DiPietro makes his mark in makeup

John Paul 'J.P.' DiPietro, at right, admires his makeup effects for Xander Voight, who portrayed Mark Twain in Patriot Players' production of "A Resonant Frequency." CONTRIBUTED
John Paul ‘J.P.’ DiPietro, at right, admires his makeup effects for Xander Voight, who portrayed Mark Twain in Patriot Players’ production of “A Resonant Frequency.” CONTRIBUTED
MADISON – Glue, gelatin and plaster become tools of an artist’s palette when John Paul ‘J.P.’ DiPietro is at work.
With several productions to his credit, DiPietro served as makeup effects artist for Patriot Players’ production of “A Resonant Frequency,” Bob Jones High School’s one-act play presented at the district and state-level Walter J. Trumbauer State Drama Festival.
“I really love and enjoy what I do. Working with Mr. Dwayne Craft and the rest of Patriot Players has been the best experience ever,” DiPietro said.
In “A Resonant Frequency,” DiPietro created a striking resemblance for Mark Twain, portrayed by Xander Voight. He also designed and applied facial hair for Nikola Tesla (Seth Slayton), Isaiah Battle and Justin Peel. Helping out, Samantha Bailey created Twain’s aging, frizzy hair.
DiPietro based Twain’s facial appearance on vintage photographs. “Mrs. Mary Davis and ‘Ms. Shari’ (costumer Shari Kingsford) gave me their thoughts after I applied Xander’s makeup. Mainly, they gave feedback on skin tone and hair,” he said.
“They allow me to create and do my own thing,” DiPietro. The only stipulation was Craft’s stipulation to finish in less than an hour.
To create ‘Mark Twain,’ DiPietro first worked on prosthetics by making four molds and a batch of FX-grade hot gelatin. He applied glue over the actor’s face and prosthetics. “I then sculpted prosthetics on a plaster replica (face cast) of the actor’s face,” he said.
Next, he blended edges with witch hazel and applied neutral powder to start painting. “I use alcohol-based palettes to add color. I take crepe wool and gently press it onto the skin and pull off excess. I trim (hair) down with eyebrow scissors. Finally, I use alcohol paints for wrinkles and finishing touches,” DiPietro said.
This summer at Academy of Make Up Arts in Nashville, he completed a weeklong workshop on blood and gore effects with Ben Rittenhouse, a veteran of several Hollywood productions.
DiPietro won a district award for his extra-curricular individual/ensemble (IE) display of Frankenstein.
In spring 2017, DiPietro will return to work on makeup effects for characters in Patriot Players’ production of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

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