Media Makeup graduate secures role with blockbuster film
Amelia Calvert studied the Fashion, Theatrical, Hair & Media Makeup Foundation Degree at the University Centre. Her passion, dedication and hard work led to a role with the backstage crew for an upcoming Disney sequel. We caught up with her to find out more about her time at college.
What made you choose your course?
I completed the Level 3 Media Hair & Makeup course and wanted to delve deeper into the subject.
What did you enjoy most about studying at the University Centre?
I enjoyed the way we were taught and the topics we covered, such as hair knotting for wigs, which may not have been covered in courses elsewhere.
How did the specialist guest speakers/workshops provided on the programme add to your employability skills?
It’s always good to meet various people from the industry. You get to hear about different perspectives as the real world and sector is very different to the comfort of college!
You also never know who you may meet on your journey, so it’s good to build up valuable contacts.
What work experience did you complete and what did you gain from them?
I completed a variety of work experience whilst at college such as pantomime work and small films, and in my final year, I worked a lot with theatre.
I had fantastic opportunities to go down to London; I went behind the scenes with the wig team at Les Miserables and visited Sadler's Wells theatre, where they do ballet shows, and met one of their designers.
I was also part of a group meeting with Opera North, where I returned for a one-to-one day to experience it in further. This was very beneficial as they asked me back to work on a few shows.
What jobs/experience have you completed since graduating and where are you working now?
Earlier this year, I got accepted on to the Creative Skillset Trainee Scheme, as one of seven hair and makeup trainees, which is very exciting.
The scheme aims to place its trainees on to small and large-scale film sets. As a result of this, I had an interview at Pinewood Studios and got a place as a hair and makeup trainee on an upcoming Disney film.
What do your jobs on makeup sets involve?
During my work experience at Warner Bros Studios on Fantastic Beasts 2, my role as a trainee entailed setting up work stations, doing tea and breakfast rounds, cleaning brushes, getting crowds through registration and helping the makeup artist by taking continuity photos and organising kit stock etc.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to work in the industry?
Don't get disheartened. Say yes to experiences, however don't let people take advantage of you by working for free; weigh up what you will gain from it versus what you will lose.
Make contacts! Kim at Opera North is excellent and gives people a chance to come in and impress.
I would also recommend applying for the Creative Skillset Trainee Scheme. I wasn’t expecting anything and now I’m working on a Disney film!
How do you apply the skills you learnt on the course in your job role?
The practical skills have been really helpful, especially the basics of hair prep for wig application. However, everyone has different ways of working so it’s good to have the ability to adapt what you have learnt in a college environment to the way the industry professionals work.
You also need to have the correct etiquette, have a good personality and be organised. I found it beneficial to listen to guest speakers at college and I always loved asking people about their big dos and don'ts.
What advice would you give to someone who is unsure about what degree to choose/whether a degree is for them?
I would say don't do a degree because you feel like you have to or because all of your friends are. I did this degree because it enabled me to further my practical skills and gave me the opportunity to meet many industry people that I might never have met otherwise.