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JCI Makeup Artistry: Meet The Directors

Maria Velasquez
Blog / Features / Makeup

With years of experience in the world of beauty and special effects makeup for film and television, John Casablancas Institute has a handful of talented makeup artistry instructors. We had the honor and privilege to interview these two beautiful ladies who are the Director’s of the JCI Makeup Artistry Program.

Marie Zampini 

Marie Zampini was born and raised in Richmond, B.C. and is a proud JCI graduate. With over three decades of experience under her belt as a professional makeup artist and hairdresser, Marie has worked on many memorable projects including working with advertising campaigns for Off The Wall Clothing, which involved years of commitment with this company, and with photographer David Fierro. Her work was seen on bus shelters throughout the city and in store windows.

In the film industry, Marie has worked on sets including The Chronicles of Riddick and the award-winning film, Island of Shadows. Her fashion and commercial portfolio boast well-known brands like Off The Wall Clothing, Canadian Airlines, Canada 3000, L.G., Hasbro and MTV.

She has worked for Bobbi Brown Cosmetics and with living beauty legend, Laura Mercier – who is known as the go-to makeup artist for celebs like Madonna, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Jennifer Lopez. One of her career highlights was meeting and working with Laura.

Marie is a dedicated instructor at JCI and also holds the titles of Director of Makeup and Director of Education.

“I absolutely love teaching! Seeing our students succeed in the industry and win awards is incredibly fulfilling and rewarding.”
Tracy Lai

Born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and raised in East Vancouver, Tracy Lai has always had a creative soul, although never really thought there was much in the field of arts that suited her.

“Back in the day, Makeup Artistry was not a popular career choice.” 

One day, Tracy stumbled upon a JCI ad and decided that she wanted to create monsters for movies. She enrolled in the JCI Makeup Artistry program in 2003 and enjoyed the small class sizes, where she learned exceptional hands-on experience and gained more knowledge in the industry.

Tracy has worked on numerous films including Star Trek, Pirates of the Caribbean, Deadpool and many more. She has also collaborated with JCI graduate and influencer Samantha Ravndahl on a fun and creative video for Youtube. One of her prized moments throughout her career was receiving the 2014 Leo Award for Best Makeup in a Motion Picture.

She is still very active in the industry as she is typically working on side projects while teaching makeup at JCI and holding the title of Director of Special Effects Makeup. This upcoming month will be Tracy’s 14th year teaching!

We are always intrigued to hear about the next project that Tracy will be working on.

JCI’s Makeup Artistry Diploma Program has gained an industry-wide reputation for excellence, giving students an exceptional network of contacts and resources when they enter the marketplace. During the 10-month full-time program, students study everything from glamor and special occasion makeup to special effects makeup and prosthetics application techniques. With classes limited to 16 students, individualized attention and encouragement foster each student’s personal and professional growth potential.

John Casablancas Institute is the pioneer of prosthetic lab techniques and face casting in Western Canada. This advanced level of training affords our graduates amazing opportunities and a significant advantage for a career in film, TV or theater.

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