Monster Bash make-up artist Ron Chamberlain
with DRACULA (1931) actress Carla Laemmle
at the 1999 Monster Bash!

The following interview can also be seen in the great Scary Monsters Magazine Memories Yearbook 2000!" 130 Pages of Classic Monster Kid heaven....


Monster Bash's new Master Character Creator

An interview with make-up artist - Ron Chamberlain by Ron Adams

BASH: Where did it all start for you?

RC: I have been interested in make-up since I was about 12 years old. That's when I read articles in Forry Ackerman's magazine about Jack Pierce. Saw all the photos of Pierce making up Karloff as the monster and Chaney as The Wolf Man. Lon Chaney Sr. too, of course! And, MAN OF A THOUSAND FACES, that movie really had an impact. I loved that movie. Really did it for me.

BASH: You live in New Jersey. Are you originally from from New Jersey?

RC: Yeah, close to New York City.

BASH: Jack Pierce is obviously your psychological mentor, any other favorite make-up artists?

RC: Besides Pierce and Chaney Sr.....John Chambers. He was a great influence with his PLANET OF THE APES movie make-ups! I wrote Chambers when I was a kid, he sent me an autographed picture with him and Roddy McDowell. Wow, I was blown away. I'm a big PLANET OF THE APES fan. Have most of the actors autographs....five of Roddy McDowell! I was lucky enough to meet Roddy McDowell at a Fangoria Convention in New York.

BASH: Tell us about your make-up partner, Frank Rios, who is subjected to many of your make-ups.

RC: Frank is from Venezuela. I met him where I work, a division of General Porcelain. He had applied to be a painter. I'm a sculpter and painter there. I ended up training him; he's progressed and is a VERY good painter. When he found out I was a monster movie fan, it was instant friendship. In Venezuela, he was in a very small minority. Not many people there seem to be crazy about monster movies and he was happy to find someone else who really loved those movies. He was cool then, to be a model for my make-ups. Happy to do it! Plus, in his country, he and his family are all great seamstresses. He's amazing. So he makes most of the costumes and is frequently the model; I do the make-up. Then we started winning local make-up/costume contests....that expanded to the Chiller Theatre Convention...winning contests there and then becoming the official Monster Bash Convention Make-Up Artist.

BASH: Which make-up was the most difficult?

RC: I'd say The Wolf Man.....glueing of the hair...yeah, all that hair.

BASH: What are some highlights over the years for you?

The tribute to Ron Chaney at The Monster Bash. That was a REAL thrill for be able to do that for Ron. I can't express how much that meant to me. That was incredible, thrill of a lifetime to surprise Ron Chaney in his grandfather's Wolf Man make-up.

BASH: What are some currrent projects? What are you getting ready for now?

RC: Big Haunted house. It's a local haunted house and I'm doing a lot of the bodies, props, monsters and ALL the background paintings! That's a lot of work every night. I'm making up a guy as Bram Stoker's Dracula for promtion at a local theatre. It's to promote the haunted house. And, I just did an visual demonstration of how to make a simple vampire make-up in a halloween haunted house magazine. It's a demo, step-by-step pictorial on a vampire make-up...a Buffy The Vampire kinda look.

BASH: Obviously, movies seems're so talented. What would you like to see happen?

RC: I would like to work under a major studio and in the make-up department...anything to get in there! I was wouldn't mind free lancing, but as part of a make-up team at a, that would be ideal. I have done free lance for a movie called ADDICTED TO MURDER out on video...vampire was shot in New York, in Manhatten....few vampires 3 or 4 . One transfornation was really eloborate. I have to mention my teacher, the great make-up man Dick Smith. When I was twelve I wrote him in Hollywood, he wrote me back and said "Hey, I'm really in New York City, we're neighbors." He has always been so encouraging. Still a great help in feedback on my make-ups...helping with...colors and stuff. I just recently sent him pictures Pictures from the Monster Bash. He said how great the Frankenstein monster was....I was really pleased! Hope this all isn't for nothing. I so dearly love's all I want to do and hope to turn it into a full time thing. I love it. It's what I love to do, what I am! I'm in heaven in my shop/studio everynight till midnight, or 1-2 in the morning. Sculpting new creatures. I grew up the classics. I love this stuff.

Ron Chamberlain, in his own right, a master character creator....a truly great make-up artist. He lives in Bordentown, New Jersey with his suppportive wife, Lori, wonderful son, Shawn and Golden Retreiver named, what else? --- Lon!

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