Hey, hey!!! How are you all doing? Me, I' m fighting the glitter crash of post festival blues. The best cure for which, is posting for all of you!
So today's trick comes to you, in part, compliments of my fellow Screaming Chicken, and fellow troupe member, Trés Zukko. I recently headed up a group number of which Trés was a key member and soloist, and one of the conundruns we faced in staging our act, was how to make a visual transition -- in terms of hair styles -- from a 50's era musical act, to a 90's era pop act. We knew we wanted cutsey 50's styling for the first act, which, is easily achievable with apprpriate wigs such as this.
Sure, one of these wigs is easily acquired just about anywhere in any conceivable shade. BUT. How to quickly switch from this to a 1990's Janet Jackson Rythmn Nation look in under 3 seconds.Because that is literally, all the time we had in this act.
Wrangling wig, wig cap, hat and long pony tail... well... it seemed more than we could accomplish within 3 seconds.
Clearly these styles are about as diametrically opposed as possible. We fiddled and fussed and mussed as we tried to develop some means of switching between these styles. It was Trés who said the most obvious thing to solve this dilemma.
"Viv, why don't you just sew the pony tail directly to the hat? That way you just pull off the wig and throw on the hat!"
Gasp! Could it truly be so simple??? Only one way to find out.
While I already owned several clip-in pony tails, but quickly realized that the extra weight of the actual jaw-clip, as well as the balance of weight distribution, meant that I had to use a draw-string pony tail for this application. A draw string pony, when looks like this on the inside.
The idea is that you are supposed to use attached metal comb to fasten it to your own, supposedly inferior, ponytail and then use the draw string to tighten it over top.
However, for this application, the lack of a heavy claw-clamp clip makes it ideal for manually sewing to the Janet hat.
Our ode to Jackson's Black Cat explains the ears. Here's a few pics of it hand sewn to the hat.
But that's not all there was to it. The extra weight of the hair, and the ears, means that the hat needs a tad of extra help to stay put. To achieve this, I did a few different things.
That thin shiny strip you see along the inside edge of the hat? That is a silicone-backed strip of elastic that runs around the entire perimeter of the hat and even replaces the velcro tightening strap at the back (which I simply cut off). This is the same variety of silicone backed elastic that is used on thigh-highs, strapless bras, and a wide variety of other applications. I talk about how great this material is for an assortment of burlesque applications and where to buy it in this post right here.
The other thing we then did? Was add wide strips of the sticky side of velcro to the inside of the hat. Velcro is magic when it comes to lending support for hair-sticking power. Between the silicone elastic and velcro, not one of the 9 of us had issues with our Janet hats remaining firmly affixed to our craniums.
Ok, so that might explain how we executed the hat part, but we still needed a reliable and easy way to keep the wig firmly in place during the first song while still being able to whip it off our heads without self-scalping. Two things made this possible.
My wigs generally come equipped with these very effective and reliable clips.
There are typically anywhere from two to five of these attached to each wig. As small and unassuming as they are, they really are effective. However, they are not at all condusive to a mad-dash removal in the adrenaline-rush of performance.
Sooooo, I went to the dollar store and purchased one of these things. I do not even know what to call it actually.
Stretch, tooth hair band? No idea. I'm just making shit up. Anyhow, these things.
Yah, so get one of these, and cut a section off. And sew it into the front of your wig like this:
The little bottle I placed inside the wig is a texturizing powder that is magic for creating grip in your hair. A sprinkle of this stuff wherever you are going to be sticking in these teeth is like a hair magnet. It's wonderful for this purpose. By using this combination, I was able to grab the wig from the nape of the neck, toss it, and put on the ball cap/pony tail! It was so seamless that some people didn't notice the change until after the act finished!
Hope these tips are helpful in your wig or hat endeavours!