Wig and makeup designer Brittany Crinson answers questions about life backstage, crazy wigs and a few of her favorite things.
Q: How long have you worked with DMMO?
This is my 7th season with DMMO!
Q: How did you start out in the industry?
I went to cosmetology school and shortly after started working at Michigan Opera Theatre running shows.
Q: What’s been your most outrageous wig design to date?
The most outrageous thing I did was probably the wigs for Rappaccini’s Daughter a few summers ago (during DMMO’s 43rd Festival Season). The three women who played trees wore wigs that resembled the tops of trees that had branches and insects scattered throughout.
Q: Where have you worked and what has been your favorite production to work on?
I’ve worked at DMMO, Michigan Opera Theatre, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Hawaii Opera Theatre. My favorite production is hard to say: it’s a toss up between the first one I was apart of at the Lyric in Chicago, Elektra, where we created some of the most interesting wigs I’ve ever imagined OR the Lyric’s production of La Traviata where we made wigs that were over 3 feet tall with elaborate styles and hair decor.
Q: What is it like to be backstage interacting with the cast and crew? Any favorite stories or anecdotes?
I always say the technical staff puts on their own opera back stage. It’s as if we create choreography in order for scene changes, quick changes and even simple traffic patterns to make sure everything runs smoothly. We all work together to make the performers as comfortable as we can. The wig and makeup crew gets the most personal with singers next to the wardrobe crew. We have to touch their faces, make them look pretty, or ugly depending on what is asked. We blot their sweat, keep them hydrated, and take care of them so they don’t have to worry about what they look like, only what they sound like.
Q: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
I don’t know if it is considered a super power, but I’d love to clone myself when needed. Sometimes I feel I need to be in many places at once, so cloning myself would make my job much easier!
Hometown: Sterling Heights, Michigan
Family: I’m recently married. I have a younger sister and an older brother, who just so happens to be on the artistic staff!
Education: Cosmetology License
Favorite composer: Verdi
Favorite singer: Lady Gaga, otherwise for opera, it’s a toss up between Albina Shagimuratova and Marina Rebeka
Favorite opera: La Traviata
Favorite book: Alice in Wonderland
Favorite foods: Peanut butter, Chocolate