Walt Disney once said "Do what you do so well and uniquely that people can't resist to tell others about you."
I was on a shoot today and this was the quote that stood out to me. I wanted to share this experience, and let me tell you...it was one hell of a day...
Something that we learn as artists over time is how to deal with all different types of people. We have good days (mostly!), and then we sometimes have bad days. Well today was one of those bad days for me. To make a long story short, I'll just say that I not only was told how horrible of a job I did, but belittled and humiliated. Funny thing is, I was told to do one look...I did it...and the client didn't like it. I asked what they wanted once more, and They told me again the same thing...so I went back and tweaked the look and polished it up a bit. Well my oh my, "why in the world" did I get hired for this job? Clearly, I am "not a professional makeup artist," and please replace me "as soon as possible." Some how, the 2nd model I did was "FLAWLESS" and "absolutely stunning." so I was atleast praised for one of the two models.
I could go ON and ON about this particular experience, but I don't think it is necessary to sit here and whine or gossip about what happened. What I do feel is that I want to share this experience with my peers, family members, aspiring artists, and anyone else reading this. I have had very very few experiences where someone made me want to cry...and this was for SURE one of them.
Knowing how to deal with situations like these is incredibly hard. I had to keep telling myself, "Don't walk out, don't walk out. Don't cry, and don't get upset." I honestly sat there with a smile on my face and said, "Okay! Well I am here if you feel like we could try another look." even though I was shaking of anxiety and holding back my tears. The words said to me were hurtful and in some ways degrading. I felt so small. Funny thing is, the photographer thought what I did was great, as did the model.
The reason why I chose this quote for today was because, at the end of the day, the client LOVED everything I did with the 2nd model (phew!) and told me she wanted to send more work my way. Walt's quote is exactly what I did- I made sure that I was more on top of it than ever and I truly feel that because I handled it with the biggest smile on my face, I stood out. I think A LOT of people would have walked out, or atleast lashed back out toward the client who was verbally attacking me. This business can be soooo incredibly hard when you come by these situations. At the end of the day, you have to make the experience for everyone memorable in the best way possible. Whether that be a positive attitude, creating laughter, being open to criticism, always staying on top of it, not leaving when situations get miserably hard, etc.
It's okay to make mistakes, it's okay to be told your work is horrible. Make sure before you get in this industry that you know this! It's a learning experience, My learning experience was that I need to practice men's hairstyling more. I'll admit..part of me still wants to cry. haha! But that's the experience of it all! It comes with the territory. So all of you ladies and gentlemen out there, prepare yourselves! And as for all of you who are reading this that are not in the industry: KNOW that this industry is NOT easy, its not glamorous, and these artists who you see working on movies and magazines have gone through hell and back with similar experiences. Never under estimate what we do behind the camera.
On a positive note, at the end of the day, the client raved about how much she loved my work. Plus I got to work with one of the most sought-out photographers from Milan. Even when times are hard like these, I always remember why I got into this career. Never let your ego get to you
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!