Derek Garcia was a finalist on the third season of Face Off!
Where are you now?
I'm still living in Miami. My makeup career has definitely begun to take off since being on the show. I've mainly been working on some cool commercials that featured some cool celebrities like Tiger Woods, LeBron James from the Miami Heat, and Robert Downey Jr. I also got to help out with special FX makeup on a few TV shows filmed in south Florida, like Burn Notice (Yeah, I got to meet Bruce Campbell!!!), The Glades, and Graceland.
Earlier this summer, I was able to collaborate with my brother, Eric, at the Morphstore.com FX lab in Orlando in creating a demon for a short independent film Directed by Scott Speer and written by John Swetnam. I also brought Tommy Pietch on board to help out with application on set in LA. The film right now is top secret so I can't say much about it, but it'll soon be pitched to a major production company and hopefully picked up to be a major film. *Fingers crossed*
I've been able to keep in touch with everyone from the show and have been attending a lot of Makeup Conventions where my brother and I have been able to do live makeup demos and showcase some of our work together. In between makeup gigs I still tattoo and attend different Tattoo Conventions. I have been able to do makeup demos at some of the tattoo conventions, as well, so it has been pretty cool and interesting how I have been able to intertwine the two worlds.
What's one thing about being on Face Off that a viewer might not realize?
It's definitely a competitive, fast-paced environment with crazy time restraints. No down time at all; when we had to eat, that clock did not stop. Yet, it is the best experience anyone could ever imagine. Although our season's cast was definitely competitive, everyone became very close. We learned from each other and definitely appreciated each other.
What's your favorite memory from your time on the show?
The most memorable moment on the show for me was the Dragon Challenge. I definitely went into this competition wanting to come up with a creature that was tattoo-inspired, so when I found out we were doing a dragon challenge, I knew what I wanted to do and I ran with it. It was surreal watching Tommy and my creation dancing on stage. It was so cool seeing our tattoo-inspired makeup come to life the way it did. It was also such a great example of amazing teamwork between Tommy and me. It was definitely an emotional moment for me; you guys didn't catch it on film, but I had a tear in my eye.
What's one thing you learned working on Face Off that you've carried forward into your makeup work?
What I learned from working on Face Off was how to work under pressure. After being on the show, it feels like I can handle a lot. It has given me the confidence I need to successfully create different makeups.
What's something you would have done differently, looking back now?
Looking back, I don't think I would really change anything. Although I didn't win, I feel as though everything happens for a reason. I am so honored to have made it onto the show, and being a finalist was something I never expected.
Whose work, either in your season or in a subsequent season you've seen, was your favorite?
There are so many! But I think Sarah and Laura's Star Wars alien was pretty amazing. The design and makeup application was flawless.
Catch up with other Face Off contestants!
The artists must create Dick Tracy-inspired gangsters based on the nicknames of real life gangsters.
Check out the morphs from Wizard of Wonderland!