We are very lucky to have recently recruited the talents of Sharon Anniss. Sharon is invaluable as a BAMM tutor, not only because of her incredible talent and wide range of media makeup skills, but also because of her work ethic. As any great MUA knows, you get nowhere in this business without hard work, and Sharon is the ideal person to inspire students; she has the T-shirt so to speak!
How long have you been in the industry?
I have been in the industry for almost 16 years now.
How did you get into the business?
In the first instance, I trained as a hairdresser and always had an ambition to do hair in films & TV. So looked into how I could do it, and was advised to have makeup as an additional skill as well. Further to this, I researched a number of schools offering courses and then took out a bank loan to pay for my training at the Greasepaint School of Media Makeup.
After my course I worked incredibly hard to get work, coming from Devon made it even harder, so I wrote hundreds of letters to production companies asking for work experience. Eventually I got my first break working on a short film with Goldsmiths; another college for media studies. At that time I met a few people who recommended me for other projects and so the ball started rolling!
I worked for two years with no payment to gain valuable work experience of the industry and to make contacts. I had to juggle four jobs to help fund my commuting up and down to London for work and had some very understanding bosses! However all this hard work helped me to get where I am today; anything is possible if you put your mind to it and are prepared to work very hard.
What is the best thing about your job?
For me one of the best things about my job is the variety of people I get to work with and the variety of work I get to do. Every day is different to the last one, even if you’re working on the same scene. I also love the research involved in this job; whether it’s for a certain injury or a particular period, I find it fascinating and the bonus is that you are always learning.
What is the worst thing about your job?
The worst thing about my job is the extremely long hours and having to work weekends. A normal day – before you’ve even travelled anywhere – is 12 hours, and sometimes you may have to travel for at least an hour each way.
What you need to know about the industry is that, when you’re working on a job, it can feel like you have no life because your schedule can often get changed around at the last minute and you end up doing loads of overtime. If you’ve got plans made, the chances are you won’t be able to keep them. However, the good outweighs the bad tenfold!
What job stands out in your mind and why?
I think the job that stands out for me has to be ‘Waking the Dead’. I did this job for 5 series which took me over six years and on this job, the majority of the cast and crew stayed the same so we became a family really. We covered all aspects of makeup from different periods, major injuries and special FX as well as some major stunts and some very challenging scripts.
What are the perks of working in the industry?
The perks for me would be the sheer variety of jobs that I get to do and being part of such a creative industry.
Where in the world have you worked?
I have worked all over the country, fighting off midges in Scotland, to high winds on the edge of a cliff in Cornwall. One of my most memorable places though was when I went to Lithuania on ‘Waking the Dead’. We had to recreate some scenes from the 2nd World War, at a time when Hitler’s henchmen were capturing the Jews etc., which was quite harrowing. Also working with a foreign crew in a different country was really challenging.
What are your favourite brands?
Channel for bases, MAC for eyes, lips & cheeks, Dermalogica for skincare and Benefit and Bobbi Brown for a bit of everything!
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to work in your industry?
This industry is very tough just to get into, let alone sustaining a career in it, so it is not for the faint hearted. You have to be prepared to work all hours in all weathers and show that you’re willing to work incredibly hard and go that extra mile. The industry has become very fashionable of late and more and more people are coming into it, so the competition is extremely high, you have to work very hard indeed to make it a career. But if you have a passion for makeup, it is an industry that will fulfil all your dreams, both creatively and potentially, financially!
Which professionals do you admire and why?
I admire makeup designers who can create something out of nothing and who work well as a team. I think production designers have an amazing job to create a look of the whole piece and of course actors who make a character come to life.
What are your top 5 items in your makeup bag?
1. Bobbi Brown foundation/ concealer palette
2. MAC translucent powder
4. Pintail comb
5. Miniature vanity pot which contains; a nail file, nail clippers, nail scissors and tweezers.
I always have a bottle of hand sanitizer as well
Who are your top 3 models?
Claudia Schiffer, Grace Jones & Naomi Campbell