Joseph Martinez receives a flesh-eating look just in time for Halloween during the Zombie Workshop and Costume Contest Thursday evening at ENMU-R. (Mark Wilson Photo)
It was a thriller night at the Performing Arts Center at Eastern New Mexico University- Roswell, Thursday, as horror and theater aficionados learned how to get that just-out-of-the-grave look.
Gearing up for the college’s presentation of Tim Kelly’s “The Zombie,” to be shown next month, the theatre department invited the community for a special zombie makeup tutorial at the PAC.
This was followed by a costume contest in which contenders vied for new mp3 players.
The undead have long playlists.
Standing before a crowd, makeup tools in hand, ENMU-R instructor Dallas Jeffers-Pollei and actor Dominic Batista accepted volunteers willing to wear zombie makeup the rest of the night. They started with younger contenders, who got less makeup for the sake of parents who may have resented their children getting a little too gory.
“It’s basically about getting that undead look,” Jeffers-Pollei said. He explained the basic dead look involves just three [auth] colors: white, gray and black.
After applying a base of white, Jeffers-Pollei said other makeup can be applied. Black should never be applied without the white base, he said, unless one is dressing up as a spotted dog.
Jeffers-Pollei shared a number of products that aid stage makeup artists and can be used by the enterprising Halloween trick-or-treater. These include nicotine tooth color to blacken teeth, latex that can be used to create the illusion of rotting skin and tips on buying — or making — the perfect fake blood.
“Most (theater) blood is delicious,” Jeffers-Pollei said. He warned about getting fake blood that has no flavor, which is typically water-based and ineffective.
“It doesn’t stand up to the night of terror you have in store,” Jeffers-Pollei said of flavorless fake blood. One can make fake blood, he said, from ingredients such as corn syrup and red dye; or chocolate syrup.
Blood is important when it comes to a zombie costume, Jeffers-Pollei said, as zombies typically appear to be messy eaters.
A good zombie costume also pays attention to the ‘do.
“I’ve never seen a zombie with the perfect coif,” Jeffers-Pollei said. To this end, he suggested applying ash powder to the hair.
“It give you a nice, sort of dirty look,” he said.
Jeffers-Pollei also gave makeup removal tips, such as using shampoo or dish soap, as these are de-greasers.
The costume contest followed the makeup tutorial. Winners in the 15-years-old and younger category were Brisa Heacox, 10, who won third place; Lucas Martinez, 12, who won second place; and Joseph Martinez, 14, who won first place and an mp3 player.
Lucas and Joseph are brothers. Lucas, almost completely covered in ghoulish makeup, wore torn jeans and a fake foot to make it look as if he was walking with a broken leg. To add to this effect, he walked with a limp.
Joseph, who was one of the volunteers who had his makeup done by Jeffers-Pollei, said his parents are keen on keeping track of what activities are going on at the college.
Joseph Martinez also said his theatre aspirations are supported by his school. He attends Sidney Gutierrez Middle School.
“Every grade has little plays that they do,” Joseph Martinez explained. “It’s not a school where you get work handed to you. … We go out and do a lot of things, educationally.”
Winners in the 16-years-old and older category were Sivi Lujan, who won third place; James Blanchard, who won second place; and Jessica Meyers, who won first place and an mp3 player.
Meyers was clad in black, and had bloodied, rotting skin and broken CDs scattered on her costume, neck and face.
“I was a gorehound as a teenager,” said Meyers as to how she learned to do gory, zombie makeup. As far as the broken CDs, she joked she fell on her music collection when she was mauled by zombies.
“I just experimented with all kinds of neat stuff,” Meyers said on a more serious note. Meyers is friends with Lujan, and both collaborated on each other’s zombie makeup.
ENMU-R will present “The Zombie” Nov. 18, 19, 20.