March 12, 2021
Bruin Daze carries on traditions from 1970s
March 12, 2021

Wig and costume department head teaches BJU’s sole makeup course

Sandy uses airbrush makeup to prepare sophomore Joseph Simpson for a dress rehearsal. Photo: Robert Stuber

Dan Sandy, a faculty member in the Division of Communication and head of the Rodeheaver wig and costume department, found his passion for makeup from Stage Makeup, a book by Richard Corson that had never been checked out of the library by anyone else.

“The librarian let me buy the copy of the book, and it became a memento to me,” Sandy said of his experience in high school. Reading the book began his interest in makeup, which would later lead him to work in the wig and costume department at Bob Jones University.

“I have always been interested in theatrical makeup since junior high school,” Sandy said. “When I first came to BJU in 1976, I knew I wanted to study cinema.” One of his more memorable experiences in makeup happened during the film production of Sheffey where he received the opportunity of doing makeup for the extras. He also had the chance to do makeup in the film The Printing and more recently, the film Milltown Pride.

Sandy has been the manager of the costume and wig department in Rodeheaver since 1993 and teaches a class in the cinema department. “Currently I teach Makeup for Visual Media,” Sandy said. “It is the only full semester makeup course that we teach at BJU. It started in 1995, when Mrs. [Marian] Bopp asked me to teach her stage makeup course,” Sandy said. “After she passed away, I decided to continue teaching the course to theatre arts majors.”

Sandy uses airbrush makeup to prepare sophomore Joseph Simpson
for a dress rehearsal. Photo: Robert Stuber

The class teaches the basic principles of applying makeup for different mediums, such as, cinema, theatre and digital media. “We begin with the base of understanding principles of art, lighting and shadow and color theory,” Sandy said. “We then move on to more advanced techniques, like airbrush makeup.” Sandy jokingly said as he ages, the students come in younger, and he has become a model for “old-age” makeup. “I am physically there, and I can point to specific features on my face that students should accentuate when they are doing makeup for older people,” Sandy said. Within theatre arts, Sandy said he tries to equip theatre students with the knowledge of how to do their own makeup. “You’ll find that in theatre, sometimes the actors are doing their own makeup,” Sandy said.

“I try to equip the students in several ways,” Sandy said. “One being how a believer can work professionally and know what they are doing. Two being that our creative nature that we have in us comes from God Himself.” Sandy said he teaches how important it is to remember that no matter what we are creating, God is and always will be the ultimate creator.

Sandy gives students an awareness of the industry and what to expect in an area of cinema and theatre makeup. “We try to work on techniques that are current,” Sandy said.

Sandy said whenever he gets the chance, he’ll go to makeup trade shows for inspiration. “I’ll try to gather information that I can give to the students,” Sandy said. Makeup trade shows are events held by people in the makeup industry to come together and demonstrate different products and services.

“I am constantly learning from the students,” Sandy said. “I find that it keeps me on my toes and sharpens my knowledge.”