Today we’d like to introduce you to Dre Lamparello.
Dre, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I grew up in NJ, I was always very creative and had a great imagination. But I always felt shy and awkward. In high school, I did theater. I loved the escape and how for a brief moment in time whether watching or performing you could leave your world for a while and get carried away in a good storyline. You can be outgoing, confident and heard in plays. However, drugs and alcohol had the same effect for me. In college, I thought I would pursue acting but feeling shy and awkward. I found my place behind the scenes after taking a stage makeup elective. Always enjoying movies and theater the makeup aspect of performances makes that fantasy so much more believable and I fell in love with the art of makeup and sfx. I didn’t finish college. I was struggling with drugs and alcohol and ended up in rehab. I wish I could say I moved to California to pursue my career but that had to wait while I got my life back on track. California is where I got my new start.
While managing a sober living in West Hollywood after getting a hold on my life, I enrolled in Joe Blasco School of Professional Makeup Artistry to follow my dream of Learning sfx makeup. I right away started taking makeup jobs. In the beginning, they were very little to no pay but that’s how it is starting off. I was finally learning to love myself and realizing my potential as I was going to these new places with new people and creating art. I was and getting more confident in my craft and meeting new people wasn’t as scary because I finally felt like I had something worthwhile to bring to the table. I then followed up makeup school by enrolling in Aveda institute of Los Angels. I knew how to do beauty and sfx work but wanted to expand my skillset and learn to do hair as well. I wanted to make myself as hire-able as possible. It was hard trying to go to my classes three days a week with conflicting schedules when I would get booked for a makeup job and managing the sober living all at that time.
But I made it happen. I got more jobs knowing how to do hair makeup and sfx. And being upbeat punctual knowing when to be professional and ok with being my weird quirky self, I continued to get work by word of mouth. By doing my best on set, I met great people who all have similar passions and would refer me to others looking for makeup or hair people. In the beginning, it was a lot of student films. But even though the pay was low, I took what I could get and after those film students graduated They continued to offer me work. And the next time around the budget had gone up and the productions were bigger scale. I applied to work at fright fest during the Halloween. I met Scott Ramp who believed in my work that I was promoted from just airbrushing to a prosthetic makeup artist. He and so many of the other makeup artists taught me wonderful techniques and I got a better hang on prosthetic work and airbrushing.
I moved into my own apt in Hollywood which though busy and congested, it was centrally located from all of the different jobs I’d travel to. I am patient and driven and kept doing my best on set no matter how low budget it was. Work is work and as long as I have a part creating what is seen in the final product I am happy and feel accomplished. I learned you always say yes to a job. And treat it seriously no matter the budget. If you turn down work you miss out on opportunity’s to meet potential new clients. Through word of mouth working on different sets, and as my list of work got more extensive I was introduced to someone who asked if I could do makeup for some YouTubers. Usually last minute and requires me to work very quickly to make people into anything from a zombie to Pennywise I met some wonderful creative people at Shots Studios who continue to hire me back as a sfx artist on their weekly videos. I also met people who got me on to films and music videos all from my work ethic talent and personality.
A lot of the time, I am required to make magic happen and transform the client into whatever in not a realistic amount of time. However, I remain calm and work quickly and from all of my training and situations in my life taught me I manage to make the clients happy. The me just starting out, would be envious of where I am now. I still have a ways to go getting to my dream but I am driven and persistent. I will get there.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
There we’re ups and downs in the beginning. And still, every now and then life gets a little overwhelming.
At first, my main struggle was juggling two jobs, going to school all while trying to work all of the makeup jobs offered to me in the beginning.
Home sickness played a part. My family is still on the east coast. And they have always been supportive of my dream job. The distance is hard for me at times.
Personal life (breakups, losing loved ones, my dog passing away) all things that broke me emotionally had to get put on the side when I work on set. I leave my personal drama at home when I go to work.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am always looking to learn something new. I want to keep perfecting my craft. My passion is sfx and makeup. I love horror. (Honestly, I’m scared of everything so creating creepy thing is like my coping mechanism) I also do hair. When I am not working on set I work at a salon in studio city. I also make costumes and masks and props. On occasion, I have done Wardrobe along with makeup and hair. I want to be the productions first choice. If it is a lower budget production they can hire me since I able to do everything and am good at multitasking. I like keeping busy.
What were you like growing up?
My mom and I joke and say I am whimsical. I have always thought outside the box and do my own thing.
I loved movies and plays and books. It was my escape from the real world. I did theater camp as a kid and would go home and do stage makeup (scabs, cuts, bullet holes) on my younger brother. I did theater in middle school and hs. And in college minored in theater but found my passion working on Bts makeup and wig Dept.
I loved the old original horror movies like Frankenstein Dracula and wolfman that’s what first peaked my interest in sfx makeup.
I have always had a dark, warped sense of humor which I don’t think many people understood.
Now I bring my true personality to work. And it shows through my work! And you know what I don’t let other people’s opinions about me get to me. People enjoy you when you are your true authentic self.
- Phone: 7322613704
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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