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Peeling back the layers

March 17, 2017

As “Shrek The Musical” comes to life, the cast members must branch out and transform into their characters through the use of makeup

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Shrek – Josh Robinson

Once the fat suit and ogre attire has been put on, sophomore Josh Robinson begins his tedious transformation from man to monster.
After being taught how to do it, Robinson now applies his own makeup for the show. “It’s frustrating. It’s not the makeup that’s frustrating, but more the prosthetics. It takes a lot of time,” Robinson said.

First, a prosthetic adhesive is applied around Robinson’s face and on his nose. This keeps the ogre head and nose mold secure to his face. Next, the first layer of green makeup is brushed onto Robinson’s face. This lighter layer of makeup covers all of Robinson’s face that is not covered by the ogre head mold, and it can maneuver its way into the crevices of his facial features better than the thicker layer of green makeup.

Then, a thick, pasty layer of green makeup is painted onto his face. To ensure that this layer does not dry in clumps, a sponge is gently taken to Robinson’s face, evening out the paste. The layers of green makeup must now dry before details are added to bring back the features of Robinson’s face that have been lost to the layers of green.

Finally, once two to three minutes have passed, a black pencil is used on Robinson’s eyebrows, making them appear bigger. A rustic brown lipstick is applied to his lips. Both will help make Robinson’s facial expression perceivable to the audience from the stage as the monstrous character of Shrek.
The entire process varies from night to night, but usually takes about an hour and a half.

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Donkey – Zachary Miller

With my hood and hooves strapped on, I am only halfway done my Donkey makeover. To give the audience a better visual of Shrek’s furry friend, my face is made to resemble that of a donkey’s snout.

Sophomore Ava Barnd, who wants to pursue a career in makeup, has helped immensely in this process by doing my makeup every rehersal. “I think being able to transform a face into something artistic and different is the coolest thing ever,” Barnd said.

First, a white pencil outlines the overall shape of a snout and is colored in heavily. Then, black pencil outlines some of the edges and details of my face to make the snout pop out from the audience’s perspective. The pencil is also used to accentuate my eyebrows, making my facial expressions seem even bigger from onstage.

Next, a bronzer palette is used to darken my face, creating the look of an animal who has been traveling. After that, a sponge is used to blend the makeup together. Finally, a special setting spray is used to keep the makeup from being rubbed or sweat off easily.

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Farquad – Mikey Shock

The short and sassy Dictator of Duloc would not be complete without his fabulous makeover. While less complex than most of the cast’s makeup, freshman Mikey Shock’s features are defined before he makes his grand entrance.

First, a base of powder, appropriate to Shock’s skin tone, is applied to his face. This is always an important step for performers of any production to ensure that their faces are not washed out by the harsh lighting of the stage.

Next, a rosy blush is brushed onto Shock’s cheeks, and a light pink lipstick is glossed over his lips. These two details help to replicate the original Broadway portrayal of Farquaad as an extremely feminine man.

After that, a prosthetic paste covers Shock’s real eyebrows, providing space to draw on long, curling, mischievous eyebrows. Finally, after securing his wig cap to his head, Shock puts on his wig of black hair.“After everything is dry it isn’t bad because it feels like regular stage makeup, which I’m used to,” Shock said.

Zachary Miller is a Media Editor for The Patriot and

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