Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Make-up artists in Mumbai

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Fortunately I am not famous. But occasionally I have to don some make-up for a shoot. It happens with New Woman magazine and had to, simply had to, do it for the TV series on Body and Soul. Ah, I remember the time, when I had to do that with for Harmony. Of the lot, the last had the most pro make-up artiste, possibly because the Ambani name kept the make-up artist well-behaved. No, actually, I think because Harmony also must have used an artist from other than the common pool.Whatever it was, it was not the intimidating, or nerve-wracking encounter that can happen commonly.

I remember the first sour experience happened during a shoot for Body and Soul. The make-up artist, first not so impressed that I was not famous (they get the same amount whether person is famous or not:) started looking at his watch pointedly several times after lunch. Though he was booked for the full shift (they work on shifts) he was keen on doing another one for which he wished to leave. Unprofessional. And trying to cover up by turning nasty and mean with the general body language and going on cribbing about the time, about everything in general. Sicko.

Then there was an interesting, quirky character who, the minute he landed at my doorstep, asked pointedly at me," Where is the model?" (This was for a New Woman shoot) I told him, there was no model, only poor I. Looking arch, he told me (he really really did), "You look like a boot (monster!)". To be kind to him (and myself) I think he meant my wild tresses, because next I knew my hair was bound with a big hair band he was carrying. (The journalist looked shocked and cringed; and later, when she came for another assignment remembered this incidence with great embarrassment. She told me that she was amazed that I did not react with anger to his jibe:) He did a great job and being a yoga teacher and understanding where that was coming from (a gay not allowed to be open his sexuality; from a lower middle class background dealing with snooty, cranky star types; being excellent in his job and yet being treated on par with the other mediocrities). Then, he kept a monologue about how awful some of the superstars, whom he had (all make-up artists will boast that they do superstars:) to salvage drastically. That petite dark-skinned star, such dark circles. And that beauty? Make-up artists hands quake when they are assigned to her, they have to do so much damage control. It will be great to write some features, based on interviews with these guys...Such colourful gossip!
But when he left, he kindly promised to get me a similar hair band to tie up my curls:)

Last time, I had a sweet fellow. But his make-up kit and brushes looked so unkempt that the minute the shoot got over, I ran and washed off my face since I was scared I will get some infection! And even he, despite his sweetness, when told not to use such a loud pink shade on my lips, cribbed: "She has two skin shades on her lips." God, you could be a mutant, the way these guys bitch!

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