Telstar Digital Media

The Art of FX Makeup

Photo Credit Elizabeth Gabbard

Photo Credit Elizabeth Gabbard

Elizabeth Gabbard, Staff

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There are many different jobs when it comes to theatrical productions, ranging from actor and dancer, to costumes and tech. However, if you’re anything like me and live by the motto “every day is Halloween,” the greatest job you’ll come across is special effects makeup.

Special effects makeup is used for a wide variety of reasons in all kinds of productions such as theater, movies, television, etc. The makeup can be used to create monsters or aliens, alter one’s appearance almost completely changing weight, face shape, hair, and my favorite, create some crazy realistic looking wounds.

While working backstage doing hair and makeup for Satellite’s production of The Sound of Music, I rekindled my undying love for FX makeup when I stumbled upon a box of makeup full of bruise palettes, scar wax, and my favorite, blood! As soon as the cast was on stage I ran back to the drama room to play with these hidden treasures and created what I declared some of the greatest works of art I’ve ever created. And while these beauties aren’t traditionally beautiful, the realism I was able to achieve was astounding.

 

It’s a common belief by many that it’s difficult to find work as an FX artist, and while that may partially be true, our options are actually quite open. Aside from working in theater and movies, there are many places such as Universal and Disney that are always looking for new artists for many different jobs within the parks. As well as haunted houses that work year round which are usually in need of new artists quite regularly.

 

There is so much more that goes into the productions of any sort of theater or film that many don’t usually think about, so I hope you have learned something new about part of what really happens behind closed curtains.

 

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The Art of FX Makeup