By Ramsay Wharton
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's actually about 6 at night we're here at the back door stage of "Cats."
I'm going to be transformed into my purrfect character. They're giving us an opportunity to actually walk on stage.
I'm actually going to be a basic Grizabella. I'm excited. Alright, let's get ready.
First step: prepare for the "cat" wig.
As we head to the wig room we run into "Grizabella," actress Kathryn Holtkamp who sings an unbelievable "Memory" on stage.
Then wig and hair supervisor, David Hansen, makes "pin curls" on my head, pinning down sections of hair to keep snug under the wig cap.
He's trained the entire Cats ensemble how to prep their hair and do their own make-up, a lot of them bring their pins home from the theatre and on the bus on the way to the theatre start putting on their makeup.
On goes the wig cap. Some final adjustments, then I'm off to makeup with actress Melissa Grohowski a "swing" cast member whose fills in for several roles in the event someone can't perform.
First, she lines out the facial areas then starts filling in the basic cat colors, white, gray, and then adds shading.
"I believe anyone can do it. It's seems like it's hard, but practice makes perfect," she said.
The makeup secret is powder and lots of it.
This is why they call it the pancake.
They set it with water, blot, and keep going.
More facial lines are added, eye makeup, I get a curled up mouth, some gi-normous false eyelashes and bright red lips.
We're almost done. We've put on the leg warmers, hand warmers and of course the tail.
Finally, my cat wig made of yak hair, and voila.
We'll be on standby, ready to go into the oven for a very special moment, and opportunity that doesn't happen very often.
Then right, after the bows are taken I walk-on stage saying mahalo to the cast in the receiving line.
Then to complete the nearly 30 year farewell tradition I exit thru the stage.
I wish I had nine lives to live over.
Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall
Dec. 29 - Jan. 2
Ticket's $35 - $70
Children 1/2 Off Tickets on Sunday, Jan. 2nd
www.Ticketmaster.com/ Blaisdell Box Office/
Wal-Mart/ Sports Gear at Windward Mall
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