One of my favourite things about my job is working with super talented women. Sharron Matthews is one of the most fun people I have ever collaborated with. It's a little odd to me that I actually know her, because, while she never actually knew it, she was an inspirational part of my love of theatre, which in turn led me to makeup, which in turn led me to becoming DTB/Beauty: BUSTED!
I must have been 17 or so the very first time I saw Les Miserables, the musical. I remember how fortunate I was, because I got to sit third row for a cast dress rehearsal. My Sunday school teacher's daughter was in the cast and he got a bunch of tickets and he took our whole Sunday school class to see the show. I had never seen a major musical before. I had always dreamed of seeing one, but, of course, tickets were expensive even back then (I remember seeing an ad for Phantom of the Opera, and begging my mother for tickets that were $100 each—she, of course, thought I had gone insane). So when I was offered a chance to see Les Mis, I was over the moon. There were two performers I remember from that night—sitting in the dark at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium—Louise Pitre performing Fantine, and Sharron Matthews performing Mrs. Thenardier. Both the opposite end of the spectrum (one full drama, the other comic indulgence), and I will never forget that night. When the curtain came down I was in full tears, I jumped up and was clapping so loudly, the sweet senior lady sitting next to me just whispered, "You enjoyed that, didn't you, Dear."
Les Mis is still my all time favourite show—I have seen it dozens of times, but none of the productions have been as magical as that night. I remember the music, the lights, the costumes, but mostly I remember the makeup. I kept looking from the pictures of the actors in the program to the people they played on stage, and I just thought, "How can makeup do that?" They looked so different on stage.
It wasn't long after that that I embarked on my journey into the world of makeup, but that night was part of the very beginning of my fascination with colour, paint, and textures.
Sharron was there, but of course it wasn't until decades later that I actually met her. Her ability to make people laugh is her gift to the world and besides from being an accomplished actor, Sharron has performed around the world as a cabaret performer. In fact, in 2010 her one woman show was named the #1 cabaret act in New York City.
This talent from Hamilton has been seen in movies, such as Mean Girls (with Tina Fey, Lindsay Lohan, and Rachel McAdams), Cinderella Man (with Russell Crowe and Renee Zellweger), Hairspray (with John Travolta and Michelle Pfeiffer), and The Music Man (with Matthew Broderick and Kristen Chenoweth). Sharron is also one of the stars of Canada Sings on Global TV.
Recently, I asked this dynamo what beauty means to her:
"I would like to think that beauty and personal style mashes up this way, for this gal—fun, funky, and functional during the day, cocktail dresses, heelsc and sass at night!
I have learned that beauty is finding the way to feeling wonderful in your skin exactly as you are that day. Not worrying about the waist size or the blemish . . . but loving and accepting yourself as is. I know we have all heard this 100 times, but we can never hear it enough.
Curves are key. I don't pick things that hide my curves . . . I like to buy things that lie ever so perfectly around them. Comfort in beauty and fashion is also key. Even if you are in a cocktail dress and/or high heels, there is no reason that is should be torture. I don't like to subscribe to the "if it looks good it might just have to hurt" mentality. Lord, no.
I like spending a couple hours in the makeup store (I say the "makeup store," because I don't wanna say where, because I wish that I lived in TO so the "makeup store" could be Dan Thompson's house) looking for the perfect matt lipstick. ALSO the perfect red. Which is such a challenge to find. And Lise Watier just came out with a new line. It goes on like silk and stays on like . . . like . . . well . . . like I always hoped it would (lasts for a whole stage show, my friends). I picked "gourmand velours." A bit red, a bit orange. So perfect. I take it everywhere."
Sharron is the cabaret-artist-in-residence at Buddies in Bad Times in Toronto. She can be seen next performing with Gavin Crawford in "Gavin Crawford and Sharron Matthews are Vicious Bitches!" The King of Monologue and the Queen of Songologue together for the first time. One has killer Elaine Stritch stories, the other has Elaine Stritch legs, but you have to see the show to know who has which!
Tickets are available now and I will be there laughing my ass off!
Check out what beauty means to these other amazing women . . .