Catch up with Victoria, another BAMM graduate who has had great success in the film industry since graduating at BAMM. She kindly took some time out this week to let us know how she is doing.
When did you decide you wanted to be a makeup artist?
I don’t think I had made a conscious decision to become a makeup artist until I met Mel at BAMM and started talking to her about the school and what the courses, specifically the Peter Swords King TV & Film course involved.
I had never been that interested in what I thought of as ‘makeup makeup’ – I was always of the opinion that people looked better ‘naturally’. So it wasn’t until after I spent some time talking with BAMM I really began to understand how much more there is to becoming a makeup artist, especially when working in the areas of Film, Television & Theatre.
I went away and did a lot of research into the different schools, the courses they offered & the tutors they used and very quickly decided BAMM was one of the best schools and for me the fact the tutors who teach there are some of the best was very important.
The TV & Film industry moves so quickly & is constantly evolving, that being taught by professionals who were are still at the top of their game because they had moved with the times and are still continuously learning themselves, was very important to me.
Did you have any particular field you wanted to specialise in?
When I began, not really. I hadn’t had any experience in any of the areas that we were learning about so it was fantastic for me to experience and see what each element of the course had to offer. However, by the end of the course, I had a very strong sense of where I wanted to go. Having said that, I also felt it was very important in the early days to take as much experience in as many areas as I could, which I did and still now do now: looking at every work opportunity as a learning platform even if it’s an area I know I don’t want to settle in.
What was your favourite bit?
I had quite a few but if I had to narrow it down, Period hair, character makeup and script breakdown.
What was your first job following training?
Unbelievably, I got my first job whilst we were having celebratory drinks, the Friday we graduated from BAMM! It was an opportunity that came into the BAMM agency and I replied directly to the German film company, who were looking for 2 MUA’s to work on a period drama being filmed in Bath.
I felt so excited and nervous at the same time and without a doubt had a sense of ‘they will definitely want somebody with at least some experience, not somebody who has literally walked out of school that day…’ but I remember asking Mel ‘do you think its too big a job for my first one?’ and her reply was ‘No! You have been taught & put into practice everything that they are asking for, this is how you will learn and grow; go for it!” I did and I got the job!
I will always remember that amazing feeling of ‘wow! This is my new career and it’s starting now!
How long after leaving BAMM did it take you to get a foot in the door & how did you get your in?
Following my first project with the German film company I just got my head down and took every opportunity that presented itself, many of which were unpaid. I took every opportunity to network and meet people, to learn from their work.
BAMM graduates are also very fortunate to have access to the projects that come through the BAMM agency, so I replied to every one of those; I knew I wouldn’t get every project that came up through my contacts or through BAMM but its so important to keep applying and keeping your profile on peoples radar.
The work in this industry certainly doesn’t just ‘come to you’ and you can’t sit there ‘expecting’ to be given opportunities just because you have trained; there are lots of great artists out there who still have to work hard to source their projects and work, its definitely not a career for those who want to rest on their laurels!
What have been your highlights?
Again, I have highlights from each project & I always come away having made a new friend or contact. Some of the most memorable to date though has been working at sea on boats, filming cars racing around London on night shoots, having the opportunity to run crowd on a Bollywood movie and more recently to meet some very nice actors in the new Spiderman movie?
I also feel one of the most important highlights has been building a strong friendship-group with other MUA’s. We have worked on a number of projects together, each helping and supporting the other and knowing you have a pool of reliable and capable colleagues are great when work comes in that you are unable to do; you have people you know & trust that you can put forward.
Anything you would change?
More days in the month so I can say yes to more work?
What advise would you give to your younger self?
I so wish that I the possibility of becoming a makeup artist and all that the role involves had been put on my radar before now. It’s is such an amazing career, that gives you the opportunity to travel, use skills that you didn’t know you had and meet some amazing people!
What’s the dream?
To carry on doing what I’m doing but more of it! I love the variety of TV and Film and fully intend to get as close to Tom Hardy as I possibly can; isn’t that every MUA’s dream?!
Thank you BAMM!