Block 469: June 19, 2014


Trying not to count any chickens before they hatch.

Date: June 19, 2014

Crane: 469

Days Spent on Project: 486

Location: Richmond, VA

Person I would have sent it to: Cookie J.

Cookie was the wig designer hired to create the looks for all the actresses and dancers in Fela! After the off-Broadway experience, where the actors used their own hair for the entire performance schedule, we realized how important it was to get wigs on the women for the sake of convenience and continuity. By wigging people, there would always be the dancer with a mohawk, a dancer with long dreads, and so on. Asking actresses to keep their hair in those very specific styles for a show with an open-ended run and an intense dance regimen is a lot.

Cookie came on board and jumped at the chance to make the hair as period-right (the 1970s), but also work with the aesthetic and feel of the show. Through her, I learned about building mic packs into wigs, so we wouldn’t need to build them into their (skimpy) clothes. It was great to see her work, to learn how much work could go into designing hair for a show like this. Again, I had worked with wig designers before who custom made hair pieces, but this was the first time I saw an entire studio of wig stylists and designers create a designer’s vision.

Wig design is so important when you want a show to have a finished, complete look. I can’t wait for the day when I can expect the hair to be done along with the clothes I design. That theater companies sometimes “forget” to deal with hair floors me.

Cookie was always fun to hang around with during the rehearsal and preview process. We had some fun — all of us did — dancing in the back of the theater, while the performers danced onstage.

Cookie was attached, of course, to the London production of Fela!, but I don’t know what she’s working on now. So, it’s been maybe four years since I’ve run into her?

Music I listened to while sewing: There’s a lawn mower running outside, my dog is snoring to my right, and I have that random “Dancefloor” playlist on Spotify.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: My dog is having surgery tomorrow morning.

He has a noticeable growth on his back-end. I had a vet in NYC check it out the last time we went in for his routine check-up but, in the seven weeks that my dog was with my parents, the lump seems to have grown a bit.

I’m hoping things are going to be routine.


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