Got Busted After Being Plastered, Now It's Up To Movie Special Effect Artist to Work His Magic

From left: Wearing bald cap as prep for plaster. Drying out. Finished bust of head & neck. Photos courtesy: Crist Ballas
Special effects artist Crist Ballas molds my head, neck, and hands. Using the mold, he makes a plaster bust. It's all for an upcoming project in which I play an Alien, filming down in the southern part of the USA. The entire mold process is painless. Well almost, had to shave the top half of my chest. But that didn't hurt. It just looks funny. Good thing I am not needing to have my shirt off for any gigs in the next few weeks. While prepping me for the mold, Crist does a great job of talking me through the whole process. I like his description of the sensation. "It's a cross between being in a deprivation tank and getting a facial at a spa"
says Crist. And he is correct. The plaster is slightly scented with spearmint, and it's warm & gooey. Having it cover my face, neck, and head, all while having fingers prodding around gently- very much like getting a facial at a spa. Once it's on, sound becomes muffled. Much like being under water in a pool. while I am not claustrophobic, there's one or two moments when I tell myself "I am fine, just breathe, the desire to pull off this hardening plaster is just an instinct..." As the plaster dries it seems to get heavier. It does feel great once Crist cuts me out of the head mold.

I've been fortunate to work with the expertise of Crist many times in the past for special effects work. He's the one who created the Moss Boy look for the controversial Rolling Stone ad that never ran, and my Elvish ears for a fantasy film.

From Left: Elf costume design by Katrina Hawley. Moss effect by Crist Ballas

Crist even let me keep the elf ears after filming was done.

I have no idea how Crist does what he does. He's like a mad scientist or eccentric artist. I imagine he works like a sculptor. Which is something I don't understand. Two dimensional sketching, sure, I get that. Three dimensional sculpting. No clue here. Fortunately, I am the actor, Crist is the master special effects artisan. Utilizing techniques with plaster, rubber, and his sculpting tools, he creates modern day monsters that would make the likes of Universal Studios proud. 

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