Steve LaPorte was a joy to speak with. For one thing, he is incredibly talented and has a fantastic body of work.
That aside, he also recalls exactly how he got there and can track back the step by step process of how he got there.
It’s a wonderful thing when someone can trace back their steps and know how they got to where they have and are keen to help others understand what is important.
Steve talks about the importance of knowing how to make things work rather than always relying on an endlessly supplied workshop to solve every problem. Knowing how to pull things together on the spot is a great skill to have on set but ironically is how most people start out when they don’t have a lot of kit.
Hearing who he has worked with is like a who’s who of the makeup effects world. Knowing good, solid makeup skills as well as using appliances and working in a workshop come together to make a very capable artist whose versatile skillset make for a great resume.
We see again and again in these conversations with makeup artists how living a little life first and getting involved in the real world before settling on a career path can be so beneficial, as you can figure out who you are a little clearer before throwing yourself into an industry.
Steve also goes a little into his interest in the circus and particularly clowning, and how learning from the people around you is important. It really helped set him up for working within the film industry and dealing with people and appeal to their better nature. Clowns nowadays are often seen more as scary tropes, like Pennywise from IT and Killer Clowns From Outer Space.
Clowning was designed for fun and joy, to create laughter and cause people to drop their guard and experience joy, and Steve looks at how he wants to reclaim the clown for laughs rather than screams.
Like he says (Steve credits Leonard Engleman with this maxim), “Retire to something rather than from something.” He is a busy chap, and has plans to bring some very cool things into the business. Steve has such a pleasant manner and it really was a joy to speak with him. Todd and I were grateful that he gave up his time to chat to us so candidly.
He mentions a book by Wayne W. Dyer – The Shift: Taking Your Life from Ambition to Meaning, and I link it here if you want to check it out.
Many thanks for listening!
Til next time
– Stuart & Todd