Syfy’s hit show Face Off is a reality competition show where 15 top special effects make up artists compete to design the wildest and most imaginative creations and then are tasked with bringing them to life. The show returns for a new season on January 13th, but before the premiere, we sat down with Season 8 contestant Anthony Reyes to talk about Face Off, makeup and the challenges of pursuing your dream as a career.
CE: Why did you decide to go into makeup and more specifically, special effects makeup? What made you decide to go into it as a career and not just as a hobby?
AER: I decided to go into makeup as a career when I did CATS The Musical in 9th grade and was asked to design and apply the makeup for that show after the director saw my characters design. I loved every minute of it and knew it was what I wanted to do. I decided to make it my career because it’s what makes me happy; if it was just a hobby, I wouldn’t have the time or energy to truly pursue my goals.
CE: Going into the industry at such a relatively young age, what are some specific challenges you’ve faced because of that? On the flip side, are there any advantages that you’ve found?
AER: Starting out at such a young age has its pros and cons. So many people don’t take me seriously as a professional when they find out my age, but at the end of the day, age doesn’t matter. What matters is the drive and the passion that I have for make-up. I still have a lot to learn, but that will always be the case, you don’t stop learning just because you get older.
CE: Do you find there are any specific obstacles that you have to overcome, as a male going into what is traditionally thought of as a female dominated industry? Is the industry currently changing in that respect?
AER: To me the whole dominating gender thing is completely irrelevant. Is it an issue? Yes, it is. I have had my fair of discrimination, but in my eyes, it doesn’t matter if you’re a man, woman, straight, or gay. If you have the talent and the drive, then you can do whatever you want.
CE: What is the most fun job you’ve had so far as a makeup artist?
AER: My favorite job so far would have to be the live stunt I worked on with IMAX for the release of The Desolation of Smaug. We made up about 7 dwarves and they ran around Central Park causing havoc. It was great!
CE: What is the ideal project that you would want to work on?
AER: My favorite book is Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. If they ever make it into a movie, I would want to work on it so badly.
CE: Do you have any advice for anyone trying to get into makeup or special effects makeup as a career?
AER: My best piece of advice is to practice. Always be practicing, always be trying to improve yourself, and never stop doing that.
CE: What was your favorite part about being on Face Off?
AER: My favorite part about being on the show was that you were surrounded by so many talented people that you just pushed yourself to be better and better. I grew so much as an artist in the competition.
CE: What was the biggest lesson you learned from the whole experience?
AER: The biggest lesson I learned was to not doubt myself and to stop being so hard on myself.
CE: Any hints about what we can look forward to on this upcoming season?
AER: You have to look forward to some crazy twists and turns this season! The competition has completely changed, but that’s all I’m gonna say!
Can’t wait for more Face Off? Check out Anthony and the other contestants’ profiles, as well as galleries of past work and sneak peaks of the show on http://www.syfy.com/faceoff and don’t forget to tune in for the season premiere January 13th!