So once again I find myself down in the marvelous metropolis that is Melbourne and as if by fate there just so happens to be a Day of the Dead themed Mexican Wrestling night on today in the city!!! The night sounds like it's set to be pretty special: ten professional Luchadores will be battling it out on the ring, saucy skeletons will be getting their burlesque on, the tequila will be flowing and to top it all off we'll have the pleasure of the Sin Frontera Band performing some traditional mariachi music, followed by a mashup of traditional Mexican music with banging electronic beats. As if that wasn't enough fancy dress is greatly encouraged at the event with prizes for best dressed. To help those of you who haven't planned anything I'll be set up from 8-12 transforming whoever's willing into skeletons and luchadores... and maybe even a few combinations of the two :) If you want to get involved head over to the Hi-Fi on 125 Swanston Street - doors open at 8pm and tickets are $27 and available from here xxx
Roll up roll up all ye who dare and meet Don Alacrán - the twisted skeleton ringmaster who
lured his crew to death & a pact with Santa Muerte that would keep them partying, performing and
guzzling tequila until the end of time....
Just before leaving England this summer I organized a video shoot with Happy Slap Boutique and Fresh Cut Media to showcase one of the characters from our Boomtown Fair venue: El Espectáculo Esqueleto!!!
Inspiration for the character was drawn from Day of the Dead iconography, entwined with circus and embellished with ideas that sprung from Joe Fur's amazing mural which appears in the background for sections of the video. The candles emenating from the skeletons' heads in Joe's art were of particular inspiration so I endeavored to incorporate this element into the character through the costume. I spent a couple of days embellishing and decorating a top hat and constructing a pair of epaullets from various materials that could be attached to the shoulders adding a stronger silhouette to Don Alacrans painted jacket. All were topped with an array of candles which were detailed with paint and lit for sections of the filiming.
Due to time restrains with the location there wasn't as long as I'd have liked to do the painting but Grace McComisky, Tash Hobbs and I did what we could in the time allowed before our amazing actor Jason Wilkinson and his insanely expressive face dove into the depths of the character. Our new friend Pieter Snyman of Fresh Cut Media filmed (and subsequently edited) the video while the amazing Scott Salt got handy with his camera and produced some beautiful on set photographs.
Massive thanks go out to everyone involved including Balkan Beat Box for allowing us the use of their track (which can be downloaded for free here), to Mike Freear for finding and editing the track for us, to Markus for letting us use the location in the Coronet Theater, and to Dan for all of his help and directive input :D You're all amazing and thank you for helping bring Alacrán to life!
So as if Halloween wasn't exciting enough the celebrations continue into November with another of my absolute favourites - Mexican Day of the Dead!! Though this celebration has now spread all over the globe yet is no doubt most widely celebrated in it's country of origin where it has been tracked back almost 3000 years to the time of the Aztecs. Those guys reportedly continued the festivities for a whole month, keeping skulls as symbols of death and rebirth and dedicating their festivities to the Lady of the Dead.
Visually this festival is absolutely amazing and has been a huge source of inspiration to me for years. Full of fun, swathed in bright colours, flowers and of course skulls it shoos away the Western morbidity of death and replaces it with the glorious vibrancy of Central and South American culture.
Soooo the season obviously wouldn't be complete without a sugar skull makeup thrown in the mix - and here is this year's contribution :D I entered the image into QC Makeup Academy's Halloween Makeup Competition and was flabbergasted to discover I'd come in a very happy runner up in the final judging - a very nice surprise indeed!!!
So it's that time of year again !! All the ghouls and ghosts are coming out to play - accompanied of course by the obligatory van loads of slutty nurse zombies - and for this one glorious day the population goes fancy dress and makeup crazy!! I love Halloween - especially in London where alas, I am not... So this year I decided to mark the occasion by testing out some makeup ideas, inspired by the MAC Halloween Competition. This year Makeup FX legend Rick Baker (whose work has earned him a staggering 12 Acadamy Awards!!!) created three different looks using MAC products and challenged everyone to emulate their favorite in their own style. Amoung the three is a gorgeous 'Monster's Bride'' inspired of course by the Bride of Frankenstein :D Rick did a wonderful beauty makeup embellished with painted stitches which he gave dimension to through the clever use of shading and highlighting, all topped off with a fantastic deadlocked wig.
I spent a while pondering how best to emulate this without directly copying it and ended up deciding take the Bride and put her into a comic book world. I spent a day getting everything ready - making a huge painted headpiece to use as the iconic striped wig and painting up a canvas with Tesla coils and bolts of lightening so she had a fitting background. In doing the actual makeup I ended up deciding to move the stitches - though I absolutely love Rick's placement of them I thought they'd end up getting lost in my shadowed areas so instead I let run parallel to the black and then follow the contour lines on the nose. The whole thing was so much fun to do and has already given me a tidy little stack of ideas for future shoots :D