Frontline Artist Interview: Cary Ayers

We sat down with one of our favorite homies, Cary Ayers, recently. Cary is a real cool guy, and a really talented special fx makeup artist. 

Frontline: Who are you and what do you do!?!
Cary: I'm Cary Ayers and I'm a Makeup dude.

Frontline: How did you become a special fx makeup artist?
Cary: Aww man I've always loved monsters and characters and movies and dreamt of making them. Monsters I mean. As far as how I got my start? I would say love, luck and will. By that I mean People who I love and love me introduced me to people who were willing to accept enthusiastic free labor and teach me as well. Through the kindness of others and the willingness to just always show up the opportunities began to grow. And I just never gave up and never said no to any opportunity of any kind. I worked for free till I was good enough to get paid because I LOVE makeup FX and the art of makeup in general and it never gets old. I've been just as happy slinging Ultracal at 3am for zero cash as I am now getting to work along side my heroes and friends for a living....Usually still at 3am.

Frontline: What is the most memorable project you've worked on?
Cary: It's hard to narrow it down to one. "The Lone Ranger" in one of course, working under my original mentor Joel Harlow. I never learned so much or had that much fun before, than on that job. We worked super hard but laughed even harder! Working with my amazing friends and family Eryn and Mike Mekash on American horror story was a dream and an incredible gift to work on. Working for my new pal and amazing boss Howard Berger and KNB is also dream I've had since I was a teenager. I still can't believe that's a real thing. And Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, working for the super cool Brian Sipe and Legacy FX, still blows my mind. The show I'm on now - Code Black, working for the always awesome Steve LaPorte. Damn!...I've been super lucky. Weird to write this and read it back. It seems like a freakin' fairy tale. 

Frontline: Tell us about a time on set when you had to achieve the impossible, without the right tools, but you nailed it anyway.
Cary: Oh man it's happened so many times during the micro budget early days of my career. Sewing and gluing creature suits and puppets together, making guts outta paper towels, sculpting, molding and casting stuff outta the back of my truck in the middle of nowhere - you name it. Now I'm not sure if I actually nailed it during those times, but for better or worse, we made the producers and creators happy.

Frontline: Special FX makeup tutorials are popular on YouTube, and have huge followings on Instagram. Are you seeing more artists showing up on set who've learned the ins and outs of the craft by watching videos?
Cary: I'm not sure. I think those of us who are relatively new to the industry go to our books or videos from time to time just to understand or freshen up on new techniques or other stuff we might have not done in awhile. 

Frontline: Let's talk about your kit. What are some absolutely necessary tools and products that you need on set?
Cary: As far as my set kit goes, I keep a little bit of everything with me. For fx I use almost exclusively PPI Products. The best paints adhesives and colors in my opinion. Some Facemaker cremes. Viseart shadow palettes are amazing for both beauty and fx. For beauty I love me some MAC and Kevyn Aucoin foundations, concealers, and liners...and of course my Viseart eye shadows.

Frontline: When you're not doing makeup, what are your hobbies?
Cary: I drum my ass off!!

Frontline: Ok last question --- VFX. As visual technology gets better, it get's cheaper. How do you see this affecting SFX in film and television?
Cary: I see a nice blend happening these days. VFX can be beautiful when done well just like makeup.