actress make up

How to Become a Theatrical Makeup Artist

February 8, 2017 by StageScreen - No Comments

For someone interested in cosmetics, a career as a theatrical makeup artist is an attractive idea. The opportunity to work within the performing arts sector, even if you aren’t actually out on the stage, is certainly exciting, and you will get to be creative as part of your job each day. But how do you get into this line of work? What experience and training do you need to be considered for such a position? The tips below should help you move in the right direction toward a career in theatrical makeup.

The Basics

To start with, you are going to need to graduate from high school (or an equivalent program). Without a basic high school education, you are going to struggle to find an opportunity in this (or any other) field. In addition to your high school diploma, you should also find training specifically in the field of cosmetology. There are likely schools in your area which offer cosmetology programs, so use the web to track down these locations and opportunities.

In addition to those educational basics, you are also going to want to have a background in theater. Even if your theater experience only comes in the way of classes at a community college, you will be able to call on that background as you work toward your desired career. It will be difficult to convince someone to hire you as a theatrical makeup artist if you don’t actually have any experience in or around the theater.

Practice, Practice, Practice

No skill in life comes without plenty of practice, and that is certainly true of theatrical makeup. If you are serious about this career path, do everything you can to practice your craft as often as possible. Ask friends and family members if they will serve as your ‘characters’ so you can practice applying real makeup to real faces. If you need inspiration, consider trying to imitate the makeup of some of your favorite characters from movies, TV shows, or the theater.

After you have developed your skills to at least a modest level, you may be able to volunteer to do work for a school or local theater group. At this point, you will still be learning your craft, so it may be too soon to land a paid position. However, this experience will be invaluable, and it will also help you to make connections in the theater world. It may only take a short time of volunteering with a theater production before you are ready to seek employment as a professional makeup artist.

When you are looking for opportunities to be paid for your work, be sure to keep an open mind. While it would be great to simply hire on full-time with a theater group, those job openings are going to be limited and difficult to secure. To supplement your income, you may be able to do makeup for events like weddings and other parties, or you could do makeup for professional photography. As long as you are open to various opportunities, you should be able to find plenty of paths to grow your career in the cosmetic industry.