Local face in Syfy’s ‘Face Off’

Dec 05, 2012
Courtesy of: Syfy Katie Machaiek moves from the “Face Off” wings to center stage on the Syfy series next month.

Los Angeles — “Face Off,” Syfy’s most popular unscripted series, will return for its fourth season Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 9 p.m. Among this season’s highly creative group of special effects make-up artists competing in a series of brilliantly eye-popping challenges is Rockland District High School grad Katie Machaiek, who grew up in Owls Head.

“Face Off” is an entertaining depiction of the high creative standards necessary for a special effects make-up artist to succeed in their craft. The series debuted in January 2011 as a new reality competition program to critical and ratings success. Season 3 of “Face Off” averaged 2.5 million total viewers, making it the No. 2 cable program in its time period in the key 18-to-49 demographic.

Machaiek is 26 and works as a freelance makeup artist in LA, specializing in application, airbrushing and paint. She first got into makeup when studying filmmaking at Emerson College, where she did makeup and special effects on fellow students' projects. From there, she moved to Los Angeles and attended Cinema Makeup School. Since then, Machaiek has worked on numerous music videos and films. She returns to the Midcoast on a regular basis to lend an expert hand to the theater program at Oceanside High School, where her mother, Alison Machaiek, is the drama teacher.

Machaiek was a finalist in the “Face Off” Season 1 casting and a backup to the 12 cast members. Determined, she perfected her craft and, after also ranking high in Season 2 and 3 auditions, she will finally compete. The “Face Off” contestants will be whittled down week by week as they compete to outshine their competition. The winning artist will receive $100,000, a 2013 Fiat 500 and the opportunity to become a guest lecturer at the MAKE UP FOR EVER academies in New York and Paris. To see the entire Season 4 cast, photo galleries and video, visit syfy.com; Machaiek is featured in the show’s trailer there.

Returning to the lab for the new season is actress and host McKenzie Westmore, along with judges Ve Neill (“The Hunger Games,” “The Amazing Spider-Man,” “Pirates of the Caribbean”), Glenn Hetrick (“CSI: New York,” “The Hunger Games,” “Heroes”) and Neville Page (“Avatar,” “Prometheus”). Joining the series as the official contestant mentor will be world-renowned Hollywood makeup artist Michael Westmore, a member of a makeup dynasty that dates back to Hollywood's golden age. Westmore has earned a record 42 Emmy nominations and nine wins. The Motion Picture Academy has honored him with four nominations and the Oscar in 1986 for his artistry on the film “Mask” starring Cher and Eric Stoltz. In addition, Westmore supervised 18 years of “Star Trek.” He also is the proud father of “Face Off” host McKenzie Westmore.

The guest judges on tap for Season 4 bring their perspective and expertise to the challenges and judging panel with such top industry names as Bryan Singer, Gale Anne Hurd, John Landau, Michael Nankin and John Rhys-Davies.

The level of makeup and skill is raised this season as the contestants are challenged to create fantasy goblin kings, original comic book superheroes, delicious candy creatures, two-headed giants inspired by Bryan Singers’ “Jack the Giant Killer,” “Avatar”-inspired bioluminescent sea creatures, zombie hordes and more. All the while, contestants must display an ability to move quickly and under pressure with constant surprises, twists and turns.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

The Season 4 cast of Syfy’s “Face Off.”
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