Saturday, August 22, 2009

I Wanna Be an MUA: How to Get Gigs

I was recently asked how I continue to secure gigs so since my posts have been lacking as of late I figured it would make an ideal post.

When I first started to take being a makeup artist seriously I had absolutely no idea where to start. A few folks suggested Model Mayhem so I checked it out and I immediately felt like a fish out of water...

Tip 1: We are our own worst critic, dont doubt yourself.

No my portfolio, or lack thereof, wasnt up to par with many of the makeup artists on MM but I didnt let that deter me. I landed my very first gig from a Model Mayhem casting call that just so happened to be with a big time company.

I now had a reputable company to list on my resume. I decided to then venture to the internet for more research on possible gigs. My 2nd casting call was to be a part of the makeup artist team for an independent film being shot in the area. I contacted the producers and set up a meeting

Tip 2: Be available

A lot of the time that is all it takes. They need someone with the work ethic, minus the attitude, who is available to get the job done. I pride myself on this. I have a work ethic that just wont quit. I wholeheartedly believe this is the reason I continue to get jobs (both paying and unpaid) Yes I can do it, yes I will be there-I make a way out of no way and trust at times it is really hard but I have an awesome support system and they believe in me. During those times I find myself second guessing I think about them and it keeps me going.

Tip 3: Know your sh!t

Instead of just being a part of the makeup team for that first film, the producers believed in me enough to let me serve as the key artist and build a team of artists. It was my first time on a set but I did so much research you would think I was writing the movie. The resources are there, you just have to seek them out.

So Im gathering experience, but I still dont have a portfolio. Every summit, class, workshop I take pushes the importance of a portfolio. Well you know what? I didnt get a real portfolio until February of this year! Ive been operating as a freelance artist for over a year.

Tip 4: Hustle hard!

Networking is your friend. You MUST know that and you MUST practice it frequently. Twitter has been an awesome resource. Social media in general is a dynamic tool available to just about everyone. Use it wisely and watch the opportunities stack up.

Tip 5: Practice Humility, you are never too good for a gig

You never know what one gig will lead to. Even if you dont have the best experience it still may lead to one great picture for your portfolio, one more experience to add to your resume, a chance to talk with someone who is interested in working with you on another project. I dont turn down anything! I use vacation time, I borrow someone's car if need be, I drag my kit on the metro, I make it a POINT to try and do everything in my power to make it to a gig or shoot. Once the calls/emails stop, you are done.

Tip 6: Share the wealth

I know a lot of artists who want to break into the industry and whenever I hear about something that they could work on I extend the invitation. Even if they cant make it to that particular one I keep asking. If I havent spoken to them in a while I try to reach out and ask if they are still pounding that pavement and trying to make it work. The fashion industry in general can be cut throat and I have no desire to engage in that foolery. If I can help you in any way I will, plain and simple.

I wish I had some magic answer for how to make this thing work but the truth is I dont think there is one. Some people want the money and fame, a lot of my gigs are unpaid, my "money" comes in the form of pics for my portfolio. Some want to work with celebrities, to each his/her own. Weddings, runway, editorial, film, television there are so many avenues to take. Right now my focus is to try my hand at each and THEN determine which one I want to focus on solely IF I even decide to narrow it down.

Take the tips Ive listed and apply them to your goal. I hope this helps, we can always discuss further - so if you have any questions feel free to hit me up! I didnt have someone I could go to and ask when I chose to embark on this so I am more than willing to help anyone who wants to chat.

I leave you with an image from a shoot I did recently. Peace y'all.

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