Where do you begin when trying to describe the career of special effects makeup artist Tate Steinsiek, a 1996 graduate of Morris High School, and Tuesday's Lions Club program? Probably at age 3 when he was drawing scary monsters with crayons and smearing his face with ketchup and calling it blood. His artistic creativity is somewhat God-given but also can be attributed to his mother, Tommy (Shipley) Steinsiek. Some of you might remember the 1987 artist rendering of Matthew 18:10 she did as a fund-raiser for the Anne Moroney Youth Shelter. (I just happen to have one of those prints and what is ironic is that she used a picture of 3 year-old Tate as a model, but the figure is shown as a girl). Tate's mother, Tommy, and his sister, Rose, were also in attendance for his presentation.
Tate is also a musician and was playing in a band in Tulsa, and the band was doing well, so they decided to head to the East Coast (Boston) because it really had a great music scene at the time. But plans changed when he met an aspiring filmmaker who "asked me to try and do some effects" for his film. It was love at first design. Within the year, he had left Boston and the band for Pittsburgh to work with Tom Savini, called "the Master of Splatters" by houseofhorrors.com. Savini offered him the job of creating special effects makeup for the film "Zombie Honeymoon", which was shot in New York City.
In 2002, Tate moved there to start his own company and, in 2003, his Ill Willed Productions began providing special-effects makeup prosthetic application and prop fabrication to clients including the Jim Henson Co., Dream Works, NBC, HBO, Xbox, and others. He has done special effects work for "The Amazing Spider-Man" and "Sharknado 2". He has finished second twice of Syfy channel's "Face-off" special effects competition and a group of producers were watching and called him to ask about him directing a movie, which he did. The movie will be coming out next month and is called "Addiction: 60's Love Story", based on a true story. Main Street Director, Lion Heather Sumner, suggested the Orpheum might could host a Premiere Opening of the film.
Tate is constantly traveling, teaching intro to advanced special effects makeup courses in Ireland, Spain, and Mexico. In fact, Monday afternoon he called me to let me know he had just landed in Tulsa from London and he would be at the Lions meeting Tuesday. What another amazing story of "local-boy-makes-good" and if you missed this program, you missed a really entertaining real-life story.
Pictured top is Program Chairperson Lion Sandy Patterson, Tate Steinsiek, and President Lion Beth Flud.
(Photo and information provided by Dean Craig, with excerpts from Rita Sherrow, Tulsa World)