PDT Staff Writer
When Jax Theatre of Wheelersburg decided to perform ‘A Christmas Carol’, it was decided to add a special feature to the performance. That feature is coming from R.J. Haddy, a creature designer and make-up effect artist.
Haddy is transforming 19-year-old Jordan Nickles into an 80-year-old Ebenezer Scrooge for each performance.
Haddy worked previously on the Batman and Robin movie transforming people and creating props.
“Being a huge Batman fan, that was a neat experience. You always hear about these life coaches that tell you to write your goals down. Apparently I had at one point, as a kid, written in one of those yearbook things, ‘where are you going to be in five years,’ my answer was, I was going to be in Hollywood working as an effects artist working on the next Batman movie. So, that was an awesome realization that I got to do that,” Haddy said.
Most recently Haddy was on the SyFy channels show ‘Face Off.’
According to the SyFy channel’s website, “Face Off is a competition/elimination series exploring the world of special-effects make-up artists and the unlimited imagination that allows them to create amazing works of living art. The contestants are tasked with elaborate feature challenges including executing full body paint make-up on models and creating their own horror villain. Challenges incorporate effects make-up, and include a wide range of skill sets including prosthetics, 3-Dimensional design, sculpting, eye enhancers, casting and molding. Each episode involves incredible reveals of the contestants’ finished work, and the drama of one contestant being sent home by the panel of expert and celebrity judges.”
Haddy made an appearance during Season 2 of the show a the beginning of the year.
“I was voted audience favorite and was voted on the show. I was the last contestant to be chosen for that season,” Haddy said.
To become a contestant on the show, Haddy competed against two others for the final slot.
He said since the show, he got recognized from time to time by people telling him he should have won.
“It’s nice to know that you can in a brief period of time, you can effect, influence and inspire so many people. This show has a broad audience. Now at some point there will be someone that will say I wanted to this (become a a creature designer and make-up effect artist) because of you. Where I was saying that about people,” Haddy said. “That’s humbling and a pretty big responsibility.”
Haddy said he first met Nickles over Facebook.
“He was a fan of the show and a friend of mine saw a show he was involved in. He then mentioned his name to me saying, ‘you need to meet this kid, because he’s pretty awesome.’ So me and him started talking over Facebook, he came to a couple of conventions and we started talking about the possibility of do this show,” Haddy said.
Haddy lives in Charleston, WV and last weekend Nickles and members of this family traveled to meet Haddy to make a mold of Nickles’ face to begin the process of making a mask for Nickles.
“While he was here we did a full head and shoulders life cast for his character in the play. He is playing an 80-year-old man and he’s 19,” Haddy said. “Weather I do a good job on it, will depend on the audience, if they can’t differentiate if that is a real old guy or a 19-year-old man on stage. Combined with his performance, hopefully my make-up allows the audience to believe there is a 80-old-guy on stage.”
Nickles recounts the molding experience.
“He took a mold of my face and that includes all of your features. During the process you have to put plaster over the mold, so it keeps shape. I was in a chair for about 45 minutes going through that process and had to stay perfectly still until all of that dried. This is not for people who are claustrophobic that’s for sure,” Nickles said.
Nickles said this was the first time he’s been though this process.
Haddy will be traveling to Wheelersburg for every performance to apply the mask to Nickles.
Nickles said it will take about 2-4 hours before each performance to apply the mask and to ensure he can be functional in it.
“The play is shaping up really well. We have a cast of 37 people from as far away as Ironton. We have a lot of talent a lot of good singers and actors, it’s shaping up to be a really good show,” Nickles said.
Nickles said the play is, “a classic Christmas Carol. It’s the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, who is visited by his dead business partner Jacob Marley who warns him he’s got to change his selfish ways or he’s going to end up like him. He gets visited by the ghost of Christmas past, present and future. They try to get him to change his ways, before it’s to late.”
Performances are scheduled to take place Dec. 14, 15 and 22. On Friday, Dec. 14 the performance is scheduled for 7 p.m. On Saturday, Dec. 15 the performance is scheduled for 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. There are two performances scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 22 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Tickets are $12 general admission and $10 for students and seniors.
For more information or to purchase tickets visit TG Entertainment at the Wheelersburg Cinema, 8805 Gallia St in Wheelersburg or visit their website at www.tgentertainmentlive.com.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or firstname.lastname@example.org.