King Kong queens

Victoria University graduates Julie Giuricin and Shula Keyte are taming tresses behind the scenes at King Kong's global premier in Melbourne.

The Diploma of Specialist Make-Up Services graduates are working to keep the show's 90 wigs in tip top condition, ready to transform the performers into the characters that appear nightly on stage.

Mary Garrett Bond, a teaching expert at Victoria University's Trades College, facilitated the unique opportunity.

"David Jennings (Head of Wigs) was looking for staff to work on the new production. Having worked extensively in the Theatre myself, I knew that apart from the obvious technical abilities, the students needed to be 100 per cent reliable with great people skills," says Garret Bond. "Being part of a global production, there is no room to compromise standards. Both Julie and Shula have the skills to step up and take on that responsibility."

Julie Giuricin preparing wigs for the King Kong performers.

The inclusion of the two graduates is a reflection of the thorough training program of VU's Diploma of Specialist Make-Up Services. Students undertake significant work experience throughout the course to ensure their skills meet the exacting industry standards on graduation.

Taking advantage of the unique learning opportunities presented in the course has opened industry doors for the students. For Giuricin and Keyte it was the stage door of King Kong.

"I cannot believe I am working on King Kong, it's insane and so full of energy," says Giuricin. "I've been thrown in the deep end but I love what I'm doing. Everyone involved in the show has been amazing. It's intense and fast-paced – there are so many wig changes and so many performers. I am so blessed to have this opportunity! It blows me away every time I think about it!"

King Kong is being staged at Melbourne's Regent Theatre and features a cast of 40 actors, singers, dancers and puppeteers who will bring to life the two opposing worlds of the story – 1930s New York City and Skull Island, the home of Kong.

The CUA51015 - Diploma of Screen and Media (previously Diploma of Specialist Make-Up Services) is an intense 12 month course which prepares students for a future as make-up artist in theatre, television and film.

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