Face Off alumni among presenters

The make-up, fur and fangs were flying at last weekend’s Art of Special Effects Makeup event. Held March 5 at Nashville’s Tennessee Performing Arts Center, the event was an interactive workshop on creating special make-up effects for screen and stage. More than 400 people attended.

Following presentations by guest speakers—including Make-Up Artist Artist Relations Manager Amanda Bressel and Video Equipment Rentals Business Development Executive David Bennett—the artists and models took the stage in the James K. Polk Theater to begin the workshop.

Art of Special Effects Makeup
From left: Ben Rittenhouse, Colter Wilson, model Nicolas Scheuer, Faith McLane, model Noah Spiegel, Rick Prince, model Roberta Ciuffo West, Roy Wooley and Rashaad Santiago | All photos by Anthony Matula

Academy of Make Up Arts students Faith McLane and Colter Wilson, aided by Emmy-winning make-up artist Ben Rittenhouse, transformed Nashville Ballet dancer Nicolas Scheuer into an Underworld-inspired vampire, while Face Off competitor Roy Wooley went with a bounty hunter look for Roberta Ciuffo West, TPAC’s executive vice president for education and outreach. Fellow Face Off alumni Rashaad Santiago and Rick Prince got in on the action too; Santiago made up local actress Megan Murphy Chambers as a werewolf, while Prince turned Nashville Opera Executive Director Noah Spiegel into an Orc. Wooley and Steve Tolin also created what they dubbed a tree wolf.

During the workshop, viewers asked the make-up artists and guest speakers questions ranging from what the artists were doing as they worked to what products and procedures they recommended. Prince passed foam-latex and silicone prosthetics through the audience and talked about how to get on Face Off. Rittenhouse answered questions about painting from light to dark and vice versa. And Bennett, a former executive director of the Tennessee Film Commission, discussed the state’s film incentives.

At a post-event reception, viewers enjoyed photo ops with the artists and their made-up models. Attendees—an estimated half of whom came from outside of Nashville to attend the event—included teachers, students, union members, costume designers and people interested in breaking into the make-up industry.

Art of Special Effects Makeup
Roy Wooley onstage with model Roberta Ciuffo West
Art of Special Effects Makeup
Rashaad Santiago onstage with model Megan Murphy Chambers
Art of Special Effects Makeup
From left: Ben Rittenhouse working on model Nicolas Scheuer with Faith McLane and Colter Wilson

“My favorite part today was just getting to talk to the audience,” Santiago said. “A lot of times we don’t get to speak with them on that level. Just getting to hear the questions and seeing how excited they were about the work we were doing just makes me excited, and I’m just happy to be part of today’s event.”

“It really broadened everybody’s horizon to the make-up world and what we do as a job,” added attendee Erica Faith Adcock. “I’m a current make-up artist and I love that my family can now in their minds see what we do for a job in real life—they get to see the make-up come to life, from just a regular human to a werewolf or a vampire or whatever.”

Art of Special Effects Makeup
From left: NECAT CEO Trish Crist with artist Rashaad Santiago and model Megan Murphy Chambers
Art of Special Effects Makeup
From left: Colter Wilson with model Nicolas Scheuer, Ben Rittenhouse and Faith McLane
Art of Special Effects Makeup
Rick Prince with model Noah Spiegel

NECAT CEO Trish Crist produced the event in collaboration with TPAC, the Nashville Opera, Nashville Ballet and performance collective MAS Nashville. Video Equipment Rentals, Make-Up Artist magazine, Performance Studios Inc. and Ascend Federal Credit Union sponsored the event.

Crist said she was pleased with how the event turned out.

“How great to look out from the stage at a theater packed with engaged artists and fans and career seekers and have everyone eager to ask questions and get involved in our city’s performing arts and production industries,” she said. “That’s what NECAT is about—bringing together collaborators and enhancing skill sets to lift Nashville’s performing arts scene to an even higher level.”

Art of Special Effects Makeup
From left: Ben Rittenhouse, Faith McLane, model Nicolas Scheuer, Colter Wilson, Rashaad Santiago, model Megan Murphy Chambers, model Noah Spiegel, Rick Prince, Roy Wooley and model Roberta Ciuffo West

The event was recorded for future broadcast on NECAT’s arts and education channels and will be available at a later date on necatnetwork.org.