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July 7, 2017 Comments Off on Champion Make Up Whiz Erik Warren Talks About Putting The Horror Into Seattle Make Up Views: 338 *Seattle Cinemaland, *Seattle Theaterland, *The Strangeways Report

Champion Make Up Whiz Erik Warren Talks About Putting The Horror Into Seattle Make Up

Seattle make-up artist ERIK WARREN applying old age make-up for the film, "Atavistic"

Seattle make-up artist ERIK WARREN applying old age make-up for the film, “Atavistic”

Erik Warren has worked in Special Effects for stage and film, along with fashion and runway makeup for the past two decades. Working with numerous cult icons, designers and celebrities such as the one and only ‘Elvira’ ~ Working in stage and set design for ‘The Mistress Of The Dark herself.’ He’s also worked on numerous projects with local Seattle designer Mark Mitchell, the talented Seattle video director Wes Hurley, the Cult Drag Superstar Peaches Christ and RuPaul’s Drag Race Icons ~ such as BenDeLaCreme, Sharon Needles, Bianca Del Rio, Jinkx Monsoon, and Robbie Turner in The Capitol Hill Web-Series. He has worked on film and stage projects such as: Holiday Hell starring cult horror star – Jeffrey Combs (Reanimator 1 & 2, The Frighteners), Brendan Mack’s Fog Machine Play, Ms Pak-Man, King Beard: a Play with Music, VaudEVILe, and coming in the Fall: Hocus Pocus!


Craig: What was the first horror movie you can remember seeing as a kid?

Erik: SUMMER SCHOOL. It’s not the first ‘Horror Movie’ but it is the first movie that inspired me to do FX makeup. There are these two characters in that who did Special Effects gore makeup in this 80s comedy film, Dave & Chainsaw; I just fell in love with them.  I’ve met both of the actors that played them last year: Dean Cameron & Gary Riley, very sweet guys, we still chat on Facebook.

Craig: Take us back to Wenatchee.  I remember you had a vintage clothing store in the mall.  Was that your first business?

Erik: ‘RETRO FIT’ in Wenatchee was my first business in 1996; it was a retro/vintage clothing and furniture store.  Its name was changed to ‘The Retro Candy Shop’ in 1997, then we closed it two years later. I managed the ‘TIME WARP’ in 1998 (another retro store) in the Wenatchee Mall. After that I DJ’d for raves and threw underground dance parties under the name DJ DELIRIOUS from 1998-2001, also while doing Body Piercing at RED HOTT DEVIL Body Piercing in Wenatchee until I relocated to Seattle in 2001!

Craig: What were you like back then in the early/mid 90s? 

Erik: I was very quiet in my early teens.  I stuck out since I was openly gay and very ‘Alternative looking’- everyone knew who I was.  I was somewhat popular because of it and never really experienced any hatred, bullying or backlash once I came out.   Before I came out however, kids can be cruel.  But once you stand up for yourself and be strong and not apologize for who you are, no one will fuck with you.  Bullies only pick on the weak, if you even just pretend to be stronger, they’ll leave you alone.   I was pretty out spoken and still have a mouth on me, I get that from my Mother, she always taught me to NEVER PUT UP WITH ANY SHIT, AND ALWAYS SPEAK YOUR MIND.  THE ONLY PERSON THAT CAN REALLY SHUT YOU UP IS YOURSELF!

I never really fit in there; I always wanted to live in a bigger city with an established ‘Gay Community.’   Once I was ready I moved away with only $100.00 and a trunk full of clothes and never looked back.

Craig: Tell us about Limelight and how you got started doing makeup for local celebs!

Erik: Limelight was my production group name that I used when I threw underground dance parties, drag shows and raves in the late 1990’s!

I was a club kid and also a drag queen back then under the name ‘Clawdya Eyesout.’  I had a fake ID and would travel to bars and clubs in heavy makeup and crazy costuming to get in to promote my events. It caught on quick and the events became very popular all over in the Eastern Washington area.  

Seasonally I worked in Eastern Washington for ‘Display House’ during the Halloween Seasons, I ran their makeup and wig section – That’s really how I started learning makeup and wig styling.

After moving to Seattle in 2001 I applied to Champion Party Supply for the makeup & wig counter position. At the time they were doing their first commercial for Halloween and needed a makeup artist for it.   Long story short, I ran circles around the other “Professional Artists” that they hired and after the commercial they hired me full time on the spot. Now I manage Champion Party Supply and the rest is history. If you have ever come into Champion Party Supply from 2001 till now, I’ve probably sold you your makeup, wig or Halloween costume!  People come from all over the area looking for Effects makeup and props for films.   You meet a lot of people through that place.  Plus I love supporting all the local Seattle artists that I can. 

Erik Warren was the 2017 INDIE SERIES AWARD WINNER BEST MAKEUP (Wes Hurley's 'Capitol Hill Web-Series')

Erik Warren was the 2017 INDIE SERIES AWARD WINNER BEST MAKEUP (Wes Hurley’s ‘Capitol Hill Web-Series’)

Craig: Tell me about your upcoming project, “HOCUM POKEM”!

Erik: “HOCUM POKEM” is a drag parody of the Bette Midler film Hocus Pocus and is going to start at the Egyptian Theater here in Seattle on September 28th, (TICKETS HERE!) then we go to Portland and then San Francisco. Hocus Pocus cast: Peaches Christ as Winifred, Ginger Minj as Mary, and Jinkx Monsoon as Sarah. My production group, Limelight Event Productions, sponsors all Peaches Christ’s events with props, costuming, wig styling and set design.  We also do the stage production, and set changes. 

Craig: I haven’t been to Crypticon yet, what’s it like?

Erik: Its like the documentary Trekkies only SCARIER!!!  lol! 

Craig: Will you create my makeup for the Amanduh movie? (Shameless plug!)

Erik: You’re one of my favorite models!  Yes, I would love to!

Craig Trolli IS Austin Powers in the Champion's Party Supply Costume catalogue courtesy of the make-up/hair skills of Erik Warren. Photo: Kaija Rae Photography

Craig Trolli IS Austin Powers in the Champion’s Party Supply Costume catalogue courtesy of the make-up/hair skills of Erik Warren. Photo: Kaija Rae Photography

Craig: For the Champion’s costume catalogue, you made me up as Zorro, Austin Powers, the Scarecrow from Wizard of Oz, and an elf.  Did sales go up? Did you get any feedback on those pics?

Erik: People loved those images; we still get laughs and compliments!  Sales have improved since they were released, yes.

Craig: You’ve also made me up as Princess Zelda, a faerie, and a goat, for theater and just practice.  Which was your favorite look and how am I as a model?

Erik: I liked the ‘Mythical Goat Creature’ makeup.   I just had some horns, a mouthpiece and a bunch of hair lying around, so that’s what we ended up with.  

You sit very still; you don’t have watering eyes when I line your eyes.  You’re a very good model for makeup projects.  

Erik Warren and Seattle actor Scott Shoemaker working on Wes Hurley's "Capitol Hill" webseries

Erik Warren and Seattle actor Scott Shoemaker working on Wes Hurley’s “Capitol Hill” webseries

Craig: Tell me about the process for turning actor Scott Shoemaker into a seal for the Capitol Hill web series.

Erik: I’ve done makeup on Scott Shoemaker for years so this was a fun project. Although I think anyone could have played that character under all that makeup.  Poor Scott, he couldn’t see under the fake black Seal eyes and the costume was pretty restricting.  If you were to push him onto his back he wouldn’t be able to get back up!  Lol

The only thing that was challenging about the makeup was matching the grey on his face with the costume.  Other than that it only took about an hour.  

Craig: So, is Elvira on your speed dial or what?

Erik: Yes, I have Cassandra’s contact information.  I see her every time she’s in town.   I love that woman.  

Craig: Elvira, Mistress of the Dark is one of the best movies ever made! If you had to transform me what would be your process? I’m guessing a chest plate?

Erik: Get a chest plate and I already have the rest!

I personally have about 2 Elvira wigs lying around, the full costume with accessories, right down to the red ring and snake ear rings.

If not, I can style another Elvira wig.  I did Jessica Paradisco’s Elvira wig and replica embellishments for the last Crypticon Opening Night Party I throw with Seattle’s finest drag, musical and burlesque community.  This year’s party was called ~ Vaud’EVIL’e.  Last year’s was ‘SINema’ hosted by Peaches Christ!  (Another performer I love working with every time she’s in town!)

Craig: Seen any good horror movies lately?

Erik: Yes!   Lala Land! ! ! ! !  Absolutely Terrifying!

Craig: I have a couple questions from an interview that didn’t happen; without any context, would you be willing to answer them? This could get scary!

Erik: Sure, why not! 

Craig: If you had to choose between these peepee problems, which would you rather have and why: Priapism, a persistent, often painful erection that lasts for more than 4 hours or Peyronie’s disease, a condition in which a plaque, or hard lump, forms in the penis and causes it to bend or curve?

Erik: Hmmmm, I’d have to say I think I’d prefer Priapism!  I think my husband would enjoy that very much actually…!

Craig: Did I mention priapism can, in the worst-case scenario, lead to amputation? Anyway, next question: If you had been born with Diphalia (aka penile duplication), what do you think the pros and cons of two penises would be?

Erik: Well, I’ve seen what the pros of two penises would be!  lol!  I’ve Googled it before!  The cons would probably be urinating, I wonder if you’d pee out of both?  That’s something to juggle, good thing I have two hands!  But in all honesty if someone reading this article couldn’t handle two dicks at the same time, they have bigger problems!

Craig: Are there any creatures or makeup challenges you haven’t taken on yet that you’d really want to tackle?

Erik: I want to do another Medusa, but I want her to have a head full of penises!

(Spitting Penises!!!)

Craig would gladly model as Medusa with a head full of spitting penises! We have to always face our fears, right?

Erik also runs his own Productions Business ~ ‘Limelight Event Productions,’ where he specializes not only in Special Effects and Makeup, but also Set Design, Lighting Design, Costuming, Hair & Wig Styling, Decorating, Catering and also Bartending Services for all types of events. Check out Erik on his Facebook page ~ ‘Limelight Event Productions,’ where you can view his latest events and upcoming productions and other new projects yet to come!

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