Mardi Gras

For those of you new to this column, I’m revisiting important events in my life that made me what I am today: A Special Effects Make Up Artist looking for relevance in the 21st Century. By this time in the story, I have been at home, experimenting with foam latex, trying to make prosthetics and failing. I am seventeen years old. I had a job at a grocery store. This supplied me with money, but did nothing to fire my ambition or imagination. With the failure of my foam latex attempts, I decided that I needed to take a positive step toward my goals. I took a bunch of my pencil color renderings (I had gotten adept at copying TV Guide covers with pencil colors on colored paper) and went to see Herb Saussaye at the Vieux Carre Hair Store in the French Quarter (see: The Latex Genie in the Bottle). I showed him my sketches, and he hired me to help out in the shop on a part-time basis. I was elated. Working in Mr. Saussaye’s shop was the closest thing I had experienced to working in a magic shop. When you walked into the shop there were three glass cases that formed an upside down “U” the center of which formed a sales floor in the main room. Beyond the cases, was another room that was the workshop for the hair-tiers (that is tie-ers not tiers), who made custom wigs and hairpieces for theater, the Opera, and for […]

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