Face Off contestant Sidney Cumbie dishes on the show and his early exit
The first person voted off of Face Off, Sidney Cumbie is a self-taught special effects makeup artist and monster model from Pace, Florida. After recently moving to California, he hit the ground running, honing his craft by working on TV shows, commercials, webisodes, photo shoots, live demos and films.
Hometown: Pace, Florida
Residence: Burbank, California
Occupation: Special FX instructor
You can follow Sidney on Twitter @sidneycumbie
SheKnows: How are you doing?
Sidney: Just hanging out here at work.
SK: Talk about that. What is your day-to-day life like?
SC: I actually teach effects makeup at EI, which is a school of makeup in Hollywood. It’s awesome just dealing with a lot of people who want to become makeup artists. I love it.
SK: What was the reaction from your students when you landed a spot on Face Off?
SC: [Laughs] It’s pretty funny. Some of them watch it, but it’s weird. I don’t know where the people that actually watch the show live. I’m thinking, hell, they can’t be in California. A lot of my students are like, “Yeah, I watch it now because you were on there, but I didn’t originally watch it.” Usually, if you’re out here, you watch it because you know somebody on it. It’s cool. They liked seeing me on the air, but they were also super sad that I went home.
SK: Were you a fan of Face Off before you got on it?
SC: Everybody would talk about it. “Hey, if you want to do makeup, you’ve gotta watch Face Off.” I guess, but if I’m gonna have TV shows, I’m gonna limit myself to two. I already have my two, so I didn’t really get into it that much. But I know a lot of people that [were] on it because of being out here. Most of the makeup artists [live] out here, so I knew a lot of people that were on it already.
SK: How did you get on the show?
SC: I was working as a model. I modeled for every makeup artist, any makeup artist that needed me. Keaghlan [Ashley] from Season 7, I modeled for her. I just knew so many of them… When nobody needed me as a model, I was like, “Man, I’d just like to turn myself into a monster.” I sat down and started doing it, and that’s really how I learned how to do makeup.
SK: Tell us about your elimination. You found yourself in the bottom with Omar, but how confident were you? Did you think you were safe?
SC: The whole episode, I was just thinking how I didn’t want to do a beauty makeup. I really didn’t want to do it at all. Omar was doing the cowl, and I was like, I gotta do this. We had this moment in last looks where we’re like, “Man, we did it. This looks great.” We looked around the room and we’re like, “No. We’re not getting kicked off. We’re safe.” I had no clue we would be in the bottom. We might have been a little nervous, but for me, I was looking at it and the paint job was killer. We got everything done that we needed to get done. I really had no clue. Once it happened, I didn’t know what to think. I was so shocked because [the judges] were like, “You guys didn’t do enough work.” How much is too much and how much is too little? That’s all opinion. It just got me thinking that I don’t get judging. But in the end, they know what they’re doing. Whatever happens, happens, you know? It was shocking, though. I would say at least have one from each team go home. If you’re in the bottom looks two weeks in a row, why doesn’t somebody from the other team [Missy and Libby] go home? Right? That’s just me, though. I would have sent one person from each team instead of making it look like they were going to pick one from us and one from the other. Just name us both together so we can go out as a team instead of as individuals.
SK: How did it feel hearing the judges compare the finished makeup to a Cabbage Patch fish?
SC: [Laughs] When they said cabbage, I was like, “Yeah. Yeah, it does look like cabbage.” [laughs] That was true. If something’s dead on — especially if it makes me laugh — why hate on it? It was a good comment. It was really cool.
SK: Is there one particular movie makeup or character that you use for motivation?
SC: This one’s tough. I am a huge zombie fan. I know that’s sort of a stereotypical sort of thing. I absolutely love zombies. Maybe it’s the survival aspect of it. There’s a million zombie movies, but right now The Walking Dead, for me, as makeup, is my favorite. They cast the slimmest people and [make] really gnarly stuff. Greg Nicotero and those guys over there are really killing it. It’s so amazing. Just like everybody else, I just can’t wait for the next episode. I don’t watch it for the drama — it’s just all about the makeup.
SK: If one of your students wanted to audition for Face Off, what tips would you give them?
SC: Remember that it’s a TV show. Know that they have to sell ads. It’s a story, too. You have to tell a story. Don’t get into it thinking it’s based solely on talent. It’s based off personality. It’s based off how you handle the pressure. You can be the most talented person in the world and slip up one time. You can allow a cabbage to go onstage… Just relax and have fun with it. Again, it’s a TV show. Have fun.
SK: Have we ever seen your work in television or movies before?
SC: Really not. I’m relatively new to this… I’m working on a pretty large zombie movie in October. We’re trying to work out all the details and the budget on that. This should be sort of my debut into the feature film world. I hope this works out and something big comes out of it.
SK: How would you describe your overall experience on Face Off?
SC: It was definitely good! You can’t leave anything with a sour attitude. No one did me wrong. Even though I felt like our makeup, overall, was better than some of the others ones, I can’t hate on anybody. It’s all the judges and their opinions. They’re going to be different than mine. I’m biased because I did the makeup. There’s no hard feelings at all. I got to meet really cool people on the show. The whole cast, I love. They’re so nice. Meeting these people is just furthering me with makeup to be inspired by everybody. Even though I felt slighted, I still left with a smile on my face.