We, at The Scream Team love animals. In fact, we sometimes make a decision on a stranger’s character solely based on what Henry, (The Scream Team Basset Hound) thinks of them. (Luckily, Henry’s opinions of others usually rests completely on the person’s willingness to rub his belly. Go figure. )
Henry likes to be in the mix of things around the shop. His nickname is “speed bump”, because of unique proclivity to lay exactly in your walking path. It’s his non verbal way of telling us to, “Slow down! take it easy.”
At one point, a cup blood red colored latex got tipped over and a bit of it landed on sweet ole Henry’s posterior. And it was not noticed until late in the day when we worried he might have been hurt. “Is that BLOOD?? Is Henry BLEEDING??” Nope. Liquid Latex…DRIED. into. the. dog fur. We combed, brushed and even super-solved the area. And decided that since it didn’t hurt Henry, we should leave his poor hindquarters alone. In fact, it became his Halloween makeup effects badge of honor!
We have not trained King Henry to run foam yet, due to his annoying lack of opposable thumbs. Yet his zen-like ability to nap in the make-up chaos keeps us all centered during the busy Halloween rush.
The creation of foam latex appliances can be difficult, tedious and requires much dedication to produce the quality of products we have become known for. It’s nice to look down and see that Henry approves of all of our hard work. It’s good to be the king. Cheerio, Scream Teamers!
So here is our list of common first-timer mistakes:
Not doing your hands: You apply your foam latex appliance, color to perfection, add your contacts, wig and costume…The dead giveaway? Always your hands! Most forget to add makeup to their hands if they are exposed. Or you can simply add gloves. It helps with the illusion that your character actually “lives”…
Not doing the back of your neck: We see this all the time! Even in movies! (Especially the ones where the vampires “sparkle”! AAAArgh!) The back of the neck is completely forgotten about, mainly because you just don’t see it in the mirror. Have a friend help you with this task. Again, it helps the illusion.
Applying the lip of the foam latex appliance BELOW your own lip. Our Scream Team appliances are designed to go ON the lip not under lip. ‘Nuff said.
Not reading the directions thoroughly. Oh heck, this is a BIG ONE! Reading our awesome directions cannot be that HARD, right? They’re fun and informative. Do yourself a big favor: Read the instructions! All of them. See them as your downloadable “Jiminy Cricket.”
Using a non-castor oil based makeup: If you did not read the instructions (see above), this can happen. You use a commonly found, inexpensive petroleum based makeup from Target or Walgreen’s or what-not and your beloved facial appliance degrades, swells, and looks like a seriously bad staff infection! (Not a look that you were not shooting for…) Why? Petroleum oil based makeup degrades foam. Sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly. Why risk it? Use a castor oil based makeup only at the very least for the base of the foundation.
Doing TOO MUCH: Some pieces look best when they are handled with lighter touch. Honestly, The Clown looks awesome with not alot of detail work. Stippling is a very effective technique, but let’s not get out of hand and stipple the colors of the rainbow on poor old Hagatha.
Not doing ENOUGH: On the flip side, using our lovely Dead Lee and just painting it flesh tone with no highlights and shadows just makes him look …well, flat. “Alive” and flat. Not a good look for a zombie. Every Scream Team piece can use shadowing and a bit if highlighting. Again, the instructions cover this in detail.
Not having fun with it: Stressing over/seeking perfection can take the fun out of the whole makeup experience. Relax, play. Have FUN. You are not curing some disease… you are having a blast on Halloween, remember?
Not giving yourself enough time: The first time you apply your Scream Team appliance, it should take you an hour or maybe two. Some customers have taken longer– but give yourself at least that much time. Then you can go our and really experience Halloween on a whole new level!
Check in on you later.. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with ideas about what you may want to read about here. We are open to almost all suggestions…;)
“All that prosthetic makeup drains you. By the time it’s lunch, you’re done.” Mickey Rourke —————— “I had to get used to wearing a mask and wearing a prosthetic and performing with those things while singing and expressing myself through stylized movement, while keeping it as human as possible so the audience could be closer to the horror of the Phantom.” Gerard Butler ——————- “Here’s the thing: I did one episode of Deep Space Nine, and I loved everybody that I worked with. People couldn’t have been kinder… But I had a really, really difficult time with the prosthetics.” Andrea Martin —————— ” It [the makeup] was a major, major ordeal! The breasts were four body casts, and mould making, so it was basically four hours of prosthetics every day. First gluing them down, then the makeup. There’s nothing humble about me anymore. I’ve been naked in front of everyone.” Selma Blair ——————-
Transforming one’s face as an actor is as old as Thespis who acted out a hymn to honor Dionysus. Acting and makeup are both arts of transformation.
We have always said that Acting schools should offer a class called, “Acting in Prosthetics”, because some actors just don’t get the concept. (And yet there are those who are brilliant at it.) Your eyes become very important in makeup. The movement of your eyes and the intent behind them is an important part of prosthetic acting.
Your face is an intimate part of you. Some say, the most intimate. Changing your face in a dramatic way, such as with a foam latex appliance is an emotional journey for some. And for others, it becomes an act of freedom! At last, they are NOT themselves they are truly someone else! (We of course, love those actors!)
You can tell when an performer does not like, or is not experienced in prosthetics wearing as the first thing that goes is the ability to move their mouth. If the makeup artist has done their job; moving your face in a prosthetic is not a hard thing. It’s actually quite simple. Though some actors fear they are going to “mess up the makeup” and just are not instructed to just relax and “go for it”.
Maybe more makeup artists should studying acting and more actors should study makeup! It certainly has worked well for us at The Scream Team.
So our advice to you, professional actor or a Halloween enthusiast? Relax and go for it!
Every monster has a story. And your monster should too. What makes an actor great? The prep work he has done to create his character. Why should you be any different in creating your monster? In a haunted event or even just dressing up for a party? It deserves a attention to detail.
Where did your creation come from? What made him or her that way? Can he change from good to evil and back again? Where does he live? Is he a progressive liberal trapped in a Fox-watching-conservative Glenn-Beck-worshiping family? (Oh wait, that’s for another blog..)
Create a backstory so you can have your character be fully YOURS not a copy of someone else’s. The more detail the better. The more original the better.
Why should this matter, you ask? Geez, it’s just makeup. We have been in the makeup and haunted event biz for decades; Suffice it to say, that we have seen it all when it comes to scare-acting…the brilliant, the good and the just plain “Why are you here? Go home to your Warcraft game and let the pros work this crowd!” We know what makes a good scare actor better– Detail. Don’t overlook the small things–in your makeup design, your costume and your character choices. Really, anyone can hide, jump out and shake a noise can. Even if that is all that is expected of you; make a commitment to do more. Think outside the box. In fact, blow up the friggin’ box.
Write some ideas down. Stay away from cliches and things others have done. This will make your whole experience all the richer. Then you can rejoice in the simple fact that you have helped make your audience’s Halloween all that much richer, too.
Okay, the night was awesome. People were so amazed at your make-up prowess and how frightening you were. Children cried, dogs barked, goth chicks gave your their phone number. All in all, it was a makeup success thanks to you using our awesome products and finding your “inner monster”!
When taking off their foam latex appliances, most folks really want it off in a hurry. That is, dare we say-mistake number one! Take your time and take the appliance off with care, and read our directions thoroughly first (and before your night of mayhem and possible inebriation!) Be gentle with the process so ultimately you can re-use your piece again. It’s worth it.
After the proper removal of the appliance and the adhesive residue, take some hand towels or washcloths and wet them and put them in the microwave for a 20 – 30 seconds or so (depending on the wattage of your microwave). Get them hot, but not scalding. Use them as you would on an airplane in first class. Lay them on your face and let it sit for a few minutes. Enjoy it. Take a deep breath, and remember your much heralded makeup and revel in your gothic laurels.
Then, gently wipe your face and wash it with a gentle facial soap. Now comes the important ending of your day:
Put some Aquaphor on your face. Yep, we are recommending a specific product: Aquaphor by Eucerin. The stuff is like magic! It has the consistency of Vaseline so a little goes a long way. But after a night of wearing an appliance its the perfect “night cap” for your skin. Great for tattoos, too. We are considering carrying this in our Scream Team Makeup kit for next season.