A few years, ago I met Lousie Pitre on a photo shoot called Iconic Beauty II. I was asked to create a series of film noire-inspired portraits which would be auctioned off for charity. Louise was one of the six women for whom I created looks, and I had such a blast working with her. I have worked on many photo shoots over the decades, and I know that often the days are long and very tedious. Louise made this shoot so much fun. She was punctual, prepared for her make-up and styling, and she was absolutely the professional with whom every make up artist wants to work.
She knew her own personal preferences and could articulate them very well, which made my job very easy, and at the same time she was open to the suggestions I thought would enhance her style. She knows exactly what is collaboration.
Here is the result of our work together:
Louise is a Tony Award-Nominated actress who originated the role of Donna in "Mamma Mia!" on Broadway. She is also an accomplished singer, television actor, and cabaret performer. Louise also performed my favourite character in musical theatre, Fantine, in Les Misérables. Louise has entertained audiences in London, Paris, New York, Toronto, Chicago, and Montréal. She has graced the most renowned stages of the world including Royal Albert Hall and Carnegie Hall.
Louise shows no signs of slowing down either. She is curently performing the role of Miss Hannigan in Annie at The Young People's Theatre in Toronto. Originally slated to close on December 19th, the show has been extended until December 29th. Next up for her is the role of Rose in Gypsy at The Chicago Shakespeare Theatre in Chicago (February 6th - March 23rd).
Recently, I asked this singing and acting powerhouse what beauty means to her:
"For me it is always about feeling 'right.' Not studied. Not forced. I like to inhabit the clothes and make-up I wear. It should feel comfortable and look like me. Over the years I have worn less and less make-up. I don't want to look really made up. I have found, so often, that when I am not overly dolled up, people will compliment me more. This made me realize that I was trying too hard. I like when a woman walks into a room and seems at ease in her skin; not afraid of looking people in the eye.
In my business, we tend to take ourselves very seriously. Humour influences my sense of beauty—the opposite of of the norm in my business. I think not taking myself too seriously reminds me how to be beautiful.
In my current show (Annie), the character of Miss Hannigan certainly informs my opinion of beauty. The emotional side more than the physical. The big three emotional aspects of beauty are:
1. Living without regret. It a tough one, for sure, but one I keep working on. Forgiving myself is a difficult thing to do, but as I evolve, I hopefully become a better person and learn that while the past cannot be undone I can always forgive myself for having made mistakes.
2. Not settling. I did that for years. I have learned no one can make my life better for me. I have to be discerning and demanding, and I insist on being surrounded with wonderful people.
3. Being kind. I firmly believe that frequent acts of kindness will actually make the world more livable. Even a little gesture can change a whole life."
Beauty: BUSTED! will be profiling a Canadian celebrity once every month. Do you have a favourite performer you would like me to interview? Let me know and I will contact them.
Next Month: Dione Taylor