A few weeks ago, I was honoured to be invited backstage at Odysseo to explore the wardrobe and makeup part of the show. The big tops at Fort Road and Yellowhead Trail make up a little village. Besides the stage and audience tent, they have more set up for offices, cafeteria, practicing, dressing, exercising horses, and the stables.
My tour enlightened me to the challenges they need to overcome when water, dirt, speed, acrobatics and horses are added in to the theatrical equation. They have to make outfit changes (and sometimes repairs) on the fly and keep those wigs fastened tight for top speeds, and maintain a calm vibe in order to keep the horses comfortable.
I was surprised to learn that all of the performers are responsible for their own makeup! Early on, a professional artist applies their makeup and takes photos at each step. Every night, the performers refer to the step-by-step guide to replicate the look on their own.
I was excited to watch them rehearse one of my favourite parts of the show (acrobats hanging from silky fabrics). They were getting a young horse that isn't in the show acquainted with the fabrics and the idea of having acrobats doing tricks around them. It's fascinating to learn the work that goes into making the horses look like natural performers in the show. Little details like this that make Odysseo even more spectacular when you see it. Luckily the Edmonton run of Odysseo has been extended to August 31.
If you haven't seen it yet, you can purchase your tickets here. Regular priced tickets are 10% off with the code SMNYEG.
One of my favourite parts was trying on one of the outfits. It fit! All I need is to learn how to ride a horse and I'll be ready for my debut. Follow along on my tour in the video: