Hair and Makeup Case Study

Kate Medland, Makeup Artist | June 2017

In 2011 Kate graduated from Christine Blundell Makeup Academy for Film and Television, since then she has worked on a variety of production in television and film.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired you to enter the TV industry?

Whilst at university studying Psychology and History (with the intention of becoming a teacher) I worked for the circus as a performer. I was always applying wigs and make up to myself and other performers. This coupled with a natural talent and creativity led me to explore my options further. I was always creative and at 26 decided to pursue this further….. I had been saving for a while, for a rainy day. Makeup up courses are not cheap!!!!!

What was the best piece of advice you were given by your tutors/teachers to prepare you for the working world?

Keep at it.

But my piece of advise, which I wish I’d known before I started…  Get your hair! Its far more important to be good at hair and than make up in this industry.

Did you take on any unpaid positions to gain experience?

Absolutely loads! I have never been so poor in my life, than the year after I finished my course. Id spent all my savings, was living in London and was constantly doing student films for experience, or work experience for no money…..

How long did it take you to get your first permanent paying job, and how long did it take you to consistently find paying work? 

I was lucky. One of my tutors offered me my first job. It was the following year.

What was your first impression of a studio set/ location shoot? 

It was on Sherlock Holmes 2 in the crowd room.  So many people involved to make one production and everyone working to get all the supporting artists out on time….

When working as a trainee what are your responsibilities, and what have you found hardest to master?

As a trainee your main responsibilities are organising the make up bus and continuity. Its extremely important! Taking good photos of the actors and filing them correctly, as we never shoot anything in order.

What set/location etiquette have you learnt that you think all new entrants should know? 

Respect other departments, we are all busy with a job to do…. Be aware of yourself on set. Don’t get in the way, there’s a hierarchy and as a trainee you’re not at the top. And dress appropriately. We work very long hours, you want to be warm and comfortable and look professional.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Getting the next job…… and meeting the people I love working with

Having a substantial amount of experience under your belt now, what advice would you give to those just starting out?

It’s a long slow road, hard work and long hours. You have to really want it. Working in film and TV you’ll be up at 5am, working 12 or 14 hours each day. It isn’t all glitz and glamour!

But if you do really want it you can do it. Its a competitive industry, so practice you hair skills, get qualified as a barber/hairdresser. Go to a reputable make up school and just keep at it…. Try and get as much work experience as you can. That’s how you meet people and hopefully get your first trainee job.

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