Louisville Magazine

MAR 2017

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 3.17 25 TOOL OF THE TRADE The venঞlaঞng needle is an extension of Jehann Gilman's finger. The hair and makeup supervisor at Actors Theatre guides the needle's little hook through a thin, skin-tone net used as a wig base. "Never more than three hairs at once," says Gilman, who has worked at Actors for five years. "I want the wig to look as close to natural as possible." She holds the needle like a pencil (the green pencil grip prevents slippage) and for each piece secures between 20,000 to 40,000 strands of human hair (ordered from California or New York City, costing $200 or more for four ounces). She works from the cozy of her couch; while waiting at the car shop; in the Actors Theatre office, where she'll chat the day away with her assistant, Tanner Pippert. "I wanted to be a star on the stage. Now I'm a star off the stage," Pippert says, faking a dramatic hair flip. A finished wig takes a 40-hour week. The two agree that wig-making is "so Zen." Last year, for Peter and the Starcatcher, the magical mermaid hair was pink and flowing and curly. It was a machine-made commercial wig, but Gilman and Pippert's shiny additions brought it to life: sewn-in sequins, beads, fabric from the mermaid tails, a spiky pink sea urchin crowning the top. For this year's Humana Festival of New American Plays (March 1-April 9), the duo are only making or modifying a few wigs, and teaching actors how to style an updo. "We are doing a really cool '60s hair bump for We're Gonna Be Okay," Gilman says about the play that explores the reactions of two families during the Cuban Missile Crisis. "We put what looks like a bird cage inside the wigs to get the right form," Gilman says. "If it were all hair, your neck would break, it'd be so heavy," Pippert adds. "The tools of the trade have stayed the same since the 18th century," Gilman says. "Somebody did this just like this 200 years ago." — Arielle Chrisঞan CALL 502.625.0100 or go to louisville.com/subscriptions The best read on the city. FEBRUARY 2017 $4.70 A BOURBON BARREL'S LIFE / #KYSOWHITE / CAN FINE DINING SURVIVE? INSIDE THE EXPLOSIVE SURGE IN GUN VIOLENCE BULLETS DON'T CUT. BULLETS CRUSH. " " Subscribe Now $22/year

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