Volunteer Journal #83 - Helping Community Theatre

Sometimes volunteering means doing hair.  Other peoples’ hair.  I barely do my own. Buddy Sara asked if I’d be interested in putting my “crazy hair modeling” experience into practice helping Santa Monica Rep with their annual fundraiser.  We’d be prepping the actors. Ah shucks… why not… I’m a playwright.  If I’m not going to help a neighborhood theatre company – who is?

As for my "crazy hair modeling" experience I was a hair model (about the same time as the body doubling happened – it’s called being a “Parts Model” and it means you’re short). I worked for brands like Aveda, Paul Mitchell and Sexy Hair in print ads, catalogs, and industry show. It was fun; I made a few bucks, and got my hair “didz”.  I have attached a picture of my hair done ultra-fancy for a wedding catalog.  Check out the cool vintage wedding dress.

The problem was that Santa Monica Rep wanted their actors to have French Restoration hair – think Marie Antoinette.  In reality, in those days, high class women and men would have always worn wigs in public.  What I knew from having this hairstyle done to me for a Sexy Hair show was that to pull this off they needed half a day and a hairdresser on each woman.  They had Sara and I – a few cans of hairspray and one hour for five actors.

I did my best.  I tried to be kinder than hairdressers of old had been to me. I took my aggressions out by teasing the hair (this generally won’t hurt a model).  Helpful hint - the secret to getting out rat’s nest teasing is to lie in a bathtub after conditioning and gentle run your fingers through your hair.

In the end... we did all right as the picture suggests.

The great thing about volunteering is often you are faced with challenges that can’t be completed in the amount of allotted time.  Then you apply Macgyverism (make an explosive out of a toilet paper roll, etc.), and Parkinson’s Law takes over ("work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion"), and you get it done.