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Happy Halloween from the Straz Center: Now Go Out There and Put a Pencil in your Forehead

Straz Center theater professionals share the gruesome details of great horror makeup with step-by-step instructions for creating our favorite look, “Festering Wound with Pencil.” Happy haunting, arts lovers!

Guest blogger Audrey Siegler, Straz Center theater department manager. And that’s our other resident make-up magician, Sarah Berland, in the background!

Makeup is magic. It has the power to transform one’s outside and one’s sense of self. Great makeup can help create a great character. With most makeup designs, you can’t even feel the change. Your view is not obstructed, the weight of paint is practically nothing, but with one glance in the mirror you step out of yourself and become something else. You are no longer you. You are confidence, you are bravery, you are anger, you are power. A face, an arm, a neck can all become a canvas. As the artist, you are free to create not only beautiful and unique art but to transfigure a human being–look and personality.

Gross, gaping eye wound.

Makeup is fun. It is a rewarding and extremely entertaining outlet for a theatrical artist. I love seeing the reaction on a model’s face after her makeup has been applied. Often there’s a moment of shock, then excitement, then the look of “wow, is that really me?” It’s fun to play and explore creativity especially through makeup, and we hope you can take this quick how-to demo and make a great character any time you want to get ghoulish.



You can find these online and at most theater supply stores.


First, you need to building the wound.

Then, you paint it!

Before and after a little Halloween-themed stage makeup!

The cool people at the Patel Conservatory often offer workshops in makeup, acting, voice lessons, dance and more. Check out to see upcoming workshops you might like.

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