Thursday, October 31, 2013

3 piece & a Biscuit!

I recently had the pleasure of doing Paul Feig's hair and makeup for an upcoming segment honoring Steve Martin.  Paul is responsible for hilarious works like Freaks & Geeks, Bridesmaids, and The Heat.  He looked extremely polished and rather dapper, all thanks to his bespoken three piece suit.  I complimented him numerous times.  I just could not shake how amazing he looked.  Paul admitted that if it wasn't for Steve Martin, he'd never have come to terms with the importance of the three piece suit.  It lengthens the torso, it holds your tie in place, and it separates you from the rest of the dudes in the room who are probably sporting clip on ties from TJ Maxx.
Gentlemen, if you have the right type of body (as in NOT short and stout),  go for it....and I mean go all the way.  If you half-ass a three piece suit, you run the risk of looking like an old time door to door salesman.  Get tailored.  Go bespoke.  Don't you dare be cheap and do not go boxy/American.  Do not be afraid to go slimmer than what you're used to.  Experiment with colors--ties, shirts, pocket squares, even socks.  Paul was wearing a navy suit with fuschia socks with yellow accents, along with a pink & white shirt and matching pocket square.  In text, the outfit sounds like it would look a bit loud, but in actuality, it was a perfect outfit for the fall for a rather modest looking gentleman.  

Friday, October 18, 2013


I decided to blog examples of why Hair, Makeup & Wardrobe are so important in this industry.  These are positions that are getting screwed more and more with the ever shrinking production budgets.  They end up being jobs for the director's girlfriend or wife or something of the like.  Sometimes, one person ends up doing all three.  That is happening to me lately, and while I am grateful for the work, I end up getting paid for only one of the three jobs that I do.  To the outsider, its like "Pff...its not that big of a deal.  Its just clothes, some light powder and getting rid of flyways...."  
Its so much more than that.  I've preached so many times before and I won't stop until vanities are given the respect they deserve.  
Here are some unexpected films that had excellent vanities departments.  I mention that they are unexpected because they're not period or fantasy pieces.

Short Term 12:
It takes a lot to make well known actors look normal, to make them blend in with a cast that isn't so well known.  Can you pick out who is who in the cast photo?  I couldn't either when I first watched the movie.  I only found out after I researched the movie that Brie Larson and John Gallagher were the leads.  Everyone looked extremely natural to the point that I could imagine what these people smelled like in that california heat.  I highly recommend this movie, not only for the looks but for the story and the performances as well.

Fruitvale Station:
Wow.  Just wow.  From the main characters to the very cops that bring the story to a brief halt, this film is full of veteran actors.  You never would've noticed it  because this movie felt like you were watching some goings ons in the Bay Area.  From the look, to the overall swagger, this film is a great example of vanities excelling in dressing characters to fit their environment.   Definitely catch this flick as well!  Its fantastic.

Hair, Makeup and Wardrobe did a great job making Morgan Freeman look like Nelson Mandela.  Unfortunately, Morgan Freeman did not do a good job portraying Nelson Mandela.  His cringeworthy performance is similar to Halle Barry as Storm.  I hate inconsistencies in speech or impediment work.  That just goes to show that vanities can only do so much...

A large responsibility vanities have is to make actors not look like actors, but to make them look real in the world they are living in on stage or screen.  It is up to the actor to exist in said world.

I Wanna Rock!

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of working with one of the OG dragqueens, Mr.  Dee Snider!  His entourage made me concerned that he was going to be a jerk, but he turned out to be absolutely wonderful.  
We were shooting bits for an upcoming documentary for a Syrian heavy metal band and Dee had plenty to say about it.  We owe a lot to Mr. Snider.  He has done so much for artists and our right to freedom of speech & expression.  He is extremely intelligent and surprisingly humble.  I can't wait to work with him again!
 I'm kinda disappointed I didn't get to do Dee's makeup like this....that would've been so awesome.  "Ya've got to BLEND, hunty!"

That's me doing his hair and makeup.  Dee sure is a tall glass of water!  That hair of his is something else...I almost broke my hand when I accidentally grazed the top of it.  Dee keeps his hair the way he keeps his body and his lifestyle:  ROCKHARD

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Witch

Every once in a while, I am called to do H/MU for a show on Discovery ID.  Its a re-cre show called Deadly Sins.  Its my third year working with this crew, and I love it.  The show features dramatizations and retellings of gruesome murders, and while that scarred (yes scar, not scare) me the first few months, the crew has been able to keep a light vibe on set, easing the sometimes nasty and horrendous mental journeys.  My job is to make certain cast members look "dead" or paint some sort of laceration or the like when needed.
This time around, I was to make an actress look like Marjorie Nugent, who some called the wicked witch of East Texas.  The actress portraying her was stunning and full of life.  At a mere 70 years old, she had been acting for 8 years and wore clothes from H&M and Forever 21 and bragged about doing yoga and hitting the gym everyday.  Marjorie on the other hand, was known as someone who people hated so much, that when she was murdered, no one even bothered to look for her 9 months.  The actress and I had our work cut out for us.  She had to really get to a mental spot where she could be so evil and emotionally abusive that someone would want to kill her, and I had to make this beautiful woman look mean and haggard.  You'd think that being so happy-go-lucky that this lady would be pretty comfortable in her own skin, right?  Wrong....
I turn into a therapist whenever people sit in my chair.  She was no exception.  The actress started by telling me how madly she was in love with her husband, but later as I applied the makeup, she'd say things like "You know, I just wish I could know what its like to be pretty.  Even if its for a day."  I assured her that she was gorgeous, and in fact she was so gorgeous, I was being paid to make her look ugly.  She wasn't buying.  
That really broke my heart.  This actress was sitting before me, a fierce queen and still she felt "unpretty".  What's it gonna take to make every woman feel good about themselves??  I'm totally guilty of this too, but my gosh--what a terrible feeling of not feeling pretty, on top of that--not having words that are good enough to lift that person up.  Whether you are as hateful as Marjorie or as spry and lively as the actress, I hope you take a moment to love yourself.  I will if you will.
In the immortal words of RuPaul:  "If you can't love yourself, how the hell you gon' love someone else?  Can I get an Amen?"  AMEN, Ru.  

 I just had to include photos of this lady.  Yeah this queen is 70.  FIERCE.