There are a lot of folks out there who have beef with makeup artists. It’s totally understandable. Those ladies who stand behind the counter at Clinique or wherever and tell you how bad your skin is are begging to be throttled with a bottle of the pisswater they call perfume. That shit ain’t cool. Besides the fact that most of those women are just salesladies with a passable knowledge of how to do makeup. Seriously, try getting one of them out into the daylight and see how good the makeup they’re wearing looks. Those women are “makeup artists” the same way the pimply-faced high school dropouts manning the line at Macaroni Grill are “chefs.” When are these specters of the departments store gonna learn that insulting people doesn’t move products? You gotta make people feel good, so they’ll keep coming back for more. I mean, it works in “the oldest profession”, doesn’t it?

Which brings me to my next point: I’ve totally been reading the backlog of that Confessions of a Call Girl blog. Fascinating stuff. I recommend starting at the very beginning and working your way to the present, it’s confusing if you just try to jump in all uninitiated-like. Anyway, I was thinking, if imaginary Billie Piper can do it, so can I! I have plenty to confess from my line of work. Here’s a quick little nugget after the jump!

O, so, little known fact: When you’re a makeup artist on a movie set, you have to be a walking pharmacy. Anytime anyone- any member of the crew, any guest of the set, any unpaid production office intern- has a headache, needs eye drops, tampons, tissues, hand lotion, safety pins- they all come to you. And your kit fee rarely covers all of your mobile Walgreens needs, so you just eat that cost. Harder still, however, is when you’re a rookie on a set trying to learn the ropes about when to act as CVS-in-Payless-flats without having been asked. So begins my first big industry lesson.

It’s no secret that the pairing of very young women romantically opposite much older men is an industry standard. Nay, the secret there is that the young women usually don’t like it. When Jessica Alba famously confessed her ladyboner for older men? Yeah. She was likely just fishing for more high-profile parts because really, how is starring opposite C-list 20-somethings like Paul Walker and Dane Cook good for anyone’s career? Anyway, in my story, the woman was in her early 30s, and the man was at least in his 60s. Two very lovely people. With very little real-life sexual chemistry. OBVIOUSLY. But, the ability to fake it on film is what makes actors actors, so fake it they did and well. – At least, as well as you can fake sexual chemistry without any kind of sexual situation arising. I think you know where I’m going with this.

It was the day of the first kissing scene. Thankfully, this was not the sort of movie that required or would have any use for a scene involving full-on humpty-hump, so the kissing was as intimate as it was going to get. With tensions running high, and most of the cast and crew waiting for the camera team to finish their forever set up, people were doing what most idle bodies on set tend to do: snacking. Seriously, I’m glad I haven’t done a movie in so long, because I will inevitably gain weight. Craft Services is never good, mind you, it’s just… there. And there’s all that stress and long hours and hurry-up-and-wait, so you nosh constantly. But, when Camera’s up, it’s time to GO, GO, GO- drop what you’re chewing on and run to set with a full mouth. I thought only lowly crew insects like myself did this, and that actors were afforded the luxury of a bit more notice. I was wrong.

I was positioned right out of the shot, so that I could re-apply my actress’s lipgloss after the trans-generational lip-locking. The first take happens so fast- pictures up, a little dialog, an embrace, suck face, cut. The crew unfreezes their tableau and immediately they start setting up the next take. My actress looks at me- panicked. But the lipgloss is still on and it looks fine. “Damn I’m good” I thought, as the leading lady grabbed my arm like a vice. She says, “I know you’re new at this, and I’m not mad (she starts muffling giggles out of propriety) but, before a kissing scene, you should offer each of the actors a breath mint.”

My eyes are as big around as dinner plates at this point. “Omigod..” I stammer. Actress says, “Just now, just before he came on set, he was eating, like, Hershey Kisses.” That’s right, my actress got a mouthful of second-hand chocolate. With a redder face than I’ve ever donned before, I go over to the actor and offer him a breath mint. I do this after every take for the rest of the ten takes. Lesson learned. But, it kind of lends new meaning to the classic Bruce Campbell catchphrase, “Gimme some sugar, baby.”

Leave me tales of kissing trauma in the comments, please!!

Advertisements