Makeup Artist | Kids Work!

What is a Makeup Artist?

The Makeup Artist applies makeup, hair and wigs to the performers that appear on stage. Understanding how to mix colors and different types of makeup are essential to altering the appearance of the actors. The makeup artist studies the script, works with the costume designer, and examines sketches and photographs to create the image of the character to be portrayed. Research skills are required to learn about a historical period, person or character. Some characters need prosthetics, rubber or foam parts that are added to change the shape of the actor's face and body (LEARN MORE). The makeup artist also creates charts with color keys for reference so the characters look the same for every show.

Real People Profile

Name: Kathy Waszkelewicz
Workplace: Disney's Beauty and the Beast U.S. National Tour  
Education: High School and cosmetology school.
Favorite Subject(s)
in School:
Art and math
First Real Job: Hairdresser
Dream Job: This is it! Staying in theater and film work.
Interests: Arts, sports and family.

Real People Q&A

Advice for students interested in my job:
Stay in school, keep dreaming and play with colors.

What subjects in school will students need to do my job?
Art, history and science.

What I like most about my job?
Knowing my craft so whatever comes in front of me, I know how to take care of it and keep everybody happy and looking good. When everybody goes out on the stage, everybody feels confident in what they have on and how they look, so therefore, whatever I do to them, they never have to worry about it and they can concentrate on their craft, which is singing, dancing and acting.

What is the biggest challenge in my job? 
Multiple personalities. We travel with a group of people and everybody is different and all of our needs are different. That's the most challenging part, knowing what you have to do for each person. If there's an emergency, we find out twenty minutes before curtain that a person isn't coming in and somebody has to go on in their place, we have to get them ready to go out there and that's challenging. And also, keeping in touch with family and friends because we're away from home, so writing skills and telephone calls come in, and that can get hard.

How do you get a job like mine? 
Learning to do makeup, having a concept of lighting and learning what certain colors of lights do to someone's face and colors of makeup. I started volunteering with the Connecticut Opera and I just kept making myself available for it. You learn as much as you can. You learn history because you need to know time periods. If I did a show and it's going to take place in the 1600s, I need to know what women wore on their faces and how their hair was, so all of those things and getting ready for it, so when someone says, "does anyone know how to do a certain style wig?" That person can say, "yes," and that's when they can start getting jobs.

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