Megan Martin was the make-up artist for A PERFECT YOU. She came to us with lots of energy and a positive attitude. She did a great job and we’re grateful for her contributions.
Sue: Megan, how did we meet?
Megan: We met through a mutual friend, Kathy Kustudich, who I’ve done work with at the Antietam Middle Senior High School and Antietam Community Theatre productions. She’s done props for some of your other productions, including this one, and told me you were looking for someone to do makeup, there was an exchange of information, and voila! Here we are!
Sue: Tell me where you learned to do make up.
Megan: I initially learned makeup basics when I attended theatre workshops as a kid. Of course, as a teen I played with makeup, doing make-overs and such on friends. Soon I had friends asking if I would do their makeup for prom. Once in college, I had people asking if I would do their makeup for Halloween. It got to the point where I never got to do my own makeup because I was so busy working on other people!
I continued to enjoy playing with different looks on myself for the next 15 years or so until my own daughter got involved in theatre and they needed someone to head up the makeup for their show, ‘The Wizard of Oz’. I volunteered and THAT was a learning experience! Lions, Scarecrows and Tin Men – OH MY! I continued working with the school theatre which really forced me to learn new techniques to create the effects needed on stage. It’s no easy feat making a thin young man look like a hefty older woman without prosthetics.
I continue to learn and did so while working on A Perfect You, as makeup for film is quite different than makeup for the stage. It’s very satisfying for me to learn new things and I hope to continue on this journey of education by experience.
Sue: So how did you go about learning the stage techniques? And then again for film?
Megan: As I said, I started learning the basics at theatre workshops. They taught us how to apply pancake and a basic stage look for both men and women. They also explained the reasoning for makeup on both sexes, different types of shading and color usage. When I learn, it helps me to know why I’m doing something instead of doing it because somebody said so. When it came to the more complicated makeups, such as for ‘Wizard of Oz’, I really just looked at different pictures to determine the look I was going for and started playing. You learn so much through trial and error. For example, I learned very quickly that green witch makeup does not apply evenly AT ALL, but silver tin man makeup is quite forgiving. Whenever I met a challenge I wasn’t able to figure out on my own I turned to the Internet and researched.
When it came time for the film, you gave me a book I was able to look at that gave the basics of film makeup. I then took to the Internet again. I found out that a lot of actresses leave the studio in their makeup. That was quite interesting, yet odd, to me after so many years of garish stage makeup. I learned a bit more about contouring by watching some YouTube videos, which can be a wonderful resource for different makeup techniques as you can actually watch the makeup being applied instead of simply reading about it.
Sue: So which do you prefer to do: stage or film make-up?
Megan: Well that really is hard to say. I very much enjoyed the experience of working on a film, as I loved watching the process of film making. It was interesting to me to see all that goes into even just one shot. I did find it a little nerve wracking that all of the details would be visible up close and personal, however. So while people could see what I did well, they could also see what I may have done poorly, even the slightest thing.
With theatre, everything is from a distance so all of the makeup is exaggerated. You’re trying to make sure the little old lady in the back row can see the expressions on everybody’s faces. Sometimes you are trying to change a person’s face altogether! I also love the hustle bustle of show nights. The adrenaline when you have a quick change, or a large cast to make up and barely enough time to do it.
I can say that I enjoy different aspects of BOTH. I’ve been doing theatre makeup for so long that I would probably say theatre, but I’ve only just been exposed to film make-up and I know there is so much more involved than what I’ve experienced so I might change my answer sometime down the road if I were involved in it more.
Sue: What are you doing these days?
Megan: I was helping with costuming Antietam Middle Senior High School’s production of Pippin, but personal matters required I step back from that for the moment. I hope to jump back in before the production hits the stage and help out once again with whatever their needs are.
Sue: Last question. What’s your favorite play or movie and why?
Megan: My favorite play is ‘Godspell’ by Stephen Schwartz. It’s my favorite play because it is the one that really inspired me to become involved in theatre. I saw it for the first time when I was 12 years old. I laughed, I cried, I truly felt something as I watched and listened. I vowed then and there that one day I would be in that show (and I was.) It was after that that I began attending theatre workshops and learning all I could about all the different aspects of the theatre. ‘Godspell’ showed me how powerful the stage can be and how much I wanted to be a part of that.
Thank you Megan, for being a part of A PERFECT YOU. I look forward to sharing your work with the world once the film is out.
Meantime here’s Megan’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/megantmartin