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Actor Goes Through Long Process To Become Shrek

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Eric Petersen plays "Shrek" in the musical. (Photo Credit: KDKA)

Eric Petersen plays “Shrek” in the musical. (Photo Credit: KDKA)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — On Saint Patrick’s Day, some people work very hard to make sure they are wearing something green. But there is one visitor to Pittsburgh who takes the “wearing of green” to a whole new level.

It’s no easy task to make an actor into a green ogre.

“I’m applying the nose and cheek piece, one of the three face pieces that make up Shrek’s face. It’s made of silicone,” said make-up artist Jorie Malan. “It was specifically made to fit Eric’s face.”

The traveling Broadway show is in town for just four days. The elaborate costume starts with a mold of actor Eric Petersen’s head and contains two built-in microphones.

“The mics have to be placed exactly right for every show,” said Jason Goldsberry, Shrek’s make-up supervisor. “These are the mics on either cheek, from the audience it looks like dimples or little moles.”

Three pieces are glued to Petersen’s face, and the gigantic cowl he wears over his head and shoulders.

“It fits nice and snuggly on my face,” said Petersen. “Probably the most uncomfortable part is the costume, much more so than the make-up.”

Acetone blends the edges of the silicone pieces to Petersen’s face.

The artistic process takes an hour-and-a-half every night.

Petersen takes advantage of a little down time as they paint him up. With an 8-month-old daughter at home, sleep comes at a premium.

“Usually, at this point when I start painting him, he gets a 15, about a 15 minute nap,” said Malan.

It’s not just getting ready that takes a while. The 45 minutes to take it all off is almost as difficult.

“Getting the pieces off takes not too much time, but it’s all the glue that’s underneath that we have to take off slowly to kind of take care of the skin,” said Petersen. “The only parts of my face that are actually painted green are around my eyelids and around my upper lip.”

The musical is on stage now through Sunday at the Benedum Center. There are matinee and evening performances. For show times and tickets, call the box office at 412-456-6666 or check it out online.

Watch the “Shrek” actors on Pittsburgh Today Live:

RELATED LINKS:
“Shrek The Musical”
Benedum Center
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