Any which way but BOO.

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Being part of the non-political Alt-middle, I’m okay with about 50% of political correctness right or left.  I try to take the feelings of people who aren’t me, whose experiences don’t correspond to me, and treat them as humanely as possible.  
But in a time when many people are fueled by bias, self-interest, and righteous indignation, it’s pretty hard to keep up with the cause du jour or even care.  Shouldn’t there be one day where all that goes out the window and people just have fun?  Enter stage left: HALLOWEEN.  
I do love Halloween, always have.  There’s no special skill set or knowledge needed to enjoy Halloween.  It’s actually super fun for kids AND adults, at the same time!  Just throw on a bad wig and splash some fake blood on a T-shirt, or buy a pre-made costume.  Some of us, of course, will take a different route and go all-in.  Elaborate makeup, expensive customs, and yes, political messages that are borderline offensive.  I admit I have no idea if it is politically correct to wear a Trump mask, a Kaepernick wig, dress up as the opposite sex, or wear a dog costume—would a Canine American group find offense if I did?  

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They say, “Life isn’t perfect, but your make up can be.”  Well, I’m not sure who said that, but I’ll go with it as a lead into this story.  For the last year, we have been working with a very talented makeup artist—and she’s very young.  We have been using her to do both beauty and theatrical effects make up.  Filled with ideas and passion, it’s hard not to love this young woman.  So it just seems appropriate that we would let her go wild on a Halloween story.  Here is what she came up with.  Meet the ever talented Alyssa Parnell.

My name is Alyssa Marie Parnell and I’m 18 years old. I live and grew up in Jackson. I am a freelance makeup artist and have been since age 15.

I’ve never been too interested in reality. Seems like I focus more on creative ideas and darkish thoughts. I relate more to Wednesday Adams from the Addams Family and Alice from Through the Looking Glass.

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It’s this attitude that made me not-so popular in high school. I was a complete loner. I simply just wasn’t like the others kids and I really never understood why. Being different made me feel bad and I was an easy target for bullies. When I was in the 7th grade I was picked on all the time about how bad my makeup looked. The other girls were brutal to me and I was embarrassed. After crying and frantically trying to scrub my makeup off in the girl’s bathroom, I was forced to get to class with a total mess on my face. When I walked into my class there was an immediate, “WOW MY DAUGHTER DOES MONSTER MAKEUP TOO,” from my teacher. I was totally taken aside. At first, I thought she was joking, but when I saw myself in the mirror, I did look like something out of a horror flick.

was intrigued by what happened in that classroom. I began to study theatrical makeup. After lots of practice, I began to hear good feedback from trusted adults. At 14, I got my first job to have money for makeup and I just grew from then on.  Today, I get paid for doing make up for weddings, parties, photo shoots, film, theater and of course Halloween. I don’t dress up for Halloween anymore. I’m usually responsible for making others look rad. Most recently, I have been the main effects make up artist for the movie filming in the area, Interview A Monster with Tom Green and Les Stroud. This last year has been a wild ride.

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