I wanted to shake up my life and go sailing (or learn on the job, so-to-speak) so headed to Florida to crew on a catamaran. This is about how it went or, rather, didn't - and my life since. Hopefully it will lead to a catamaran on the clear aqua blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, watching the sunset, a coconut rum and coke in hand. You must START AT THE BEGINNING of the blog, April 2009, to get the whole story...

Monday, June 21, 2010


As I mentioned on an earlier blog, a friend in the industry who is a Makeup Key offered to bring me onto one of her shows if I wanted to and if I got kitted up. So I spend the next few months getting a kit together, as I have nothing from my early days doing hair and makeup other than I buy a new pair of scissors every 5 years or so. It cost a bloody fortune! Fortunately, Tana knew of a makeup wholesaler in Burnaby so I purchased most of my actual makeup, and the train case, there. And she gave me a lot of MAC foundations she no longer uses as well as a big Rubbermaid bin full of hair tools and products. I still manage to drop several hundred more dollars in various drug and department stores and the final bill comes out somewhere around $1,400. YIKES!

Then I wait for the chance to use all of my new goodies. I use some on myself, to experiment with different and more up-to-date products and colors than I normally use. I also do the makeup of two friends, one my age and one half my age, just to refresh my memory of how to work on someone else. Then I wait some more.

I finally get a call from Tana. She is working on a show called One Angry Juror and there is a lot of cast as well as a big group of extras. She needs help and, because most of the cast is black, wants to know - am I up for it? I tell her 'I sure am' and then head back to the stores to drop another $600 on makeup for black skin.

When I show up on my first day, there's no room for me in the makeup trailer so I have a station set up in 'extras holding'. The 3rd AD brings me my first cast member and it's a white man playing 'Judge #1'. I need to give his hair a bit of a trim and shave his neck as he's far too scraggly to be a judge. Then I get onto his makeup and - 20 minutes later - he's all done. I'm not nervous at all, in fact, I just fall right back into it and love it.

The second cast they bring me is another white man. This time one of the jurors with a speaking part. As I get started in, I began to wonder if I needed to buy all that makeup for black skin. I have worked with this actor before, several times, one being on a series so we have a great chat. I had recently sent him a script I wrote as one of the main characters was written for him. He loves the script and hopes it gets made. So do I! And, if it does, I hope he gets the part.

Juror 'Eric' done, I wait for my third cast and take the time to get acquainted with the other makeup assistant, Jenna, who is fresh out of school and volunteering on this show. She is making sure all the background are looking camera ready. They are supposed to show up that way, but often they need a bit of touching up or a lipstick change. Jenna is a really sweet girl and I will really enjoy her company in the week to come.

My third cast member arrives, another juror, and he's black! Finally I get to use my makeup. Then he hands me his own foundation. Oh well! I get to use my concealers and powder on him.

The fourth is also a black juror but he only needs a swipe of anti-shine all over his face. That takes all of 2 minutes.

I head upstairs with my chair and a touch-up bag for my four guys and then proceed to spend the most relaxed day I have ever experienced on set. When I am script supervising, there's not a moment I am not 'on'. It's just non-stop attention, pressure, and stress all day. And many a time I have looked behind me at the makeup and hair department, flipping through magazines as they chat about whatever, and envied their position. Today, I get to know what that feels like and it feels fabulous. And, sure, I am getting paid less to do this than to be a Key, but not much less and certainly not enough to account for the difference in responsibility and pressure. I assume that, on a union show, the makeup assistants rate is not as close to the script supervisors as they are on these independent MOW's as I make a whack more money script supervising union than non union. But then maybe they do as well.

All I know is this; walking from my car to the house at the end of a long day doing makeup, I am nowhere near as exhausted as I am when I've script supervised all day. And all I have to do when I get in is wash a few brushes instead of another hour of paperwork. So I am thinking a change in careers is in the wind for me. I will take as much of either jobs I get offered, but if a makeup offer coincides with a scripting offer, guess which one I will take?

OH... and I got a wrap gift on the last day (I worked 4 days) from Tana. THAT never happens when I am a script supervisor!! (I must say that I HAVE gotten a Tiffany's Blue Box, twice, from a very dear Director friend (the one I went to see in Palm Springs for Christmas) while working on shows with him so I can't complain.)

AND... I got to work the second two days in the makeup trailer. SO GREAT!!

I think I might have re-discovered my working passion.


  1. Sounds like great fun! If you are multi talented then you will likely get more work I would think. Nice to have options.

  2. It's always good to have a plan "B". Glad you enjoyed it so much.


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