Former Fright Fest actor becomes managing makeup artist for Pierce College’s Screampark

Michelle De La Cruz applies burlap, latex, tissue paper, and make up on scare actor Lea Moore for the grand opening of the 10th Harvest Festival at the Pierce Farm Center on Sept. 26, 2014.Photo: Diego Barajas
Michelle De La Cruz applies burlap, latex, tissue paper, and make up on scare actor Lea Moore for the grand opening of the 10th Harvest Festival at the Pierce Farm Center on Sept. 26, 2014.Photo: Diego Barajas

In a room with blood splattered all across the walls, Michelle De La Cruz aids the man with the bloody, pale, and veiny face who plays just a small part in her nightly routine for the Fright Fair at the Pierce College Farm Center’s Halloween Harvest Festival.

Michelle De La Cruz, 23, is the lead makeup artist for Fright Fair. She started out as an actor then volunteered as a makeup artist to eventually make her way up to lead makeup artist working on-and-off for the last five years.

“I’ve taken maybe two years off in between, give or take,” De La Cruz said.

Her passion for doing makeup began with the influence of her grandmother, who taught her how to create fake vomit with oatmeal and how to use eye shadow to give the illusion of bruising.

Outside of doing scare makeup, cooking and eating are just a few of her hobbies that De La Cruz enjoys in her free time.

“I love cooking Filipino food,” De La Cruz said.

Something De La Cruz would like to accomplish would be to have her own food truck. One that offers a variety of comfort food and Filipino items including Lumpia on the menu. Working at Fright Fair has motivated her to start branding her own company of crafting and creating her own recipes.

“I feel like this place really did help kind of set me into the person I am now, and I’m so thankful,” De La Cruz said. “I owe this place everything.”

Even though this might be the last year for Fright Fest, De La Cruz will always carry the experience with her and believes that she has gained a lot from the time that she has spent working there.

“I feel like I’ve learned so much from being here,” De La Cruz said.

De La Cruz is always striving to do more by elevating herself to the next level of her professional career as she makes sure to do her best, while doing the scarers makeup which helps them transform into character.

“She always tweaking and she’s always trying to not only make herself better, but she wants to inspire you to look better,” said Fright Fair Scream Park After Dark actor Gina Vitello.

Since this may be the last year for makeup artists and actors to participate in Fright Fest, Keane wants the team to go out with a bang before they close the farm center.

“My thought is that every year our makeup should be fantastic and people should be talking about it,” Keane said.

So when it came time to put a team together, Keane had faith that De La Cruz would help hire the right people for the job and once he hired her, his job as far as makeup was concerned was done.

“I left a lot of the hiring of the makeup team to her,” Keane said.

De La Cruz and her team work to make each night new and exciting with each member bringing their different and unique designs to use on the actors.

“They really do their own stuff and I’m really proud of my team this year,” De La Cruz said.

She has spent almost the whole year putting together different looks and styles for the group to use on the actors.

“I’ve actually been working on the ideas and the technical designs for these since February,” De La Cruz said.

The makeup that De La Cruz and her team put together isn’t only important, but one of the key parts to making sure every night at the Scream Park is a success.

“Makeup is huge especially for a haunted house,” Keane said. “These people do a fantastic job of transforming their faces into something far less than human.”

Being a part of the Fright Fair staff and working each night with so many great people has brought them all together as one unit, according to Vitello.

“It’s only been three weeks and we’re like one giant family,” Vitello said.

Fright Fair actors truly appreciate the makeup artists and believe their art helps them tap into their characters they are trying to portray.

“You are motivated to be the actor that she [De La Cruz] transforms you into, so it really emphasizes the creativity that she brings to it,” Vitello said.

The work De La Cruz’s has done for Fright Fair has helped her grow into a better artist and she’s sad that this will be her last year at Fright Fair.

“It’s an amazing place and people come here to learn in multiple ways,” De La Cruz said. “I feel like I’ve learned so much from being here.”

Starting out as an actor and volunteer makeup artist to eventually become the lead makeup artist, De La Cruz believes that Fright Fair will always be a part of her and she considers it her home.

“Home is where the heart is and the heart is where blood lays,” De La Cruz said.