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'Beetlejuice' and TV's 'Lost' Makeup Expert offers advice
Posted: 04/06/2012

This advice from Makeup Artist Steve La Porte is always worth reposting. 

By Steve La Porte, Journeyman Make-up Artist for TV’s ‘Lost’

• Always be aware of the need to get your actors out of
the trailer and to the set in the morning. It’s OK to
be social but keep it brief. You’ll have all day to tell
them that great story.
• Usually the morning make-up or hair session is the
actor’s safe place to be. It sets their mood and starts
off their workday. Keep that in mind if you have visitors
or want to share your personal problems which
should be left at home anyway.
• Be ready to leave for set at a moment’s notice. Don’t
waste time packing up all your stuff. Have a second
standby case ready-and-waiting.
• Always let the ADs know when your actors are fi nished
& have them notify you when the actors are departing
for set. In addition, if an actor leaves the trailer unfi nished,
let it be known that you need them back.
• When you’re on set, pay attention. Don’t wander off
to craft service out of hearing range or view of the set.
If you need to step away, let someone know and if you
have an actor’s bag, pass it off to another fellow artist
to cover for you. Let them know any issues regarding
your actor—like, needs spritzing, lip balm, etc.
• Don’t sit in the chairs at the monitors unless you have
one with your name on it. That’s for the director,
producers, DP, etc. If you must see the monitor, do
so discretely or try the sound cart. If you didn’t do
your job right before it got on camera, watching the
monitor isn’t going to fi x it. And by all means, don’t
talk around Video Village. Take it elsewhere.
• Do your touchups early and only when needed. Don’t
annoy your actors or ADs by constantly running in
for touchups. It makes them self-conscious and makes
you look like you didn’t get it right the fi rst time.
“Last touches” means just that. In addition, note the
camera shot. Whether it’s wide, close up or even on
your actor, can save you some embarrassment.
• Before spraying hairspray or anything aerosol, be aware of
where the camera is. You don’t want to get any mist on the 
camera lens. Be sure to call out “SPRAYING” BEFORE 
spraying anything. 
• Before stepping onto the steps that lead up to the makeup 
trailer be sure to call out “STEPPING UP” so the artists 
inside can be prepared and careful around the actors’ eyes. 
The trailer will rock when anyone steps on the stairs and we
don’t want to poke anyone’s eyes out! 
• Cell phones OFF or on vibrate! Trust me. I’ve entertained
the crew with the “Get-It-Out-of-My-Pocket
& Turn-It-Off Dance” on several occasions. Enough

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