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Some productions have guidelines for phone usage and texting while on set. It’s hard to imagine working on a production now without cell phones, texting, ipads, email, laptops, glued to our hip, we did manage to survive without them years ago. No one likes to be late, especially when there is a production crew waiting on talent to arrive to set makeup and hair ready. On occasion the makeup artist gets blamed for the tardiness, sometimes the finger is pointed at the sound guy or the stylist, even though it’s out of our control. Productions hit speed bumps, Atlanta traffic happens, weather isn’t always the most agreeable, and the schedule starts to wander off the tracks. I do understand the necessity of phone usage, ipads, tablets, laptops in our tv film and photography production world, but I don’t always agree with the prevalence they are used while sitting in the makeup chair. In some cases, I have a CEO from a large corporation sitting in my makeup chair moments before a big press release, he physically can’t put his phone down and I understand. Urgent parenting issues that require immediate attention are another completely acceptable reason of why you need to be using your phone at that moment. Unfortunately, I can tell you many people who have sat in my makeup chair exercised poor phone usage judgement as they’ve subjected me to “Dude, we were so hammered, she was so hot” conversations, or the “Omg, what’s his deal, I can’t believe she said that, insert drama stirring gossip comment here, like totally, omg what do you think I should do?”. Well since you asked, I think you should put your phone down and pay attention. Work with me while I have pointy objects close to your eye. Cooperating with your makeup artist who is trying to make you look your best before you go on camera is a really good idea. If the text or call isn’t really important, save it for personal time when we are not all on the clock. Use your discretion to decide if that call, text, social media post can wait. Remember people on set are waiting for you.
Here’s some key points to remember the next time you are about to spend some face time with your favorite makeup artist.
- The quality and speed of my work as a makeup artist is compromised while you are looking down at your electronic device. This is my main frustration with this issue, especially when there is a time constraint I’m trying to respect and observe. Can I get the job done anyways? Yes! Could it have been a lot easier, absolutely!
- Taking an important call is ok, wrapping it up quickly is greatly appreciated, staying on the call the entire time I’m working, will NOT or will it ever be ok.
- If you’re on set, keep the notifications quiet even if it is a photography shoot without sound. The rings and notification sounds can be distracting when the crew is trying to work. If you must have your notifications on turn your phone to vibrate.
- Texting is disruptive – Yes it’s slightly better than taking a call, but looking down and focusing your attention to your phone while I’m trying to make you look your best is counterproductive for a makeup artist to work. I’m limited to less detailed makeup application work at this point with really bad light as you look down. If you’re ok with not wanting to look your best, then text away.
- Emergencies are the exception. If you’re using Twitter or Snapchat in the makeup & hair chair, I can assure you it’s definitely not an emergency.
Hopefully this makeup artist set etiquette advice on phone usage will help the next time you’re up to sit in the makeup chair. I know each situation is different and there isn’t a standard rule that can apply to all scenarios. Use your discretion on phone usage while the makeup artist is trying to make you look your best.
Atlanta Makeup Hair / www.kathleenmarsh.com
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