A fairy with pink hair, born in Birmingham, England, Kathryn Robbins expresses her creative talent through makeup art. Full of imagination and generosity, she created 7 make-ups of the shows and trained the beauty professionals who will assist her in the challenging task of making up 99 women before the shows. An art of metamorphosis, makeup has the mysterious power to reveal the unique beauty of each character.
Kathryn, how did you hear about this project?
I heard about this project from another ’99 women’ member who is a close friend. She introduced me to Genevieve and told me all about the concept and the story behind the production. I then met with Genevieve who explained what my involvement could be and it just really excited me. It a very unique and usual idea and unlike anything I have ever done before. I am always keen to try something new. That’s what my time in Shanghai has been very much about.
What convinced you to participate?
Originally I wanted to be one of the female actresses. I have no experience with acting what so ever and I have massive stage fright. This is something I would really like to get over. Even though I am a very confident person, public speaking and my nerves are something that holds me back. Genevieve explained how the rehearsals would be organized and how we would be mentored and aided with how to portray ourselves on stage and we would practice different exercises to improve our confidence, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity.
I also discussed my role as the production head makeup artist. I would be in charge of organizing workshops to train other makeup artists to do the looks that I have designed for each group of female characters. I loved the idea of being the sole creator of this section of the production and I really appreciated that Genevieve was willing to give me creative freedom with this based on her initial vision. I really enjoy teaching and I enjoy a challenge. We also needed to obtain a sponsor and I would deal with the makeup artists supplied by the sponsor to build a makeup team.
Unfortunately after starting rehearsals for the play I haven’t been able to commit to the acting side of my role because of my freelance work commitments, however I am fully involved in the makeup for the show and I will be doing what I do best.
What kind of woman are you ?
I am a creative, very open and very trusting woman. I am a twin sister and a sister, I am family girl. I love life, I love weird and wonderful things but I love my home comforts too. I love to travel but also love to stay home with my sketch pad and my best pal and dog, Arthur. I am a very motivated person and my career is very important to me. My work is what shapes me and what drives me. I don’t mind taking risks to achieve my goals and am pretty relentless until I do. I love what I do and I love to share it with as many people as possible.
In terms of the production I am I think I fit into several categories:
Right now I am I feel like I’m in my most creative period of my life. However I feel like I have been through many of the other stages and maybe even more than once. As a female, I feel like life is a constant progression and we are ever evolving, learning and changing and I feel like I have to take on those roles in life to become the woman I am today. Such a pleasure to be a part of this and am very much looking forward to creating a little piece of history in Shanghai with the team. Thank you for asking me to take part Genevieve.
How do you see the women in Shanghai?
I see the women in shanghai in the expat community to be here to follow their dreams along with the majority of expats. They are strong and have a confidence that I can see just by being here. Shanghai gives us all a feeling of freedom I feel that I can sense in the people I meet here. I think shanghai also has a lot of undiscovered ground and is what inspires us and gives us the strength to take a few risks and try something new.
I think Shanghainese women can also be seen to be doing this more and more. Obviously everyone is different is very hard to generalize, I haven’t worked with many Chinese women but I do have a Chinese assistant. She is twenty five but seems a lot younger which I do think is the case with a lot of young Chinese women. She seems to have held onto her youth and hasn’t reach womanhood as early as I did. She has been enthused and inspired by working with me and I can see her drive but I can also see how here culture and society holds her back in some ways. She wants things that she thinks she can’t have, but slowly she is becoming more and more adventurous and going out there alone. I’m very proud of her and she is finding her inner woman.
Shanghai is still a constant discovery for me, finding out about myself and others around me.
Contact: Kathryn Robbins firstname.lastname@example.org