Makeup Artists, Theatrical and Performance

An actor’s appearance is a major part of
his or her performance. Making the actor look right for the role is the job of the Makeup
Artist. Professional Makeup Artists work in TV, movies and live theater. They begin by
reading the script and learning details about the production. To create their designs, they
consider many factors, including the age of each character and the setting and time period
of the story. Artistic ability often comes into play. For example, they may be called
upon to make the actor look older…or younger. In addition to make-up, many artists deal
with hair as well, creating looks with wigs or fake beards and mustaches. They also design
rubber or plastic prostheses that can be used to change performers’ appearances. The Makeup
Artist is part of a bigger team of people that put a production together, and must be
able to work well with everyone. They consult with the lighting crew and the director about
specific makeup needs. Long hours, nights and weekends are part of the job. And a good
Makeup Artist will be standing by at all times for touch ups during performances. It takes
determination to succeed in this field. Many start by first taking classes in a vocational
school that teaches cosmetics. Then they get on-the-job training as an assistant to an
experienced makeup artist. It can take a long time to build your reputation, and to earn
good money. But the work can be exciting. Not all the stars are in the spotlight. You
can be a major player in any production as a Makeup Artist.

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