I was so lucky last night. Friends of ours had wonderful tickets to Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach and gave them to us to us.
Tickets for this show run upwards of $80 a ticket and sell out rather quickly. Some selling out a year in advance.
Thank you to James and Renee for allowing us this wonderful night.
There were four tickets. Two were in the front row smack dab in the center. The other two were four rows back.
The location is a wonderful location. Nestled in the hills of Laguna Beach is a carved out outdoor amphitheater.
Parking can sometimes be a pain and often you will have to park a bit away and take a shuttle into town.
We were so lucky because one of the girls that went with us lives just a few blocks away and so we were able to park at her house and walk to the Pageant.
We went to dinner first then strolled on over to the show.
A large stage up front is where the magic is. The curtain will open and a large beautiful painting by some of the most famous artist will showcased.
Also, the side areas open up at times and tucked in between the trees what appears to be historic old statutes will be shown.
However, what you think you see is not what you actually see.
Every piece of art work is a recreation of a masterpiece. Only these are actual living pictures and statutes.
Cameras are not allowed into the show. However, you know me. I will always do my best to get that camera in and take some photos to share with you.
The quality are not good as I had to hide the camera in my jacket and snap the photo without being able to see what the actual picture would be. I also couldn't use any flash as I didn't want anyone to know I was taking photos.
Here is one of the "paintings" we saw. Beautiful isn't it?
Can you tell that the people in the painting are actually humans? No? Well that's good because they work hard and trying to fool your eye.
Trust me though, they are real. As they pulling away the pieces the actors come to life and it is amazing how odd it is to see what you thought was just a painting comes to life.
Another "painting" with a real man in it.
If you look very close you can sometimes see one of the people slightly move or blink. But with the way the lighting is, the make up and everything, most of the time you wouldn't know it was anything other then a large painting.
The ones that really got to me were the ones with children in them. How do they get them to stand so still?
The Pageant of the Masters has been a yearly production since 1930 and is only able to be done with the love and dedication of hundreds of volunteers.
There is a professional orchestra, sophisticated lighting, intricate sets and life narration.
Each year there is a new theme to the Pageant. This year was Eat, Drink and be Merry.
However, no matter what the theme is, every year the Grand Finale is always The Last Supper.
It is just breathtaking.
The next several photos are not taken by me. I got them off the Internet to help give you a better understanding to what the Pageant is all about.
Here you can see how the live volunteer is placed on the background of the painting and the makeup person makes sure she is placed perfect.
The makeup is applied to blend in the actor to make them appear to be a part of the painting. Often makeup is applied over the whole body. Making the person appear to be like bronze or marble statute.
Wigs and hats are used and some appear to be blowing in the wind a certain direction depending on how the painting looks.
Back stage is very organized, fast pace and professional. With some spending hours getting painted up and in costume for what will only be a minute or so on stage.
Here you can see one of the volunteers getting make up applied to their arms. Often the make up appears strange in regular lighting but once they are on stage and the special lights go on, the make up provides the perfect shading to blend in the actor with the rest of the background.
Several children are involved and they are every bit as wonderful as the adults. Standing perfectly still, not losing the expression on their face or relaxing their pose until the lights dim down.
I don't have any idea who was the master mind behind this back in 1930 but I do know that I'm very thankful someone came up with this idea.
It is so lovely to see in person and is really something that can not be explained well with words or even pictures.
It is an experience like no other. One that should be enjoyed by everyone at least once in their lifetime.
The volunteers come from all over to be a part of this piece of history. When it first started it was only volunteers from Laguna Beach.
However, as it grew bigger and bigger they opened it up to anyone who had the talent and the look they needed.
One must try out for a spot of the actual performers. Yet, anyone who wants could volunteer to fill one of the many spots with the rest of the show. From ticket takers, to make up artists to stage clean up. It takes hundreds of people to put on this show.
I hope one day, you will all get a chance to see this magical show. I'm sure if you do, you will be in awe like the rest of us have.