Growing up we all had role models that we wanted to be like. Valerie’s was the art of special effects and at an early age she was determined to become a monster maker and today she takes great pride in her work and rightfully so. It takes a lot of time and effort along with having an artistic talent to succeed as a SFX Makeup Artist. Valerie was able to practice her skill by having some fun with her siblings and parents as you’ll see. On her way to becoming a Key Makeup Artist she’s also been an actress in many Asylum films along with a Production Coordinator, Special Effects Makeup, Unit Production Manager, Assistant Director amongst other titles.
What encouraged you to become a Makeup Artist?
VALERIE: Growing up I discovered a love for horror movies like “Return of the Living Dead”, “Evil Dead”, Army of Darkness”,” Bram Strokers Dracula”etc. and of course loving all the original Universal Monsters. as well as a love for TV shows like “The Munsters” (I could go one for days listing the horror genre films I love) I loved the monsters and ghouls that were in all these films and when I learned that there was an actual job occupation to where people got paid to make monsters and gore for a living I was hooked! I began researching people like Rick Baker and Jack Pierce , and through that all I knew is I wanted to be a monster maker, I wanted to be a SFX artist.Now becoming a Makeup artist for beauty that was something I never thought I’d do. I would do my own makeup growing up and then girlfriends of mine would ask me to do theirs. Then some people that knew friends of mine were offering me money to do their makeup for whatever event it was they were going to. Mind you, all of that was only during high school with no real training at all. Then shortly after graduation, and getting fed up with regular college and my dull grocery store job, I figured why not go to makeup school and learn to do makeup as a profession.The end result, I get to make people pretty and gory for a living and love it!
I’m sure it’s challenging, but do you have fun making someone gory?
VALERIE: SFX Makeup is my favorite!!!! If I could do that (and eventually plan to) for the rest of my days I would happily invite it. My favorite part is finishing up the final touches right before they are taken to set and the director, 1st AD , or 2nd AD and( Heck whoever walks into the makeup room) and sees the creation I’ve done and gets freaked out or amazed with the work I done. It never fails to make me smile. Even more rewarding is to have the actor/actress look at themselves made up and want to take pic to show all their friends to freak them out, that’s the fun and the love!
Do you constantly have to keep on top of your skill with new products and techniques?
VALERIE: I am constantly looking to learn new techniques and products to improve my trade.A very close friend and teacher once told me” It’s the people who have the passion and open mind to learn and try new things to improve their skill who will succeed, because things are every changing. If you don’t learn to change with them you will be left behind in old ways and never learn how to self-improve” and I will always firmly believe in that.
What is your biggest challenge as a Makeup Artist?
VALERIE: Time deadlines on set. Only because you always wish you had a little more time to tweak this or tweak that. Always trying to improve what you have already done.
Have you pulled any pranks using your SFX skills?
VALERIE: Yes! Half the job is enjoying what you do and I love the shock value in which my work can get!My siblings love me making them up and I remember doing a demo on them for a job and didn’t tell my mother I was doing it. So, my mother comes walking through the front door (unknowing that I have transformed her two children into a rotting zombie and half fresh corpse) and they spring out from behind the couch and door and scare the heck out of my mom! HA HA! It’s always fun to get the scare on your parents.
A final special comment from Valerie to her fans and Asylum fans.
VALERIE: I hope people enjoy the films I have helped create as much as me, the crew and cast enjoyed making them. We all work so hard to create stories for people to enjoy. Through the creation of making films I know a lot of us filmmakers hope to inspire future filmmakers to create new world we could never imagine and continue to show what could, can, and things you could never dream of come alive. Which is why I love making monsters who go bump in the night.
Valerie’s next Asylum film we’ll see her work in is “American Battleship”. So when you watch it do not take it for granted when the actress or actor looks amazing, beat up, or scary as hell. Instead you should thank Valerie. You can always see what she’s up and her work on her website, Facebook, and her credits on IMDB. Definitely check out her website there are a lot of great pics showing off her talent.