Monthly Archives: September 2012

Are you an Effective Makeup FX Artist?

The new furniture was delivered in August for The Makeup FX Workshop. A swish new boardroom table and chairs, a couple of glass display cabinets, and five big bookcases for the offices.

Picking up piles of books and magazines from the floor that has been their repository for the last few weeks, and re-homing them in nice neat clusters on otherwise empty shelves is a very happy-making activity, and it got me thinking.

Organisation is an essential part of doing a good job, in any field, yes? A crucial… well, do you call it a virtue, a trait, or a skill?

However you arrange the words, organisation is crucial to being able to sustain a career in Makeup FX.

Whether it’s organising your kit so you can find things exactly when you need them, organising your time effectively in preproduction, organising the workspace, organising your workflow to sculpt, mould and make your appliances, and then, finally, being organised onset so you get your actors ready on time, if you don’t have the ability to systemise, arrange, and control your actions, you wont last long in this business!

But what is organisation, exactly, and how does it translate into action?
I have met many people throughout my life who devoted what seemed like most of their lives to being ‘organised’, with colour-coded everything and cross-referenced lists and categories that would put the Dewey Decimal System to shame. Entire retail chains exist dedicated to selling prettily coloured stationary and filing systems, and the self-help section in any larger bookstore will have an entire shelf devoted to systems of organisation that purport to change your life in ten chapters or less! However, being able to arrange your possessions according to category and need, pack a suitcase without creasing anything, or make and freeze a weeks worth of meals in one go, while undoubtedly EFFICIENT, doesn’t necessarily translate into being an EFFECTIVE use of your time and resources.

In short: It doesn’t matter how good you are at completing a task, if the task itself isn’t one that is helping you achieve your goals!

What’s the difference between Efficient actions and Effective ones?

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How Do You Make Contact With People Who Can Employ You?

When beginning your Makeup FX career, the perennial problem is this: Exactly  how do you go about getting someone to give you a chance to prove yourself?

Brimming with confidence in their newfound abilities (or not…) most people think their best chance to get into the business is to get noticed by a powerful and influential Makeup HOD (Head of Department).  Once having read your compelling introductory email, this person, of course, will immediately recognize that your passion and dedication sets you apart from all others, and will immediately make you their indispensable assistant and trusted 2IC  for the next five years. This will employ you full-time, and allow you to live the high life on the type of wages you could once have only dreamed of.  Until one day, while she/he is indisposed, you are asked to take their place, and you cruise your way to your first Award Nomination…

Or not…..

Firstly, if that is the life you imagine for yourself, then before you do anything else, please go and read So You Want To Be A Makeup FX Artist, Parts 1,   2, and 3.  

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