Hair and Make-up Trainee

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What does a hair and make-up trainee do?

The role of hair and make-up trainees varies according to the production. Most start the day reading the call sheet and putting together kit bags depending on what’s needed. That might include anything from towels and hair dryers if there’s a water scene, or hot flannels for de-rigging at the end of the day.

Hair and make-up trainees learn by watching more experienced staff and might get to do basic hair and make-up for crowd scenes. They may even be responsible for some minor characters and stunt doubles, working under supervision. They are trained in health, safety and hygiene. They wash brushes, keep the truck tidy and make sure the towels are clean.

Hair and make-up trainees are also responsible for updating notes and taking photographs, which is essential to maintain the continuity of the characters during production.

What’s a hair and make-up trainee good at?

  • Hair and make-up: be able to do basic hair dressing and make-up application
  • Hair and make-up history: enjoy period fashions and styles as well as current trends, know how to research them
  • Watching film and TV drama: have a passion for the medium and a love of the industry
  • Learning by watching and asking: be able to observe what’s happening and ask questions at the appropriate moments
  • Reliability: get to set on time and do what’s asked
  • Communication: be able to put actors at their ease while they’re being made up, be able to listen to and communicate with crew members

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