"I'm slowly getting my foot in the door," Analyn Cruz told UNO.
When we spoke to the 31-year-old former Guam resident last month, she was just four hours away from earning her union card for Hollywood's hair and makeup industry.
Annalyn with Lili Simmons and Richard Jenkins of “Bone Tamahawk”
NOT THERE YET, BUT HAVING A BALL
Despite her current status, work has been nonstop for Cruz who’s a licensed cosmetologist but has found her calling as a hairstylist and special effects makeup artist in Hollywood. She does hair and occasionally makeup on actors and celebs. "I got to work with Luke Skywalker! He's so nice too! We were so scared, me and my boss Hugo Villasenor, who's now working on Cult of Chucky in Canada."
Cruz was the department head for the first season of the revamped comedy series, Mystery Science Theater 3000, where she met the legendary Mark Hamill. MST3K, premiering this April on Netflix, features other celebrities, including comedian Patton Oswalt and Felicia Day, the new faces of the show.
Villasenor is one of Cruz's mentors who helped hook her up with work at Alterian Ghost Factory owned by Tony Gardner, the mastermind behind the Chucky movies. "And I got to work with my sister Petrina Ada, who was my assistant," Cruz revealed.
She's also attached to Vincent Van Dyke Effects, which does pieces for American Horror Story and other shows that require body effects and gore. "They actually asked if I could be on their payroll. I said, of course. I do work with Sasha Camacho who the shows call when they need duplicate copies of hairpieces, sideburns, mustaches, and scruffs. There's like two people in the whole industry, and she's one of them. She wants me to apprentice under her as soon as I get time because [right now] I'm on set and she's behind the scenes."
With Hugo Villasenor + Mark Hamill
WORK, WORK, WORK
There's a ton of other projects Cruz has completed, work that's both mainstream and indie. She became a good friend of the great Ed Asner on Citizens United. She even worked for Hollywood mega producer/director/writer Joss Whedon, on a music video for an indie musician. Whedon is the man responsible for the blockbuster Avengers films and the hit TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Drive Share is another series where Cruz led the hair department. It's a riff on the old HBO Taxicab Confessions series updated using modern drive share experiences. It's also run by the comedians of the raunchy Adult Swim comedy, Children's Hospital.
Trash Fire, starring Adrien Grenier and Matthew Gubler, is another feature you can catch on Netflix, the first film where Cruz was department head for hair and makeup. When Insidious: Chapter 4 drops at the end of the year, know that Guam girl Cruz was a hairstylist on set.
Annalyn with the cast of Trash Fire
STILL, A HOMEBODY
"But as much as I love my job, I miss home,” Cruz revealed. [When] I'm Union, [I can] move to Guam and I can bid on TV shows from there. I can come out here and work for three to four months at a time, make some cash, and go back home and still be able to be with family and still work out here. That's my goal."
Cruz’s family is still back on Guam, including her father, Antonio Cruz, whom she gives all the credit for her love of movies. "We can sit down and watch movies forever—action movies, B and C movies, all the Van Damme movies and Wesley Snipes’s. He's my rock, the reason I'm able to do what I’m doing here," Cruz concluded.
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