Laney Chantal shines on SyFy's 'Face Off'
Laney Chantal, a full-time makeup artist and model, has shined on the current season and emerged as a fan favorite.
A well-trained expert in design, fabrication, and prosthetic application, she describes herself as "shy, strange, and bubbly." Behind her sparkling smile and charming demeanor, Laney has proven to be one of Face Off's fiercest competitors, enduring the daily mental and physical rigor to create special-effects which have consistently propelled her into the upper half throughout the episodes that have aired thus far. We had the chance to chat with Laney about her career and the road to a series which has showcased her talents for a worldwide audience.
Where are you from originally and where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Manitou Beach, Michigan- a very very small town with a population of about 2,000. Not much to do there but get into trouble!
When did you realize special effects makeup was the career-path that you wanted to follow?
Growing up, I loved to dress funky and was always the "odd one out" so to speak. My friends and I would spend our weekends playing dress up and getting into my mom's makeup. I started getting more into "blood and guts" when I started listening to dark metal such as Slipknot, Coal Chamber and Marilyn Manson. My mom hated this of course ha! She would often catch me taking photos of myself covered in ketchup -meant to be blood- which really upset her at first. When I was 17, a local haunted house opened in Adrian, Michigan; I was hired for a job there and I found my calling! I was finally able to get into blood and guts without freaking my family out because it was my job - how awesome that was! As one of the haunt's spooky characters, I did my own makeup and had my own scare-room that I covered in fake-blood and decorated with stuffed animals. I wore a bloody wedding dress with a butcher's apron. My special effects makeup career started in that haunted house and I have been addicted to it ever since.
Tell us about your path to the SYFY series Face Off. Were you a fan of the show? How were you cast for the show?
I am and always have been a huge fan of the show. I remember sitting at home the past 4 seasons watching it and Jeordie would look over at me and say "Imagine YOU on this show. You can do that stuff!" to which I would retort "Noooooo way!" I never thought I could do it. One day, I was online and I just happened to see a post about Face Off auditions. There was only one week left so I sent them an email. To my surprise a casting director replied back and told me to submit an audition video. I did not expect to even get a reply so I decided to give it a shot. After sending over my video, they requested for me to attend the final audition screening in LA - which I nailed!
Who are the main judges for this season?
The host McKenzie Westmore was back, along with some of Hollywood's finest makeup artists as judges: Glenn Hetrick (CSI: New York, The Hunger Games, Heroes), Ve Neill (The Hunger Games, The Amazing Spider-Man, Pirates of the Caribbean), and Neville Page (Avatar, Prometheus). I was a fan of all of these judges, especially Ve Neill. She created the makeup aesthetics for Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice - two of my favorite characters EVER!
Tell us about your favorite challenge thus far.
My favorite challenge was in Episode 6 (entitled “Trick or Treat”) the Halloween episode. Creating that over-the-top female-clown was such blissful fun. I had no doubt that my creation would be judged a “Top Look”...until my clown’s cotton candy hair started to melt.
Were there any guest judges that you were particularly excited to see?
Yes - Elvira! When she arrived to set (unannounced) as a Guest Judge for Episode 7 (entitled "Living Art"), my heart raced! I had actually seen her at numerous conventions over the years but I never had the courage to go up and meet her. She is so gorgeous and beautiful and funny and perfect and *sigh*..... haha. She barely judged my Foundation Challenge, instead she came up to me, remarked that she noticed my look and said, "You look like a little orphan Elvira". OMG best compliment ever!!
TO BE CONTINUED ----- Check out the full interview with Laney Chantal coming up in Gothic Beauty Issue 42. Laney Chantal competes on Face Off every Tuesday night at 9pm (8pm central) on SyFy!