[ ARTS ]







By Reena Dutt
Arizona Daily Wildcat
May 1, 1997

Have no fear, makeup is here

"All right you have five minutes to turn Danny DeVito into Winona Ryder. For the next scene we want you to scar her face in 123 places, after which we're shooting her before any of the scarring crap happens. Get it? Got it? Good."

Yes, my life as a makeup artist takes me from latex flesh to Cover Girl and back to fake, bloody flesh in minutes. The only relaxation I get is when I'm not volunteering to do a job. Wait till I'm in the real world! Right now, I can play around at student films and practice what I will be doing for a living less than a year away.

Working in student films can be fun, but sometimes the confusion is frustrating. Since the directors of these films sometimes do not consider a style for the makeup, they often leave it up to me. So when I get a new job I think to myself, "Hmm . should I go for an I-live-breath-eat-and-die-the-Earth look, or should I settle for the I'm-a-whore-from-hell appeal? Oh! A horror film? Shit!" That is when my plans change to latex, fake blood and a choice of gory accessories.

Of course after spending an hour on an actor, the director decides he has an idea that completely conflicts with the finished makeup job. That's when I think that mental telepathy would be useful. Some of the people I have worked with have no communications skills at all. They start with gestures and noises to describe what they want their actors to look like. I rarely expect my efforts to match the director's Plan B.

At this time, I am forced to change my identity to "Makeup!". Yes, hollering for "Makeup!" becomes a tradition on any movie set. One set I worked on included hollering for "Lights! Sound! Makeup! Sex!" The call for "Makeup!" seems to have remained the most popular out of the four.

Makeup artists deal with several mediums, whether it be with the makeup they use or the people they deal with. When I confront an actor or actress who relies on T Ar 115 (Theater Makeup) for their film shoot, I usually go to my Let's-Make-A-Statement-Plan. I sometimes "smudge" the eyeliner, "forget" the lipstick, use kohl instead of blush for cheeks after all, I too am a student, and this is my time for experimentation, right?

What I am excited about is working in the horror genre. This has not happened yet, but scarring up self-absorbed actors and creating a fleshy scene seems pretty interesting. It should be fun creating extensions on people's bodies and deforming other parts. It's all in good, wholesome and entertaining fun, of course.

On the other hand, my only problem is once my days of volunteering and interning are done, will I simply become another segment of the Starving Artist Coalition? Who knows. (Music Begins: National Anthem) As long as actors are oily and liquid latex exists, I shall fear not. I shall continue with my rage of makeup brushes and liquid eyeliner on the streets of any accessible country with high employment percentages, because I was born to work in film . yeah!

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