Thursday, 9 January 2014

Becoming a make-up artist for TV/film

Hey lovelies!
I thought this post might be quite useful for those of you that are interested in a career within the TV/film Make-up industry, as some of you may know I dipped my toe into the area for a couple of years and although sadly I don't do that anymore :( (a huge crappy story that would be another post) I did pick up some useful tips which I hope will be helpful. I know I was massively confused at how to get into the whole business and what the job involved before I trained and would have loved a bit of advice so here goes....

Hard work, but it's all good fun!!!


There is no set rule that says you have to have formal training to be a Make-up artist at any level, some of the biggest names in the business are self taught. Make-up for television is an area I'd say it's essential to have some formal training just so you aren't thrown in at the deep end there are other things other than just application to factor in ie continuity, breaking down scripts, lighting etc.
Media make-up courses, are a great way to learn from professional media artists and get your foot in the door they also provide a support network which is fantastic when you first start out working on sets and need to call in some emergency advice! These courses do tend to be pricey (we're talking a house deposit lol) and if it's not an option for you then getting a basic make-up qualification at college and doing your research into TV/film make-up will start you on the right path. (I've included a few helpful links at the end of this post)
I recommend finding a MUA that is working within the media and needs an assistant or applying for jobs through production companies as a runner they're great ways to learn the ropes, get some experience and build up a reputation within the industy...


Massively important, I cant stress this enough  in such a large industry it's surprising how close knit it can be if you gain a bad reputation with a production company it's quite likely that word will get around and you will decrease your chances of being hired by others.
I don't mean to scare you but you have to be willing to put your heart and soul into this job, it's not just a case of showing up on set with a palette and a make-up brush or two, applying a bit of powder and going home, days on tv/film sets are long (18 hours a day is quite normal) you can't be stroppy and sulky or have a bad day you really do have to show your passionate enough, (which is easy when you are) you need to show up on time at all times, bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to work hard and prepared to be a team player even when you feel like crap, otherwise you will be stepped on by some other up-comer who will take your place gladly. 

It's not about the money

I remember while I was training I googled 'how much money does a TV make-up artist get' and declaring to my Dad that I was going to be super rich soon and promising to buy him an Audi.......I however had probably landed on Stephen Moleski's bio and got carried away!
In fairness it's not a bad chunk of change once you get established, like I said above you have to be prepared to work hard just for the sheer love of the job when you start out, you also have to expect to be paid nothing I mean zero, in fact depending on the budget of the production company, you end up paying out more than you earn in some cases (petrol, accomodation, products etc) which obviously isn't ideal for most people who have bills to pay, in short you will need to be supported in the beginning while you build up your reputation to allow you to work away from home for long hours without bringing home the bacon.

Excited much???

Go for it!

If you really want to go into the TV/film area of make-up, and your lifestyle permits it, but you are (understandably) nervous about starting out in what might seem like a big scary world, honestly I promise it really isn't so scary (and that's coming from miss anxious/scared of everything here) once you get stuck in, you will meet some really interesting characters, make new friends and have some truly amazing experiences. In my opinion it is the best job in the world!

I really hope this has helped some of you and I haven't missed out anything important, if I have and there's anything you want to know leave me a comment or email me and I'll try my best to help you out!

Sites to check out


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