CivilWarTalk Throwback Thursday, 1-21-2021

James N.

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Just to see if you're paying attention, here's a real Throwback! Okay, okay, I realize it's the WRONG uniform, but I've been thinking of some of my other misadventures from stage & screen. This one's from a stint I did in Fall, 1986 as a supernumerary (or super for short) with the Dallas Opera in productions of Andrea Chenier (here), Verdi's Rigoletto, and La Sonambula ("The Sleepwalker"). Make no mistake - I can't carry a tune in a bucket! However, a super is a warm body for crowd scenes or other actions not requiring a regular member of the cast or chorus; here I'm a member of the French Revolutionary Garde Nationalle leaning against the tumbril or manure cart used to carry victims to the Guillotine. Below, as a valet in Sonambula I received regular professional stage makeup - above, I'd had to do it myself. I'll draw your attention to the GENUINE, AUTHINTIC ca. 1795 French Revolutionary musket from my collection that I smuggled into the theater to use during one of the Sunday matinees. In a subsequent season and another with the Fort Worth Opera I served as armorer, renting out part of my collection and supervising its use by members of the firing squad in the final act of Puccini's Tosca when they shoot the tenor - Vive l'Opera!

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Anyone else having (preferably) old (preferably) Civil War-related photos, mementoes, or memorabilia from reenactments, living history or other events, or vacation or other travel they would like to share is welcome and encouraged to post them in this weekly thread!
 

Kurt G

Sergeant Major
Joined
May 23, 2018
View attachment 388501

Just to see if you're paying attention, here's a real Throwback! Okay, okay, I realize it's the WRONG uniform, but I've been thinking of some of my other misadventures from stage & screen. This one's from a stint I did in Fall, 1986 as a supernumerary (or super for short) with the Dallas Opera in productions of Andrea Chenier (here), Verdi's Rigoletto, and La Sonambula ("The Sleepwalker"). Make no mistake - I can't carry a tune in a bucket! However, a super is a warm body for crowd scenes or other actions not requiring a regular member of the cast or chorus; here I'm a member of the French Revolutionary Garde Nationalle leaning against the tumbril or manure cart used to carry victims to the Guillotine. Below, as a valet in Sonambula I received regular professional stage makeup - above, I'd had to do it myself. I'll draw your attention to the GENUINE, AUTHINTIC ca. 1795 French Revolutionary musket from my collection that I smuggled into the theater to use during one of the Sunday matinees. In a subsequent season and another with the Fort Worth Opera I served as armorer, renting out part of my collection and supervising its use by members of the firing squad in the final act of Puccini's Tosca when they shoot the tenor - Vive l'Opera!

View attachment 388502

Anyone else having (preferably) old (preferably) Civil War-related photos, mementoes, or memorabilia from reenactments, living history or other events, or vacation or other travel they would like to share is welcome and encouraged to post them in this weekly thread!
Now that is cool. I listen to classical music , but I'm not an opera fan. You probably couldn't sneak a musket in these days.
 

Rusk County Avengers

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Location
Coffeeville, TX
Great to see a representation of uniforms from that period, I've thought several times about trying to make one of those uniforms. Awesome wouldn't be complete without the musket and you went for the gold.

Also, full disclosure, but that make up is terrifying to me......

I'm having flashbacks to childhood and cartoons of the Joker.
 

James N.

Colonel
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Feb 23, 2013
Location
East Texas
Great to see a representation of uniforms from that period, I've thought several times about trying to make one of those uniforms. Awesome wouldn't be complete without the musket and you went for the gold.

Also, full disclosure, but that make up is terrifying to me......

I'm having flashbacks to childhood and cartoons of the Joker.
Of course stage makeup usually isn't very realistic when seen up close and personal - it has to exaggerate features so they show up at a distance under often harsh stage lighting.
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Location
Southwest Mississippi
View attachment 388501

Just to see if you're paying attention, here's a real Throwback! Okay, okay, I realize it's the WRONG uniform, but I've been thinking of some of my other misadventures from stage & screen. This one's from a stint I did in Fall, 1986 as a supernumerary (or super for short) with the Dallas Opera in productions of Andrea Chenier (here), Verdi's Rigoletto, and La Sonambula ("The Sleepwalker"). Make no mistake - I can't carry a tune in a bucket! However, a super is a warm body for crowd scenes or other actions not requiring a regular member of the cast or chorus; here I'm a member of the French Revolutionary Garde Nationalle leaning against the tumbril or manure cart used to carry victims to the Guillotine. Below, as a valet in Sonambula I received regular professional stage makeup - above, I'd had to do it myself. I'll draw your attention to the GENUINE, AUTHINTIC ca. 1795 French Revolutionary musket from my collection that I smuggled into the theater to use during one of the Sunday matinees. In a subsequent season and another with the Fort Worth Opera I served as armorer, renting out part of my collection and supervising its use by members of the firing squad in the final act of Puccini's Tosca when they shoot the tenor - Vive l'Opera!

View attachment 388502

Anyone else having (preferably) old (preferably) Civil War-related photos, mementoes, or memorabilia from reenactments, living history or other events, or vacation or other travel they would like to share is welcome and encouraged to post them in this weekly thread!
Great throwback !

I immediately thought French Revolution with your first image.

After seeing the second image, I thought you had been reproduced in wax . . . at Madame Tussauds.

:D
 

James N.

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Joined
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Image (5).jpg

Ain't no one ever putting that stuff on me for any reason!
It wasn't the makeup I minded, having had similar on several occasions before; it was this silly costume for Rigoletto! I was one of two "supers" in the first scene (a party) portraying servants passing out drinks to the chorus member "guests" - my accomplice would pretend to fill the goblets as I handed them out. We were onstage maybe four or five minutes only, before disappearing never to be seen again, thank goodness!

... I immediately thought French Revolution with your first image.

After seeing the second image, I thought you had been reproduced in wax . . . at Madame Tussauds.

:D
Right! At first glance I thought Napolean was visiting CWT!
Of course that was the reason I did this in the first place - I had just lost a longtime job and was looking for another when I heard an announcement on Dallas' city-owned Classical radio station saying the Opera was looking for supers for the first production of the season, Andrea Chenier, which I knew was set during the French Revolution. Although the pay, such as it was, barely covered the cost of gas to and from the theater, I had plenty of time and nothing else as yet do do otherwise, so I thought I'd check it out. Although other "supers" got to portray more than one character, including members of the Convention, I was happy to be a guardsman in several scenes, including carrying the Hero to the Guillotine! The costumes were very nice - except for their Velcro closures! - but more appropriate for the slightly later Napoleonic era, something that bothered me not at all. However the hats were crummy tricorns, more like our Revolution than the French, so I furtively re-blocked mine into a proper bicorn, which nobody seems to have noticed. The "guns' we were given to carry were basically nothing but wooden dowels in a stock, so I was especially glad to bring mine to the matinee where I was the only guardsman and nobody would notice that either!

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James N.

Colonel
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Location
East Texas
Always enjoy these old photos. I remember going to the opera years ago. We had to sign up for Music class I had. I really enjoyed many of them.
When I lived in Dallas back in the 1980's I became interested, although I'd loved some of the music much longer, no doubt "inspired" by such things as its use in so many of the old Warner Brothers' cartoons on TV at the time. My first to attend, however, left me cold, and it wasn't until much later that I tried again. I never cared as much for Italian opera - which was both known and popular in America before and during the Civil War! - but especially favored Wagner, so I've managed to attend performances of many of his, which can admittedly be quite an ordeal to sit through; I used to say that afterwards I felt like one of the original Dead End Kids!
 

Peter Stines

Sergeant
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Location
Gulf Coast of Texas
Ain't no one ever putting that stuff on me for any reason!
A gal pal of mine told me this one. She was working with a theater group and they had a new makeup man. One of the actors was VERY FUSSY about his makeup and hair and was rude to everyone. But the new guy perservered. He asked the actor to lay down flat and did the makeup perfectly. Well Mr. Fussy pants was delighted with the results and asked him where he learned to do that. He replied: MORTUARY SCHOOL. The actor got up and walked out without saying another word. I think he became a monk shortly thereafter 😉
 

Peter Stines

Sergeant
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Location
Gulf Coast of Texas
View attachment 388501

Just to see if you're paying attention, here's a real Throwback! Okay, okay, I realize it's the WRONG uniform, but I've been thinking of some of my other misadventures from stage & screen. This one's from a stint I did in Fall, 1986 as a supernumerary (or super for short) with the Dallas Opera in productions of Andrea Chenier (here), Verdi's Rigoletto, and La Sonambula ("The Sleepwalker"). Make no mistake - I can't carry a tune in a bucket! However, a super is a warm body for crowd scenes or other actions not requiring a regular member of the cast or chorus; here I'm a member of the French Revolutionary Garde Nationalle leaning against the tumbril or manure cart used to carry victims to the Guillotine. Below, as a valet in Sonambula I received regular professional stage makeup - above, I'd had to do it myself. I'll draw your attention to the GENUINE, AUTHINTIC ca. 1795 French Revolutionary musket from my collection that I smuggled into the theater to use during one of the Sunday matinees. In a subsequent season and another with the Fort Worth Opera I served as armorer, renting out part of my collection and supervising its use by members of the firing squad in the final act of Puccini's Tosca when they shoot the tenor - Vive l'Opera!

View attachment 388502

Anyone else having (preferably) old (preferably) Civil War-related photos, mementoes, or memorabilia from reenactments, living history or other events, or vacation or other travel they would like to share is welcome and encouraged to post them in this weekly thread!
Barnabas Collins Lives!!!
 
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