Published on September 1st, 2015 | by Dean Hollin0
Stranding and Standing Out in the Crowd
It’s often these days that, either through necessity or desire, folks occasionally “reinvent” themselves. Perhaps a particular occupation is not working out in one way or another. Perhaps an individual has finally reached that breaking point with a job they really don’t enjoy, deciding that it’s high-time to go after their dream. Imagine, alternately, if you will, taking the skill-set you’ve long ago learned and reinventing it just a bit. Adding a few layers and taking avenues you might never have expected to take. Anne May, did just that and the result has been rather dramatic!
Anne playfully refers to herself as a “wig-aholic”. Her interest in hair, however, began with the real stuff in a pretty traditional way. Not too long after her marriage to Gary, Anne became a hairstylist. Full-time turned to part-time as the family grew and needed her, however, hairstyling was always close by.
After working for two decades in her craft, fate took an exciting turn when a church-member asked her to lend a hand with a play they were mounting. Anne loved things theatrical and gladly agreed to assist with costumes, hair, make-up and whatever else needed tending to. In order to properly ‘prep’ herself for the task, she turned to some area theatres including her hometown’s professional group, Theatre Aquarius. Artistic Director, Peter Mandia pointed her to the Wardrobe Department for the guidance she needed. Not only did she walk away with a greater knowledge, but she soon found herself sewing feathers on costume pieces for an upcoming production of “The Rez Sisters”. Then the Aquarius folk realized Anne’s great knowledge of hair…
The next thing Anne knew she was creating wigs for an upcoming production of “Annie”. This was the mid-nineties and she’s been a mainstay at Aquarius ever since – wigs being her thing. As she’d clearly been bitten by the “backstage theatre bug”, she began volunteering for Opera Hamilton (lots and lots of wigs there, lemme tell ya)! The volunteer position became a paid Supervisor position which spanned over a decade.
Well things in life can have a way of morphing, can’t they? Wig-styling turned into learning the craft of wigmaking. The bit of make-up work she offered over the years turned into specialty make-up. And I mean specialty make-up – the Special F/X stuff! Stage work led to film work. Anne’s met a bunch of stars over the years. Her day-to-day is packed with new challenges and reasons to keep learning new elements of the trade. Her skills are being used by an increasing number of theatres and such, including Drayton Entertainment. She’s never given up the salon work – still puts in at least a couple of days a week running her hands and scissors through the real stuff.
For over four decades, Anne May’s life has been about “image” – creating or maintaining looks for people in the real world, and doing the same for the world of illusion. One can’t begin to calculate the trillions of strands of hair she’s manipulated — and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight any time soon!
Singer, Playwright and Live Stage Performer