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Indian Nations CouncilThe Greatest Show on Earth


The actor's job is to make the audience believe he is someone far different from his everyday self. He does this first of all by playing a part...by his acting. But his costume, his hair style, the make-up, the way he walks, and even his shape help give his character dimension.

Costumes can help set the theme or the mood of the whole skit. Costumes can be as simple or as elaborate as you and the boys would like for them to be. It is important to find the right costumes. But this isn't as hard as you might think. There are enough everyday things around your house to clothe most any number of actors. A nimble imagination helps even more than nimble fingers. You can find some real costuming treasures if you know what to look for.

Costume Materials

Old Clothing - add feathers, sparkly trim, bright material, etc. One costume can be made over in different ways and can be used again and again in a variety of skits.

Small Pillows - are just right for that extra bit of padding which some costumes and some characters need.

Paper Sacks - for a leather like appearance, crush and recrush the paper sack with your hands until it is soft and wrinkled. Then spread out and press with a lukewarm iron. Decorate with crayons, felt markers, or paint.

Crepe paper - inexpensive, stretchy, can be glued, stapled, folded, sewn, draped, etc. Good for tunics, vests, hats, etc.

Cardboard Boxes - are good for animal costumes, and can be used for other unusual costumes such as vegetables, cars, trains, insects, etc.

Remember to keep your costumes and props at the Cub Scout age level. The boys will give their best performance if they are made to feel that the skit is theirs, including the costume making. Don't forget that a simple sign to identify your characters can be as effective as a costume. Props such as a mustache, eye patch, bandanna, cardboard sword for a pirate, can do a great deal.


Stage Make-Up

The skit is written, the parts are assigned, and the boys have been busy making costumes. What's left? Make-up, of course! Here are a few simple tricks for using make-up to its best advantage with the boys.

Why use make-up? It helps tell the audience what the character is like. It makes the characters seem more real to the other actors, and as a result, everyone plays their part better. It hides an actor's own features, changes his form, and makes him appear larger or smaller, older or younger, and can alter his character completely.

Theatrical make-up is expensive, and since most Cub Scout leaders work on a limited budget, the information which follows tells of inexpensive substitutes.

Make-up base - Combine equal parts of liquid cleansing cream and Êpowdered sugar, first sifting the Ê sugar to remove lumps. Mix well, and the result is a simple white base which can be used for Clown White. Tint with a few drops of green food coloring or tempera paint for Monster make-up. Tint with mixture of red and blue for a Purple Martian. Or, mix red, yellow, and blue separately for Indian war paint. This make-up is non-toxic and wipes off easily.

Skits and PuppetsPage X

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