Theater students help in monster creations

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Victor Diaz

Theater major Candace Montgomery assists in putting makeup on Halloween Haunt monster Molly Bennett. Cerritos College Theater students visited the park on Oct. 27 to help makeup artists in creating monsters for the event.

Patrick Dolly and Patrick Dolly

Pete Moye’
Arts Button

Alma Griffin was once a theater major at Cerritos College, but now she applies her theater degree in her career as a make-up artist for Knotts Berry Farm.

Griffin graduated from Cerritos College in 1994 and has worked at Knott’s as a make-up artist since 1996. She discussed how attending Cerritos College prepared her for her profession.

“They [the theater instructors] are very good teachers. They don’t allow sloppy work. They know which students to push the hardest, and because they did that, it made me not afraid to make mistakes,” she said.

Cerritos College theater students participated in a field trip to Knott’s Berry Farm on Oct. 27, where they were allowed to assist in applying makeup to actors portraying monsters at its seasonal Halloween event, Halloween Haunt.

Cerritos College has participated in assisting the artists for more than 10 years.

Students went from makeup station to station, watching the artists apply various types of makeup to the monsters. Some students expressed nervousness about the possibility of themselves being able to work on the monsters.

Makeup Shift Lead for Knott’s, Denise Paxton, talked about what the event consists of for students.

“When the students are here, they observe the makeup artists in their actual environment. They see what happens on a day-to-day basis in the makeup room.”

Paxton went on to say, “Sometimes, they get an opportunity to assist the makeup artists, so they actually see what techniques are used, how to use the different products that we use, as well as how to interact with the talent.” she said.

Other students, like zoology major Kimberly Arcega, were excited about being able to work on some of the monsters’ makeup.

“I am excited actually. I was here last year [with Cerritos College] and was able to work on some of the monsters, it was pretty fun. It feels good knowing that the final product of what I made is out there in the park scaring people.”

Theater major Mathew Cruz expressed concern about the day’s events, saying, “I’m pretty nervous. I’m afraid that I might mess up and ruin one of the makeup artists’ creations.”

Students like theatre major Candace Montgomery got an opportunity to work directly with the makeup artists in applying makeup to the monsters.

”It is actually fun to see what the artists do and how they prepare themselves. I felt like I would mess up and like I didn’t meet the makeup artist’s abilities of blending. My expectations for my work are to do the best that I can and get it done.”

Cerritos College theater professor Susan Watanabe spoke about the benefits of the event, saying, “It is a lot of fun. It is a good learning experience for them to see how professionals work.

“Generally in class, [students] do the labs on themselves, so this gives them opportunity to figure out how to put make-up on someone else.”

Montgomery also worked one-on-one with one of the monsters. Ashley Robison, who portrayed a rich cannibal, spoke on Montgomery’s work.

“She [Montgomery] did my lip stick. She asked if she could do it so I said OK. I think she did a really good job. She knew what she was doing.”

Undecided major Andrea Valdez was one of many students that expressed interest in pursuing the make-up field.

“This whole thing is pretty amazing. It is pretty awesome seeing how the makeup artists do this. This is a field that I have a lot of interest in.”