Unexpected Inspiration

Header 3rd Feb 2019

As someone at the very start of my professional career with so much to learn it always surprises me from where I can draw inspiration.  As with everything in life when faced with something that is new to us it is important to draw on the experience from those around us, from Parents, Teachers, Coaches, and our peers.  But sometimes inspiration can come from the most unexpected places.

During an audition or when performing on stage getting my makeup just right can be a bit of a hit or miss affair and can have a huge impact on how I feel on stage.  As singers, we spend hours and hours practicing the many technical aspects of our craft but often when it comes to our stage appearances the way we present our selves can be a little daunting without the help of the many talented makeup artists that help out with an Opera production.  So, when faced with this challenge on my own I can sometimes lack the skills to make the best of my appearance when attending an audition.

Over Christmas whilst at home with my parents and brothers we watched some episodes of a programme called Ru Paul’s Drag Race.  It is a competition in which Drag Queens take on a series of challenges to demonstrate a range of skills that will ultimately make them the winner of the competition and enhance their performing careers.  I loved watching the way the competitors rose to each challenge, gaining self-confidence and improving their stage presence with each round. What I never expected to discover however were makeup tips for stage performances, but that was exactly what I found.

Many of the performers recorded their makeup routines on YouTube which I have found so helpful.  Their make up tips are brilliant for my job, they spill their secrets for how to hide unwanted blemishes and how to make it last for a full performance which can often be a problem as I found out in the heat of the Summer performances of Candide at the Minack Theatre.  So, fingers crossed this is another skill I can continue to develop and with it give myself the extra confidence that is sometimes needed for an audition or competition.

Have you ever found inspiration in an unexpected way? If so, I would love to hear about it 🙂


I have some other good news to share with you, following the success of Waterperry Opera’s ‘Mansfield Park’ last Summer, Jonathan Dove has agreed to become an Honorary Patron for the festival and I can’t wait to reprise the role again this July.  Last year the tickets sold out within weeks of going on sale so this year there will be two extra days.  Once the tickets go on sale I will let you know in case you want to come along to Waterperry House in Oxford and join in the spectacle.

Waterperry 1

Waterperry 2.jpg

Waterperry 3.jpg



49 thoughts on “Unexpected Inspiration

    1. Well I get lots of inspiration from your Angel Messages Annette and your book comes with me everywhere. Makeups never been my thing I wasn’t allowed to wear it at school by my parents.
      All my best wishes

  1. You are an inspiration yourself Charlotte and you always look very beautiful. Love the dress xx

    1. Thank you Les for your lovely message, the dress is a Ted Baker from a few years ago he is one of my favourite designers.
      All my best wishes

  2. Super !! Oui, l’inspiration se trouve généralement où on ne l’attend pas. pour moi, l’inspiration va naître d’une lumière ou d’une couleur, d’une son, d’une musique, d’une ombre 🙂 … Il m’arrive souvent de partir faire des photos avec une idée en tête et finalement, je fais une “rencontre” inattendue et réaliser une série d’images et de création totalement imprévue. Très belle semaine à Toi !

    1. Merci Pascal, Très belle semaine à Toi aussi. Je vois l’inspiration dans les photos. J’apprends constamment de nouvelles chansons et j’écoute en ce moment.
      je dois trouver les meilleurs moyens de me représenter apprendre des erreurs.
      All my best wishes

  3. I’m glad you get ms aben’s messages :). Inspirational gem. Inspiration I know you try to abide a healthy lifestyle so it’s rather fun seeing you like crafty xmas to if I see your name it is a chance not to convert ye to a sinner but offer ideas you might actually like. Today is a reeeeepeat I’m thinking asparagus bites a simple tortilla with Swiss and asparagus rolled up and baked crisp

    1. Annette is a very special lady full of encouragement and positivity. I like your healthy advice it Sounds delicious I like asparagus.
      All my best wishes Starman 🙋🏼

      1. I would agree with you. She helped me get out a book project I’m proud of. I would like to add skillful and resourceful to her adjectives.

    1. I know exactly what you’re saying Tony, I walked outside this morning it was beautiful but cold all the spiders webs looked like diamond silk strands just mesmerising.
      All my best wishes

    1. I couldn’t believe my Dad was really into Drag Race, he’d watched an entire season in a week, then another and said I could learn a lot from RuPauls positivity and challenges and the positive way he promotes their art form, he is very encouraging and the show demonstrates good competition behaviour.

      I am to be Col. Jonathan Dove was the composer of one of my first opera roles, Eve in Walk from the Garden I was so thrilled when he came to watch.
      All my best wishes

    1. Aw that’s most kind of you Rev.Tim, I like to keep positive and turn a frown upside down, no point wasting time on being down I try to find things to be grateful for instead.
      Best wishes

  4. Hi Charlotte! Inspiration is so great, that is what we use to further our causes. Congrats on the Jonathan Dove Patronage… All the Best!!! Darlene

    1. The pressure on the contestants is immense, they have to be able to designing clothes, make the outfits by sewing (or gluing if they can’t sew), acting, be funny and quick witted, fierce whilst vulnerable and able to dance whilst lip-synching “for their life”. The best ones have great confidence, one of my favourites was a drag artist that was actually voted off first called Miss Vanjie, as she was sashaying away backwards you could see how upset she was to get chosen as first to leave, she kept repeating her name “Miss Vaannnjjjiii” “Miss Vaaannnjji” and the judges started to chuckle and repeat it. It was the first name I remembered on the show, I think she is actually in the All Stars competition that is being filmed now. I really like Ru Paul too “know who you are and deliver at all times”.

      Waterperry must have been thrilled to get his patronage, they are an impressive collective of young, passionate opera promoters I like them all a lot.

      Best wishes

  5. Ru Paul’s Drag Race is a very interesting show and can be very inspiring. There’s another American show called Queer Eye in which get make-overs, but I have learned some tips for hair styling and makeup from it.

      1. There was a contestant called Miss Fame she was my favourite her make up was fabulous and I was so pleased she did you-tube videos. Although the winner Violet was my second favourite she was just fabulous and tough to beat, so talented her costumes were amazing. I must have a look if that is on Netflix.

        All my best wishes

  6. My darling Charlotte, you are always beautiful-with or without make-up. While I understand you feel the pressure of looking your best in front of hundreds of people on stage, it is equally important for you to know that you are a naturally gorgeous woman and you should do make-up that only adds to your beauty instead of hiding it. Plus you’re an extremely talented Soprano. So, concentrate on your singing and just let go. You’ll go far in your chosen path.

    Oh by the way, growing up, I was also not allowed to wear any kind of make-up. Parents-I tell you! Haha!

    Wishing you a February filled with opportunities, joy, dreams and success.❤

    Love you x

    1. Thank you gorgeous x. Yes it is really on when I’m on stage most days you will find me make-up less although I do put on mascara and lippy for auditions. Stage lights are so killing though especially as I’m so pale, I was told I looked like the ghost when on Stage as the governess in Turn of the Screw so we had to bronze up hehe. I think that’s what I liked most about Ru Paul ““know who you are and deliver at all times”. Thank you for your good wishes, right back at you!

      All my best wishes

  7. Another lovely post Charlotte , I always enjoy reading them. It was great to see you last week even though it was a fleeting visit. Looking forward to your performance at Llangollen, we’ll have to have a cream tea whilst there😘😘

    1. You were so busy, I waited a bit for you to come free, next time. Absolutely I will look forward to our cream tea 😊.

      Best wishes Gilly always,

  8. Wonderful news Charlotte.
    The chance to appear in Mansfield Park again this summer.
    We loved it last year.
    You look amazing love the dress.xx

    1. I was so happy you both enjoyed the entire performance and got a chuckle from it too. Such a lovely venue you’ll have to pack a picnic next time.

      Best wishes

  9. I can’t come up with my own experiences of unexpected inspiration I had but I think it happened with me before. I think those surprised unexpected positive things we’ve run into one always give a last long lesson for keep eyes opened than close.

    1. Absolutely agree with you, my Dad told me to watch the show, he thought it was very positive about competition and the business side of drag. The costume designs and making of props was eye opening too.

      All my best wishes

  10. I was having trouble coming up with a new Art Photography Series. My Creativity felt stagnant for several months. A couple weeks ago, I decided to focus on an Audio/Video Project (that’s still giving me trouble) when something caught my eye. The wind was blowing pretty strongly that day. The sunlight was just right. All I can say is I stumbled into the largest Series I’ve ever created and it may be the best I have to date.

    Typically, I plan out my Projects and Series, but when a moment presents itself, capture it. So, continue to keep your eyes open. As long as you’re on the right road, you’ll run into what you need to be successful.

    1. That is wonderful to read Eric. I love having a moment of clarity like that. You know I have always admired your work so much. I like your Audio/Video projects too.

      Best wishes

  11. I agree wholeheartedly with the comments made by Jonathan Dove, at least so far as the accompanying pictures from your production reveal. It must have been amazing to perform in that setting, and amazing, as he remarked, for the audience to see and hear.

    1. It was just a lovely week and Waterperry is just beautiful the grounds the house everything, the photographs were by Robert Workman who is just a fabulous photographer I wish I could afford a full photo session with him for my website.

      All my best wishes

  12. Such good news to read that Jonathan Dove will be an honorary patron of the Waterperry Opera Festival. I am glad ‘Mansfield Park’ is to be revived this year, too!
    Inspiration can come at any time and from any where, as you have found.

  13. You are inspiring dear Charlotte, so beautiful an gifted beyond words. Life has wonderful things in store for you, some you are already experiencing, a dream come true. May it always be so! <3

  14. As always Charoltte, you bright light and beautiful voice shine through. Inspiration I find daily everywhere around me. Often by how simple things really are.
    Congratulations on the festival and the patronage that is incredible you and your voice, presence in life is a blessing. Sincerely Benjamin.
    PS. I wanna see you sing before I have to leave. #bucketlist

  15. Ru Paul is a fabulous source for make-up inspiration, and watching the competitor’s video’s is smart of you. I’m sure you learned a lot, and that it will be of much benefit in your future.
    When my mom passed away (6 years ago) I was in a funk. Nothing was beautiful, pleasing pretty, etc. I saw a yardage of red jacquard silk in my fabric pile, and thought … out of my mother’s ashes my phoenix will rise.
    Thus, my first Art Gown was born. Her name is Strawberry Kisses.
    How wonderful about reprising your role in ‘Mansfield Park’ this July. Also, congratulations to Jonathan Dove & Waterperry Opera Festival!
    Charlotte, I love you in that dress! It’s perfect for you.
    Okay, sending a big hug!! ❦

    1. What a nice recovery from your low to commemorate your Mother. I’m sure she would be proudly pleased watching you transform and with Strawberry Kisses.
      The dress is another Ted Baker design 😀.
      I’ve got a few projects bubbling away keep your fingers crossed for me 😍.
      Best wishes

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: