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How to Make Your Acting Masks Last

When you invest in a set of quality theater masks for actor training or performance, you want to know the masks will last for many years of consistent use. Proper care of actor training masks can prolong the lifespan of a theater mask. Protect your investment with proper care and storage of your acting masks.

Start with High-Quality Acting Masks

If you want acting masks to last years or regular use on tour or in class, it helps to start with masks made of durable materials. Ask your mask maker what materials are used to make the masks. Certain rubber compounds may be less durable, and those masks may only last 5-10 years.

Different types of theater masks may need different care and storage. Today we will focus on durable acting masks made of neoprene like the ones offered by Theater-Masks.com.

Cleaning Acting Masks

Acting Mask Training

Using neoprene enables you to sanitize acting masks between classes.

As a mask maker, I use neoprene to create theater masks for actor training. Neoprene is ideal for actor training masks because neoprene can be sanitized after each use. When you sanitize your neoprene acting masks, acting students do not have to share germs with the students of the previous 15 years.

Due to the physical nature of actor training, actor training masks may have some sweat on them at the end of class. Wipe off any residual sweat from the mask and the supportive rivets to prevent any mold or rusting of the rivets.

The rivets can be overlooked while people focus on the mask itself. However, a mask is only as good as its ability to stay secured to the actor’s face. Keep the rivets clean and dry to avoid rust accelerating the wear and tear of a mask.

Storing Acting Masks

Store theater masks in a clean, dry place. Make sure the acting masks are dry before you put them away. When you store theater masks, make sure the paint surfaces are not touching. You can prevent any breakdown or transfer of paint when you take this extra step.

When storing masks, you will want to make sure that the masks are not piled on top of each other. Throwing theater masks in a pile in a bag may save some time after class, but this time-saving option can lead to regret. You may wish you had taken the extra few minutes when you end up buying all new actor training masks years before you expected you needed replacements.

This can warp the masks, since they are made of a slightly flexible plastic that becomes more rigid over time. If a mask sits with some warping for a long period of time, it will retain that form in a more permanent way. If you attempt to bend it back once it has become warped, the mask can crack. You can avoid this headache entirely if you make sure to store the masks properly.

Theater Masks and Climate

Masks react differently depending on the climate. If masks are transported through freezing temperatures in the winter time, you want to make sure to give the acting masks some time to warm up before using them. When masks are exposed to freezing temperatures, they can become brittle and shatter.

Factor in the time of bringing masks to room temperature into your class or performance schedule during colder months. In the same way actors may have to spend a few more minutes warming up their physical instrument before training or performance in the winter, the same principle stands for the acting masks involved in that training or performance.

Jonathan Becker, Mask Maker

Acting Mask Crow Mask

Mother Crow and Crow, Acting Masks made by Jonathan Becker

As a mask maker, I want to use tools that I don’t have to replace every year. I invest in a higher quality tool so I can spend my time on the work instead of focusing on replacing tools all the time. When I create theater masks, I create a tool for your class or acting troupe that will last so you can focus on the training and performance.

When you order theater masks for actor training or performance, you want to invest in something that will last. These theater masks are made with neoprene and meant to last decades with the proper care and storage. When you order a mask at Theater-Masks.com, your mask will come with a care sheet to prolong the life of your high-quality mask. This list includes do’s and don’ts to make sure you optimize the life of your theater mask collection.

If you have further questions on how to make your acting masks last through years of classes or on the road touring, contact me for suggestions.

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