When Midian Crosby saw Michael Jackson's Thriller video at the age of six, she was instantly obsessed with monsters. She borrowed older brother Shawn's Fangoria magazines, watched Elvira and developed empathy for misunderstood monsters like Frankenstein.
Supportive parents who encouraged her interests supplied her with dark children's stories and movies such as the Dark Crystal, Labyrinth and A Nightmare on Elm Street. Freddy Kruger, aliens and werewolves made her happy; what really frightened her were parasites, snakes and spiders.
Around the age of 12, she began devouring Clive Barker books, and at 15 legally changed her name from Jessica to Midian, which is the place where the monsters (the good guys, mostly) live in Barker's book Cabal.
"I had always displayed a love of art and performance and initially wanted to be a nature show host (narrating from the wild bush) or an actress," says Midian. "My epiphany happened only after several years in phones sales in my early 20's when I decided I needed an artistic job to be happy. That was the first time I noticed that you could go to school for special effects. I knew immediately that that was my calling and I had some catching up to do." She started by earning a degree from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in Industrial Arts, specializing in special effects. This strengthened her artistic skills and taught her problem solving and project management, and she made valuable contacts with people she still works with today.
Effects artists also learn from each other; although it is competitive, there is sharing and mentoring. In fact, Midian is now teaching classes to eager special effects students at Denver Entertainment and Arts Design (DEAD Academy). There are also books, such as Coloradan Todd Debreceni's Special Makeup Effects for Stage and Screen: Making and Applying Prosthetics.
Midian says, "Really, to be a special effects artist you need to be part artist, part performer and part mad scientist, with perhaps a little emphasis on the mad part!"
You can see some of the effects created by Midian in films such as It Came From Yesterday and Incubator, a short film that has won numerous awards including best special effects. Also, look for her work in a film called Motivational Growth, which hasn't been released yet.
Although an avid library user, Midian was unaware of the resources available to small business owners. "I had no idea ;that the online resources the library offers are so vast! I was able to find local and national statistics, articles, yearly sales of my competitors and more right at my fingertips. I think it was one of the most exciting moments I had during the research stage of my plans. Now I use it often."
This information was incorporated into her business plan, which Midan says is a great tool for understanding and growing your business idea.
"I recommend meeting with a librarian and learning what information research options the library offers to EVERYONE that owns a business. It will save you time and give you access to valuable FREE information right at your computer. If they don't know about it they are missing out. The best way to learn how to navigate the site is to learn from a librarian."
Need some help finding quantitative numbers and statistics for your small business? Make an appointment with one of our knowledgeable BizBoost librarians and explore some great databases, including Reference USA, BusinessDecision and Business & Company Resource Center.
Talk about doing what you love. Sounds like someone you want to have on your side next Halloween. Brrrraaaainssss!!!!
We do love our zombies! We DEFINITELY love Halloween too! When we have the time we even like to throw a 'Halfway-to-Halloween Costume Party' usually sometime in April!
Follow your dreams? In this case 'nightmares'! :)
i had been considering taking classes at the "DEAD" academy, but after reviewing the photos posted on their facebook page i am disappointed, mainly the latest zombie makeup.
We would love to know what you found disappointing and what you would like to see more of. You can reply here or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always open to comments and suggestions. With a decade of film experience we have more than one zombie makeup up our sleeve.
It's rare to find someone who can combine the artistic and business/professional aspects of a career as well as Midian. She is so resourceful. I'm glad to see she was able to find assistance via DPL programs to achieve her goals. Great example of how drive and persistence matched with access to resources can make dreams (nightmares) come true!