Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival

You should know by now that we host monthly networking event for Hair & Makeup Artists. This month we have teamed up with the Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival to provide you with an opportunity to meet filmmakers. The festival has been in operation for over six years and is host to hundreds of filmmakers each year. This year we are co-hosting and organizing both the opening night red carpet gala and the closing night party. These events are expected to have over 200 filmmakers in attendance providing you with an opportunity to build relationships and a stronger client base. So please join us Friday March 26th and April 1st for our big gala events both starting at 8:30. This year director Cheryl Hines and Jennifer Tilly are expected to attend the opening night of the festival. For more information or to purchase tickets call us at 323 913 9375. Also be sure to check out our upcoming events:

April 19, 2010 – Networking Dinner with art director from Lord of the Rings Jon Slowsky
June 2010 – Networking Dinner with guest speaker celebrity photographer Stewart Volland
July 2010 – Networking Dinner with guest speaker television director and television icon Anson Williams
August 2010 – Networking Dinner with guest speaker fx artist Edward French

For more information on these events visit: www.hmartistsnetwork.com/networking_events

Michelle Lee
Makeup Maverick

March 15, 2010. Tags: , , , , . Hair & Makeup Jobs, Hair & Makeup Marketing, Networking, Party Event, Working as a Hair or Makeup Artist. Leave a comment.

Who’s Fed Up With The Rates???

In my last blog I addressed the lack of professionalism and issues we are facing with our rates dropping. The response I got from my last blog was overwhelming. It seems that everyone is being hit really hard with the recession and everyone is really tired of being taken advantage of. It’s time that we all start to stick together on this subject. I know a lot of people see other artists as competition, but the truth is that we are really are best allies. Most Hair and Makeup Artists work in teams. We hire other artist on as assistants and we refer people we know and trust to jobs we can do. However, the practice of working for free has to stop. The day that the people hiring can’t find a soul in this town to work for free is the day we all get paid. I don’t know of any other profession that excepts this practice outside of an internship or apprentice programs. Our time, expertise, and education is worth something. Not only do other professions get paid for their time, they also have professional associations they belong to. So what exactly is an association? An association is a group of people seeking to further a particular profession, the interests of individuals engaged in that profession, and the public interest. It creates a sense of community and standards of excellence for the people in that industry. Hair & Makeup Artists have the union and that’s great if you want to work in film and television, but what happens to the rest of us who are not in the union?

The Hair & Makeup Artist Network was designed to provide networking opportunities, business education (such as rate negotiation), and business resources to self-employed artists. It is also designed to create industry standards in our profession and give everyone a voice. There is power in numbers and its up to us to band together in order for us to get treated like the professionals we are. HMAN is not another social networking website or facebook fan page. We are an association and we want your voice to be heard but this will not happen if you don’t participate. So contact us, email us, and get involved with what we are doing. We want to standardize the rates in our industry so that everyone will get paid a fair wage. Stop being afraid to say “no” to a job. Good negotiation happens when you are willing to walk away based on principle. Help us create better professional standards. Join our network and our cause by visiting www.hmartistsnetwork.com.

Michelle Lee
Makeup Maverick

March 12, 2010. Tags: , , , . Hair & Makeup Jobs, Hair & Makeup Marketing, Working as a Hair or Makeup Artist. 1 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.

Are You A Hair Or Makeup Artist Looking For A Second Source Of Income?

Things are rough right now for everyone, but regardless of where you are in your career it’s important to diversify your income. We all know that the Fashion & Entertainment Industry is very volatile. For this reason, you need carefully plan out your finances, know what will effect your income, and always have a second source of income. So what do I mean by that? A second job? Not necessarily. There are a many forms of income that you can create for yourself without getting a second job.

Now you can invest in stocks or bonds, but we all know the stock market isn’t exactly at its strongest right now. So, here are revenue streams that you may have never even considered. For those of you who are have just started out in the industry, you may still need a full time job until you can get enough clients to cover your expenses.

The biggest problem I had when I was first starting out was finding a job that gave me the flexibility I needed. I started out working at a makeup counter in a well know department store, but they weren’t too keen on letting me take a last minute job in the middle of the day. We all know that industry production schedules are constantly changing. Most of the time, hair & makeup is that last thing to get booked. For this reason, you the artist, will get a lot of last minute job requests. So what do you do? You find a job that gives you the flexibility you need. For me, I ended up working in outside sales for a major corporation. Most of you may have never even hear of outside sales or even considered working in another industry. However, most major corporations will have outside sales reps or account managers. Most of these jobs give you a salary plus commission, benefits, and best of all you don’t stay in an office all day long. This means you spend most of the day setting your own appointments and you drive out to visit the client. By doing this you can set your own schedule. Some companies won’t event require you to come into the office every day. They track your work by the amount of sales you have coming in. This will allow you to have the flexibility to take a gig while maintaining your income. In addition to this, you will learn some very valuable marketing and sales skills that you will be able to apply to your own self-promotion.

Of course, sales may not be your cup to tea. Some other options, are temp work, waiting tables, and a lot of banks offer hourly paid night positions. But maybe you have been working in the industry a while, and you may already have your client base. You should still find additional forms of income. So if you not taking on a second job, what does that mean? It means that you create a second source of income.

Some of you maybe fortunate enough to have the money to invest in real estate, but if you aren’t then here are some other options:

1. You can blog blog about beauty products and get a commission on them. Most companies have affiliate programs that will give you a commission for referring a product. If you have an affiliate program with a particular product line, and you include that affiliate link in your blog review, the company will give you a commission if someone purchases their product from a link in your blog. Do this enough times and you can make a nice commission from just sitting on set and blogging in your down time.

2. Multi-Level Marketing- Most people think of this as a pyramid scheme, but a lot of companies use this form of marketing sell their products. You usually purchase the kit and sell it to in your free time. There are makeup and skincare companies such as Nuskin that use this method of marketing. If you are already using makeup and skincare products on your clients, why not get them to order the products from you in the future? You can make a nice commission on products your clients would be using on a daily basis anyway. If you don’t feel comfortable selling products to your clients, there are other companies like Passion Parties that you can purchase their kit for a small fee and make 40% commission for just hosting the party and selling their products.

3. If you are really daring then create a another business that you can manage in your spare time. There are a lot business opportunities out there if you are creative enough. If you are willing to go this route, I suggest you create a business outside the Fashion and Entertainment Industry. By doing this, your business is not subject to economic pitfalls like the one you are currently in.

Whatever you do be smart smart. Do your homework and know what you are getting into. But most of all, make sure you are never be dependent upon just one form of income. Smart entrepreneurs always diversify.

For more tips, career advice, and networking opportunities go to www.hmartistsnetwork.com

Michelle Lee
Makeup Maverick

January 18, 2010. Tags: , , , , , . Hair & Makeup Jobs, Hair & Makeup Marketing, Working as a Hair or Makeup Artist. 1 comment.

What Is Your New Year’s Resolution?

It’s hard to believe that another year has flown by. This year will be my 10th year living in Los Angeles. It’s true, things have been rough out there. I think now is the time to step back from everything and rethink your career in 2010. Ultimately, where do you want your career to take you? Once you have decided that then you can start to formulate a plan of attack:

1. Ask yourself where do you want to be five years from now or ten years? Do you want to be with an agency in join the union?

2. Decide what it is you are really great at doing and what do you want to be most known for in your industry – from there you can start to brand yourself

3. Create career goals for yourself on a monthly and yearly basis that will help you get to where you want to be much faster

4. Create a budget for yourself and stick to it. Once you understand what your living expenses are then you can figure out how much money you can afford to spend on self-promotion.

5. Do some research on the on what economic trends can impact your profession. This may seem boring but its better to know and be prepared rather than be a struggling artist

6. Don’t forget to include networking into your budget – it can be your biggest promotion tool as a freelancer

7. Diversify your income. Don’t rely solely on your craft for income

The saying goes, “If you fail to plan then you can plan to fail.” All successful business are well thought out so plan things well. If this is all overwhelming to you, then you should consider getting a career consultant. The Hair & Makeup Artist Network has consultants to help you will all aspects of your career. Whether it’s help with self promotion, career strategy, or branding and publicity, we can help.

To start the new year out right visit: http://www.hmartistsnetwork.com or call 323 913 9375.

Michelle Lee
Makeup Maverick

December 14, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Tales From Behind The Makeup Chair

Bad Behavior From Low End Talent

I’ve been working in this industry for about 15 years now and I have seen some bad behavior from talent. It always seems that the worst behaved people are the want-to-be celebrities. The A-listers I have worked with are always professional. About a year ago, I was booked to do the cover of LA Direct Magazine with Perez Hilton. The entire
crew showed up on a Saturday evening waiting for Perez to grace himself with his presence. After a half an hour of waiting, we received word that Mr. Hilton was not going to be showing up. The excuse was that he was sick. Now that may very well have been true, but don’t you think he knew he wasn’t feeling well early on in the day? If he was truly ill and a professional, he would have not have waited until a half an hour after he was to be there to cancel.

You could say that these things happen and it was a one-time incident, but a few months ago I got invited to the premiere party of Fox’s hit show “Glee” and low and behold, there was Perez Hilton. My cousins were in town from Virginia so they thought it would be fun to get a picture with the famed blogger. Let me tell you that guy was an ass. He was cocky and rude to my guests. It’s not surprising considering his lack of professionalism with the LA Direct Magazine shoot.

Recently, my publicist friend sent me a clip from KTLA. Apparently, Perez was scheduled to appear on their morning show to promote his new book. The story goes that he showed up to the studio an hour before he was scheduled to be on the air. Mr. Hilton did not want to wait because he had to blog so he left the studio. At the time, the studio offered him an office on site for him to work from but that wasn’t good enough so he walked out. KTLA’s Sam Rubin then retaliated by calling Perez on air, “talentless dope.”


Really who are these people anyway? Being a celebrity used to mean that you were talented for a least an expert on something. Now people can just be famous for trashing people online. So now your famous and you think somehow gives them a right to treat other people with disrespect. Why does Hollywood reward people for bad behavior? Just because you the man of the hour does not mean you are a God. It’s important to keep things in perspective. You may be on TV today, but if you burn too many bridges soon there won’t be any left for you to cross. You are still a human being just remember to act like one.

Michelle Lee
Makeup Maverick

December 11, 2009. Tags: , , , , , . Hair & Makeup Jobs, Working as a Hair or Makeup Artist. Leave a comment.

Do You Have Clients Who Owe You Money???

new photo of meI recently had to learn a very hard lesson. For the past year, I had a client who kept lagging behind in payment. There were invoices that were as much as a year old. Some invoices got paid, others lagged on and on. I always preach to people the importance of getting a confirmation agreement for each job. I also tell everyone that prepaid legal is good to have in case you need to have a lawyer to send over a letter for non-payment of services. But what happens when the client suddenly files for bankruptcy? Yes, you heard me right, bankruptcy!

For years I worked for a company named On The Scene Productions. For the longest time I got a lot of work from this company. From time to time they would be late paying me, but they always paid me one way or another. About a year ago, the company started falling behind by six months. In the beginning, I was able to have my prepaid legal attorney send over a nasty letter to them and I got paid right away. Although, my biggest mistake was to keep working for them even after they were late paying me. At the time, I just figured I would get my money eventually and getting paid late was better than not at all. I was so wrong. Last month, I got the phone call that On The Scene Productions filed for bankruptcy. I just felt sick to my stomach. They currently owe me $3500.00! What’s worse is that when a company files for bankruptcy, the employees are the last to get paid. Their debtors get paid first and if there is anything left over then the workers get paid. Unfortunately, I’ve been through this with companies in the past and I haven’t seen a dime of that money from those companies either. The likelihood I’ll see a cent from On The Scene Productions is very very slim. That means I got up at 3am to work them on many occasions for free.

As freelancers I think we hold extremely tight to our clients. We are always afraid to rock the boat. Too afraid to lose our clients at all costs. But now I have to ask myself,” was holding on to my client worth it?” Obviously not. I should have took them to court at the first signs of lagging payments. I also should have stopped working for them at that point as well. Now, I have had to learn the lesson the hard way. Never hold on to a client too tightly. If they are not paying you on time, take them to court. And if they stop calling you for that reason then it really is for the best. You should never keep a client who doesn’t pay you on time. If they do that, its clear they don’t respect you as a professional. No one needs a client that badly. Its better to spend time finding new clients rather that chasing payment. And believe me, their are plenty of other better production companies out there. You just have to take the time to find them.

To learn more about the business of the business visit our website at www.hmartistsnetwork.com.

Michelle Lee
Makeup Maverick

November 6, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , . Hair & Makeup Jobs, Hair & Makeup Marketing, Networking, 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: http://www.hmartistsnetwork.com

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.

Who Will Protect the Non-Union People?

Last week I had the joy of working for a Columbian Production Company. The project was an Infomercial and we all know that infomercials are usually low budget. However, this infomercial really brought low budget an all time low on production standards. First of all it was the most disorganized shoot I have ever been on. Nobody seemed to know what the infomercial was for (even the actors). Of course I asked before hand but their English was hard to understand and they gave vague descriptions of the product. I was told to get there by 6:30am and the producers didn’t bother to show up until 7:15. The actors were told they would be there for only a couple of hours but were kept there all day long. On the first day of shooting they ran out of food and water for us on the set. When I asked for them to please compensate me for my kit I was told, “It’s non-union.” But the worst came when I was not given a vegetarian option for lunch. All they had to serve was fried veal. There was nothing for me to eat. I actually had to send out my assistant to get me some food. Naturally I brought this to the attention of the producers asked the company to please provide me with a vegetarian option on Monday. They once again responded by saying, “This is non-union.” I said, “It doesn’t matter. I have a right to eat and I can’t leave set.” They actually asked me to not come back because they told me I was complaining about the food and the kit fee. These are standard things that are negotiated on a job, and the last time I checked it was the law to provide meal options that accommodate the entire crew. I was shocked. I’ve been working in this industry for fourteen years and I’ve never been asked to not finish the job! What is worse is that I was asked to not finish the job for asking for my basic necessities to be covered!

All of this brings up the question of who protects the non-union worker? Unions were formed to protect people from being taken advantage of by the employer, but you have to be in the union for them to protect you. And if it takes you years to get into the union who is going to protect you while you are working? The reality is that there is more non-union work then there is union work. So how to we protect ourselves from being taken advantage of by people like this Columbian production company?

First of all we must create a deal memo before we start any job. The only way to protect yourself is to get it in writing first. Then you have no know what the laws are governing your craft in your state. Most of all we must stick together. Join an association that will protect or at least support you. There is power in numbers. And when all else fails, there is always legal counseling. I’m a big fan of prepaid legal services. For as little as $16 a month you can have access to legal counsel. It’s always good to know what your rights and get advice when you feel your rights are being trampled on.

Michelle Lee
Makeup Maverick

May 5, 2009. Tags: , , . Hair & Makeup Jobs, Hair & Makeup Marketing, 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.

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