them (in your luggage), it will make it faster.  I've also had an instance when I've done my makeup before taking the last workshop of a day because I knew that I would have little time in-between the workshop and the performance. (I have good makeup skills so it was fine. ;)) So look at your schedule for the whole day and assess if there is time for you to help yourself out.

One of the key things too is keeping your stress level down when pressed for time: the calmer you are, the faster you'll be able to do your things. Now is not the time to try on a new technique for your makeup or hair. And if you have an order in which you normally get ready in, use it! The familiarity will help you keep calmer.  For example, I personally do my makeup first, then I'll put on my costume, do my hair, put on jewelry. I leave the false lashes for the very very end just in case I run out of time.

And that's the order that I did on Saturday.  I was already wearing a necklace and it was going to take me too long to change it so I didn't. I also didn't put on false lashes. But, outside of that, I had everything else on.  At the end, I was piling on jewelry until I felt like I really had to get out there and be ready to hop on stage. If I had had more time, I would have worked on my hair a little bit more but I was wearing a very nifty headband. Those are VERY convenient to pretty up your head quickly.

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