I just got back from the United States Institute of Theater Technology Conference (USITT) in Utah, where I had the opportunity to network with big-name companies like Cirque du Soleil and Disney. They’ve been huge influences on my work. I remember seeing Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba in Disney when I was seven. I never imagined that I would get the opportunity to interview with them.
Even though I have a Scientific Illustration concentration, I’ve been studying special-effects makeup with my mentor, Alisa Sickora Kleckner, in the Theater department. Much of my understanding comes from a text written by Todd Debreceni—it’s sort of the Bible for special effects. At USITT, I went to a forum directed by him to understand what it takes to be a part of the industry and to see his work on the movie DECAY. Afterward, I sat down with him and discussed my work. It was probably the highlight of my life.