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August 12, 2014 | 01:49 PMWALWORTH — A 2003 Big Foot High School graduate can’t say how well she did during a SyFy Channel competition.
Dina Cimarusti joined 15 other special effects makeup artists in Los Angeles for “Face Off.”
“The show went really well,” Cimarusti said in a phone interview Aug. 7. “I had a lot of fun. Unfortunately, I can’t talk about what happens in the series. My family knows, but none of my friends know.”
On the show, Cimarusti competes with the other contestants, creating special effects makeup based on different themes in each episode.
The first show aired July 22, and Cimarusti was filmed competing for her spot on the show. Once she won that competition, Cimarusti said she moved into the house with the other cast members.
Once moved in, the cast was separated from the rest of the world.
“We weren’t allowed to talk to our family or friends,” she said. “They took away our phones. That’s why you’ll notice that we became such close friends. We really had no one else to talk to during the filming.”
Cimarusti said she cried nearly every night of the filming because of the stress and being so far away from home.
“I tried to leave early in the filming,” she said. “They convinced me to stay. I’m glad that I stayed. It was worth it. I’m really proud of myself.”
While in Los Angeles, the entire series was filmed, but none of the competitors saw any of the edited film.
As each episode is shown on the SyFy Channel, Cimarusti said she watches it with her friends or family.
“I hate watching it, but it’s cool to see how they cut down the entire day into an hour,” she said. “Some of those days we were working for 12 hours. They edit that all down into the one-hour show.”
Cimarusti, who lives in Chicago now, is a cake decorator at Alliance Bakery in Chicago.
Since graduating from high school, when Cimarusti said she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do, she took both art and culinary classes.
She worked at a cookie designing bakery, and then she started working with cakes.
Makeup was a side experiment she tried just a year ago.
“I’d only been doing (makeup) for about a year before the show,” she said. “I didn’t think I was ready. My teacher thought I was ready. He really pushed me into it.”
Her special effects makeup instructor, Anthony Kosar, was on an earlier season of the show, and he suggested she tryout. Now, she works on some projects with Kosar in the Chicago area.
“The transition from cakes to makeup was easy,” she said. “I’ve been doing cakes for about eight years. Now it’s clay instead of cake.”
Cimarusti said makeup is easier than cake decorating.
“With the cake, you start with a block of cake and carve down,” she said. “You have to make sure it’s stable. With clay, you build up. Cakes are much more challenging.”
On the side, Cimarusti designs and sells masks, a business she’s seen grown since the first episodes have aired.
“I think my career will change,” she said. “I’ll see what happens. If there are offers in Los Angeles, then I’ll go. I love Chicago, but to do this kind of work, Los Angeles is where you have to be.” The final episode airs Oct. 1. A complete schedule is available online at www.SyFy.com/faceoff.