Just me talking about costume-y kind of stuff
Even though it was pouring rain, again, and we were under another flood warning, we got in the car and headed to Dallas anyway. The drive was uneventful, which is good. We saw some lovely lightning displays and the Trinity was way up, but not anywhere near being over I 30. We parked in the parking garage for $15 and made it safely inside the convention center still warm and dry and an hour early. It was a great day. I got to talk to two contestants from Face Off, we went to a Q&A with Billie Piper, Carrie Fisher signed our Star Wars poster, and I got to see a ton of great costumes.
FAce Off's Eric Z and heather
These two Face Off contestants, Eric Zapata and Heather Henry, were scheduled for four workshops over the weekend: FX Makeup 101 on Thursday, Zombies on a Budget, on Friday, Face Off Sci- Fi Workshop on Saturday, and FX Blood Gags on Sunday. When I stopped by their table, Heather was busily air brushing a model and Eric was showing off his prosthetic work, some of which was for sale, I introduced myself and told them that I was really a costume designer but that I taught a beginning makeup class at the community college in Waco. I shared that I use Face Off as a teaching tool in my class. Students watch it on Tuesday and then we discuss it in class on Friday. While Heather painted, Eric and I had time to chat. Once Heather was finished with her creation, she was kind enough to talk to me as well.
Eric Zapata, originally from Victoria, Texas, went to Tom Savini's School of Makeup Effects in Pittsburgh, and then relocated to Austin. Eric told me he decided to audition for Face Off because Ian Cromer from Season Two, who was friend of his from Tom Savini's, told him he should audition. Eric said that even though Ian had told him all about his experiences, it didn't prepare him for how difficult the challenges were. Here's an interview with him after his first season on Face Off, Season 4 when he was 22. http://www.slackerwood.com/node/3541
Unfortunately, Eric didn't win Season Four, Anthony Kosar was the champion that year. Eric was eliminated on the eighth episode: the Bio-Luminescence challenge. However, Eric was invited to compete on their web series, Face Off Redemption, and ended up winning, which allowed him to compete on Face Off Season 6: Vets vs. Newbies. Unfortunately he was the first of the vets to be eliminated. He told me that he's a sculptor and not a drawer/painter and watching Anthony Kosar, the season 4 winner, draw and paint so easily, made him wish that his own skills were better. He told me that if he had to do it all over again he'd have chosen Cinema makeup school, which has a broader approach, instead of Tom Savini's, in which the primary focus is gore and monsters. Anthony Kosar, who runs his own school now, Kosart Atelier, was trained in fine art and that is the primary focus of his school.
I offered my opinion on what makes a successful Face Off contestant is a person's ability to stay calm in the face of chaos and to treat others with respect when things get tense. Eric's opinion was that people who could do that, like Anthony Kosar, were as rare as unicorns in the FX makeup business. Eric offered Rick Baker as an example of the calmest, most respectful man in the business and I heartily agreed. I shared with Eric that when I was in graduate school in a prosthetic makeup class, our teacher brought in Rick Baker and Dick Smith for a one day workshop with us. Afterwards we were invited to a screening of Little Big Man, for which Dick Smith had won an Oscar for best makeup.
Heather Henry, from Dallas, took her theatre and art classes at a community college, which is how she got started in makeup. From there she went to Jo Blasco makeup school in Orlando, FL. She competed in Season 2 when she was 33. Heather was eliminated on the sixth episode, the Underwater challenge. Here's an article about her experiences on the show: http://junkyardarts.com/in-depth-w-the-artist/in-depth-w-the-artist-heather-henry/
I asked Heather if it was true, what I'd heard last year from Chloe Sens (another Austinite from Season Six) that contestants weren't allowed any contact with anyone outside of show nor were they allowed any electronic devices, no computers, cell phones, anything. Chloe had told me that they were quarantined in order to make sure they were competing on their own knowledge and therefore were not allowed to do any research for any of the challenges outside of the anatomy books and other reference materials already in the studio. Heather confirmed this and added that the hardest part is not so much the individual challenges, as the marathon of them going on back to back. They have three days to complete one challenge so that they work six days a week completing two challenges in six days and then one day off to rest. Heather said that that was hard but it was harder to do that and then not be able to communicate with your family members at all while you are on the show. Her opinion on what makes a successful Face Off contestant is the ability to endure. "Face Off is a marathon, not a sprint. If you audition for the show, you should be ready for the long haul" she said.
Q&A with billie piper
Billie Piper plays Rose Tyler on Doctor Who. Rose was the first companion to be introduced when the series was rebooted in 2005. She's was raised by a widowed mum, worked as a shop girl, and was in a relationship with Mickey until the Doctor came along and whisked her away to share in his adventures. Rose's character was in every episode through the end of Season Two, was brought back for the Season Four finale, and did a one-off for "Day of the Doctor".
The designers that created Rose's costumes were Lucinda Wright (Season One), Louis Page (Season Two and Four) and Howard Burden ("Day of the Doctor"). In terms of color pallette, Rose's wardrobe echos her character's name: she dresses in a lot of dark pinks with a trend toward deeper hues in the "rose" garden like orange, red, maroon, and purple. She wears a lot of natural fibers like denim jackets and blue jeans, leather jackets and/ or cotton hoodies. England is often damp and cold, hence all the layering with jackets and hoodies. She wears either boots or "sand shoes" because being a companion involves a lot of running.
Billie was asked which were her favorite costumes. She said that she didn't really have any posh dresses except for the Dickensian dress in "The Unquiet Dead" which she loved as well as the 1950's dress from "The Idiot's Lantern". The rest of the time she spends in jeans, pants, or leggings and a variety of T-shirts and hoodies. A girl from Wichita Falls asked Billie about the Wichita Falls T-shirt she was wearing in "The Girl in the Fireplace". Billie had no idea Wichita Falls was in Texas.
Billie mentioned her outfit from "The Day of the Doctor" joking that it could easily have been designed for Stevie Nicks. I should mention that Billie isn't playing Rose in that episode, rather she is a shape that The Moment felt The Doctor would find comforting. So she is not in Rose's signature pinks, but is dressed in tattered neutrals. I felt it might have been stolen out of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome rather than Stevie Nick's wardrobe. The Q&A video has been added below, posted by Adam Perez.
There were a lot of girls cosplaying Rose at the Con. In fact, her character is so popular to cosplay, there are guides to buying pieces to make your own Rose wardrobe for almost every episode. I've included a wide range of them below. Most of them were found on this website:
We were there early, she was running late, on Princess Time, Rob said. We sat in line for an hour and a half until we heard she wasn't going to be there until 12:30. We gave up to go do other things. The line manager told us to take our ticket with us and come back later. We checked back at 2 and there were a gazillion people in line so we left and checked back at 3 and there were still a gazillion people in line. We figured that it just wasn't going to happen and we were going to leave without seeing her. However, with a lot of help from Jennifer Dunham and line manager Babs, we were able to get her autograph.
I told Carrie that when Star Wars came out I was seven and Rob was nine and that we'd spent all our allowance money every Saturday going back to see it again all summer long. She asked us if we met in line. I told her, no, we were in different towns, but that we'd met in high school. She thought that was just darling and signed our poster, "Carrie Fisher, from the Cantina bar". She had her dog Gary Fisher with her at the table in his own chair and all his snacks laid out on the table. Yes, his tongue hangs out like that all the time. Q&A photo courtesy of Rachel Parker.
Total cost of the day: 3 tickets $110, parking $15, lunch at the venue $40, Carrie Fisher's autograph $70.