Photo by Tim Robinson
Heather Sincic has spent years behind-the-scenes as assistant wig master at the 5th Avenue Theater in Seattle. Now, she takes center stage as the owner of her own hair cutting business on 153rd St. in Burien.

She hit the wig time at the 5th Avenue. Now she cuts it in Burien

“ Eight O’Clock”!, “Showtime!” the call echoed through the back rooms of the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle. Heather Sincic hurried through the last touches of the long tresses her actor would need to fill the role of Nancy in “Oliver”, playing on stage.

Showtime actually began hours earlier for Heather. As full time assistant wig master at “the 5th” she heads in from her Des Moines home just before dinner on show dates, expecting to find dozens of wigs to tweak, comb, curl and fit for the variety of roles in the play. Some actors dress and re-dress a number of times during the show and each time the human hair wigs need finishing touches. Touches Heather learned just out of high school in San Diego, working for wig master Frank Bowers at the Old Globe Theatre there.

They re-use the wigs numerous times during the season, actually preparing the hair as much as one might change their hair for the holidays or a wedding. Wigs, “with care, can last 10, 20 years,” Heather said. The human hair wigs are hand tied, seven hairs to a knot in a lace foundation. The 5th Avenue Theatre has hundreds of different styles for the variety of shows they do.

It’s not boring backstage. Heather can tell you about wardrobe malfunctions, or special fixes they had to make to get through a scene. It might be a wig nearly slipping off or a few goofy moments backstage in that cramped little space the size of an extra bedroom in a small house. There was an actor actually stabbed in the hand during a sword fight scene. It is usually pretty quiet backstage but “All we heard was ‘get gauze, get gauze’ from our stations,” Heather explained. Coming off stage after the scene, the young actor endured some pain, getting the hand stitched later that night and in time for the show the following day.

In the wig and makeup room, there is zero tolerance for mistakes. Mary Pyanowski, the resident wig master and 20-year mentor to Heather, is regarded as a perfectionist. Together, with Heather they worked on “Hairspray”, Catch Me If You Can”,“Kismet” and just recently “Oliver”. All pretty much flawlessly. Closer to home Heather helped Cara Rudd, of Federal Way, with her hair during the local production of the Wizard of Oz when Cara starred as Dorothy.
Heather is one of many theatrical union members. They don’t get rich on the job but they are wealthy with pride for making the show a success.

There is more.. Heather also does make-up that will look good under those hot Klieg lights. The make up is not special but it is good. Kryolan, Ben Nye, Mac and Make Up Forever are some of the types they use.

Beyond the Old Globe Theatre, beyond her years in Juneau, Alaska, and beyond raising two kids by herself, Heather found her niche. It isn’t her culinary arts degree from Seattle Central. It isn’t just her skill with make-up and wigs. She’s also a barber.

If you want to hear about her meeting her husband in a biker bar or her ex-father-in-law’s pioneer days in S.E. Alaska, get down to her new barber shop at 619 s.w. 153rd St. in Burien. She’s open 10-6 Tuesday thru Friday and 9 to 2 p.m. Saturday. Or call for an appointment 206-457-8089.

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