an open letter

Dear make up enthusiasts and artistes

Earn your craft.  

I have spoken to people who are excited about their burgeoning career in make up artistry and want to work in a way that makes an impact (without knowing what that means), they want to do film and TV but don't have the skill set required, but thats OK because they will learn it on site. 

No.  Just no. 

You cannot jump on the bandwagon of someone elses marketing and hard work and think that they are doing it so can you.  It doesn't work that way.  I do male grooming and have done the Bollywood thing, its not as easy as throwing your cap in the ring and joining a few groups on Facebook, its an industry with a set of looks, parameters and a style of its own that you cannot begin to understand without researching it.   

Learn that there is a difference between genres, by that I mean bridal is different from fashion, runway is different from print which is in turn different from TV and film.  

Each one has a different skill set and requirement. 

Yes there are some crossover areas but you need to be able to identify them first not just decide "well I'm really enthusiastic I will just watch youtube." 

This is an earned craft.  I spend my downtime researching: reading books, trying techniques and working through my business info.  There is no off switch.  I  can go from 2 days on a short film to 5 days of writing and management work, its more than just cleaning my kit and waiting for the next bride.  Its a business, I also research and learn about the industry greats such as Max factor, the Westmore clan, Clara Bow and Louis Brooks.  

I appreciate you want a job that has a satisfaction level, glamour (if you find it tell me) and is meaningful, whatever that means. That does not entitle you to jump in and start painting faces, you need to know your brands, your techniques, identify problems, know the difference between a 20's upper class look and a 30's middle class, that means digging into archives research and not as I have seen done so many times watching a movie SET in that period.   That does not work.  

I have said this so many times and it never seems to sink in.  If you have never done the job and have nothing to show, then don't fake it till you make it.  You are making yourself look bad and the rest of us as well.  Pass the job to someone else and ask if you can be an assistant.

Being an assistant is a good way to learn and actually gain something.  You will be working on something that will ultimately give you a new skill set AND if you are smart about you will get booked again, assistants do get paid for the work they do and you get noticed, it also means you are networking. 

Ultimately you are entering into a BUSINESS arena and need to respect that.  Put the tools in place that will help you grow and OK it may take longer but you will have earned the skill set and as a bonus you will know how to do the job right, because your business will grow with you.  



A disgruntled old artiste.