New York City Actress Turns Make Up Artistry Into Work In Front Of The Camera

Profile of NYC Actress who supplements her career by providing Make Up Behind the Scenes
New York City Actress Turns Make up Artistry into Work in Front of the Camera
Source - Melissa Roth

This time of year should have Melissa Roth putting a scare into Trick or Treater like few could. Unfortunately, time has not permitted. “I haven’t had Halloween off in 15 years,” she says. But getting others to play dress up keeps her from having to haunt at late hours as a waitress of bartender like others in her career of choice.

“The reason I started doing makeup was to supplement my work as an actress,” says Roth.

The pictured troll clearly shows that she can work on the flip side while a possible role awaits somewhere as a scream queen.  In accordance,

such get ups also start conversations like the modern day, basement dwelling versions found online. But the discourse doesn’t angle for agitation. “Doing make up keeps me on set, and it’s a great way to network as an actor,” she says.

In fact, one of her first jobs had her doing the make up for a series of shorts, and when the director was later ready with a feature, Roth got the call to go into character. “I wrote the leads for you, so you have to take it,” NYC resident conveyed the filmmakers words.

The proficiency she’s developed over the years also has taken a serendipitous course.  Starting in college and studying as an actor, Roth always did her own makeup.  

At first, she had friends asking for help on Halloween. Soon enough, fellow actors came around in need of a hand to attach the prosthetics and such. “They would ask for a specific look or wound,” she remembers. “If I didn’t know how to do it, I would research it and practice doing it.”

The on the job training has continued, and didn’t have the cave dweller above sitting and stewing - even if that was a requirement befitting her impish character.   “She was a total sport,” says Roth of the six hour application.

In this case, Roth got long finger


tips at Halloween stores and padded them with cotton and latex.  The claws extended, the actress got a dousing in gray and white acrylic paint that flacked for dramatic effect. 

The process usually begins by sitting down with the director and coming up with a concept. Marc Fratto and Frank Garfi of Insane-O-Rama laid out the specs this time, and she conjured the troll up for their film.  “Sometimes I sketch things out, but I usually see it in my head and then get the look as I work on the actor,” says Roth. 

On the other side as the makeup dries on her profile, Roth just finished a role in a supernatural comedy by Minor Apocalypse Films called Camp Wedding and appears in It’s Getting Tired Mildred - a monthly soap opera at the Brick Theater.  

Seeming to have the both disciplines situated nicely and feeding into progressing as an actor, Roth reveals the juxtaposition can be a little tricky. “People sometimes tend to see you as one thing,” she says. “So if they know you as a make up artist, it’s hard for them to see you as an actor.”

Nonetheless, Roth makes sure that the slight of hand created behind the scenes doesn’t allow perception to keep her from getting out in front of the camera. “As long as you stand your ground and know why you’re there, it definitely works,” she concludes.



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