Rayce Bird finds another competitive venture
Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
          Release: 01/04/2012
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By Nate Sunderland, Idaho Falls Post Register

A local artist hopes to show the nation artistic creations that "no one has seen before."

Tattoo artist Rayce Bird, a Shelley native, stars in the second season of "Face Off," a reality TV competition premiering on the Syfy network at 8 p.m. Jan. 11.

"Face Off" challenges contestants to conceptualize and create special effect movie magic using body sculpting and makeup.

Fourteen artists from around the country are competing to win an unnamed grand prize "that will launch a career," according to Syfy's website.

Bird, who creates decorative masks as a hobby, said getting on the show and working with fellow artists was an unforgettable experience.

"I was kind of a loner here (in eastern Idaho) doing the mask stuff. No one here does that, so I couldn't talk or work with anyone -- it was just me," Bird said. "But to be able to go to a place and meet a bunch of people that do the same thing I've been doing for years -- it was cool ... to talk to them and get pointers."

The recent University of Idaho graduate was picked for the show after creating and decorating a soft-molded prosthetic head. The video audition was the first time Bird ever created or decorated a prosthetic created with sculpting gelatin.

"I didn't think they were going to call me back ... but it was pretty cool to get a phone call," Bird said.

During the seven-week competition, contestants filmed 10 episodes. In each episode, contestants were given a creative makeup challenge with a time restriction.

Industry veterans judged which contestant did the best. The worst contestants were voted off the show each episode.

"It was almost exciting to see the restrictions they gave you," Bird said. "On average, you have 15 to 18 hours to really accomplish a whole character; a lot of us are used to 20 to 40 hours in sculpture alone."

Despite the challenge, Bird said competing was really fun.

"The timeline is a bit unrealistic, but that's really the fun part of the challenge," Bird said. "Whenever you're put in (a) situation where you need to perform, you get to see what you're really made of."

Bird declined to reveal how he fared during taping; in fact, he hasn't even told his closest friends and family. He said, however, that everyone could find out by watching the show's second season.

In the Season 2 premiere, titled "Return to Oz," viewers will watch contestants reimagine the Tin Man, the Lion, the Scarecrow and the Wicked Witch from the classic story "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz."

Bird isn't sure whether he will pursue a career in makeup artistry. In the future, however, he said a career in Hollywood art direction might be something he'd be interested in.

"I'd love to do an art director job using CGI and makeup to lead a team of artists to create characters," Bird said. "I think my strengths lay in the conceptualizing of characters and creating something that will really speak to someone and deliver that emotion you see in the good movies."


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