It is 2016 when will it end?

Just today, TODAY, Jan 5th, 2016, I am perusing makeup artists message boards and then “BAM” there it is, in black and white, the question that I dread. “Hi, I was hired for a job, but I’m not sure what I should do, can you help? I sit here, and I can feel my blood pressure rising for like the 30th time in less than a year. The dreaded HELP! I’VE TAKEN A JOB AND I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT I’M DOING post.

Why, WHY? Do you keep taking jobs you are unaware of how to execute correctly, or for that matter know at all? Why do you keep thinking “messageboard saviors” will appear to magically walk you through each step? I will say this again and again. Please stop taking jobs, you are clearly unqualified.

QUESTION? If you have to do men’s grooming but have never worked with men before, why did you take it? Most times I get, Well how different can it be  DeShawn? Well, it varies greatly actually.

1. Can you go with the flow if now the director or photographer decided to go in a completely different way? 

2. What if the white actor or model you thought you were getting suddenly shows up dark skinned Idris Elba style—do you know what to do then?

3. Now the actor who looked perfect in his audition tapes suddenly walks in with the worse cases of acne you have ever seen,  what do you do?

4.  How about your kit, do you have products specifically for men?

5. Do you even know how to do men’s hairstyles? I can go on.

Jumping on the “I’ll take it bandwagon” does nothing for your reputation as an artist—it truly doesn’t. In fact, when doing this practice, it can hurt your rep and the business you are so desperately trying to grow. I say this all the time, “your reputation is all you have.” Mess that up in this industry and you have nothing.

Your reputation is all you have.


I am always asked, Jeez, what’s the big deal; I just want to know a few things? The big deal is you’re under-skilled. YES, I said it. You are under-qualified, under-skilled, under-everything. There is so much more to this business than makeup. This is why education is essential!!! It is the success making piece to being a dynamic artist, and truthfully, it makes you a better business person. It will separate you from the other message board advice seeking people. You now have the credentials you can stand behind. Wouldn’t you be willing to pay for someone with knowledge than a supposed artist with a little messageboard education? Seriously, let’s just be real here, “Experts have careers,  amateurs have hobbies.” Education prepares you to be able to accept jobs based on your knowledge and skill level and less on your ability to type in a question on a message board.

It is 2016, and I want my amazingly talented and eager artists to stop, drop and roll because honey, you are on fire. You are on fire because your quickness to accept jobs you are unable to do successfully will set your rep burning up–and that is not good people.

BUT DeShawn I really want to work?

I totally get that, believe me, I do. I was right where you guys are when I started as well. I could have taken gigs that were completely over my head, and wing it,  but I knew if I had I would have made a complete mess. I knew deep down I would be perpetrating a fraud if I had. As I write in Assisting Rules! folks keep getting the saying “fake it till you make it” all wrong. It doesn’t mean tell a director, photographer or producer you indeed know how to do something when you do not. THAT people is called LYING!

Please, believe me, I am not saying don’t work—that would be crazy. I am saying slow down, learn the ropes and then my fabulous makeup peeps have at it.

Here are some ways to better your knowledge base:
Assisting is the pathway. I know it was for me. It informed me on what to expect on set, and what not to expect. It can open your eyes to things you had never known and therefore, makes you such a better artist. Hell, I wrote a whole book on the subject that’s how much I know it can be of benefit to you.

How about educating yourself with different classes you would never think of, like lighting (for fashion or film), video production, script breakdowns. How about a hair course or two. Yes, of course, education in  makeup applications, but in period makeup, makeup for women of color, makeup for film/video will make your “business” of makeup artistry invaluable to those that hire. We are in “BUSINESS” are we not?

Isn’t taking a job better when you know what you’re doing? OR, would you rather be on set with that horrible sick feeling cause you’re in over your head? So if you find yourself in this funky quandary, you can decline the gig, or pass it along to an artist better qualified. What? You want me to pass a paid gig to someone else, DeShawn you must be crazy?

Look at it from the clients perspective and not yours. Why should you pass a paying gig to another artist? Your reputation! You can grow when you pass a gig to an accomplished artist because now, you look like a “team player”. It says to the client YOU care about their production. In turn, the next gig may be right up your alley, and they just may call you first.

Here’s how to bow out gracefully but still let folks know your qualifications.

Before you answer, find out all the details so you can make a clear informed decision. Then a replied example would be. Oh, I see, I don’t do 1920 period makeup, but if you ever need someone who does fashion, I’d love first consideration. I can email you the information to some other artists I think would be such a great fit.  I would love the opportunity to work with you in the future.  Thank you so much for thinking of me. (end call)

BOOM!!! Team player!  BOOM!!! A happy customer!  BOOM!!! and now you have their email address, and you can send them an email with your recommendations,  and YOUR information for future gigs. And yes another BOOM!!! Do You get it?

So in 2016, I wish you all massive successes, growth as artists and stellar reputations to boot AND YES! Jobs that will make you a hero!

What do you think about this?–leave comments below.

Don’t forget to follow this blog and follow DeShawn on periscopetv every Sunday at 7PM EST 🙂 http://www.periscope.tv/deshawnhatcher AND OF COURSE Assisting Rules! The Ultimate Guide to Assisting Makeup Artists and Hairstylists in Beauty, Fashion, and Print http://www.assistingrules.com