The first time I met Ricky Flores he was in his element. It was on the set of a family-friendly film called A Horse for Summer staring Dean Cain, and Ricky was the make-up artist. His gentle smile and warm spirit just hugged everyone who entered his space, as he expertly turned faces into believable illusions for the camera.
I admire this young man more and more as I get to know him and his tenacity to reach for his film career dreams. Ricky is an inspiration to anyone, coming from a humble background and taking the courageous steps to follow his heart, he listened to his intuition and walked through the doors. Ricky’s story is the story of many people who try to make it in Hollywood, but some give up too soon or never get started. Not Ricky, he absolutely is a Dream Catcher and here’s his journey.
“If you take responsibility for yourself you will develop a hunger to accomplish your dreams.”
~ Les Brown
Jane Fitzpatrick: What is your background and story?
Ricky Flores: I am a professional Makeup Artist working in the film industry. I’m also Mexican-American, Native American Indian and Spanish. I was born in Glendale, California, to Richard and Pauline Flores, and I have an older sister, Terri, and a younger sister, Gina. Mom raised the three of us alone as a single Mom since 1972. She was a “supermom” holding down three jobs to keep a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs and food on the table. Through her example, she taught me so much about life and how to fend for myself.
We used to hover around our small black and white television and watch family sitcoms and drama shows together. But, going to the movie theater was the real treat, and once a month mom would take us. I’d get lost in the movies, literally putting myself there in my mind. My imagination would run wild.
JF: How did you get involved in entertainment specifically and why did you make it a career?
RF: I knew from a young age that I wanted to be part of the make-believe world. Actually, my very first experience toward my dream started with my favorite holiday, Halloween, when I insisted on being a witch at 7 years old: long stringy hair, long crazy nails, green skin, long crooked nose, hairy mole, pointy hat, tattered black dress, boots, broomstick…. yes, mom helped me. I won two costume contests that year, and I was only in the 2nd grade.
It wasn’t until I was a bit older when a group of friends and I really began to “get into” Halloween. We’d choose a theme, months before, planning our costumes and designing whatever spectacular makeup application we could create based on our chosen theme. Our creations were very effective, even shocking! Through these endearing experiences I was truly bitten by the makeup bug — and my dream was born.
Fast forward, many years, jobs and careers later… I tried some theatre though it always felt awkward to me. I had applied to the Joe Blasco Makeup Training Center, in Hollywood, California, three times over a 10-year period and got accepted each time. But every excuse in the world kept me from attending.
But, when I turned 40, I took a trip to New York City with friends. That trip, that city, the energy, the people, the Broadway shows, breathed a whole new life into me. I returned home after that trip and told myself, “it’s now or never.” Once again, I applied to the makeup school and got accepted… and as the saying goes, the rest is history.
JF: What awards have you received?
RF: I have yet to receive any personal awards. Several of the 22 feature films I’ve worked on have received numerous festival awards, including Afternoon Delight, which made it all the way to Cannes Film Festival.
My personal reward was actually being able to give back when I became an Assistant Instructor for 2 years, at the very same makeup school from which I graduated.
JF: Tell us about the process you’ve been through to garner attention for your work.
RF: I get attention for my work via social media and also through my IMDB page:
JF: Can you tell us about some of the people who have stepped up to support your efforts?
RF: I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of my amazing family: dad, mom, stepmom, and my 5 wonderful sisters. I also have been blessed with so many, many, beautiful friendships. All have been an inspiring support group.
JF: What do you see developing in the future? Any further dreams?
RF: I have huge dreams that I know are attainable. I’m living one of them now. I’m always amazed at how projects come my way and I’m in talks at this time with a major epic film production. I believe opportunity is always there as doors open — we just have to get the courage to walk through.
JF: Do you have some advice or encouragement for “Dream Catchers” in the entertainment industry?
RF: My advice to anyone passionate about their dream is the same advice and truthful words of wisdom given to me: “Dream big or go home!” and “It truly is never too late, just do it!”
JF: Do you know of organizations “Dream Catchers” could utilize to further their careers?
RF: I feel blessed knowing you, Janey, and becoming close friends. I am a firm believer in honing relationships in this industry and working with those who have a common heart. Everything absolutely does happen for a reason.
Dream Catcher Ricky Flores