Learning with a wicked twist

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This year WITT hairdressing tutor Kellie Divane and a team of students played a key part in the New Plymouth Operatic Society’s (NPOS) annual show.

The NPOS and their cast of talented actors performed the musical ‘Wicked’ this year while Kellie led the ‘Hair and Wig Team’ for the duration of the show.

The show did not begin until June but photoshoots for the programme began in May, so the work for Kellie and the team started early. 

Kellie and a group of hairdressing tutors at WITT were in charge of styling and shaping all the wigs and the students supported the team each night when the show was running by preparing the performers hair and securing the wigs.

The show started in June and ran for 2 ½ weeks, 5 nights a week and was optional to all hairdressing students with 8 of them taking up this opportunity.

Keisha Morgan who helped out for the show is currently studying the New Zealand Certificate in Hairdressing Salon Support (Level 3). Keisha described what they had to do each night as a great learning curve and was extremely grateful for all the skills she picked up.

“We had to braid all the performer's hair and secure it in nets ready for the wigs. Then had to put the wigs on the performers and make sure they were straight, which was a learning curve for all of us.”

“I remember earlier on in the show the wig I was styling had a side part, and I accidentally put it on as a middle part. I'm lucky only the backstage team noticed and it's funny to laugh about now” she said.

Classmate Annie Walsh who also helped out on the show said that it was a great opportunity and really helped out with her classwork.

“It was very different from a salon environment but it was awesome to experience this different crazy side of hairdressing.”

“Getting the opportunity to do braiding every night and collect evidence for class helped me to get more confident” she said.

Faith Howell, who was also part of the team, said that it was a challenge to come to class all day, complete practical and theory-based assessments, and then go to the show at night, but it was all worth it.

“It was really hard by the end of the show, you were going back to back to back, but the moral at the end was what kept us going” she said.

“The skills I learnt from the show were irreplaceable and I passed my braiding assessment instantly having done it so many times for the show. Even though it was hard at times, I definitely would do it again.” She said.

Kellie was incredibly proud of all the students saying it was a huge commitment for them to make on top of all their class work.

“‘The commitment from the students volunteering their own time for this period of time as well as studying full time made me very proud” she said.

 “The skills they learnt in prepping the hair for wigs and then putting them on was invaluable as this isn’t an everyday occurrence.”

Kellie has been working with the NPOS for the last few years and takes a different group of students along each year. She is looking forward to the challenges that next years show will bring. 

Find out more about our hairdressing courses here.

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