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Miranda Jory, the youngest competitor on Syfy’s makeup
competition series FACE OFF, fell victim to some subpar body painting. Read on
as she discusses her experiences on the show…
FANGORIA: What is your background? How did you get to the
point that you were on FACE OFF?
MIRANDA JORY: I’ve always had a big imagination, and I’ve
always been artistic since I was a little kid. I just never really knew what my
medium would end up being. I don’t think, as a child, I really expected that it
would be special effects makeup because I didn’t even know that was a
possibility of a career. But it kind of ended up that way. And once I figured
out special effects makeup was what I wanted to do, it’s been pretty much full
speed ahead in that direction, no looking back.
FANG: When did you figure out that was what you wanted to
JORY: It was actually after I got out of [high] school. I
had been looking at different makeup schools for a few years, but not very
seriously—kind of just as a fun thing I might do. I would always look at photos
from different movies that had makeup effects in them and was getting inspired
by that, but I didn’t really think that would be something I could do as a
career. I was kind of trying for a long time to keep art and work separate,
because I enjoy art so much that I didn’t want to mix the two and end up having
it be something that took away the enjoyment. But ultimately I realized that if
you pick a career path you truly love, you never have to work a day in your
life. When I figured out it was makeup that I wanted to do, I just moved right
out to California from Seattle and started attending makeup schools.
FANG: When you got to Los Angeles and jumped into makeup
school, what did the horizon look like to you? Was it “Wow, there are a million
opportunities here,” or “I have no idea what I’m doing. How will I ever get
into this business”?
JORY: It was a little bit of both, to be honest. I mean, LA
is definitely one of the places with the most opportunities as far as makeup
effects go. And it has been awesome living out here. I’ve met so many of the
people who inspire me, and my idols in the industry, and I know I wouldn’t have
had those opportunities had I been anywhere else. I definitely felt there were
a lot of opportunities in LA, but I knew I’d have to go find them. I was just
trying to work on honing my artistic skills. I’ve been really focused on
getting very good artistically. I probably haven’t put myself out there to
apply for as many jobs as I should have, and I’ve done a lot of stuff for cheap
or free just because I enjoy doing it so much. I didn’t know what to expect
when I moved out here. I just wanted to do my best and see what would happen.
FANG: Who were most excited to meet that you’ve actually met
in the industry?
JORY: There are two people who pop into my head. I’ve always
idolized [FACE OFF judge] Ve Neill because she’s a woman in the industry who is
probably the most well-known and biggest name in makeup effects, as far as
women go. So I was always inspired by her work and her work ethic, and just her
as a person. So the first time I met her, I was really, really excited. I
remember I was actually working up the nerve to go ask for a picture with her
for, like, 15 minutes before I actually did. And Steve Wang is one of my
biggest inspirations as far as artists in the industry; he’s an incredible
painter, sculptor and designer, and I just love his work. So when I got to meet
him, that was another moment where I felt like this was really cool: “I’m
talking with Steve Wang!” I got to check out where he was working, and he sat
down with me and gave me advice, and it was just great to get to do that with
somebody I’d idolized for so long.
FANG: So you met Ve before you were on the show. What do you
think of her now that she has judged your work?
JORY: I still have tons of respect for Ve and think she’s
amazing. Of course, it was hard being on the show, to have these people you
idolize, in some cases, tearing down your work, and you just have to be OK with
it. The thing with the judges is, if you ran into them at a convention, or just
in the working world, and you asked them to give you a critique of your work, I
don’t think they’d just tear it down and be mean to you. It’s part of the whole
reality-show aspect of it. They have to have a bottom, and they have to have
someone who goes home. That’s just kind of the nature of the game. But with Ve
specifically, I’ve always respected her and I always will. It was really cool;
after the show ended, the school I went to and have worked at since, Cinema
Makeup School, did an open house where Ve came in and did a silicon makeup for
the students. They picked a team of three graduates to mold, cast, paint and
help apply the prosthetics alongside Ve. It was a cool experience to work
FANG: Let’s talk about those team challenges. What we see on
TV isn’t necessarily what really happens on set. Did you and Beki Ingram really
get into it during the “Water World” challenge?
JORY: Everybody’s tense, everybody’s nervous, everybody is
out there trying to protect themselves and make the best decisions to keep
themselves there. The way Beki came at me, I think, was directly because of
what happened in the first challenge with her and Brea. I know she felt maybe she
didn’t get as much credit as she deserved. And also, I was kind of putting a
lot of my weaknesses out there, and since it was so early on in the show, she
didn’t know what to expect from me. She hadn’t seen my work, she had no clue.
All she knew was that I was the youngest and greenest person there. She was
nervous, and rightfully so. I do wish she had given me a little bit more
respect, or at least a little bit more room to prove to her what I was capable
of. Because I think just right off the bat, she assumed maybe that I was going
to hold her back. But I think that in the end, after she saw my paint, and
after she saw my work coming out of it, we have a much better understanding of
each other now. There are no hard feelings between us at all. We did argue a
little along the way, but if you have cameras around 24-7 following you, of
course you’re going to get into arguments. You’ve got a bunch of strong
personalities, you’ve got a bunch of people trying to save their own asses.
FANG: How did your pairing with Ian Cromer work out, vs. how
you worked with Beki?
JORY: Ian was actually one of my really good friends in the
house, so I knew we’d get along. But at the same time, we’re both prosthetic
artists. Neither of us were excited or comfortable with the body-paint
challenge. I wish we’d gotten to work together on a prosthetics challenge,
because we have very similar ways of going about things. But I don’t think the
partnership was at all what led to me going home. It was my own bad
decision-making [laughs] as far as insisting on doing the blended character. I
was the one who went more for that background. But you have such a limited
amount of time to make these decisions that will shape the way the rest of the
competition is going to turn out for you, so it’s hard to really predict what’s
going to be the best thing to do when you have a split second to decide.
FANG: What’s it like being in the work room with all those
naked people walking around?
JORY: You know, I worked as a PA on X-MEN: FIRST CLASS for
the Mystique makeup team, so I saw my fair share of nakedness and fully
body-painted blue people. In the real world, if you were in a room full of
naked people, you might feel a little uncomfortable. But when you’re there to
do a job, and you’re focused on a goal you’re working toward, you’re not
thinking about it too much. You’re just trying to be professional. So it wasn’t
that big of a deal for me.
FANG: Now that you’ve been on the show, do you think you’ve
made connections that will actually get you work?
JORY: Yeah. I believe that for all of us on the show, it’s
going to be a matter of us applying for jobs. I don’t necessarily think that
because of the show, people are going to be knocking down our doors trying to
hire us. But I definitely think it will open up opportunities as far as people
taking a look at our work, or seeing us and thinking, “Oh, maybe I’ll look this
person up…” and seeing our portfolios and thinking, “Maybe I could hire them
for something I’m working on.” If I get even one job out of it that I didn’t
have before, that’s awesome. You have to go out there and seek work. It won’t
ever come to you.
But I think the fact that I was on FACE OFF definitely will
help get my work out there and my name out there. It definitely took a lot of
bravery for all of us. Hopefully people in the industry can recognize that, and
realize how little time we had to complete these tasks, and how odd that
scenario is compared to the regular working environment. It was different than
anybody expected. It was harder than almost everybody expected going into it.
FANG: Would you do it again? Would you be on another reality
JORY: I would absolutely do it again. I would do it tomorrow
if they called me up for season three! Most of all, I wish I’d gotten to do an
individual challenge, to show everybody what I’m personally capable of. Because
it’s kind of hard to show what you truly have to offer when you’re working with
a teammate. Not only because you both have hands in all the work, but also
because you have to make certain compromises. If you’re working alone, you’re
going to make all those decisions for yourself. I would absolutely do it again.
I have no regrets, ultimately. I met all these people that have influenced my
life a lot.
And I’ve learned so much from the show itself. Going in, I
was so nervous. I knew I was going to be one of the youngest, and I knew I was
going to be one of the least experienced. Coming out of it, I had a confidence
I didn’t really have before. I realized that I really am capable. I made it on
this show with all these people who are way more experienced than I am. I wish
I had gone in with the same confidence I left with, because then maybe things
might have turned out differently.
FANG: What’s next for you?
JORY: I’d really like to be an application artist. I think
that’s what I’m best at. I enjoy sculpting, but application is really what I’m
meant to do. So I would like to get a little bit more into the on-set world.
And coming up in April at Monsterpalooza, I’ll be bringing a few makeup demos
for Cinema Makeup School, and possibly at IMAPS as well. One of the fun things
about this career path is you never really know, and it always changes. You’re
always working on something different from month to month. I tend not to
predict too much and just let it all happen. If, a year ago, you would have
told me I would have just gotten off FACE OFF and be doing an interview with
FANGORIA, I would have said, “You’re crazy!” So hopefully, new and exciting
things are yet to come.
To see more of Jory's work, go to www.mirandajory.com.
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