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The Competition That Changed My Life by Rebecca Marks


My story is a little different to others. I left school at 16 and did my A-levels in Art and Photography, as well as re-taking Maths (as I was pretty bad at it!). Following on from this, I did Beauty Therapy at Bath College and worked in a spa part time. However, I didn’t feel satisfied as I have always been a really creative person. One day, I looked on the internet for courses and came across Swindon College, where I applied and did the Degree Level Makeup Course.

Living in Bath, when I later heard about city’s new Makeup School: Bath Academy of Media Makeup and how prestigious it was, it was there that I wanted to go!  I took part in a competition that BAMM was running- a competition that would change my life forever…

I turned up and was so nervous- I have competed in makeup competitions before but this felt different.  There were a total of 16 of us finalists and we had just three hours to re-create our selected designs. Judged by Peter Swords King, the Oscar & BAFTA winning Hair & Makeup Artist responsible for films such as The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit, as well as Sam Thomson from The Body Shop International and the BAMM Principal, Melanie Crump, I couldn’t believe it when I won the competition! More than that, I couldn’t believe I had won a place on the flagship 15 week intensive Peter King TV & Film Makeup Course at this incredible school- a school which I could have only ever dreamt of going to!

The most incredible part of the Peter King TV & Film Makeup Course at BAMM had to be Prosthetics & Special Effects Makeup, which was something I didn’t think I would be any good at. Tutor Daz (Darren Longthorne) made me feel like anything was possible and he inspired me every day with stories he had from the many years he’s experienced in the industry.

Since leaving BAMM, I have worked as a Daily Makeup Artist on films such as Star Wars, as well as Transformers and every time I’m on set it makes me feel alive.  I smile from the minute I get there to the minute I leave! People have even asked me how I stay so happy staying up all night to shoot but when you have wanted this career for so long and you finally get it it’s like a dream come true.

I also want to share a story of being roped in as an extra. I turned up at a location to shoot, they didn’t have enough people to fill the background so me and my friend Lisa said we would do it. Unfortunately (or fortunately!) for Lisa they couldn’t use her as she had visible tattoos. But me … different story! Next thing I knew I was in a red dress, designer high heels and on set. It was such an incredible thing to do and an experience I will remember forever.

For those considering the Bath Academy of Media Makeup, being a BAMM student is amazing; the amount I learnt was incredible, I truly have made friends for life and am working in my dream career. I would (and do) recommend this course to anyone thinking about changing career, as well as to those just wanting to do the creative something they have always wanted to do.

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