DADDY-O'S DRIVE-IN DIRT
SCI FI ARCHIVES
archives of the MST3K pages previously hosted by the Sci-Fi Channel's SCIFI.COM.
A continuing series profiling one member of the Best Brains organization.
If you love the simian face of Professor Bobo, if you admired the saucy streak of white in Dr. Forrester's
moustache, if you marvel at how they get Observer's face just the right color, you're appreciating the hard
work of long-time Best Brains hair and makeup specialist Andrea Jackson Ducane.
Or, as she was called in MST3K: The Movie, Andrea "Action" Jackson Ducane.
"They surprised me with that," she chuckled in a recent interview. "I didn't know they were going
to do it. But everybody said they thought it was a perfect name for me."
Ducane, who admits to being in her "late 30s" but chose not to get more specific, has worked with the
show longer than just about any other backstage staffer. It was way back in 1992 when another makeup artist called
Andrea in to help out when Joel and the crew did MST3K's first live show.
Ducane says she was already familiar with the series, and pleased to get a chance to work with Best Brains. "I'd
caught it a couple of times on KTMA, and occasionally on Comedy Central, and I really loved it."
Apparently her work that night impressed Jim Mallon. "Right during the performance," she recalls,
"Jim pulled me aside and asked me if I would want to do this on a regular basis."
It was the beginning of a long and hectic relationship for Ducane, who's been doing makeup work all over the Twin
Cities area for 15 years and freelancing for 10. Ducane attended the University of Minnesota and says with a laugh:
"I have a degree in Psychology that I use that every day." She worked on theatrical productions at college,
and that drew her toward her current career.
"I've worked with a lot of celebrities including Olympia Dukakis and Amy Madigan when they were
here doing an HBO movie," she says. "I also worked with Prince...once. Never again."
But although she's worked with some big name stars, Ducane says the majority of her assignments are "for industrial
and corporate videos, which is pretty straight stuff. That's why I appreciate Best Brains so much. I enjoy doing
the wacky stuff for a change. Plus, they're constantly throwing new problems at me. I enjoy the problem-solving
aspect of it."
Since the show's switch to Sci-Fi Channel, and the wild new characters that have been introduced, Ducane
has had all new problems to solve. Among them:
- "The brainy guys were a challenge at first. The background on the first set was so white that their flesh
looked yellow. As much as I hated to do it, I had to use true clown white, which is rough on the skin. Now that
Observer's off that planet, it's been a little easier on Bill's skin."
- "The apes were pretty tough, because the script called for them to jump around so much and stuff kept
falling off them. And the more they started sweating, the worse it got. Keeping the actors cool and comfortable
was the key."
Ducane is married. Her husband runs a publishing company. The Ducanes have a 10-year-old daughter and 6-year-old
son. In fact, her daughter recently made her first visit to Best Brains.
"I was worried she'd be bored, but she was a little trouper," Ducane boasts. "She drew pictures
of the bots and helped out where she could. Now she begs me to come back. I'm beginning to think I'm going to able
to train her into the business pretty soon!"
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