Livin' the Dream with Stacey K. Black

I first met Makeup Artist Silvi Knight socially, and then had the pleasure of working with her on American Horror Story: Asylum last season and we became fast friends. A: We're both Raven-Haired Beauties, and B: We have lots in common, mainly our humor and love of artistry, and definitely belong to the Mutual Admiration Society. So when I asked Makeup Department Head Liz Briseno to meet Silvi, I had a feeling she would Liz would ask her to join our Major Crimes Family!

Silvi is a great writer, so I thought of her for this Guest Blog thing, and in between wrapping up season 2 of Major Crimes, flying to New Orleans to work on AHS:Coven, and getting ready for the holidays, she found the time to write this up for us!

Welcome to "Who-ville". That's what I thought to myself on the first day of shooting Major Crimes, season two. I had just joined the make up department and was stepping into an already well-oiled machine with a cast and crew long familiar with each other. Many had been there since The Closer. Everyone was so welcoming and nice to one another...this wasn't normal. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop and now that season two is coming to an end, it still hasn't. This is easily the nicest cast and crew I've had the pleasure of working with. I'm happy to be the only Grinch in Who-ville.

When Stacey K. Black, hair dept. head, director, blogger and overall bad-ass, asked me to be a guest blogger, I readily accepted. Although I didn't really know what a blog was, and still don't, Stacey said I could write just about anything related to Major Crimes. So I figure I'd write a little bit about my job and give a shout out to make up department head, Liz Briseno. She rocks! Working with her is a breeze and she always has everything under control. Blood, guts and beauty. Yes, guts! Because it's a crime show, we usually get our hands bloody at least once per episode (if were lucky!). Bullet wounds, stab wounds, heads bashed in, strangulations, bodies drowned and bloated, thrown out of a moving car and even eviscerated. Did I mention guts? That was my favorite! Make up artists Christopher Nelson and Eryn Kruger Mekash joined us that day for a brutal crime scene. Three gang members were disemboweled in a auto repair shop.

It was gruesome and there was no way we believed the network would show it on television. Boy were we wrong! We cheered when we saw the bodies on screen, and even louder when they showed them a second time. Since most of our work rarely ends up on screen, it's always a treat when the grisly stuff makes the cut.

Then we have the cast. A dream! Liz and I share duties of applying make up on the handsome gents and any guest cast. We each get a "girl" make up to do. Co-make up department head, Robin Seigel does Mary McDonnell's make up, Liz does Kearran Giovanni, who plays Det. Sykes and I was given Nadine Velasquez, who plays DDA Rios. Also a newcomer to Major Crimes this season, we were a perfect fit. Nadine is a blast to work with and a beauty to boot! I could go on and on about our talented, funny, charming cast, but ain't nobody got time for dat!

As far as episodes go, I've enjoyed working on all of them. But, one stands out as my favorite both as a crew member and a viewer- "Poster Boy." Chris Wood was our guest "bad guy" and he played it so well. His character was handsome, sweet and psychopathic. It was a shame he had to die. Part of me hoped his life would be spared and he could return in a future episode, but alas, I knew it wouldn't end well for him. I loved all the performances in that episode, but Mary McDonnell and Chris Wood made it special.

Before I wrap this up, I need to mention James Duff (creator, executive producer,writer, director), Mike Robbin (executive producer, director) and Andrew Sacks (co-executive producer). The kindess and generosity exhibited by the cast and crew, starts at the top with these three men. Working with them is an honor and a pleasure.

NOTE FROM SKB: I could not let this blog be put up without the inclusion of a little behind-the-scenes video I made. Do you know what a "menthol blower" is? Well, its a little tube with menthol crystals inside, and makeup artists sometimes need to use this tool, to help some actors get to cryin'. You blow the fumes from the menthol, into their eyes, and it makes the eyes start to well up with tears, and then crying is easier. Our AMAZING A-Camera Operator, Chris Hood, decided one day that he wanted to know what it felt like to have menthol vapor blown into his eyes. He's empathic that way. Here is the experience for you to share!

Silvina Knight is a makeup artist in the film and television industry, proficient in both beauty and special effects, with over 20 years experience. Her credits include Major Crimes, American Horror Story, Iron Man 2...and she's cool.


Stacey K. Black has been burnin' hair on Hollywood TV and Film sets since 1996. She is a three-time Emmy nominee for Outstanding Hairstyling on the series "GLEE," and "American Horror Story."

Her other hairstyling credits include the feature films "THE STEPFATHER," "RUNNING WITH SCISSORS," "THE MINUS MAN," and TV series "NIP/TUCK," "JAKE IN PROGRESS," "THE D.A.," "EZ STREETS," "PROVIDENCE," "CSI:NY," "TOTAL SECURITY," and TNT's "THE CLOSER." She is now enjoying season 2 of "MAJOR CRIMES" as Department Head Hair Stylist.

Stacey also made the unconventional jump from Hairstylist to Director during season 6 of "THE CLOSER" on the episode "Last Woman Standing," and since the episode didn't suck, she was handed the reigns again for her second episode, "Star Turn," this time during season 7. She somehow snowed the powers-that-be into letting her direct an episode of "MAJOR CRIMES" during season 1, which aired on October 8, 2012, entitled, "Cheaters Never Prosper," and this season, her episode "Risk Assessment" will air on Dec. 23.

Her methods of persuasion remain a mystery.
Stacey's documentary feature film "Send My Mail To Nashville" is currently in post-production.

She also enjoys making movies and music, and curried lentil stew. 

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer/speaker and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Turner Entertainment Networks, Inc.