All of you ladies and gentlemen out there who are considering this career, please do not take this photo lightly. I am probably on that second loop that you see up there; just coming off of the backwards loop, dipping down and getting ready to hike back up the even BIGGER loop. This isn't to discourage anyone by ANY means. I think this photo is probably accurate for nearly every creative job there is out there. Someone actually told me a few years ago that freelancing as a hair/makeup artist is by far the hardest career to sustain and only 3% actually stay freelance. That's pretty crazy.
If there were a poster for this film...This would be it! It's only missing one thing. Me on the left side, all happy and joyful. And then me on the right in real-life...Crying because I can't pay my bills...
The next time you see a major hair/makeup artist in TV, a movie, or in a big magazine...Remember this photo. Every artist has their own personalized roller-coaster.
This is the start of something very exciting:
My name is Amber Talarico. For those of you who do not know me, I am a freelance hair and makeup artist in Los Angeles, CA. I work in both film and fashion, mostly in film. I am from Indiana, and decided to take the big move back in February of 2012. I knew this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I researched, stayed up countless hours to read or watch how the big artists do what they do, and I networked like crazy. I wanted to do so many big things in my career! I was willing to do whatever it takes. To make a long story short, I graduated from cosmetology school in 2009, stayed in Indiana for a grueling 3 more years, and then fled to California in 2012 and attended makeup school.
Since I graduated makeup school, I have accomplished many things in my career in which I am thankful and very, VERY grateful for. But let me tell you one thing: it is NOT EASY. I still struggle, work for free, and have weeks where I have no work at all. With that being said, a year and a half ago, I came up with the idea of showcasing these hard times to give a truth to what we go through as artists. There is no easy answer or way to get your "big break" ....unless you are Steven Spielberg's niece.
My goal with this film is to bring light to the true ups and downs. Not only that but inspire those who truly want to do this as a career. Some of you may be reading this and have a big dream of doing hair or makeup in film/fashion, maybe some of you just think it's super cool what we do and are interested in the process of it all-- How is it that we do a 30 day film shoot with zombies and shoot it all completely out of order according to the script? How do we make someone who is naturally beautiful look like they're cracked up on heroin? What is it like at Fashion Week? What is it like being the department head for a major television show? Do you have to go to school to become a hair or makeup artist for film and fashion? And most of all: What exactly does it take to be a successful artist in this industry?
For the past year and a half, I have been directing/producing a documentary that not only answers all of these questions, but films the reality of it all. My goal with this film is to unveil certain aspects of this industry to aspiring artists who maybe didn't think about it before, and also to give ANY one in general a better understanding of how we do what we do. This industry is TOUGH. Trust me, it's not fit for everyone.
I can't express my excitement for my documentary coming to life. I can't wait to share with you this amazing journey that we all go through to get to where we want to be! I will be posting updates of the film through this blog pages as well as tips and tricks, progress videos, inspiration, and fun makeups. I hope you all are excited and eager to see what's in store!!!
**Keep your eyes out for our promo video coming soon!**
"All your dreams come true if you have the courage to pursue them"-Walt Disney
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!