The legendary acting academy was founded in 1884 and is considered to be the finest acting school in The United States. I rarely mention it, but I attended this fine establishment. It is what gave me the courage to move all on my own to The Big Apple at such a young age. The alumni of The Academy is enough to cover half of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. After graduating, I worked steadily as an extra in movies, had a small role in the “Fame” TV series, appeared in a few music videos and a couple of commercials. However, my love of music and need for self-expression soon took over and my acting days ended. I suppose there is still time.... mmmmm. www.aada.org
Believe it or not...one of my very first professional jobs was working with the incredible Annie Leibowitz. It was a cast photo for the Broadway revival of “The Diary of Anne Frank,” starring Natalie Portman and Linda Lavin. The photo appeared in Vanity Fair. A terrific initiation!!
Long-running (35 years) NBC Daytime Drama where I got my start in the soap opera genre. From September 1996 until AW ceased taping in June 1999, I helped create the wonderful inhabitants of Bay City. The infamous “Lumina Ball,” which taped for 72 consecutive hours, is something that all of us involved in continue to laugh, and cry, about to this very day.
Long-running (54 years!!) CBS Daytime Drama which, I am proud to say was my home from November 1999 until June 2010. I was the Make-Up Department Head from October 2002 until the series went off the air, garnering four Emmy Awards in the process (2001, 2002, 2007, 2008).
Festspillene I Bergen is an international music and cultural festival which takes place every May in Bergen, Norway. Although it has occured annually since 1953, the original festival took place in 1898 and was created by the famed Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg.
This festival has taken on a somewhat spiritual meaning for me as I have attended it every year since 1997. Tracing my love of western Norway to my love of the music of Edvard Grieg, the festival serves as a “battery recharging” from the wear and tear of my hectic life in New York City. www.fib.no see Edvard Grieg, The Piano
Multiple award winning artist Eldo Ray Estes has been creating beautiful faces on television and film for over a decade. His work has been seen in Cosmopolitan, Elle, Seventeen, and Vanity Fair. As a make-up expert, he has appeared in publications ranging from Good Housekeeping to More. As a celebrity artist, his clients include Sharon Stone, Debi Mazar, Anna Kendrick, Sutton Foster, Lorraine Toussaint, Elizabeth Olsen and Annette Bening.
Both in college and in real life, I worked my way through several vocal coaches while pursuing my music interests, both professionally and personally. Not until I found my way to Carolyn Marcell in 2009 did things really begin to make sense. She is a miracle worker. In a clear and defined manner, Carolyn put me on the right track after having abandoned singing for many years. If you are needing a terrific coach...give Carolyn a call.
I spent seven years representing Chanel throughout both the New York and Chicago regions. Along with fine-tuning my excellent people skills, working with Chanel gave me the opportunity to learn every type of face on the planet (essential elements to being a successful make-up artist). www.chanel.com
The cream of the cosmetics crop, Christian Dior sponsors all of my current projects. The quality of their product is unmatchable and the on-camera result is exquisite. www.dior.com
While honing my skills at The Make-Up Center, an executive from Clairol took a liking to me and hired me to do a series of “makeover” shows on all the talks shows taping in New York City. You know...My Teenage Daughter is a Goth Nightmare.. We had to make her all pretty and preppy. What I gained from these shows was learning how you had to work fast...and work with what you've got. It was renegade make-up at its craziest.
Working on a television show that tapes five or six episodes a week, the person in charge (me!) has to become a master at the art of continuity. Most don't realize that shows are taped drastically out of sequence, then pieced together weeks later in the edit. “Carly” has to have the same face at Al's Diner that she had at The Lakeview, however in between she is taping three scenes at Fashion's that are from an episode from two weeks ago!!! It can get nuts.
After scrutinizing scripts and keeping it all in line for so many years, I have developed what I call The Continuity Chip. It is a place in my brain that picks up on continuity gaffes while innocently watching a film or television program. It can kill an otherwise brilliant film for me. It has destroyed friendships...(not really). I am cursed for life...
David is a long-time friend of mine, having taken my photo many times over the years. He is the most relaxed headshot photographer I know...and he does his own re-touching...beautifully. Recommended by agents for years, he is simply the best guy for the job. We work very well together too. So hire us as a team!! www.davidrodgersphotography.com
The biggest selling female artist of the 1970's. I first heard Donna's voice over my radio late one night when I was very young in Indianapolis. There was some sort of intrinsic chemical reaction in my brain as soon as her voice landed on my eardrum, and a lifelong obsession began. I've traveled the country seeing Donna in concert nearly 40 times over the past 30+ years, having met her on numerous occasions. She is also an accomplished painter, and I own three pieces of her beautiful artwork. I miss her dearly. www.donna-tribute.com
Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) is Norway's most famous composer. He broke new ground with his unique harmonies and unchallenged desire to bring a national element to classical music. Although schooled somewhat begrudgingly according to the German masters, Grieg paved his own way to fame and fortune.
His melodies struck a very strong chord in me as a young piano student. Strongly identifying with his music, he became an early hero to me. Being the only child at home, I could easily disappear into my own world. Mr. Grieg became an obsession. I suppose this is why I visit his home annually to revel in his life and music. See Bergen International Festival
“Outstanding Achievement in Make-Up for A Drama Series”. I am honored to say that I have been nominated by my peers eight times for this award, and have brought home the gold four out of those eight times!!
If my body would allow it, I would eat fried chicken every single day. I cannot get enough of that fried goodness. KFC. Popeye's. Not-Just Chicken. The Hollyhock Hill House in Indy. The Barking Dog on 34th Street. Hell...I even like Hungry-Man Fried Chicken TV Dinners. And please...don't forget the hot sauce!!!
The magic combination. Almost better than a massage...the best way to end the work week. ;-) Guadelupe in Inwood is one of my favorite Friday destinations. Let's go!!
They don't call 'em Soap Operas for nothin'. Drama...and plenty of it. It certainly isn't about just making everyone glamorous. Gunshot wounds, traumatic burns, hives, blisters, bald caps and old age are just the tip of the iceberg of all the different effects created for the screen. Fantasy make-up is challenging, but very rewarding. Two of our Emmy winning episodes involved a re-creation of classic sitcoms (The Munsters, I Dream of Jeannie, etc.) and a department store holiday window come-to-life with the entire cast made-up as turn-of-the-century dolls!!
While attending The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, I got a call from a friend to do four days of extra work on a film that was shooting on Central Park West. Fifty bucks a day. Long days...into long nights. We were told without reason to jump up and down, scream and yell...run for our lives. It was not until the following summer that I realized I was featured prominently in the biggest grossing film of 1984. I was sporting my best New Romantic haircut and color at the time...and was determined to be seen. Well, I was. I think one can count upwards of ten spots in the final 30 minutes of “Ghostbusters”. I was recognized daily for the entire summer of 1984. The film, as well as my performance, has reached a near cult status. Was that my 15 minutes of fame? If so, it has lasted 25 years!
This just wouldn't be complete without including these four wonderful people. Each of them instilled things in me that I carry with me and refer to daily. I am grateful to have had such loving and supportive grandparents. I miss them dearly. Katherine and Eldo Wells. Neva and Carl Estes. I salute you.
Make-up for headshots is very important. You need to look natural, yet still polished and put together. Boys need it too...but they call it “grooming”. E-mail me for rates. See David Rodgers Photography
“Local 798...masters in make-up and hair artistry since 1948” The east coast branch of our hair and make-up union. I have been a member in excellent standing since 1997. www.798makeupandhair.com
My feelings about my hometown “The Crossroads of America” have varied from utter repulsion to vast pride over the years. Fleeing the Midwest after graduating high school was a common thing for someone who wanted to break loose from the confines of mass suburbia where the slightest hint of creativity was looked upon as some sort of perversion. However...over the years I have grown to love Indy. I try to get back at least twice a year. I think Ann Romano still lives there somewhere on the near Southside. ;-)
Eldo Ray Estes at The Internet Movie Database (IMDB)
The northern-most neighborhood on the island of Manhattan is the place I call home. Inwood Hill Park, virtually my backyard, is the only remaining natural forest on the island. I love having the diversity of both the big city and nature within steps from my front door.
A production facility since 1903, and the former home to “The Esther Willams Show” (still housing her swimming pool under the floor of Studio One), JC Studios was home to As The World Turns since January 2000. I spent 14 years there as Another World lived its entire 35 year run there when it was a former NBC studio. I have so many memories within those walls... It will forever be a home away from home. Who knows? I may work there again someday. www.jcstudios.net
Famed New York advertising agency where I had my first film make-up gigs. I did a series of commercials for products ranging from Tampax to Cascade....
I cannot go anywhere without my Jack Spade bag. I think I am on my third one... I mean, why can't a guy have a bag to carry his stuff?? I can't put everything in my pockets!! www.jackspade.com
Japan's premier line of High-Definition Cosmetics. The little red tube called Maifanshi is the most extraordinary foundation for the camera and daily wear.... You will find many of these little red tubes in my kit. They have some amazing skincare too!! www.kohgendocosmetics.com
See The Piano, Edvard Grieg, Lucille Ball, Donna Summer
Dr. Steven Margolin's Wellness Center is another one of my favorite destinations in NYC when my body is telling me it needs a little TLC. Standing and torqued in very un-natural positions for long periods of time while painting faces does not the body good!! The massage therapists at The Wellness Center are the best. www.longevityhealthnyc.com
One afternoon when I was four or five years old, my mother sat me down to watch a movie from 1950 called The Fuller Brush Girl. It starred a very pretty (and very funny) lady named Lucille Ball. Well, something about that movie...and that lady...made me laugh so hard that I was in pain! I couldn't stop laughing. That funny lady made me so happy. I soon discovered she had a TV show on every Monday night (Here's Lucy) and reruns of TWO OTHER SHOWS on during the day. I couldn't get enough. And I still can't. Thanks Mom.
One of my “manbag” essentials, I load up on this classic Swiss-made lip balm when I travel to Norway every Spring. Don't leave home without it. www.lypsyl.no see Shiseido Oil-Blotting Papers
Founded in Toronto in 1984...I first discovered MAC when it was just a small counter at The Bumble+Bumble hair salon in NYC. It soon redefined the professional make-up world...and continues to do so today. They offer an unmatched color and product selection. www.maccosmetics.com
As a rule...I never leave a film until the make-up credit has appeared onscreen. It is often someone I know, which is great when the work is terrific. Judy Chin is often a name that pops up when I have been overly impressed with the work in a film. Valli O'Reilly is another artist who continues to amaze me. Francesca Tolot has been a favorite artist of mine for many, many years. Of course the ladies on my team at ATWT have my greatest admiration: Anette Lian-Williams, Stephanie Glover-McGee and Kimberly Braisin.
The Make-Up Center opened in 1962, offering theatrical make-up for actors in theater, ballet, film, television and the opera. They began their line of everyday cosmetics and soon the entire modeling industry relied on them. They were ahead of their time.. For 48 years the doors of The Make-Up Center served the world of beauty. It is sadly missed. The products of the center can still be ordered online...thankfully.
The Make-Up Center was my home for a time in the mid-90's as I transitioned from retail to film and television make-up. The knowledge I gained there was immeasurable. I also made some of my earliest connections there. I would not have made the successful leap that I made without the help of The Make-Up Center.
Tired of the same old make-up you have been wearing since 1989?? Why not have a lesson and learn something new? I can keep it simple...or make it dramatic. I can even take you shopping... E-mail me for rates.
Martha Voutas Donegan is the founder of MVDoneganCo, a verbal and visual solutions company specializing in brand and communications design. She and her associate Matthew Hilbert do amazing work. Not to mention this website! Check them out. www.mvdonegan.com
Irvin Ray Estes and Beverly Marie Wells were married just barely six years. However, they remained dear friends until my father said good-bye to this world in April 2010. I wouldn't trade them for the world.
The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences was founded in 1955. It is dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of television and the promotion of creative leadership for artistic, educational and technical achievements within the television industry. It recognizes the achievements with the coveted Emmy Award. I have been a member of NATAS since 1999. www.emmyonline.org
A Neil Simon film from 1981 based on his play “The Gingerbread Lady.” The film stars Marsha Mason, Joan Hackett, James Coco and Kristy McNichol. This film should be better known and seen more often. It is the perfect film. My personal favorite. I watch it at least once a year to return to the city that I moved to when I was still in my teens. It is like visiting good friends.
I have to mention Payot when talking about skincare because they have four products that I have sworn by since my first days in Bloomingdale's. Pate Gris and Speciale No. 5 are all you need to clear up a blemish faster than lightening. Creme No. 2 is a special cream that instantly clears up razor burn or irritated areas on the skin. Lotion Bleu is a minor miracle in itself. Kept in the fridge then soaked in cotton pads, it is used as a decongestant compress for tired and puffy eyes. I keep it next to the mayo. www.payot.com see Skincare
The summer of my fifth year, my mother bought an old player piano. She made a project out of refinishing and restoring it back to its original working order. Totally of her own decision, I began piano lessons at age five. Who knew? I loved it. I took to it instantly. I excelled. I competed throughout my youth and won a few statewide competitions along the way. It is a gift that has never stopped giving. My love of music. My love of making music. Thanks Mom.
Another “manbag” essential. These little blue papers often raise eyebrows, as folks think I'm going to roll a joint. I have carried them for years to rid my face of excess oil. They also work terrific on the set as well. Over powdering a face can call attention to fine lines and wrinkles. No one wants that!!
I am constantly asked about my own skincare regimen. I've always answered that it's not “what” you use, but that you “use” what you've got. Effective skincare has got to be a religion for it to truly work. Products sitting on the shelf cannot do their job.
Personally I love the Clarins line. I am a skincare fanatic and I love to have a different product for every little need or problem that may occur on my face (or body). The Clarins line is vast and answers nearly every skincare question www.clarins.com see Payot Cosmetics
And what is my most important skincare tip? Never, and I mean never, go to bed without washing your face!!!
Wedding make-up should simply be a refined extension of what you look like on your best day. No one wants to look back at wedding photos and say “who the hell is that??”. Communication between myself and the bride is most important. I keep things calm and relaxed. The mother usually loves me...and sometimes the sister is jealous. But in the end...everyone looks absolutely radiant. I have excellent award-winning hairstylists to work with as well. Rates vary depending on party size and location. I would love to discuss your wedding with you!! E-mail me for rates.
Since 1971, The West Village Chorale has performed an eclectic repertoire that celebrates the classics and gives new voice to new directions in choral music. Under the fantastic direction of Michael Conley, WVC brings audience and chorus together in the spirit of community to experience the joy of choral music. I proudly sing tenor in this wonderful group of talented musicians. www.westvillagechorale.org
This amazing oasis on West 57th street in NYC is one of my guiltiest...yet most necessary pleasures. I am practically a fixture there. It is the best way I have found to relieve the stress of working on your feet...or over-taxing your brain. The ambience of Yelo is almost as intoxicating as the services. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Mmmm..I think it is time for my next session. www.yelonyc.com