What does a Makeup Artist Do?
In the portrayal of specific situations and time periods, the proper makeup can be essential. It helps to add a realistic feel and tone to the actors’ interpretations. As a makeup artist for theatrical and performance you would be responsible for helping to bring various scenes to life by applying specific types of makeup to different actors.
Makeup Artist Skills and Abilities
In order to provide quality service as a makeup artist you must possess certain skills and abilities. You must be skilled in various makeup techniques and have steady hands. Strong communication skills will also be helpful in speaking with the actors, directors and producers to make sure that everyone is on the same page with the type of makeup you should be applying. Creativity and problem solving skills will come in handy in those cases where you may be asked to create a unique look or when you run out of certain supplies. Sometimes you may have to duplicate previous makeup or add to it to show progression over time, which require strong attention to detail and memorization.
Makeup Artist Duties
Theatrical and performance makeup artists must apply a number of different makeup styles, including:
- Wounds and scars
You may have to conduct research at times to craft realistic depictions. Creating these different looks may require attaching prosthetics or other materials, and depending upon the production, you may have to maintain the items or apply makeup daily. You will also need to sanitize the various tools that you utilize throughout the day to ensure that none of the actors become contaminated. Many makeup artists work as freelancers and must perform business management tasks, such as answering calls and messages, setting appointments and bookings, creating and sending invoices, processing payments and more.
Makeup Artist Tools and Technology
Along with a makeup kit, you may also find other tools very helpful as a theatrical and performance makeup artist. Wigs, costumes and contact lenses are common items that aid in creating various characters. Depending upon the look that you are going for, you may also utilize air brushing. To help with continuity, you will also need a camera to take pictures of the actors in full character.In maintaining your business you will commonly need to utilize various technologies, such as:
- Internet browser
- Website management software
- Accounting software
- Photo imaging
Education and Training for Makeup Artists
There is no formal education required to become a makeup artist, though most artists do have at least a high school education. Those who are interested may attend various training classes that teach individuals how to do certain techniques, while others may learn from trial and error. Even if you have a natural gifting for artistry, obtaining some training will give you clout and help you advance in your career.
Makeup Artists Salary
The pay of a makeup artist can vary drastically. In 2014, the average recorded salary was set at $44,300. As with most service industries, all tips are usually not recorded, so you can expect the pay to be a bit higher. You should also keep in mind that the caliber and notoriety of both yourself and the production company that you are working with can be strong determinants in your pay.
Makeup Artist Jobs by Geography
States that are well known for acting and entertainment production, such as California and New York provide the greatest number of opportunities. However, there are other states, like Texas, Washington and New Jersey, that are experiencing growth. Being that it is a freelance career, you can strive to create your own opportunities wherever you go.