Reality Check: The Force is with Miller on 'Ink Master' challenge

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How geeked was Sarah Miller when the Stormtroopers marched out?

Ms. Miller, co-owner and operator of Wyld Chyld Tattoo on Brookline Boulevard, steadily has been making a name for herself on Spike TV's "Ink Master" (Tuesdays). Previous elimination challenges touched on a variety of genres, including traditional military and horror.

The spark of the latest challenge, however, began a long time ago on a planet far, far away. It was a testament to her "Star Wars" background that the New York native knew these were specifically 501st Legion soldiers brought forth by the show's producers.

For Ms. Miller, the original trilogy was much more than entertainment.

"I learned that for the underdog, if they have enough heart, they can overcome the biggest obstacles life can throw at them," Ms. Miller recently blogged online.

Ms. Miller was runner-up in both parts of the "Star Wars" challenge. The first involved painting the iconic white helmets to emphasize contrast colors. The second, elimination challenge, brought TIE-fighters and Wookiees to the human canvases.

Ms. Miller was assigned an especially tough image; her client wanted a Stormtrooper against a plain background. She was able to convince him that a more colorful background would be cool, then used negative space for the white of the trooper's armor.

She was roundly praised, but the judges panel awarded first place to the Yoda done by Katherine "Tatu Baby" Flores, the other woman left in the competition.

• It's not too late to apply to be Pittsburgh's "Next Reality Star." Open auditions are from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. today at the WQED studios on Fifth Avenue. Western Pennsylvania natives Ellen Berkman Davis and Bob Kusbit are working with the Pittsburgh Innovative Media Incubator and Mr. Kusbit's One Louder Productions to find that larger-than-life character who would make a fascinating docuseries subject.

For more information and to apply online through Nov. 27, go to


Maria Sciullo: or 412-263-1478 or @MariaSciulloPG.


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