Sunday, June 22, 2014

They are coming to get you, Barbara!

Loyal Beauty and the Beast customer, long time partner in haunted crime, Mad Doctor in training, prop / set builder, neighbor and dear friend, John B. Johnson is now coming into his own as a Make Up Artist!  He has just returned from his first professional gig with TV's hit show "The Walking Dead."   (More information about that when I find out what I can that is NOT in violation of his gag order.)

John has always loved dressing up to scare people.  In fact, he had a brief appearance as a zombie in the 1983 classic movie "Day of the Dead".    While we officially met at Chattacon  our best days together were always working in the trenches of charity haunts including Jeff Colbert's "The House" at Eastgate mall and "The Little House of Horrors" in Red Bank.  These days, he is most often seen by area residents at Lake WinnepeSPOOKah. 

So how did our friend who only recently started dabbling in make up end up working for "The Walking Dead"?   He's been doing a lot of "Blow and Go" make ups for the Chattanooga Zombie Walk and Zombie Run events.  He got enough good reviews to get noticed. 

As you may have guessed, when TWD has very large groups of zombies for a shot, Greg Nicotero's team needs help getting all those people processed.  They have several levels of zombie make up, naturally, the close ups and special effects zombies get the star treatment from Nicotero and his expert team.  Then they have the foreground, middle and background zombies who don't need to be as detailed.... even less so as they move back in the pack.  After proving that he could do decent work FAST, John got the call.  Apparently, he impressed someone at the interview as he was called down to do a featured make up. 

As John has just returned from his gig and hasn't quite come down from geeking out over being on set, I'll get more information later, but for now, I'll leave you with some of the shots of his Zombie Walk work that got him noticed.

The above make up work was done by John B. Johnson using make up and appliances purchased from  Beauty and the Beast Costumes, Chattanooga.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

You're the One that I Want!

Guess what our summer project is?

Our favorite school has confirmed, they are doing "GREASE" next spring.  Beauty and the Beast Costumes, Chattanooga is finally biting the bullet and stock piling fabrics and patterns for 1950's styled dresses and skirts.  So cuff your bobby sox and slick back that pompadour, it's time to hit the dance floor. 

Don't forget, all those fun 50's fashions are also great for "Bye Bye Birdie".  I just hope we have time to get them all done!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Web Site Issues

Currently,  Beauty and the Beast Costumes is trying to get a website up and running by the start of the next school year.  Let me tell you, it's a lot harder now than it was when I built my first homepage back in the late 80's.  Jumping back into it is kind of like saying "Sure!  I can ride a bike."  Meaning that I used to peddle around the neighborhood on a bike with a banana seat and tassels on the handle bars, and I looked pretty darned snazzy doing it!  Now it feels like everyone expects me to ride a big old Harley down the free way weaving in and out of Mac Trucks.

                                                   DOES NOT EQUAL

After spending a couple of weeks banging my head against the wall fighting with the "alleged" WTYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) Drag and Drop interfaces both here on this blog and on GoDaddy's website builder, I'm throwing in the towel.  I've called in the cavalry to help me build my frame work.  As an old Advertising Arts major, I kind of know what I want, I just don't seem to be able to make it happen.  Luckily, I have some amazing friends who are going to try to make that happen.

My dear friend sat down with me and showed me some of his work.  My website might not be as slick and fancy as some major corporation's million dollar site, but that's ok.  The price is right and there aren't a lot of website builders who barter for costumes in this world.  And as long as it FUNCTIONS correctly, I can work on that face lift later.  The upside is that GoDaddy supports both Drupal and WordPress, the two most suggested builders.

The main focus points for the website are:
  • Promote Beauty and the Beast Costumes (Duh!  Isn't that what all company websites are for?)
  • Provide a visual reference for my rental stock.
  • Explain the scope of our retail variety.
  • Show support of our local community.  (We do a lot more than you know about!)
  • HAVE FUN!!!!  Because what's the point of having a costume shop if it's not fun?
The first thing we need to do is provide photos of what is truly unique about Beauty and the Beast Costumes - and that is our hand made, on site Rental Stock.  Our website needs to contain and manage an image data base so that people can find what they are looking for... or at least get a better idea of what we have.  Our rental stock doesn't really change that much over time.  We constantly add more, but we don't "sell out" or "discontinue" items like we do in the retail departments.

So, while my Web Team is working on getting the site to function, I've been taking and processing photos.  When we get everything up and running correctly, then we'll work on tweeking the 'look' of the page.  HOPEFULLY - we'll get that much done before the end of summer.  I would love to get FUN stuff going before Halloween.... Like Coupons, Give Aways, Contests, etc.  But let's go one step at a time, otherwise, it's going to be like putting chrome exhaust pipes on my little pink bike.

Friday, June 6, 2014

4th of July

Patriotic fun for all!  

While most people think of Beauty and the Beast Costumes, Chattanooga when they need a full Uncle Sam costume, they might not think of us for other items as well.   Like wigs in Red, White and Blue tri color, and Red or Blue solid colors for $6 - $7.

Make up or colored hair spray from $1.25 to $2.50

Beauty and the Beast has adult sized Uncle Sam costumes for $35 rental.  We also have some for sale in either Standard or Plus sized adult sizes.  Child sized patriotic costumes from $20-$40 including Uncle Sam, Betsy Ross and founding fathers.

Or maybe you would like to start your own holiday traditions with 2nd Skin body suits in solid red or blue for just $35 each.  Tall Uncle Sam hats are $10-$15 each.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Keep it Clean!

 Do you ever wonder how Beauty and the Beast keeps their costumes clean?  It's no secret!  We do a lot of laundry.  The first big tip is the fact that we sell only Mehron brand theatrical make up products.  Let's face it, if your school is going to put on a musical production, you're going to need quality make up at reasonable price.  As a rental agent, I'm going to need a way to get that make up off my costumes.  Even when makeup is properly applied and set some of the color is going to transfer onto collars and cuffs before the end of the run.  That's why we use Greased Lightning to spot clean stains before we launder.

The vest above was used for a production of Shrek the Musical.  He came back looking a little green around the gills.  Actually, for six performances, I think it came back looking pretty good.  After a little squirt of cleaner and a little rub down, the vest was tossed into the washing machine as normal.  Now it's lamb's wool white and fluffy.  Ready to go again.