Hats Off to Broadway! with Lizzie Hatfield

8 Aug

Lizzie Hatfield is my go-to girl and co-conspirator for Mozart Project, having done the make-up and hair for nearly half of my Mozart Project photos. First and foremost she is a musician and theater performer, which I believe is why she is so in synch with my project. Go big or go home, am I right? Recently, she has been asked to Music Direct an Off-Broadway musical for the New York Musical Theatre Festival, and is holding a concert and fundraiser in Missoula Montana (Aug 27, 28 2011) and Cut Bank Montana (Aug 24, 2011).

Lizzie Hatfield, my good friend and art buddy, is going to New York and needs our help to get there! Photo by Evan Thompson

While working on my project, Lizzie has not only done hair and make-up, she has also helped me with finding locations and reflecting light using the reflector board (a noble duty), but most importantly, she has fed and housed me and my models whenever we shoot with her!

My shoots with Lizzie are usually large or span weekends, and she always feeds the models whatever food they desire, always asking them if they have any preferences. Bacon, Apple and Cheese sandwiches with roasted onion mayonnaise? Check. An entire gluten free meal for the gluten intolerant, including Grilled chicken and potato salad? Got that covered! Thai take-out? If she doesn’t get it, her husband will! She even maintains a cooking blog called “The House of Hatfield” which chronicles her most successful culinary delights!

In this “Where’s Waldo” of Lizzie images from our Mozart Project, you will find her doing hair (Top Left: "Il Sogno di Scipione" with Jerry), showing up the models when I give the direction “smile” (Top Right: "Figaro" crew), holding a reflector board (Bottom Left: "Zaide", Arri and Jenna) , and taking a picture of Maria’s right eyebrow (Bottom Right: "Abduction").

Lizzie’s many talents include getting hair to stick straight up and stay there, creating entire make-up designs from my obscure phrases like “Fugitive Princessy” and “Just on the verge of looking like he’s wearing make-up”, supplying Jewelry during a Jewelry shortage, spilling booze on the reflector board, entertaining us by making her very loud cat do a kitty-cat dance, and a complete comic inability to paint different shaped lips over existing lips (Which I’m glad to say she overcame on our last shoot).

Cosi Fan tutte

Lizzie Hatfield has participated in numerous Mozart Project photos doing hair and make-up, as well as finding locations and baking, which you can see in these two "Cosi Fan Tutte images". She has also modeled as Fiordiligi (Bottom Left).

Because Lizzie has always supported me, I wanted to write a blog post about her, in hopes that my readers will support her while she raises money to get to New York and stays there for six weeks. While in New York, Lizzie will Music Direct the play “Blood” by the Mummers (Which also features Nora Gustuson who has modeled for Mozart Project). This August she is putting on a fundraiser in Montana (Missoula and Cut Bank) called “Hats Off to Broadway”, a musical revue which features all the best Broadway songs about New York, and stars Lizzie, Kendra Syrdal (another Mozart Project participant) and Dylan Rodwick. The show will be performed in Missoula Montana (Aug 27, 28 2011) and Cut Bank Montana (Aug 24, 2011). Along with the fundraiser and concert, Lizzie is holding a raffle featuring art from Montanan artists to be drawn at the final “Hats Off to Broadway” show, and she will be accepting donations throughout her entire trip.

"Hats Off to Broadway" cast - Lizzie Hatfield, Dylan Rodwick and Kendra Syrdal

The best way to get to know Lizzie is through her own words! In the following interview, Lizzie talks about Mozart Project, her trip to New York and how music has become such an important a part of her life!

You have worked with me on my Mozart project from the beginning. In your own words, what is the Mozart Project?

Lizzie: The Mozart project is an illustration of the Mozart operas using photography.  The style varies for each shoot, from steampunk to rococo to semi-modern.  It uses outrageous makeup, hair and costumes to create grandeur needed for such elaborate operas. Each shoot is extremely individual, from the lighting and sets to the visual effects and actors used.

What is your job on a typical Mozart Project shoot?

My main job on the shoots is to create the makeup and hairstyles according to Tyson’s vision. Sometimes he gives me a rough idea and I get to create the look on my own. Other times he has a very specific look in mind and brings multiple examples that I can pull inspiration from. However, my job usually doesn’t end at makeup and hair. I almost always help set up the shoot, scout locations, help actors with wardrobe and hold the light reflector. I have also housed actors, cooked food for everyone on the shoot and baked and decorated cakes and cookies for the set dressings of one shoot! I try to be as involved as possible.

Is there anything you especially enjoy about working on a shoot?

I love meeting and working with new people and seeing the vision come to life throughout the day. I have really enjoyed being with the project from the beginning and seeing it evolve. Its amazing how polished and sophisticated the photos have become over the last 5 years. For the first shoots, I was sort of doing trial and error when it came to the hair, as I had never created the crazy styles that Tyson was asking me to make. Some of the things I used to hold the hair into shape were ridiculous! One time I made a cage out of wire and pinned it to a girl’s head to hold her hair up… That didn’t work too well… It was so heavy that by the end of the shoot, her hair was sagging and drooping off her head. Not my finest achievement! But since then, I have come up with much more creative solutions to making hair defy gravity (Velcro rollers and hair glue!).  Since those first shoots, I’ve worked with wigs, hair extensions, hats, body jewels, spray-on hair color and even fake facial hair! 

Which is your favorite collaboration?

My favorite collaboration was probably the Marriage of Figaro, because of the sheer size of it. While I didn’t do all the hair and makeup (the duties were split with Elizabeth Dellwo), it was a full day of hair, make-up and shooting. There were very close-up shots, so everything had to be extremely precise. It was also one o the first times I had worked with wigs, and the one we used for Camille was huge! I also loved putting fake eyebrows on Wayne!  And the location was amazing.

The most proud I have been of any shoot is Zaide. I think those photos turned out beautifully. I created the hairstyle using her real hair and extensions… It was extremely detailed, but I thought that it was so polished.  I also loved how the jewels looked with her makeup.

This is Lizzie's favorite work on Mozart Project. Zaide by Tyson Vick, hair and make-up by Lizzie Hatfield.

Tell us about your trip to New York.

I am going to New York to music direct a show called Blood that was written by my friend Nora’s theatre company “[By the Mummers]”.  It will be playing as a part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival in October… It will mark both my New York AND Off-Broadway debut!

What does it mean to music direct?

The music director is in charge of pretty much everything pertaining to the music in a musical.  They help cast the show, making sure that everyone can handle the music and is vocally appropriate for the parts. They teach the music to the cast, from notes to expression to clarity of lyrics. They are sometimes in charge of hiring the band and are almost always involved in working with the band/orchestra on music. Sometimes music directors also conduct the show.  I usually play piano for the shows I music direct.

Lizzie Hatfield by Evan Thompson

How can we support you before or during your trip?

I am hosting a fundraiser during the last week of August.  It is a show that was conceived and directed by me, called “Hats Off to Broadway”. It is in the style of a musical review, including songs, dance and comedy. It will play in Cut Bank, MT on August 24th, (2011) and in Missoula, MT on August 27th and 28th, (2011). It should be an extremely fun night for everyone. Two of my friends are amazing performers and are in the show with me.  We are also hosting a raffle along with the show which features Montana art from Monte Dolack, Barbara Gerard-Mitchell, Wanda Rude and this blog’s own Tyson Vick! All donations are tax deductible and will be placed in a community benefit account to be used to offset the expenses of living in New York for six weeks.

What sorts of songs will you perform at your fundraiser “Hats Off to Broadway?”

We will be performing songs from a multitude of Broadway shows. The show has a story that follows three young people as they attempt to make it into Show Business in New York. There are comedy songs, a song written by me specifically for the show as well as some of the most famous songs celebrating New York and Broadway.

Will there be prizes?

First prize of the raffle includes a signed, limited edition, framed print by Barbara Gerard-Mitchell, a Monte Dolack poster, a hand-quilted bag by Wanda Rude and a set of Gilbert and Sullivan notecards by Tyson Vick. Second prize includes a Monte Dolack poster and Tyson Vick notecards. Third prize includes a Monte Dolack poster.

Nearly everything you do is interwoven with music. You Music Direct, accompany rehearsals and auditions, sing and act in musicals, teach dance, and weave your way into the art projects of others (like my Mozart Project) which are also based on, or in, the world of music. Can you tell us what music means to you and why you are so passionately drawn to it to involve it in so much of your life?

Ever since I was a little girl, I have been surrounded by music. I started singing at a very young age and began playing piano very young also. I love the way that music and lyrics can make you feel things that words alone can’t express. The fact the children can listen to instrumental music and explain the way it makes them feel is a great testament to how important music is in our lives from a young age. I surround myself with music all the time… It has become a part of my life that can’t be separated. It is interwoven with everything I do because it is what makes me happiest. I am so lucky to be able to have work that is so fulfilling.

Thank you Lizzie!

I hope you readers enjoyed this interview, and got to know a little more about my project and about Lizzie! Please support Lizzie on her trip if you can, and thank you all for reading!


To Learn More About the things discussed or featured in this post, here are some links:


One Response to “Hats Off to Broadway! with Lizzie Hatfield”

  1. Tristan Vick August 9, 2011 at 4:27 am #

    I’d buy that for a dollar!

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