One of the first things I tell makeup artists who ask me for advice is to never be afraid to reach out to someone whose work you admire. In all of the years that I have been doing makeup, I am frequently reminded just how lucky I am to have a career that allows me to meet so many talented and interesting people. When you are in the presence of greatness, everyone in the room can feel it.
A few years ago, I was honored to be hired to do Stockard Channing’s makeup for the Tony Awards. I am rarely star struck but have to admit that I stood in amazement at the effect she had on everyone around her. Even the celebrities who interacted with her seemed to be in awe. It is a little crazy that a girl from Flint, Michigan could find herself sharing an elevator with Stockard Channing, Liza Minnelli and Dolly Parton. When the doors opened backstage to a crowd of hundreds of dancers, choreographers, stage hands, producers, etc., every chaotic motion stopped and the sea of people separated to provide a clear path and applaud for the legends of Broadway as they passed. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before.
Yesterday, while at a photoshoot with Stockard, and the all-star cast of her new show Other Desert Cities, I was amazed again to see the company that she keeps. You can’t imagine how much talent can fit into one dressing room. As I was taking it all in, a well-dressed man turned to me, and with an energetic voice said, “Hi! I’m Vincent”. I was taken aback because I already knew who he was. I was meeting Vincent Longo, one of the first makeup artists whose career inspired mine. I never spoke to the legends in the elevator, but did not want to miss this opportunity to let Vincent know how much he influenced me as an artist and how much respect I have for his work. I took my own advice and he was everything I imagined him to be. It is not every day you get to work side by side with one of the few who made you want to be an artist in the first place.
Yesterday… was a good day.