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WelTec Make-up Artistry Brings Cats To Life

June 2008

WelTec Make-up Artistry students brings CATS production to life

Leanne Hoare and Amy Allen work on one of the Cats dancers


From May 22 - 14 June, Wellington’s Opera House hosted Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most popular musical masterpiece, Cats. Accompanied by the Vector Wellington Orchestra and with new production sets and costumes direct from Melbourne, this season of musical theatre was one of the best Wellington has seen.

An integral part of any stage musical is the transformation that takes place backstage with costume, hair and makeup. Four lucky students from Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec) were given the chance to be involved in the phenomenon that is Cats. Leanne Hoare, Amy Deed, Rebecca Woolhouse and Amelia Allen, all currently studying Make-up Artistry at WelTec, were invited to work on the musical production by Head of Make-Up, Edyta Koscielecki.

“It was a great introduction into the industry” says Rebecca. “We had two practice runs before the opening show and one was a photo shoot so the work has to be perfect from the start. We had five Cats each to make-over and one lead performer to share, with only have a limited time to get through each dancer. It took us a while at first but we were able to get through them quite quickly at the end.”

“It has been great working on CATS, it has had such good reviews. It’s so much fun, the actors are really great. They loved having their make-up and hair done, it was their time to relax before the show” says Amy. “It’s been awesome working with the three other make-up artists. To be working with Edyta has been amazing she’s been involved with television shows like Good Morning, Dancing with the Stars, theatre and television advertisements.”

With film, television and theatre booming, make-up artistry is a growing industry. WelTec tutor and well known Wellington body paint artist, Daniela Pike had no shortage of volunteers. Nearly all of the forty students currently enrolled in the Certificate in Make-Up Artistry programme were keen to be involved in the production.

The group of students all have different backgrounds, Leanne has worked as a hairdresser for many years, Amy was formerly a café manager, Amelia has a Fashion Design degree and Rebecca has a degree in Film and Media. All are enjoying the practical element of their studies and the work experience opportunities that they have been presented.

“I’ve always been interested in make-up it seemed like a lot of fun, we were able to learn a range of special effects, beauty, hair and nails. Ideally I’d like to work in film or theatre. When you first start out, there is lots of work available that you can volunteer for which could lead to paid work” says Amelia.

“The Certificate in Make-Up Artistry is awesome course – the tutors are great, really patient. WelTec has a great reputation in the industry. It’s important to know the correct way to do things, learn how to manage time, which is so important in the industry, and just all the little techniques” says Leanne. “I love that you can completely change someone’s appearance working with character makeup.”

The group are nearing the end of their studies, finishing this month. The next intake of WelTec students will have the opportunity to work on the World of Wearable Arts. The four are very keen to be involved to gain more experience and get their foot in the door of this very exciting and diverse industry.

For more information on WelTec’s Make-up Artistry programmes, please contact WelTec on 0800 WelTec (935 928) or visit


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