On the film location in Helmond their space is not much bigger than fifteen square metres. Still, all cases and bags find their place and are packed with make-up and all kinds of beauty enhancers. Unpacking is finished in the blink of an eye, as with extreme precision all tools are laid out swiftly and make-up is applied for all actors; everything for the perfect image.
Evelien Kieboom manages a beauty salon in Helmond, and Linsey Sonnemans teaches at a hair-dressing school in Eindhoven. They both fill the role of make-up artist as well as hairstylist on the set of Who is Alice. Besides the application of cosmetic paints and powders they are mostly engaging with the actors in either small chats or a good conversation. The fact that the actors are internationally famous, doesn’t make any difference to the girls. As far as they’re concerned cast and crew are like a huge family.
Leap of Faith
Evelien worked together with director Robert van den Broek for several times now. “Therefore, I got involved in the film via Robert”, she says, but she did not know Linsey before then. At the beginning of the shooting they both had to take the leap of faith to start working together closely without knowing one another. “As I needed extra assistance with hair and make-up, I came in contact with Linsey, which now feels like an excellent choice for both of us, and it seems as if we have been working together for years now.”
Everything indeed runs smoothly agrees Linsey: “For some scenes we can do a lot of work in advance by for example already powdering the extra’s or doing an actor’s hair before their scenes are up.” Evelien nods and tells me what makes the work so challenging: “Sometimes you just have to sweat your guts out as the days are long and intense. We’re the first to start working and we’ll be the last ones finished as the make-up has to be removed again after shooting. Especially the mornings are hectic, and while filming we have to stay on our toes to touch up make-up and hair in between takes. Luckily, we have also had a lot of fun together.”
Addicted to Growth
Nonduality is the main theme of Who is Alice, but before they got involved, for them this was unknown territory. “Only when Robert asked me to become part of the crew, he told me about nonduality and their previous film All About Nothing. Before then, I never heard of it”, Evelien says very matter-of-factly. “I didn’t know about nonduality before as well”, Linsey adds. “Now I do know about it, it gives pause for thought.”
Also Evelien knows that something has changed for her. “The references in the film to nonduality triggered me to look at some things a little different. The story is about Alice who keeps on wanting to grow, and I kind of recognize that, and I therefore try to live more in the moment now.” Linsey nods: “I also feel that I often want to keep on growing, of course I still do, but I now realize that sometimes it’s enough just to be satisfied with what we already have.”
For now that is to enjoy being part of this production, because it does not feel as ‘regular work’ at all. In contrast to the filming that will end, the memories will last. “I know we will miss this immensely”, Evelien and Linsey conclude their experiences together. “We will definitely remember our interaction with the actors. They are so kind, and we really got to know them in those few weeks as we talked about anything and everything.”
“We for example had so much fun with Lee Brace and Ali Bastian, but we also saw their sensitive side when we talked about their relationship or family life. What will especially linger is how we started the first day shooting so hectically because of a vanished key. We had a great laugh about it afterwards, because It was exactly the opposite of what Who is Alice is really about: serenity and acquiescence…” That serenity is here now for a little while, and it is a well-deserved rest after sixteen days of hard work.