Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Actors and Prosthetic Makeup
"All that prosthetic makeup drains you. By the time it's lunch, you're done."
"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!