MUD Celebrates Our 20th Anniversary with Paul Thompson

 

Starting his make-up career in 1987, Paul Thompson is MUD’s Director of Education and organizational leader behind the MUD Schools. Unlike our students, Thompson didn’t go to a traditional make-up school, instead he taught himself and took scattered classes under the guidance of an instructor at his community college. In the beginning he took jobs as a makeup assistant, learning from his experiences. As his career progressed he primarily worked in television and commercials, and ultimately opened his own FX shop. While working as a makeup artist, Thompson was also teaching extension courses at UCLA and doing master classes for multiple other cosmetic brands. Having fallen in love with the learning process itself, he went on to get a teaching credential and started teaching for MUD. Additionally, he authored the first edition of MUD’s character textbook Character Make-Up and co-wrote the second edition with Gil Romero.

Even with a firm belief in the power of education, Paul manages to keep things light and fun. whether he’s stealing his coworkers’ candy or face swapping photos of him and his wife, Francine, he keeps the MUD offices running with his goofy shenanigans. With his booming voice and high energy, Paul Thompson is the joyful lead behind the MUD education.

Q: What makes MUD different from our competitors?

A: From the beginning we fundamentally believe that the most important person in our organization is the student. We want them to have an exceptional experience at MUD learning makeup. To feel good about their choice of coming to MUD, and once they got in a class, we wanted to make it so meaningful and so outcome-based that they walked away getting everything they needed to start their career. In the beginning we really felt that we could make a makeup school that was better than anything that came before us. The other thing that continues to make us different is all the people that work here–all the different people that give voice to the education, whether it be the teachers, management, or the outside industry talking to us and working with us. It’s not a person, per se. It’s not Joe Shmoe’s make-up school, it is Make-Up Designory. So, it’s not based around me or Tate or any other single individual. It’s all about a company that does something of real value.

Q: Who is the MUD student?

A: I see students as so many different individuals. Our students are people that are just getting out of high school looking to start their career, but they can also be somebody that’s changing careers. I’m a make-up artist, and I’ve been a makeup artist my whole life. I see our student as me–as what I wanted and what I needed when I started. I learned as I went, and because of that I feel like I really relate to the students. I know what their needs are and, ultimately, what their dreams are regarding them wanting to be professional makeup artists. MUD is that company that really helps students to live those dreams.

Q: In the last 20 years, how have the MUD schools changed?

A: Originally, we said we were just going to do one school. But, we wanted to make the best school possible–one that had high-end, high quality education. I felt that we were doing a service that most schools couldn’t match because they just did not have the passion that we were pouring into it. Each one of the owners of the company were in the classrooms, doing everything we could to make the school the best it could be. The big switch came when we opened our NY campus and we expanded into Studios and Partner schools. Instead of just one campus, there are now 92 campuses offering some form of MUD education.

Q: Did you envision a cosmetic line back in 1997?

A: No, not so much. I know Tate initially was kind of like “oh maybe we should do products” but we didn’t have the wear-with-all to do that. It grew from Francine, really. She was the guru in product development and the rest of us would give her our opinions. She knew manufacturing and how to acquire things, she was the one who really got us started.

Q: Did you ever think MUD would reach the size it has now?

A: It’s hard to look back and go “oh, yeah, I knew we would be huge,” but I really didn’t. I knew we would be the size of some of the schools here in Los Angeles and have two or three classrooms, maybe four, tops. But, we grew to five classrooms and had extra teachers and people in the first year! I thought that all we would have is this cool little business and we would be set–and what I mean by “set” is that we would have jobs, we would do what we loved, we would be happy, and we would be able to make a good living. It’s crazy where it’s gone.

Q: Is there a most memorable moment from the last 20 years? Or maybe a funniest moment?

A: There’s a whole slew of funny events and things that have happened over the years. Time has absolutely flown by. My youngest daughter was born right after we started MUD, and seeing her in college now and knowing that’s how long the company has been around is cool, you know?

Q: Where do you see MUD in the next 20 years?

A: I think we’re going to see a lot more growth, on the education side we will be adding more campuses. For us, we are investing in the US and helping students live that dream of working as a makeup artist. It’s interesting how other cosmetic companies are moving to sell in China, even though to sell in China you have to test on animals. Companies are looking to China for that big untapped market. I really think the sky is the limit for the cosmetics side of things, however we will never test on animals.

Q: Is there anything else you want to include?

A: I love my job! We try very hard to help students find this level of happiness, to help them live their dreams. For me, I am so happy with the choices that I’ve made in my life and the great bunch of people that I work with. I couldn’t be luckier.

MUD Celebrates Our 20th Anniversary with Gil Romero

Our Associate Director of Education, Gil Romero, has been with MUD since the beginning. Choosing to become a make-up artist because of his childhood love for monsters, Gil has not only worked administratively but has also taught in our schools and acted as our Burbank location’s School Director. In 2009, Romero co-authored the second edition ofMake-up Designory’s Character Make-up textbook and has demonstrated special make-up effects techniques on behalf of MUD around the world.

As an independent make-up artist, Romero’s work has been seen on television shows like ScrubsPrison BreakThe ShieldAmerica’s Next Top Model and films like Midnight Movie and Route 666. In addition, he’s produced prosthetic make-ups for Universal Studios Hollywood and Tokyo live-action stunt show WaterWorld, the Anubis puppets for The Mummy II: Chamber of Horrors, Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream character “Jack,” and live musical performers including Lady Gaga. With his extensive experience and personable nature, Gil Romero is a central piece in maintaining all of MUD’s schools, studios, and partner schools.

Q: What makes MUD different from our competitors?

A: I think there’s a lot of things that make MUD different from our competitors–the quality of teachers that we have and our structured and organized curriculum, primarily. As an organization we truly do care for our customers and our employees. We will make extra efforts for each customer and for each person that works for us. MUD is also unique in its approach, because we’re not just a hard sales atmosphere. We really try to investigate whether this is the right choice for the student and I think we do the same when we’re looking at people who are working for us and who are teaching and are in contact with these students. We want to make sure this is what they really want to do and we want to make sure that they’re well trained and well prepared to make a difference in the kids lives. Overall, it’s a sense of caring that comes from the company and from the employees that I think makes us different.

Q: MUD says it’s focused on the needs of the professional makeup artist. What is it about the MUD schools makes our grads so professional?

A: First and foremost, I’d say it’s our strict adherence to cleanliness, sanitation, and our ability to establish professional work habits. Beyond that, we try to immerse them in an atmosphere that feels safe and constructive and allows a student to learn. But we still hold the students to that same level of professional standard inside of the classrooms as far as behavior. Our opportunities to expose the students to professional industry speakers I think really helps us to set an expectation of the student.

Q: Are there any new directions that you see the schools being developed in the future?

A: I think our core classes are going to remain the way that they are right now. We’re looking at how we can separate these out and bring in some different levels of education that will then speak to people at different levels of learning. I’d like to see us develop avocational courses–courses just from a hobby standpoint–and, definitely, the continuing education aspect for different levels of professionals. I’d also like to see us bring in some emphasis on some traditional art studies, like maybe some more developed classes in color theory, or foundational art and drawing type classes.

Q: How did you envision the future of MUD back in 1997?

A: I never thought it would get this big! In 1997 I was just excited to be a part of something that was so new and what I felt was, at that time, so unique to the other institutions. Everybody was so close and everybody worked so hard to make sure that the school succeeded. We were really focused on student satisfaction and making sure that students not only progressed through the school, but also that they had the support they needed to be successful after their time with us. I don’t even think at that point in time I thought we would ever have a second campus, and then in 2005 New York happened. It’s amazing to see the level of growth that we’ve had in the last 20 years.

Q: You didn’t think MUD would reach the size it has now?

A: Yeah! I lose count every time I try to think about the amount of partner schools and studio campuses we have. I am fortunate enough to travel to some of these locations and spend some time with their educators, faculty, and administrators, and it’s amazing to be able to help them establish the quality of education that we offer at our primary campuses in their local markets. But I don’t even think that many of these locations ever thought they were going to have something of this quality and this caliber. It’s pretty cool to see the standard of make-up challenged and I’m really excited to see what the next 10-15 years is going to bring. It’s awesome to see how qualified graduates are out there making a difference.

Q: Where do you see MUD in the next 20 years?

A: I would like to see more of our primary campuses established in the United States. I think there’s still some very large international markets that I would love to see us develop a primary campus in, as well. I’d like to see something in the United Kingdom, and I think it would be nice to see something in an emerging area in Spain. There’s definitely room for more primary campuses and more growth to help out artists in all different avenues be it print, fashion, or film and television. I would also like to see cosmetics opportunities grow and the cosmetic company expand. I’d really like to see more distribution centers and more retail spaces inside of the US. I feel like we’re on the verge of seeing all that happen.

Q: What’s the most memorable moment from the last 20 years? Or is there a funniest moment that comes to mind?

A: So Burbank is a very eclectic neighborhood, and occasionally we would get people wandering in off the streets. Somebody had called my desk and asked me to come into the store. They didn’t elaborate. When I had rushed to the store, I saw a young lady inside the store causing a little bit of a ruckus. She was going through all the cosmetics in the display and going through some of the back stock and opening it up and physically trying the stuff on and dropping the package. I asked her to leave the store after staff had already asked her to leave, and she just blocked us out. She really wasn’t there all the way. So, I got on the phone with the police quite calmly and they said “is the woman located in the store now?” and I said “yes.”

They asked me to give a description of the woman, and I gave them a physical description of her when they said “what is she wearing?” I said “well, she’s wearing some sparkly woman’s underwear, fluffy slippers, a pearl necklace, a pink feather boa, and an old Sony walkman strapped to her waist.” The police officer on the other line just started laughing hysterically. She said “you’re kidding me?” and I said “no, absolutely not.” Of course, the police officers came in and helped the lady out, but it was definitely an odd moment for all of us who were standing there.

Q: Is there anything else that you want to include?

A: I’m proud to be a part of Make-Up Designory for almost the last 20 years. I’m always excited to talk a little bit about the company, the organization, the students, and the quality of our faculty. I’m happy to have the opportunity, like I said before, to go around and visit the other campuses and sights and I really do feel a sense of pride when I’m able to talk about what we do for our students. The best sense of pride I think comes from when we see the little bit of impact we make on our graduates. To be able to see what they’ve taken with our education what we’ve given them and how they’ve been able to grow and establish themselves in the industry is amazing. I think now, 20 years later, we’re really starting to see many of our grads making a big impact and it’s amazing. I’m proud to be just a small part of that.

 

2015 Make-up Artists and Hairstylists Guild Award Nominees Announced

Congratulations to all of the 2015 Make-up Artists and Hairstylists Guild Award nominees!

We would like to recognize and congratulate MUD alumna Essie Cha on her nomination for Best Contemporary Make-up in Television Media Series from AMC’s  The Walking Dead, MUD alumna Sarah B. Wolfe on her nomination for Best Make-up in Theatrical Productions (Live Stage) for Kinky Boots and finally, congratulations to MUD Faculty Member Vanessa Dionne for her nomination for Best Make-up and Best Hair Stylist in Theatrical Productions (Live Stage) for Così fan tutte.

the-walking-dead-s4b-key-artinterior-logoCosì fan tutte

Industry Speaks: Cloutier Remix

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Madeline Leonard, Director and Owner of the prominent agency Cloutier Remix, along with her team Libby Anderson and Marissa Alfe,visited Make-up designory Burbank to give students and alumni some insight on what it takes to get representation. The advice they gave was hearty and straight forward. “Show only your best work. Your portfolio is only as strong as your weakest image,” stated Madeline Leonard. Marissa, a new comer to the agency is focused on moving forward in the digital direction. She emphasized the importance of making sure your Online presence represents you as a professional artist and reflects your work and experiences in the best light, especially if you’re seeking work as a Brand Ambassador. “Brands want to protect their image and want someone that conducts themselves in a way that aligns with their brand.”

During the group discussion, the panel was asked to describe what it meant to have an agent. “We do whatever it takes for the artist to be seen in the best possible way, that they get credited for their work, and that their image is protected as a brand—artists are their own brand. Nothing we do for our artists is too big a task, or too small,” responded Libby, while adding, “my goal is to make my client’s goals happen.”

Upon concluding the group discussion, the panel graciously agreed to review MUD Alumni Magali Perets’s website magalirachel.com and give her pointers on how to make it presentation-ready. “Portfolios these days are all online. It’s rare that a portfolio is delivered as a hard cover. Your site must state exactly what you do, it must be easy to navigate and again, show only your best work!”

We would like to thank Madeline and her team again for taking the time to share their valuable insight with our students. We hope they visit us again soon!

About Cloutier Remix | http://cloutierremix.com/

Cloutier Agency­—Los Angeles’ premiere hair, makeup and styling agency—is reborn as Cloutier Remix.
Always respectful of its remarkable legacy of longevity in relationships with artists and clients, Cloutier Remix is taking on the future.

Says Madeline Leonard, heartbeat of the agency for the last 23 years and now owner, “Our new name update reflects our developing direction. In addition to continuing to represent prestigious, innovative beauty and fashion talent, we’re also forging new alliances worldwide and establishing a stronger presence in New York.”

This global positioning is the next logical step for the agency, given that the clients, companies and media who generate beauty and fashion imagery are worldwide players. Furthermore, Cloutier Remix artists are at home on the world stage. At any given time, in fact, Cloutier Remix is sending talent to work on location on five continents.
With a stellar roster and flawless integrity in place, Cloutier Remix will continue to build real alliances with clients and artists. And that’s a beautiful thing.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/cloutierremix | Instagram: http://instagram.com/cloutierremix

Day of the Dead Make-up Tutorial

Step 8 Floral Head Piece
Dia De Los Muertos

Contributor: Briana Perkins, MUD Make-up Artist In our recent Free Saturday Workshop held at MUD NY and MUD LA (See Eventbrite Calendar for upcoming workshops) we created a colorful skull make-up  that is widely used in the Dia de los Muertos Celebrations, a Mexican tradition dated back to the time of the Aztecs and Halloween. Festivities are held to honor dead loved ones with offerings of food, sugar skulls, marigolds and altars, taking place between October 31 through November 2. Learn more about the Dia de los Murertos tradition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day_of_the_Dead In case you missed the live event, we recreated the look in a step-by-step pictorial below. (1) First, prep the skin with MUD’s Face Primer. This will help the cream products to glide on evenly. (2) Next, cover the entire face with the white cream from the Character FX Wheel and then powder with Zero Loose Powder and #720 Brush to set the cream. (3) Using MUD’s Cake Eyeliner in black and the 900# Brush, start to outline the different designs desired for the face. Don’t worry if the designs aren’t perfect because this will blend nicely with the eye colors. (The #900 brush is amazing for this kind of detail work!) (4) Begin coloring in the design with the eye colors. The colors I chose for this look are: Sugared Violet, Voodoo, Velvetine, Onyx and Daisy.  The #800 & # 810 brushes are amazing for blending the colors together and for smudging away any harsh lines. Have fun and be playful with colors; day of the dead is all about the décor and multitude of colors. (Tip: If you use the eye colors wet it will intensify the look even further) (5) Use MUD’s Eye Pencil in  black to outline the petals around the eyes. If you want to bump up this look further, you can glue gems around this area using Duo eyelash glue. (6) Using Velvetine (or the color of your choice) use the #510 Brush to contour your cheekbones, temples and forehead. (7) Finish the look with filigree again using the cake liner and #900 brush. The more detailed the better! (8) A Dia de Los Muertos look wouldn’t be complete without a floral headdress. Dress it up however you would like and celebrate a day to honor all our loved ones that have passed. Feliz Dia de los Muertos! ~Briana

Highly-Pigmented Cosmetics—What Does This Mean?

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People often ask, “are MUD products just for professionals?” Although our products are developed to meet professional standards, MUD cosmetics are available to everyone.  Every Saturday, Make-up Designory offers FREE workshops to help you better understand how to use MUD products as well as teach basic make-up application techniques.  The workshops are held at the MUD Shops in Los Angeles and New York and in some MUD Studio locations around the world.

MUD cosmetics are highly pigmented. What does this even mean? Products that are high in pigment are developed for professional use; they contain more color and coverage than other products. For instance, your over-the-counter liquid foundation contains about 15-25% pigment, while MUD’s cream foundation offers 40% pigment.  The benefits of a high pigment product are 1. you need less product to achieve full  coverage results 2. high pigment products are more versatile and 3.  they have long-lasting staying power.

A little product goes a long way.

Let’s use MUD’s cream foundation as an example. For a full coverage face application, you would typically use about ½ of what you would with an over-the counter foundation. This product is best applied by make-up sponge or MUD’s 940 foundation brush. The secret to achieving a flawless face is using the correct color (or color combination) and proper blending. The end result is a full, even, matte coverage. This type of make-up photographs wonderfully, so it’s great for bridal, special events, print work and film.

Versatility means you can use the product in more than one way.

MUD’s cream foundation has a silicone base and can be combined with other silicon base products like MUD’s Face Primer and MUD’s HD Air. For instance, if you want a sheer coverage with a dewy finish, you could combine a drop of Face Primer with a bit of cream foundation and mix (Image 2). The product will glide onto the face and result in a beautiful sheer finish. For problematic spots that might need more coverage, like dark spots and acne, you could apply a small amount of cream foundation on the spot and blend.

High pigment products have staying power.

The second element that determines the color/coverage of cosmetics is the vehicle. Vehicle is the element  of the base that gives it its slip, or the ability to move on the surface during application (for instance, the silicone in the cream foundation). Sometimes, the more vehicle you have in a product, the higher the chance of it breaking down on the skin. A product with more pigment and less vehicle will “stay put” because it’s harder for the product to move.

Visit our YouTube Channel for some make-up tutorials and have fun trying different looks and techniques on yourself! With anything, practice makes perfect. If you can, come out to our free workshops. They’re taught by our MUD Make-up artists and are open to anyone who wants to learn more about how to apply like a pro.

The following MUD products were all developed with a high-pigment formula.

  • MUD Cream Foundation
  • MUD Concealers
  • MUD Eye Colors
  • MUD Pressed Powders
  • MUD Cheek Colors

MUD products can be purchased on mudshop.com

Industry Speaks: David DeLeon

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“I’m not a diva. My work is the diva. Art is bigger than life.” David DeLeon

Last night, Emmy Award winning Make-up Artist David DeLeon, who just wrapped CBS’s The Crazy Ones (Sarah Michelle Gellar, Robin Williams, James Wok, Hamish Linklater, Amanda Setton) stopped by MUD Burbank to lend a room-full of students some of his valuable time and words of expertise and wisdom. David was interviewed by MUD’s good friend and colleague, Deverill Weekes.

Q: How did you know that make-up is what you wanted to do?
A: “I would ditch school –now, don’t you ditch school!– and go to the library and read Scavullo on Beauty (by Scavullo, Francesco, Random House, 1978) it’s a beautiful black and white book of “before and afters.” I was enthralled by the transformations.”

Q: How did you get started?
A: “My first celebrity client was Kathy Najimy. I met her assistant at a party—it’s one of those things that happens in this town, a door sort of opens—and she needed a make-up artist for a stage show. And that started the whole thing.”

Q: Who are your heroes?
A: Michael Westmore. Dick Smith, Ve Neil, Todd MCIntosh, Pat McGrath—I am obsessed with her right now. There are so many—I look up to everyone.

Q: Why [are you obsessed with] Pat McGrath?
A: “Because she’s so out-of –the-box with her Avant-Garde make-up, she makes people look ravishing.”

Q: Who are the great make-up artists you’ve worked with and what made them great?
A: “Michael Westmore. He is a great make-up artist and delegator. He makes people feel like they can do it. He’s very encouraging and very gentle in his approach. I’ve worked with Ve Neil, she’s just a powerhouse, talented and wonderful.”

Q:  You have a sort of “famous” relationship with Sara Michelle Gellar, you worked with her so many times. How did that get started?

A: I met Sarah at the first presentation of Buffy. Sarah came in and it was just instant comradery, it was instant fun and laughing.

Q: Before we started, you said something about a really good, clean beauty make-up. Will you talk about that a little bit?
A: “Beauty make-up is the bread and butter of this business. If you can do that, you have more opportunities to work, than if you just do FX or if you just do character work.”

Q: What’s your personal [life] code?
A: “Do unto others ..” [as you would have them do unto you.]

Q: What’s the best advice you’ve received?
A: “Show up. Do your job. Eat free donuts. And, go home.”

***

During the interview, and intertwined in the hour long conversation, there were some great words of advice. Here, we sum up some of David’s quotes.

“Establish relationships. We pull from people we know. It’s rare that you hire someone you don’t know anything about.”
“You’re never going to work under optimum conditions. You have to learn how to operate under chaos.”
“Do whatever you’re passionate in. I’m passionate about beauty. It’s good to know all sorts of make-up, but stick to what you’re passionate about.”

Thank you, David for being an inspiration to our students!

David DeLeon Bio
Emmy Award winning Makeup artist David DeLeon’s artistic sense and attention to detail makes him a sought after makeup artist from Hollywood to New York and beyond. David brings a passion and commitment to every project he is involved with. He has worked with such talents as Barbra Steisand, Ellen Degeneres, Portia de Rossi, Harrison Ford, sarah Michelle Gellar and Jane Fonda to name a few. He has lent his talents to numerous films, television shows, stage plays, and print work. He also lectures at makeup schools and conventions around the world. http://www.daviddeleonmakeup.com/
Follow David on Twitter @DeLeonMakeup

What’s in Your FX kit?

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Make-up Artists often count on one another for technique tips, resource information and product recommendations. Although there is a lot of information on the Web, MUA’s have shared their knowledge on a peer-to-peer basis since the time when there were only few reference make-up application books and *gasp* no Internet. So, we asked Cat and Niko to share with us the contents of their FX kit and share with us why they’d recommend the products they use.

Niko Gonzalez and Cat Paschen, MUD grads and Face Off Season 6 contestants, what’s in YOUR FX kit?

Cat: We recently stopped by the MUD Burbank campus to give the students a lecture titled ‘What’s In Your FX Kit?’ and went over our FX kit necessities as well as our favorite brushes, tools and paints with the students.

Niko: We always stress the importance of over packing for any make-up job. You must always be prepared for anything. You never know what you will be asked to do on set, schedules change last minute all the time. It is better to have all of the basics packed and ready to go in your kit at all times. Below is a list of our FX kit necessities that we always keep in our kits.

Basics

We always carry a little bottle of latex and a jar of 3rd degree with us at all times. You can create almost anything with these two items- they are great for quick or unexpected FX that you might have to do on set from aging to injuries. Having a variety of different colors of dirt is great to have as well. Depending on the location you are shooting, the color of dirt and dust will change. Having different shades will give you a more realistic look. We also keep wax paper pallets, gloves, neutral set powder, thickened pros-aid cream, glycerin for sweat and a tear stick packed at all times.

Glues

We also recommend carrying small bottles of Spirit Gum, Pros-aide and Telesis 5. Pros-aide 1 is our favorite go-to glue because of its bond strength and price. However, it is important to have other glues such as spirit gum (which is the gentlest glue) in case the talent you are working on has an allergic reaction. Telesis is also great to use for quick fixes because it bonds instantly without having to wait for it to dry.

Blood

We keep a variety of different bloods with as well. They range in price, color and consistency to fit the look we need to achieve and the shot the director wants. Our go-to bloods include Fleet St. Drying Blood and Drying Past. The blood dries in place without cracking so it will not smear and ruin continuity. My Blood is also one of our favorites for a fresh, wet blood look.

Paints

We always have a few RMG wheels, basic cream colors as well as some alcohol palettes. The Ben Nye Bruise Wheel and Death wheels are my favorite go-to cream colors for FX. Alcohol activated palettes such as Skin Illustrator are our absolute favorite colors to use on set because we know they will last all day without smearing and can paint any kind of prosthetic. If we know we are doing a specific FX heavy project we will pack other paints such as water based paints and alcohol based air brush paints. Kyrolan, Wolf and Mehron Paradise colors are our favorite water based paints that are great for doing large surface areas fast.

The important thing is making sure you pack products that are multi-functional and work on a variety of materials/ skin types to save room in your kit. I find it fascinating to look through other make-up artist’s kits, I always learn about a new product and pick up a cool tip! Keep searching, practicing and experimenting with different products and find ones that work for you.

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Mark your calendars! Niko and Cat will be back at the Burbank campus with the rest of the local season 6 Face Off contestants on March 11th for lecture covering their experience on the show.

Keep up with this fantastic duo on their professional studio pages: DYADMUFX

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