The Power of Networking with Your Peers

I was recently told by an artist they didn’t feel like our networking events were working for them because it was “just a bunch of Makeup Artists standing around staring at each other.” Yes we are a network of Makeup Artists and if you attend one of our events you will find yourself in a room full of your peers. I think the real problem isn’t that our networking events are filled with a room full of other artists. I think the issue is that Hair & Makeup Artists are under the misconception that all fellow artists are just their competition. But here are the hard facts: most of your work is going to come from other artists.

1. Film & Television Hair/Makeup Artists work in crews and that crew has a department head or a key that will hire you (not the producer).
2. Makeup Artists often bring the hairstylist onto a project (and vice versa) so take the time to network with them.
3. Network with more established artists (they often need an assistant or extra person on a job).
4. There are many times I am unable to do a job and I pass off work to other artists I know and trust with my clients.

Networking is sometimes an uncomfortable thing. It forces you to step outside of your comfort zone and introduce yourself to strangers. It’s not that networking with your peers doesn’t work because it does. It usually isn’t working because either you feel too awkward to introduce yourself or you feel intimidated by other artists. Or maybe it’s not working for you because you just don’t know how to network.

1. You have to feel confident enough to introduce yourself to others.
2. Don’t be afraid to tell them what you do and ask to trade work with them.
3. Don’t just give someone your card and expect they will magically call you. You have to ask for their card, make a note on the back about where you met, and take the time to follow-up with them.
4. Don’t just keep bugging people for work. Take the time to build the relationship with them over a period of time (lunch, dinner, drinks, event invites).

If networking with your peers isn’t working for you then I would reevaluate your approach. Start by building your networking of peers with a group of five people. Pass off a job with one or two of them and see what starts to happen. I’m sure you will start to see your jobs increase. And if you don’t, you need a new network of artists (either ones who are working or know how to network). Take these steps and your career will turn a corner, I promise.


September 6, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Hair & Makeup Jobs, Hair & Makeup Marketing, Networking, Party Event, Working as a Hair or Makeup Artist. Leave a comment.

Stop Being Lazy & Start Networking!

I’m always amazed at the small turn out of Hair & Makeup Artists at our networking events. As you all my know, we co-hosted the opening night red carpet gala for the Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival. The event was a huge success! There must have been over 300 people at our event (most of which were filmmakers). Attendees included Sprague Hayden (24), Ileana Douglas, and Director Cheryl Hines. There had to have been over 200 filmmakers presents providing hair & makeup artists with optimum networking opportunity. Still the turn our for hair & makeup artists were low. I really don’t understand the mentality of today’s young professionals. There really seems to be this strange sense of entitlement with our peer group. It’s as if they expect that the work will just fall into their laps, or they believe that getting an agent will solve their problems. Agents certainly help, but there is not substitution for self-promotion. I have talked to agents and top artists alike, and the response is always the same. Agents from both Celestine and The Rex Agency have told me that an agent can only do so much. It would make their job easier if the artist would continue to network. I know an artist at Cloutier Agency who tells me that she needs to self-promote because her agency is only pushing the top artists.

People tell us that they would join our network if they could get work out of it. Our response is always the same. We are not an agency. We are a networking organization. Our job is to provide you with the tools for success by putting you in the same room with producers, directors, filmmakers like Cheryl Hines, and other celebrities so you can promote yourself. However, the work will not come to you unless you show up and participate. Ninety nine percent of all success if just showing up. If you are looking for a hand-out in this business, or if you are sitting around waiting for the phone to ring, you are in the wrong industry. You are self-employed which means it is up to you to bring in the clients. Job referrals will always come from people who know and like you, but that will never happen if you don’t get off the couch and build the relationship yourself. This is not an industry where you can just join a website and the work will start poring in. You must take control over your career and put some real effort into it if you want to be successful. So stop being lazy, stop waiting for the phone to ring, and start networking! For more information on our organization or networking events visit:

Photos from our Red Carpet Gala:

Michelle Lee
Makeup Maverick

April 2, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Hair & Makeup Jobs, Hair & Makeup Marketing, Networking, Party Event, Working as a Hair or Makeup Artist. Leave a comment.

How Do You Stay Possitive In Broken Economy?

Sometimes its just hard to stay focused and motivated in a tough job market. If you work in the entertainment industry, you will know that January an extremely slow time for work. So how do you stay positive when business is slow going? It might sound corny, but there seems to be some physical benefits to positive thinking.

I was working on an early morning gig before the holidays when I came across a book on set by Cheryl Saban, PHD entitled “What’s you self-worth? A woman’s guide to validation.” I thought, “oh great, another self-help book talking to women about their self-image.” Out of boredom I began to skim through the book and one chapter, “The Law Of Attraction” really caught my eye. I really liked her message so I’m going to share it with you: Dr. Saban wrote, “It has been documented & written about since the early 1900s and states that there is a physiological foundation for positive thinking. Based on the reality that there are many forms of energy and energy cannot be destroyed, the law of attraction suggests that you essentially attract to your life whatever you give your attention, energy, and focus to, be it positive or negative.

The of Law f Attraction states you can purposely project specific vibrations. So try vibrating these four things:

1. An aura of affection
2. Optimism
3. Openess
4. Positive Intension

When these four elements will collide, all manner of doors will open to you.” So you see, you create your own reality. If you believe there isn’t any work out there then there isn’t. If you believe you will have an academy award for best makeup/hair then you will. So focus only on what you want and why you want it. The rest is just a negative thought process that will keep you from moving forward. It is all up to you and what believe system you chose to subscribe to. Stay positive and keep your eye on the prize.

Michelle Lee
Makeup Maverick

January 25, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . Hair & Makeup Jobs, Hair & Makeup Marketing, Networking, Working as a Hair or Makeup Artist. 2 comments.

So How Will Going To A Networking Event Benefit Me?

I think I have actually heard all the networking stories and excuses. People have asked me, “So what exactly is a networking event, a party?” Or I have heard excuses of, “Oh I’ve gone to networking events and nothing happened.” Once a person called about one of our events asking, “If they thought if was worth it because they had gone to a Chamber of Commerce meeting once and she didn’t get any work out of it.”

So here is the answer about networking and networking events: what you get out of it is what you put into it. Yes, most of the time it is a cocktail party, but the people who attend the functions are there to connect will other people they can do business with. Networking events are not a a one time magic fix to your career. It is something you do in order to build relationship with other people. As we all know, great relationships don’t form over night. You have to build them over time. Our goal at The Hair & Makeup Artist Network is simply just give you the opportunity to meet people. What happens after that is totally up to you. Most people in this town think that they will just get an agent and their problems will be fixed. That isn’t necessarily true. Frank Moore, from the Celestine once told me, “It would make his job a lot easier if his artists would continue to network.” The job of self-promotion cannot just be on the shoulders of the agent. You are in charge of your career path in the end and it is you who must build the bridge with clients, agent or no agent.

He are the top ten mistakes artists make in attending networking events:

1. Not bothering to go
2. Showing up to an event with a friend and only talking to your friend all night
3. Not asking for the person you are talking to for their business card
4. Drinking too much at an event and leaving a bad impression on the people you meet
5. Not bothering to network with your peers as well as directors and producers (you peers can be a huge referral source)
6. Only listening to the guest speaker and leaving
7. Not remembering to bring business cards
8. Not bothering to continue to follow up with people you have met at a event
9. Only attending one or two events and deciding it isn’t going to work for you
10. Deciding you are above everyone in the room (you never know who is connected to who and how they might help you down the road)

I would say the number one reason that networking events don’t work for people is that they don’t follow up with who they have met. All of my guest speakers have come from my networking efforts. If it wasn’t for me being a member of Women In Film, I wouldn’t have ever met our publicity class instructor, Judy Sandra or Actress Sharon Lawrence. Sharon has not only been a guest speaker, she had referred me to other artists and helped out at our UBCF event. Networking events do work but not over night. You have to show up and follow up.

For more information on our organization visit or attend our February 1st industry mixer

Michelle Lee
Makeup Maverick

January 21, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , . Hair & Makeup Jobs, Hair & Makeup Marketing, Networking, Party Event, Working as a Hair or Makeup Artist. 2 comments.

How Do I Jump Start My Hair or Makeup Career?

So you just got out of school, so now what???? Starting any new career may seem overwhelming. That’s especially true when starting a career in fashion or entertainment. The competition is tough and to be successful you really need an entrepreneurial spirit. This means you have to understand how to self-promote. It isn’t an industry where you can just go onto job boards like Monster and apply for a job. You must advertise your services like a new business and network, network, network!

When I started my career as a Makeup Artist an entire fifteen years ago, I was living on the east coast in Virginia. In Virgina, it was easy starting out. I was the only Makeup Artist in the area with any formal training. This alone gave me the competitive edge. In Virginia, I just sent out resumes and followed up with a phone call. The local production companies took my calls because they didn’t have a lot of Hair or Makeup Artists calling them. The funny thing is that I didn’t even have a strong resume because I was fresh out of makeup school.

It wasn’t until I moved to Los Angeles ten years ago where realized I really had to work a lot harder to get the job. No one here cares if you have training because most people here do. In this market, its not about what you can do so much as what you have already done. In other words, it will be your portfolio or resume that will get you the job here. However, in order for you to get the job, you must know people who will actually be willing to look at your work. For every one makeup artist submitting for a position in L.A., there must be at least another 100 people with the same skills applying too. What will give you the edge is networking. You have to keep calling people, asking for a meeting, and asking everyone you know for a referral. Join every networking organization you can afford to like Women in Film, Film Independent, or The Hair & Makeup Artist Network, and attend all their events you can. The objective is to get people to know who you are, and once you have done that, don’t be afraid to ask for referrals.

If you are new to this industry or even new to this town, I suggest you try assisting to as many experienced professionals as you can. The reality is that Spielberg won’t be knocking down your door just because you finished school or rolled into town. There are plenty of experienced professionals that you have a lot to benefit from by assisting them. This is the best place to begin and it all starts with networking.

For more information on networking opportunities visit or check out our latest upcoming event at

Michelle Lee
Makeup Maverick

January 20, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Hair & Makeup Jobs, Hair & Makeup Marketing, Networking, Working as a Hair or Makeup Artist. Leave a comment.

It Pays To Give Back!

As you all may know, we recently teamed up with the United Breast Cancer Foundation to provide a day of pampering for women affected by breast cancer. Well, I’m proud to announce that our event made it into Makeup Artist Magazine!
Not only is our goal to provide fantastic networking opportunities, we believe in the importance of giving back to the community.

Future events in Los Angeles include our International Entertainment Networking Dinner as well as the opening Gala for the Los Angeles International Film Festival. Our international event will be a definite don’t miss event:

East Meets West!

Bring Your Business Cards, It’s Going To Be An Incredible Night!

Featuring Guest Speaker…
Television Makeup Department Head Jori Jenae

Jori has been working in the entertainment industry for over 20 years. She has been the makeup department head for hit shows such as:”Eastwick”, “House M.D.”, “Boston Legal, “The Cleaner”, “The Practice”, as well as many others.

Topic: Creating a lasting career in the entertainment industry, getting hired on a series, and being a department head on a hit show.

Speaking engagement will be followed by networking with actors, filmmakers, stylists, agents, and guest artists all the way from Japan.

$25 for Non- Members
(special rates for members)

Admission includes appetizers, full dinner, non-alcoholic beverages, as well as cocktails by Hypnotic and Pama Liqueur.

Event sponsored by

Must RSVP by Jan. 28th (limited space so don’t wait)

Call 323 913 9375 for reservations

Michelle Lee
Makeup Maverick

January 6, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , . Hair & Makeup Jobs, Hair & Makeup Marketing, Networking, Party Event, Working as a Hair or Makeup Artist. Leave a comment.

Networking To Increase Your Business

new photo of meIts been almost three two years since I started The Hair & Makeup Artist Network and it certainly has not been without its challenges. I think the most challenging part is that I have created something entirely new. When I say “new”, I means there isn’t anything out there quite like what we are offering. My vision is to start a network that offers one resource for all your freelance business needs. I envision a resource where there are networking events, information about what is happening in your area, marketing services, website design, business education, and business resources.

It’s hard being a freelance artist, and in many ways it can be very isolating. The problem is that artists aren’t business people, but the reality is that you are running a business. What’s even harder is trying to get artists to change the way they approach their craft. I have often heard artists complain that there isn’t any work or they feel that there isn’t any respect for the work they do. However, I have over and over again watched artists not show up for networking opportunities or behave in ways that aren’t professional. The reality is that no one is going to take you seriously if you don’t act like a business professional. You can’t sit back and wait for the phone to ring, you can’t rely completely on an agent to get you work, and you can’t make appointments with people then constantly reschedule and expect for someone to take you seriously. Working as a freelance artist is a business. If you want respect and if you want to work, you must learn how to run a business -period!

If you are not willing to self-promote then you need to chose another profession. Self-promotion is a very long term ongoing commitment. It’s not something you can do once or twice then quit once you have achieved your goal. It’s not something that you can expect to do one time and receive instant results from. You have to approach it like a business. Taco Bell has been a successful business for over 20 years yet they still continue to advertise. Why, they advertise so they can keep people coming back, and they want to attract new customers. They don’t put out one ad campaign and wait for people to come. It works they same way with getting work as a freelance artist. You have to keep advertising and networking. Networking is not something that necessarily generates instant results. It is a long term ongoing commitment to your business. You go to networking parties to meet people and build relationships. Relationships take time build. And just because the party you went to didn’t have Ron Howard begging for your card doesn’t mean it was a waist of time. You never know who knows who or where your next job will come from. Here are a few networking tips:

* Go to every networking party or dinner you can
* Pass out your card to everyone but more importantly get their business card
* Follow up with the people you have met right away and continue to stay in contact with them at least by email
* Don’t go to just one event and decide networking didn’t work for you
* It’s ok to spend money on networking – think of it as investment in your business
* Make sure you get a receipt for any thing purchased (food, drinks, networking admission) – It’s all tax deductible

We offer networking events every month. Next month we are co-sponsoring networking parties for both LA Femme Film Festival and Sreamfest LA. For more info visit:

Michelle Lee
Makeup Maverick

September 25, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Hair & Makeup Jobs, Hair & Makeup Marketing, Networking, Working as a Hair or Makeup Artist. Leave a comment.

Why Are Good Job Postings For Makeup & Hair Hard To Find?

michelle5I talk to so many artists who are in the industry and they are always looking online for job postings. Most of them will tell you that they go onto Craigslist, Myspace, Facebook, and other sites, but they just can’t find posting for high paying work on these sites. In fact, in the beginning I used to go on these sites myself looking for work. I did actually get a couple of jobs that payed $300 for the day, but that was just extremely unusual.

The more I talk to people in this industry who hire makeup and hair professionals, such as producers, directors, publicists, and so on, the more I understand why good job postings are so hard to find. The main reason is that there is just so much at risk when it comes to entertainment industry jobs. You really have to stop and realize what is at stake for the person who is hiring you. For films, it has taken that filmmaker a lot of time, effort, and convincing to get people to give them the funding to finance their project to begin with. This means that when they start filming there just isn’t a whole lot of room for error. In commercials, the client is paying thousands (if not millions) of dollars to produce that one commercial. When celebrities are involved, that celebrity’s image is on the line.

Let’s face it, the job of a Hair or Makeup Artist is such a crucial part of the production. Your work is seen by everyone because is out there on the talent for the world to see, and if you mess up, it can ruin the entire project (and reshoots are very expensive). There is so much riding on every aspect of the production going smoothly. This might sound a bit over-dramatic, but careers are at stake and this industry moves at a fast pace. There is not time to interview thirty people for the job and hope it works out. That is why the person who hires you can’t just post a job and hire anyone. This is an extremely competitive industry. For every director, producer, and photographer out there, there are a thousand more waiting to take their place. One false move can ruin a career. For this reason, people want a referral and not a job posting. That is why agents and networking are king in the world of entertainment. You want a job in this industry, you have to network and self-promote. Period.

Of course, The Hair & Makeup Artist Network has job postings, but they are really few and far between. The majority of the work that comes to the members of our Network are through referrals or networking. Yes, people call us looking for a Hair or Makeup Artist, but they just seem to want the referral rather than blindly posting a job. That is why networking is soooo important.

If you are interested in setting up a networking event in your area contact us by visiting:

Michelle Lee
Make Maverick

March 30, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Hair & Makeup Jobs, Hair & Makeup Marketing, Networking, Working as a Hair or Makeup Artist. 1 comment.

So What Is The Difference Between Marketing Yourself For Film or Print?

michelle4We recently held our “Ultimate Career Workshop” on Sunday, March 22nd here is Los Angeles. Our workshop had five different speakers, two of which were from local agencies. One agent represents Hair and Makeup Artists who work in film and television. The other agent represents artists who work in print and celebrity. Both had the same approach to contacting clients and following up, however the marketing tools they used were a bit different. When you are working in film and television it’s all about your resume. In fact, Dave Kensler from All Crew Agency says, “It’s not about what you can do, it’s about what you have already done.” “Hollywood is the big leagues,” says Kensler, “If you are working in Hollywood, you are in the top 1%!”

Each day both agents set out with a mission, and that is to get their artists hired. They both make phone calls and send out emails, but film and television executives want to see resumes and demo reels. In the print and celebrity world, it’s all about your book. These days the “book” is really just your website. So when an agent submits an artist for print and celebrity work, they are sending out either photos of the artist’s latest work or a link to their website. After that, it is all about the follow up. Both agents will check back with the prospective client in a couple of days (depending on the eagerness of the client). After that they will continue to follow up on a monthly basis or until they are just told to quit calling.

The bottom line is that it’s all a numbers game. The more people you contact, the higher the likelihood you will get booked for a gig. This industry is all about patience and persistence, so don’ t give up. It’s the determined artist that will rise to the top!

For more information on how to market yourself as a Hair or Makeup Artist visit:

Michelle Lee
Makeup Maverick

March 25, 2009. Tags: , , , . Hair & Makeup Jobs, Hair & Makeup Marketing, Networking, Working as a Hair or Makeup Artist. Leave a comment.

Does The Economy Have Your Career In A Rut?

I have to be honest, the state of the economy has everyone running scared. No one wants to spend any money. Commercial production is down which means less television production due to lack of sponsors, but I believe we must plow ahead. When times are tough you have to work harder to get the gigs. This means now is the time to get your name out there and network, network, network. Go to as many networking functions you can and hand out your card to everyone you meet. Ask for people’s business cards when you give them yours and follow up with them in a couple of days to say, “it was nice to meet you and keep me in mind.” Make yourself spend a couple of hours a day making phone calls to production companies and follow up with an email of your latest work. Remember, the squeaky wheel get the grease. Stay away from negative people who only talk about how bleak things are. You have to stay positive and motivated. Here are a few networking organizations to check out:

1. The Hair & Makeup Artist Network
2. Women In Film
3. Film Independent
4. Association of Bridal Consultants
5. America Association of Producers

Don’ t forget all the film festivals coming into your town. These are great places to meet people who will hire you as well!

For more on this topic or to attend our networking events visit:

Michelle Lee
Makeup Maverick

March 19, 2009. Tags: , . Hair & Makeup Jobs, Hair & Makeup Marketing, Networking, Working as a Hair or Makeup Artist. Leave a comment.

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