After a beautiful but generally cold and snowy winter month in the Scottish Highlands, I got a last minute booking from a London agent.
Bibi Freeman (world champion face & body painter, paint shop owner & general guru-god of mine) and I were hired to paint 5 dancers blue in an Avatar/ Mystique style as part of a dream-sequence themed show in a Camden nightclub. I did giggle that the client insisted only blue girls were sexy, not green…current trend, I think, am sure Captain Kirk made green girls sexy:)
Anyway we quoted for 2 hrs per body as they wanted detail as well as colour; that was cut to 1.5 hrs each for our 1st 2 (4 in total) bodies and an hour together on the last, more detailed ‘queen/ shamen’ alien body. Who was to be nude, in a large plastic bubble….which had a ‘technical hitch’ during testing which meant the organiser was trapped in it for a while:)
Due to the last minute booking, the funky feather wigs they wanted wouldn’t arrive in time, so I rushed down to London a few hours early and after a tip from Paul of Facade Glitter Art, found some long aqua wigs in a shop that the agent approved of. The venue, Gilgamesh, was in the middle of the Camden Stable Markets and was STUNNING, 3+ floors of intricately carved walls and ceilings, even bathrooms, in the Babylonian style.
Bibi and I set up in a room overlooking one of the dance floors (bit loud!) with another team of bodypainters decorating girls with stripes and simple ‘sports tops’ for an unrelated private party in the same venue. Sammm from Torture Gardens was doing amazing zombie faces and all the other asstd characters on other actors in ‘our’ event. We waited…. and an hour later than expected finally had our alien ladies back from rehearsal to start painting.
We were using Diamond FX metallic blue & purple, as the client had showed the agent a photo of my Spirit Shamen in Wales and loved those shades.
To save time (luckily, it turned out!) I had had big reptilian stencils and also hand-cut a few smaller reptilian stencils with my hot pen stencil cutter. Once we had coloured all 5 girls, Bibi began on faces as I did scale patches on each girl in turn, in the hope if we ran out of time they would all be at the same level – ie all got 1 arm, chest, leg done, then all got the other, then all got the back etc.
Just when we were starting to relax, thinking we had nearly 1.5 hrs to do the final faces and blend in the ‘squares’ of stencilling, we were told they wanted the girls early! PANIC!
Bibi whipped fast but stunning UV patterns onto the ‘queen’ and I stencilled and freehanded very basic faces onto the other 3 whilst also attempting a bit of glitter and blending of stencil edges.
What did make me laugh was the hairspray I used to stick the glitter onto also attracted the trimming sfrom the overlong aqua blue wig fringes so we had truly wierd alien effects!
As it turned out the call time was wrong and the girls had to push through heaving admiring crowds several times before actually going onstage.
The lighting wasn’t perfect for my taste – the UV glowed but it was too dark to really see the luscious metallic colours….Still, the audience stopped disappearing, whipped out cameras and paid more attention than they had for the previous few acts we saw!
The idea was the alien queen rolled out in her bubble, and her 4 ladies were all curious and touchy-feely of it and jealous of her UV pattern-marking-jewellery. Then got a bit touchy-feely with each other whilst being alien en pointe ballet shoes etc…