This is the first week Tara Lang of Littleton won't be applying monster make-up on SyFy's Face Off. The show, a sort of Project Runway with special effects make-up, has been somewhat of a hit since it started last year, with this season's premiere hitting the highest ratings for an original series on the network in three years.
Lang, a native of Colorado, was kicked off last week (along with fellow contestant Jerry Macalou) in a challenge where contestants had to create an alien make-up based on one of judge Patrick Tatopoulos' original sketches.
"Up until that challenge, there were tiny moments where I think I was tired or creativity was strained or whatever -- focus was lost. I did it a couple times and the judges lost their patience, which is understandable as a professional," says Lang by phone from LA. "I think in comparison to Jerry and Sue's I thought it [my make-up] was comparable. I've seen her [Sue] do good work but she just didn't try. At least I tried."
While there were debates over whose looks were best, the cast gets along great according to Lang, something virtually unheard of in reality television.
"Some of my best memories were personal experiences that weren't on the show, because we all got so close. Working out in the backyard with Ian and Rayce lifting chairs because we didn't have any workout equipment or any place to go to workout," says Lang.
The cast were so close in fact, that the ousted Hollywood-based contestants get together to watch the show, and some have even started living together.
"I don't even have cable, so I have to make plans each Wednesday to watch [the show] with friends. I've gone to Jerry's a couple times. Ian is actually living with Jerry now, he moved out from New York, and Miranda lives in Hollywood too, so we get together and watch some of the episodes," says Lang. "The first one we all watched together was actually the one where we all were in the bottom."
The second season, which filmed during September and October, has already garnered Lang success. She's so busy, in fact, that she was at work during our interview, switching back and forth between answering questions and delegating work on set.
"I'm currently working on a feature, it's a drama called Bent Arrow. The main character is played by Laura Bell Bundy, who played Elle in the Legally Blonde show on Broadway," says Lang. "I'm also starting to post a lot of YouTube tutorials with a friend of mine. We're hoping to do both beauty demos and effects demos. There's only two up right now, but we're hoping to get more up soon."
But her most visible work is also her most ironic. The already-famous video (the official version alone has more than 11 million views) for "Sorry For Party Rocking," the newest single from club staples LMFAO prominently features Lang's work; she did all the age and gender swap make up for SkyBlu's character Agnes. The irony comes in the fact that the über-popular video debuted the same day she was kicked off Face Off.
"I'm really proud of the LMFAO video. We got called on a Sunday and shot on Tuesday, so it was really quick and only one day of shooting. But I did all the make up for Agnes and that was really cool," says Lang.
As for advice to those who want to break into make-up artistry in Hollywood: Lang says to work on as many projects as possible.
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"I just work every opportunity I can. Sometimes people don't want to pay you and that's the places where you practice. People want to sit at home and practice, but you're not going to get any better sitting at home. You need to be at work because there's so many other things that go in to it, time management, working with a bajillion different personalities.
"I've been fortunate that I've worked on things that keep me in practice," says Lang. "And nowadways, everyone's on Twitter or Facebook and it's acceptable to reach out to them, so reach out!"
If you'd like to reach out to Tara Lang on Twitter, you can do so @tlangmakeup or watch her tutorials on her YouTube channel, TaraLangMakeup. Face Off airs at 8 p.m. Mountain Time each Wednesday on SyFy.