We have asked our BAMM Alumni to write a blog of their choosing and the first one to arrive is from Leanna Biggs who tells us her inspirational story. We’re so immensely proud of her and proud to have helped her realise her dreams!
Makeup is something I’ve had a passion for since I was a child, but never considered it as being a viable career option for me, until recent years. Growing up in a theatrical family, I was able to do what a lot of little girls dream of, and regularly plaster my face with lots of ridiculously over-the-top eye-shadow, blusher, lipstick and (literally) cans of glitter spray, before treading the boards in front of 100s of people. Meanwhile, my friends of the same age were confined to their bedrooms to experiment with painting their face, pretending to be a ‘grown up’. It was quite simply brilliant and I loved it!
As I got older, when I came to decide what career I might like to opt for, I knew I wanted to do something related to the arts in some way and I always thought I would go down the acting route. However, I ended up doing a few short (2 day) makeup courses in my late teens, due to the fact my mum owned a fancy dress shop and stocked Grimas makeup, so this entitled her ‘staff’ (!) to various training. Well, that was it – I was hooked and that was what I wanted to be: a makeup artist. Done. Dusted. Sorted. Or so I thought…
Obviously nothing is ever as easy as it seems and things didn’t quite go to plan; there was nowhere in the South West of England to train at that time and I didn’t want to move to London, because my mum and dad pointed out that we’d have to sell my horse if I did! Hindsight is a wonderful thing because looking back, they would never have gone through with it as he was a treasured part of the family! Needless to say, it didn’t work out for me at that time and I ended up in an office job. Well done me. I never let go of my dream completely though and kept up my interest in makeup – I was able to get my ‘fix’ in several ways, by doing theatrical makeup, among other things, every so often.
About 17 years later, and with an 18 month old son, I was feeling massively unfulfilled in my job and decided to start some half-hearted investigations into what else was out there for me to tackle. BAMM had literally just opened and I do believe I screeched rather loudly, in delight, and my heart was pounding as I read their website and what was on offer. Plus, rather significantly, it was in my home town. It surely had to be a sign, right…?!
I booked onto the Bridal Hair & Makeup course and loved every minute. I thrived as a mature student (although I still felt like an over excited 18yr old as I arrived at BAMM every day) and I’ve not looked back since. With the support of my amazing family, which, although they don’t quite know it yet, includes the backing of my 2 children, the dream has slowly become a reality after all this time. I’ve had the pleasure of working with some beautiful brides and their families, delivered personal makeup tutorials, helped party and prom-goers to look and feel beautiful and am about to embark on my first short film. I’m also adding to my existing skill set by training in prosthetics and special effects, which I’m so excited about.
Corny as it may sound, this has been one long journey, but one I am so proud and happy to have been on and it’s nowhere near over. I’d almost given up all hope of having a career in something I’m truly passionate about, but it just goes to show that even when your aims and goals seems almost impossible to achieve, don’t take no for an answer and keep going – you just might get there!
You can follow Leanna through her Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/leannabiggsmakeup
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