MUD LA Faculty Bios
Whether you’re interested in make-up artistry for film, television, theatre, retail, bridal, fashion or print, our accomplished LA faculty draw on years of experience in the business.
Ronda Althen is a native of Minnesota. She is a graduate of Lindbergh High School in Hopkins, MN, and North Hennepin College in Brooklyn Park, MN. She began her career as a professional make-up artist and hairstylist after graduating from Fern’s Beauty School, Brooklyn Center, MN, in 1981. She owned a “Touch of Class Salon” in Minnesota before moving to Los Angeles to continue her education in make-up artistry, studying at Joe Blasco Professional Makeup School in Hollywood, CA. After graduating she went on to work in film, print, commercials, and music videos, most notably working with Prince on several projects including the Purple Rain video. Throughout her career she has also worked on many television shows such as Frasier, Everybody Loves Raymond, and currently, The Ellen Show. She is actively involved in Women and Breast Cancer at City of Hope where she volunteers her time helping with styling hair wigs and make-up application. She began her career as an Educator at Paul Mitchell Hair color in Minneapolis, MN, and joined the Make-up Designory team as an Instructor in September or 2002.
Stacy Bisel has been a professional make-up artist for the past 13 years and is also a licensed cosmetologist. Mrs. Bisel is a graduate of Russell High School in Russell, KY, University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY, Pasadena City College Cosmetology Program, and Make-Up Designory. She has been with Celestine Agency for the past ten years and has extensive knowledge in print, commercial, and film with professional credits in print including Disney, Target, Samsung, Chevrolet, Martha Stewart Weddings and Old Navy. She has also worked in reality television on America’s Next Top Model and has production credits in DVD Documentaries including: The Dark Knight Rises, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and the re-release of The Wizard of Oz. She has also worked with celebrities Jolie Richardson, Laura Linney, Jordan Sparks and Viggo Mortensen, to name a few.
Shanna Cistulli has been a make-up artist and educator for over a decade. She graduated from White Bear Lake High School in White Bear Lake, MN, and continued her education by studying Fine Arts at Century College, MI. After moving to California, she attended The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in L.A., where she was first introduced to and fell in love with make-up artistry. As a professional make-up artist, Shanna has worked with an extensive list of successful designers, photographers, artists, and celebrities. She has been a national make-up educator and trainer for Bloom Cosmetics in North America, and an instructor for Los Angeles Mission College’s Community Extension Program, teaching Corrective Beauty Make-Up. Her work has been seen on the History Channel, My Fair Wedding with David Tutera, The Rachael Ray Show, and in commercials for FedEx and Hilton Hotels. She has been published in Seventeen, Prom, Retro Lovely, Car Kulture Deluxe, and Stiletto magazines. Her print and advertising credits include: Unique Vintage, Mod Cloth, Dolly Couture, Pinup Girl Clothing, Michelle Hebert Art and Fashion, KOA Swimwear, and Cartel Ink.
Sean Conklin is a freelance make-up artist and graduate of several of MUD’s educational programs. He received his G.E.D. from the Department of Education; State of California and went on to study theatre at Mira Costa College. His commitment to perfecting his art and years of dedication implementing MUD’s brand philosophy earned him the role of MUD’s Lead Artist. He is an active contributor to the development of MUD products, designer for MUD’s seasonal campaigns and an International Brand Ambassador, educating and training MUD partners around the world. His experience extends into film, television and print with professional credits that include: American Idol, The BET Award Show, numerous WB spots (Where L.A. Lives), HGTV spots (Selling L.A.), MTV’s Next, TV Land’s She’s Got the Look, and various infomercials and feature films. From catalogs to magazines, Sean’s work has been featured in Lands’ End catalogs, LA Weekly, and Flaunt and Elle magazines. He’s worked with notable entertainment personalities including: Chris Brown, Marcia Cross, Jason Alexander, Adam Arkin, Bill Mosely, Camryn Manheim, Jane Kaczmarek, Justin Kirk, Jason Priestly, Alanis Morissette and Giovanni Ribisi. In 2014, Sean lead a team of MUD make-up artists behind the scenes at the 2014 Miss USA and Miss Teen USA competitions. His work as a featured artist on MUD’s official YouTube channel has helped garner millions of views and countless of online fans worldwide.
Pamela has had a passion for health and beauty most of her life; she has over 18 years of experience in skin care, professional make-up, and retail sales. She is a graduate of John I. Leonard High School in Lake Worth, FL, New England Shiatsu School in Boston, MA, Moro Beauty School in Glendale, CA, and Make-Up Designory. Ms. Hackeman has been teaching with Make-Up Designory for over 14 years, and has taught make up and skin care seminars, internationally, in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Miami, Japan, Thailand and South Africa. Her background includes: art, psychology, nutrition, Shiatsu, Hatha yoga, Chi Kung, Tai Chi, meditation and medical esthetics. She believes that balance of body, mind and spirit are key to beauty, along with topical skin care treatments and make-up. Her approach embraces the natural, using shiatsu and organic products, and the new, using advanced technology such as stem cell products, microdermabrasion, light and color therapy, and oxygen infusion to give you the best care available. She has worked with MAC, Chanel, La Prairie, Beau Bridges, Eric Roberts, Stacey Keach, (LT) Lawrence Taylor, Christopher Titus, Shane Black, Sally Kirkland, Amanda Lucas, Cynthia Watros, among many others. She has also mentored many successful make-up artists, including Tara Savelo, Patrice Graham, Amy Chance, Kimberly Pletz, Jackie Mgido, to name a few.
Ms. Hawker, a professional hair stylist and make-up artist in film, television and print, attended Simi Valley High School and obtained a GED from the State of California. She is a graduate of Golden West Cosmetology School in Huntington Beach, CA, the Vidal Sassoon Hair Academy in San Francisco, CA, the Joe Blasco Make-up Center, and the Airbrush Academy. Ms Hawker has been an educator with Make-up Designory for almost 20 years. Her professional background includes all aspects of make-up artistry and hairstyling. She owned and operated her own hair salon for 15 years, and was also the co-owner of The Art Room, an L.A.-based graphics art company. She designed, supervises and currently teaches the Studio Hair Styling for the Make-Up Artist Beauty 201 course. She is the author/designer of Make-up Designory’s Beauty textbook currently in use for the Beauty 101 and Beauty Essentials courses. She wrote an online Make-up Artist Training Course for Artistry Cosmetics. She has traveled worldwide as a trainer/instructor and sales rep for MUD Cosmetics. Her professional credits include film, television, print, and various award shows. Notable credits include: The Michael Jordan Story (Fox Family Channel), Menno’s Mind (Showtime), Under the Big Muu-Muu (Castle Rock), and Jungle Book: The Interactive CD-ROM (Powerhouse Productions), E! Television’s Mysteries & Scandals, True Hollywood Stories, and Celebrity Profiles as well as Skin & Ink and People magazines. She has also worked with celebrities that include: Billy Bob Thornton, Henry Winkler, John Ritter, Estelle Harris, Francis Fisher, Kathleen Helmond, Judith Light, Jerry Stiller, Gary Busey, Lou Rawls, Bill Campbell, Nathan Lane, Chris Leary, Ernie Hudson, Dot Marie Jones, and Heidi Hamilton.
Chad Hartman has over a decade of diverse experience within the field of education. Originally from Ohio, he received a Bachelor’s degree in International Business from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL, and also holds a Master’s degree in Education from Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. His higher education experience includes serving as Director of Education at Daymar College in Newport, KY, and as Operations Supervisor during the establishment of the Center for Professional Development at the Southern California campus of the University of Phoenix. His recent experience is in the area of accreditation with the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) in Washington, D.C., where he worked with campuses from Taiwan to Turkey. He comes to MUD from Florida Technical College where he was Compliance Manager for six campuses. In addition to higher education, he has served in the field of public elementary education in both Los Angeles and Tampa Bay.
Make-Up Artist Emeritus
Byrd Holland is a recognized professional make-up artist and a member of Local 706, The Make-Up Artists and Hairstylists Union IATSE. His career spans 40 years in television, theater, and print. Mr. Holland’s film credits include working as Department Head for productions such as Executive Action, The Spectre of Edgar Allan Poe, I Crossed the Color Line, Rabid, and Journey to the Center of Time. Mr. Holland’s television credits include The Alamo: Thirteen Days To Glory, Six Against the Rock, Crazy Times, Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge, Crisis in Midair, The Bill Cosby Variety Show, The Rock & Roll Years, and American Bandstand. In addition, Mr. Holland worked as the Department Head for Hard Copy for four years. Over the course of his career, he has worked with prominent actors, musicians, and entertainment personalities that include John Travolta, Danny DeVito, Cloris Leachman, Tom Hanks, Burt Reynolds, Natalie Cole, Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, Hal Linden, Jonathan Winters and James Arness. He has also worked with Jimmy Carter, Senator and Mrs. Bob Dole, and Governor Pete Wilson.
Tate Holland has worked in make-up education and cosmetic sales, manufacturing and distribution for the last 18 years. He is also an experienced Administrator and School Director. Along with his school responsibilities, Mr. Holland is active in local community affairs. He is a former President of CAPPS, the California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools, the Burbank Chamber of Commerce, and the Burbank Downtown Business Improvement District. He is also a member of the Measure K Budgetary Oversight Committee for the Newhall School District. Mr. Holland holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the American University in Washington, D.C.
Veronica Lane has been a professional make-up and hair artist for over 20 years. She is a graduate of Theodore Roosevelt High School in Los Angeles and Creative Cosmetics Makeup School, and received her cosmetology license from Cerritos Community College in 1992. In 1989, she answered an ad in the newspaper for a make-up sales position at the Max Factor Museum and Boutique where she first got her taste of make-up and design, and paved the way for many more opportunities to come. She went on to work for the world-renowned hair company, Sebastian International, in the 1990s, where she taught seasonal make-up collections throughout the United States and Canada. Throughout her career she has worked in film, television, reality television, commercials, fashion shoots, advertising, press junkets, and red carpet events. She loves to teach others and share her knowledge of the industry. Her client list includes: L’ANZA Healing Hair Care, K-Swiss, Wal-Mart, Target, Montage Laguna Beach, Kodak, BBC America, Best Buy, Pet Armour, Mazda, McDonald’s, Oxygen Network, Vybemobile, Toys R’ Us, Giada at Home, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Megan Mullaly Show, The ESPY Awards and many more. As a freelance make-up artist working for 20 years, she continues to be a force in a very competitive industry.
Kat Laskey is a native of Miami, FL, where she began her make-up career in 2004. After obtaining her GED from the state of New Jersey she went on to graduate with her BFA from Florida International University where she studied Stage Make-up in their theater department. She has received additional training from The Powder Group, the Joe Blasco Makeup Artist Training Center and Temptu, and has worked for and trained with MAC Cosmetics and MAC Pro in Chicago. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Ms. Laskey freelances as a make-up artist for print, music videos, commercials, film and television, and provides on-site hair and make-up services for weddings and red carpet events.
Michael Shawn McCracken is a second-generation Special Make-up Effects Artist living in Los Angeles. Michael began working professionally in the film industry while still attending high school. He has over 30 years of experience in make-up effects for film, television, stage and opera. Michael has received two Emmy® award nominations and was honored with an Emmy® award in 2007. Michael learned make-up effects from his father. Michael’s father was taught and mentored by the Academy Award®-winning Make-up Artist John Chambers. As a Make-up Effects Artist, John Chambers set the high standard for Make-up Effects and was instrumental in advancing the art of make-up. Michael has continued in that proud tradition. Additionally, for the past several years, Michael has taught classes in advanced prosthetics for the Joe Blasco schools in Hollywood, CA and Orlando, FL., as well as at M.T.I. International make-up school in Thailand, and is now with Make-up Designory. Michael is proud to note that he was selected from an open competition within the industry to design and sculpt the Make-up Artists and Hairstylists Guild Award. This award is given out by the Make-up Artist Union, honoring the top make-up artists and hair stylists from around the world for outstanding achievements in motion pictures, television, commercials and live theater.
Associate Director of Education
Gil Romero has been an educator with Make-up Designory for over 15 years. He is a graduate of Willow Park High School in Apple Valley, CA, Cinema Make-up School in Los Angeles, CA, and Make-up Designory. Additionally, he received training in make-up design and artistry from UCLA Extension and Schell Sculpture Studio, and has continued to further his own educational experiences by taking courses in management and instructional methodology through UCLA Extension, University of Phoenix, Victorville Community College, Skillpath and the Coalition of New York State Career Schools. Mr. Romero has lectured and demonstrated make-up techniques including injury simulation, the process of prosthetic construction and prosthetic application on behalf of MUD, both nationally and internationally. In 2009, he co-authored the second edition of Make-up Designory’s Character Make-Up textbook. As a professional make-up and special make-up effects artist, Mr. Romero has had extensive experience in film and television since 1995. His work has been seen on television shows and films including The Unit, Scrubs, Prison Break, Untold Stories of the E.R., The Sarah Silverman Show, The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson, The Shield, America’s Next Top Model, Midnight Movie, Five Fingers with Laurence Fishburne, Route 666 with Lou Diamond Phillips, Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses, tattoo transfers for Sherri Moon-Zombie in The Lords of Salem and effects for the short film Wounded Embark of a Lovesick Mind by author/ illustrator and film director Gris Grimly. In addition to his film and television work, he has produced prosthetic make-ups and effects for Universal Studios’ Hollywood and Tokyo live-action stunt show WaterWorld, the Anubis puppets for The Mummy II: Chamber of Horrors, Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream event character “Jack”, FuseTV/ Fangoria Chainsaw Awards, Lady Gaga and other live musical performers, and specialty trauma simulations for companies and professional organizations, including one of the largest and most technologically advanced burn centers in the U.S., the Integris Burn Center.
Gina Sandler has been a professional make-up artist for over 20 years. After graduating from Heritage High School in Conyers, GA, she moved to Los Angeles to work as a scenic artist in the film and television industry. She is a graduate of Joe Blasco Makeup Artist training center in Hollywood and has worked as a make-up artist extensively in commercials, print advertising, and editorials. Ms. Sandler’s commercial client list includes: Magnum Ice Cream bars, Canon, Simple Skin Care, Mercedes-Benz, EA Sports, Ford, Lincoln, Nike, Unilever, Taco Bell, and Seiko Watches. Her print advertising clients include: Sony, Billabong, Jaguar, Nikon, and Pepsi. Ms. Sandler has also completed editorial work for publications that include Vogue online, Detour, Glamour, LA Times Magazine, Paper, Shape, Arena, and Spin. She continues to expand her artistic skills by taking extensive visual art workshops in sculpting, painting and drawing.
Since moving to Los Angeles in 2002, Ray Shaffer has been employed in the motion picture industry as a special make-up effects sculptor, mold-maker, hair technician, and applications artist. He has worked with numerous Oscar®-winning make-up artists including Michele Burke, Barney Burman and Christien Tinsley and has assisted in producing prosthetic appliances for actors that have included Tom Cruise, Kevin Costner, Chris Pine, Leonard Nimoy, Jason Statham, and Winona Ryder. His filmography includes Star Trek (2009), The Watchman, Tron Legacy, Crank, I Am Legend, Mr. Brooks and Tropic Thunder. He attended Bourne High School in Bourne, MA, and holds a BFA in Theatre from Salem State University in MA.
KarrieAnn Sillay has been a professional make-up and special make-up effects artist for fifteen years. Mrs. Sillay’s work has included film and television productions such as We Are Marshall, Heavens Fall, Elvis (CBS miniseries), The Crow, Gacy, Five Fingers, Rollerball 2000, and music videos for Limp Bizkit, Courtney Love, and Macy Gray. She has had the honor of working with many celebrities such as Laurence Fishburne, LL Cool J, Dennis Hopper, Jean Reno, Alan Arkin, Frank Langella, Tyler Perry, Juliet Landau, Tito Ortiz, Lucia Rijker, Tara Reid, David Boreanaz, Rose McGowan, Daniel Baldwin, Naveen Andrews, Rebecca Romijn, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Randy Quaid, Matthew McConaughey, Anthony Mackie, Russell Simmons, Colm Meaney, Ryan Phillippe, Timothy Hutton, Billy Zane, Bryan Cranston, and Chris Klein. Mrs. Sillay is a graduate of Woodbridge High School in Irvine, CA, and Make-up Designory. She continues to develop herself professionally by taking courses in instructional methodology and by working as an artist in the film and television industry.
Karen Stein has been a professional freelance make-up artist for over 12 years. In order to learn her trade, she studied with professionals from Make-up Forever, Bobbi Brown, Temptu, MAC, and Make-Up Designory. She recently was Department Head for the Hulu comedy Quick Draw, and has worked on television shows for Comedy Central, TLC, Food Network, PBS, DIY Network, BBC, History Channel, and GSN as well as the award-winning horror film, Babysitter Wanted. Her commercial work includes spots for Walmart, Guitar Center, and Realtor.com. Ms. Stein is a graduate of Berkmar High School in Lilburn, GA, and received her BFA in theatre from Emerson College in Boston, MA.
Director of Education
Paul Thompson is the Director of Education at Make-up Designory and is a professional make-up artist with 24 years of experience, and an educator with 18 years of experience. He graduated high school in California at La Quinta High School, and then attended Orange Coast College and UCLA extension classes to learn the art of make-up. In addition to his make-up education, Mr. Thompson has completed courses in curriculum design and writing with the University of Phoenix, completed all course work required for a designated subjects vocational teaching credential at UCLA, and completed all course work to achieve a full teacher’s license in the State of New York. Over the course of his career he has been licensed to teach in California, Florida and New York. Mr. Thompson founded Creature Creations, a special make-up effects company specializing in television, commercial and theme park projects. One project resulted in the creation of the very first silicone bodysuit for Luke Perry in Robin Cook’s Invasion, an NBC mini-series. He also supervised film and television projects for the MUD/FX Group, a special make-up effects shop he co-founded. Mr. Thompson has held a number of educational specialist positions at several professional make-up schools including UCLA extension, and has lectured all over the world for major cosmetic companies such as MAC Cosmetics, Max Factor & Company, and Kryolan Cosmetics. Currently, he is responsible for the educational quality of the Los Angeles, New York and European MUD campuses which includes overseeing curricula, educational materials, and the recruitment and training of all faculty members. In addition to managing the development of curricula for MUD’s main campuses, seminars and company training programs, he also manages MUD’s publishing endeavors. Mr. Thompson authored MUD’s character textbook Character Make-Up, published in 2005 and co-wrote the second edition, published in 2009. Over the course of his career, he has worked with many prominent actors, musicians, and entertainment personalities including Janet Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg, James Earl Jones, Jackie Chan, Matthew Broderick, Christopher Reeve, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Cheech Marin, Pauly Shore, Traci Lords, John Dye, George Hamilton, Clint Howard, and Mark Kriski.
Mary Anne Toccalino,
Mary Anne Toccalino has been a professional make-up artist and consultant for the cosmetics industry for over 30 years. Since 1997, she has worked to develop a strong background in commercials, industrial videos, and print, for clients like Chrysler, General Motors, The Detroit Pistons, Merrill Lynch, Audi, K-Mart, Benetton, and Domino’s Pizza. Ms. Toccalino has worked for major cosmetics companies including Lancôme, Ralph Lauren, Rene Guinot, Sothys, La Prairie, Dermalogica, MOP, Giovanni, and Sebastian. Her more recent fashion credits include Lux Life Fashion Evolution 2007 in Miami, Florida. Ms. Toccalino has also owned and operated her own business for over nine years. Her film and television credits include work as a Make-Up Supervisor for Jelly at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, The Big Story, and The Faith Hill Special (NBC). She has worked with personalities such as Michael Jackson, Gary Oldman, Lily Tomlin and Rachel Hunter. Ms. Toccalino is a graduate of Radford Union High School in Radford, MI, Joe Blasco Makeup Artist Training Center in Hollywood, CA, and Make-up Designory. Ms. Toccalino has her A.A. in Humanitarian Arts from Oakland University in Oakland, MI and an esthetician’s degree from Virginia Farrell in Royal Oak, MI. Additionally, she has received make-up training from Lancôme, MAC, Dermologica, Giovanni, Arbonne, Estee Lauder, Bumble & Bumble, and Toni & Guy; additionally, she has instructional methodology training from UCLA Extension and the Coalition of New York State Career Schools.