Performing Arts Abroad is thrilled to introduce the newest member of our team, Joe Dulude II. Joe is a highly accomplished makeup designer, best known for his designs on Wicked, the internationally acclaimed musical. His work with Wicked has taken him all over the world, and gets him to London almost every year when the West End cast changes over. We’re so excited to have Joe advising everyone who has expressed interest in our programs, and helping them take the first step on their journey abroad to pursue their artistic passion! To learn more about Joe, visit his website and feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-341-5570 ext. 2004. Enjoy this short interview with Joe!
I have to start this interview by asking about Wicked. How did you get involved with the original production of such an iconic musical?
I had just moved back to NYC from LA to take over doing makeup for Vanessa Williams on Into the Woods. The costume designer of that show is Susan Hilferty, who is the costume designer for Wicked. I had read the book and loved it and when I found out she was going to be designing it, I said to her that I would love to work on it. Not long before the cast and crew were to leave to go to San Fran for the out-of-town tryout, I got a call from her assistant about coming in to interview to design the show. I went to the interview and was informed that they were looking for someone who had more of an editorial background rather than theatre as they didn’t want the makeup to look stereotypically theatrical. My makeup background had been in fashion and editorial and I received a call a week later that I got the job.
What most excites you about joining Performing Arts Abroad as our new Program Advisor?
I think what excites me the most about joining PAA is that I get to help people achieve their dreams and goals of studying abroad. I had always wanted to study abroad but due to finances, never could do it. I also had a lot of fear about going abroad. I had never been and the thought of going alone scared me. I wasn’t sure I would be able to succeed. I regret that. So if I can help someone else push past the fear and move them into excitement, then that is a success for me.
What’s your #1 tip for performing artists who are preparing to travel abroad?
My number one tip is to research. Find out about the city and the country you are going to. Research local customs, foods, places of interest. The more prepared you are, the better the trip is. Whenever I travel I find out as much as I can. I don’t plan my excursions day-to-day, but I make a list of things I want to see and experience. It’s amazing when you travel, the people you will meet and the things you will see. So I think it is important to have as much knowledge as you can and then be ready for anything that comes your way. You have to be open and adventurous so that you can get as much out of travel as you can.
Tell us about a favorite current or recent artistic project you’ve worked on.
One artistic project that I am very proud of is my piece Project Wound. For Project Wound, I took 30 people of different races, ages, socio-economic backgrounds, etc. and I asked them what it is that they are afraid of with the country and the world in the state it is in. I listened to them speak about their fears and then interpreted that into some kind of wound makeup on them. I then shot photos of them, just on my phone. After, I asked them to condense their fears into 1 or 2 brief sentences and recorded it. I mixed these vocals together, overlapping at times to create chaos, and then other times certain words or phrases pop out. I showed it at a pop up art show in NYC this summer and it will be up at the Full Disclosure Festival in Amherst this month. www.joedulude2.com/wound
If you could do one of our programs yourself, which would you choose and why?
I think out of all the programs, I would choose Theatre Volunteering in the Galapagos. I have never been to that area of the world and think it is just a magical, unique and beautiful place. Also, one of the most important things is that it is volunteering and working with youth. I work at a camp every year and have taught makeup to kids often. I love working with kids and helping them to realize their dreams. I think one of the most important things you can do is to teach children that they can be better, that the world can be better and that they can make it better. And there is no better way than through the performing arts. By using performing arts we can express emotions or talk about issues that might otherwise be difficult. It is a great bridge between fact and fiction.