The First
To ...

The Genesis of a Book

The idea started simply enough.  There needed to be an update to Making of a Monster by Al Taylor and Sue Roy.  That book was published in 1981 and followed monster film makeup from its inception with Jack Pearce creating iconic characters such as Frankenstein’s monster, Dracula, and the Mummy, and continuing through the years to a young up-and-comer Rick Baker with a small mention of his work on Star Wars.  An updated version of the book could pick up with Baker and continue to the present.  But seriously considering such an endeavor was overwhelming.  Who to choose? How to choose? Hadn’t Makeup Artists Magazine been covering these gentlemen? 
Wait.  A.  Minute.    

Flashback to another impetus for the book.  Joining Facebook in 2013, the FB world was filled with makeup posts from all the corners of the makeup world, including makeup schools, such as Cinema Makeup School, Neill Gorton’s Makeup Studios, Vancouver Film School, Joe Blascoe’s. In these posts there was something curious.  In the class photos the number of women far outnumbered the men; out of a class of 20 faces, 18 were women and 2 guys.  What?  Fact checking the school photos, all the schools were showing similar demographics. 



In Fall 2015, these two facts stood out: 1st - all the books about famous makeup artists on my shelves were about men, and 2nd - the makeup effects world was filling up with women. The “aha!” moment struck like a thunderbolt.  Write the first book, ever,  about the WOMEN working in makeup effects.  A niche book within a niche market!  This had to be a good idea!  A book to HONOR the best women in makeup effects!  A book to ENCOURAGE the women already working in what was deemed a man’s domain!  A book to INSPIRE young women to learn and train in the makeup effects industry!



"We owe a great debt to our Leading Ladies, for without them there would be no book.  To a woman they were generous with their stories and the interview process was delightful, insightful, honest!"


"Gary attended Son of Monsterpalooza with an idea that had been percolating for years.  He waylaid Lois Burwell and Eryn Krueger Mekash in the aisles of the convention and floated an idea:  Isn’t it time women makeup artists were represented as vigorously as men are?  What do you think about a book that focuses exclusively on women makeup artists, their stories, their work???  Ever-gracious, both Ladies enthusiastically embraced the idea and offered to help when the time came.

And the idea began to stand on its wobbly legs.  December 28, 2015, we had our first interview with Eryn.  Desperately nervous, we set up the Go-Pro Camera and the audio tape and rearranged the furniture.  Eryn’s was the first of 26."  


Patricia L. Terry is a Theater Director who has directed over 100 productions at theaters in Southern California. For 13 years she served as Artistic Director of the Alternative Repertory Theater (a small non-profit theater in Orange County) for which she oversaw all the productions and directed 35 which ranged from Seascape, No Exit, Macbeth, and Long Day’s Journey Into Night. At ART she won a Drama-Logue award for her Direction of The House of Blue Leaves. In addition, she was Producing Artistic Director of the Pandemonium Word Ballet and Literary Circus, a company producing Theater for Children, and she has also been an Acting instructor at several colleges in Orange County. For the past six years she has written a blog, Pat’s Musings on Living La Dolce Vita, about her experiences living in retirement in Italy where she spends six months of the year.


Click the link to read Pat's Blog

"These dynamic women shared generously of themselves, whether meeting with us for 90 minutes or four hours  Each interview flew by too fast, but each was magical!"


"An idea is just an idea, until you begin to work on it , you don’t know if it can come to life! We had interviews to set-up and then conduct.  Would these Award-winning ladies give us the time of day to sit and talk with us?  Yes!   

Meeting and interviewing the Oscar and Emmy-winners whose work on films and TV shows we’ve watched and admired for years were glorious!  Equally glorious were our interviews with our Emerging Artists, young women reaching their way into the industry, with enthusiasm, excitement and true grit.


All of these dynamic women shared generously of themselves, their stories, and careers, whether meeting with us for 90 minutes or four hours, in person or sometimes on the phone." 


Gary Christensen is a Makeup Artist and Designer for Theater.  In the area of Makeup Special Effects, he has won a Drama-Logue Award for his prosthetics makeup design for Comedy of Errors at the Grove Shakespeare Festival. He recently designed silicon makeup effects for  Time Stands Still, and in London for 2013-15 he was a demonstrator for Mouldlife and Neill Gorton Prosthetics Studios at the International Makeup Artists Trade Show (IMATS) and United Makeup Artists Expo (UMA Expo). As a Theater Makeup Instructor he has taught at several colleges and universities throughout Southern California including California State University Fullerton and Riverside City College.  For two years, he served as "Backstage" columnist for Makeup Artist Magazine for Issues #11 (Feb/Mar 1998) through #23 (Feb/Mar 2000.)

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© 2019 by Gary Christensen & Patricia L. Terry