Hello there, and thank you for joining. Today we are going to discuss three ways to help you, thats right you; how to succeed as a Freelance Makeup Artist! Grab a cup of joe and take a seat. My name is Kenneth Alexander, and today I will discuss with you some ways that you might be able to increase your chances at being a successful makeup artist. Let us begin, shall we?
The first way to succeed ( and probably the most important ) is harder for some than others, but it is 100% doable. This of course is the simple task of not being an asshole. I know this may sound crazy, like of course you're not going to be a jerk to the people who hired you or to the others on set. But! You'd be surprised just how many mean people you will encounter on set (and in the world). I have heard that a lot of people on sets have worked with rude or unpleasant makeup artists in the past. I’m sure there’s people in other positions the are rude as well but with a MUA it’s different. We interact with people much more than others. That being said, if you show up to set with an attitude or you are mean to your actors they will not be happy about it. And the same goes with the Director as well. These two positions on a set have the most say (usually) and they can get you fired from a set faster than you know. Basically if you show up and do your job, and are a decent human being while doing it, then you will get hired again and again and again. Even if your skills aren't top notch, I guarantee that you will be hired faster than the other person who was a pro but a total dick. No one wants to be around an asshole for 16 hours a day, for multiple days, in a house, in LA, in the summer heat, with no A/C! It sounds terrible just reading that. So that being said, don't be a dick and you’ll get more jobs than Joe Schmoe over there.
Number 2! Also not hard, but easier to do for some. This is none other than….. Do Your Research!
The best part about this step is that you get to watch Movies, and TV shows!! yaaayyy
But, wait theres more! You also get to learn. Knowledge is key. And in this industry, if you don't have the knowledge then you don't have the Passion and your peers can sense this. Like a snake senses fear in its enemies. Without the passion, you don't care and if you don't care then no-one will care about what you are doing. The Industry is full of Artistic and Creative souls whose blood pumps for this kind of shit. If you don’t love movies/fashion or what goes into them then don't get into this field because you’ll get eaten by the monster in the house. People go broke, they move far away from their families, leave jobs and lose sanity to create the things they do. So, if you don't have the drive to go that far at least once, then most likely this industry isn't for you.
The other side of this step is Research but in a way that will save you from looking like a total Noob. This is the homework part. Good news is that you can still watch Movies! (I will always find a way to incorporate movies into mine and your lives. You're welcome!)
The homework part of this step is to watch the credits, find out who did those makeups and hair and special effects work. Who was the puppeteer for that werewolf, who sculpted that crazy alien and how old were they when they did? What else did they work on? Who is on their team? Who did they learn from and what was their first job? Who is the Godfather of Makeup? (If you don't know this you have a lot of learning to do) Get all of these Who’s, Whens, Hows, Wheres, and Whats. (We all know why, its cause we love what we do) Long story short, find out is doing what in the Industry and how they got started. Learn about those who inspire you. You need to know all of these things so you can connect with these artists and not look like a deer in the headlights when you're talking with other artists about upping projects that friends are working on. Know your Shit and Respect those who came Before You!!!
Last but not least, number 3. The one to tie the other two together. Number 1 is to make sure no jerks join this industry, number 2 is to make sure the nice artists know their stuff and number 3 is to make sure that we Practice! Practice is the Key to the Door of Success. (Im gonna trademark that) without practice you will never get any better of course. That should be enough reason there. The End.
But really, with practice comes knowledge and with knowledge comes skill.
With skill comes confidence and with confidence comes jobs.
With jobs comes experience and with experience comes networking.
With networking comes relevance and with relevance comes…
the call to your next job that is for a feature film that is guaranteed to flip union that was recommended to you by a big makeup artists that you worked that job with a year ago for free cleaning blood off of 100 background actors for 16 hours.
And Boom! just like that you are a Successful Makeup Artist with steady work so you can quit your part time jobs and focus fully on your makeup career. Do these 3 things and you’ll have some ground work for you to get going. That being said, these are not the only things you need to do, there are plenty of others like luck and right place right time and who you know are all important factors as well. The list goes on and on but you can get started with these 3 and keep working hard.
Til next time friends, thanks for stopping by and joining me today. May your days be filled with a colorful imagination and good vibes. And don’t forget; don’t be a jerk because you just shouldn’t.
Producer of What It Takes
Makeup and Special Effects Artist
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Amber Talarico and Kenneth Alexander. Amber is the Director of What It takes, and Kenneth is the producer. Our mission is to motivate, inspire and empower freelance makeup and special FX artists around the world to pursue their dreams by sharing knowledge, encouraging artists at all stages, and bring a voice to our industry as professional makeup artists!