Just lately I seem to have had a flurry of emails from aspiring make-up artists wanting advice about getting started in the industry, well I've been in the 'biz' for three years now and I'm still not entirely sure I've cracked it! but from what I have learnt this is my top tips for getting your self
(I admit there have been times where I haven’t managed this and there might be one or two people out there smiling to themselves if their reading this!) But seriously look up where you meant to be the night before work out directions WRITE THEM DOWN (don’t just leave it to whatever app you have on your phone!) then work out how long its likely to take and give yourself an extra 15mins for getting lost.
The reason for doing this besides good manners? : Shoots do not just magically happen they can take weeks if not months of careful planning and you are fairly low down in the pecking order, thinking you can rock up 20 minutes late says you don’t care, this is not the message you want to send some stressed out director or designer who’s probably been giving themselves an aneurysm for the past 48 hours trying to get everything assembled. If for some reason you know your going to be late, call whoever it is your supposed to be working with explain and GROVEL
As i said before shoots don’t just happen they take careful planning and organisation, if someone sends you a treatment or a moodboard think carefully about what your going to do, talk it through with client first. If it’s something you’re unsure of or haven’t done for a while, rope in a friend to model for you and have a practise run before hand
As a make-up artist you job is to put make up on people, PEOPLE is the operative word here whoever is in your chair and whatever it is your doing to them don’t treat them like a sausage on a production line, be polite, chat to them, they might be stressed or nervous make them relax, tell some shitty jokes, ask them what films they’ve seen lately etc. (of course if they don’t want to chat thats fine too but at least you made the effort.)
The same goes for the rest of the crew, be friendly be helpful at all times, and especially when your starting out make friends with runners and assistants as 9 times out f 10 they have their own aspirations to be a photographer/producer/stylist whatever and collaborating together on your own small projects will be a great way to expand your portfolio.
Network, network, network and then network some more, get cards printed the instant you feel comfortable applying foundation, and hand them out to EVERYONE, and ask for one of theirs while your at it. Get a website the instant you have some decent work to put on it, use social media sites facebook/twitter etc, to shout about whatever shoot it is you’ve just done with links to your site and the people you were working with sites, be un-ashmedly self promoting. And remember there is nothing wrong with contacting photographers, production companies, studios etc on spec the worst they can say is No.
.Don’t be a bitch
Ok ok so your starting to get somewhere, you’ve climbed the first few inches of that greasy pole, you’ve got a few contacts, you’ve done a few jobs, infact You’ve been working away quite happily at a certain level for a while and then suddenly you get landed with a job that’s a bit unprofessional, the crew are barely out of film school, you can probably direct a model better than the photographer etc etc. There’s nothing wrong with offering a bit of friendly advice but for god’s sake don’t walk around rolling your eyes acting like the big I am, it will endear you to NOBODY. And you don’t know today’s Wally who can’t aim a reflector could be tomorrows Tim Walker.
.Don’t slag of your colleagues, you may think that actress you just worked with was the diva from hell, you may have wanted to slap that designer, the photographer might have made you cry, ok it’s not nice it happens, but don’t going telling anyone (besides maybe your partner, best mate or mum about it.) Once you’ve been in the game for while you will start to see that is an alarmingly small pond and same faces do tend to pop up, also you don’t know who knows who some you don’t want word getting round that you called so and so a miserable twat.
.Oh and finally your getting invited to the right parties woop de do! Obviously you want to be friends with the more important people that’s a no brainer but for gods sake don’t do that eyes round the room looking for someone higher up the pecking order as soon as you find out the person you’ve just been introduced to is an estate agent, firstly how do you like it when people do the same thing to you? Secondly how do you know mr estate agent isn’t the director your to trying to impress’s best friend who could well walk over to him and say ‘god that girl was so rude’. If you really can’t be bothered with someone’s conversation, tell them you have to go to the toliet and leave POLITELY
.And finally have fun and be creative dammit – thats what we’re here for after all!!
Ok folks that concludes aunties shu-shu’s pearls of wisdom for now, hope you found it helpful, any other queries please feel free to drop be a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Putting make-up on people since 2010