Posts Tagged ‘assistant’

The Learning

February 10, 2014

It never ends.

I don’t believe I will get proficient at anything anymore.

I don’t have that much time.

I do hope, and at times I even believe, that I have become proficient at the blogging.

It does not mean that the blogging is always good, it just means that I have a sort of system and I stick to it.  Just by doing the showing up to the empty screen every day for over three and a half years now has taught me, how to, well, show up.

That is pretty much what I did today.

I showed up.

I did not talk myself out of it, although when I made the transfer from the N-Judah to the 22 bus line I just about wanted to.

The bus smelled like stale spilt beer, wet dog, and homeless guys.

The windows were smogged over with steam and half the seats were wet from the windows that must have all been open when the rain really began to come down today.

But I showed up any way, finding my way to the studio, Coconuts & Avocado’s, on 15th at Folsom Street.

The music was going in the back ground and the band were dancing in a stage area and there were big lights and people rushing about and my employer who had asked me earlier this week to assist her.

She was working on makeup for one of the female singers and invited me to take a look around.

One of the female singers, already in full makeup, who was having her hair done in another chair, asked me to go video tape the guys doing their dance routine and I happily did, taking her phone and finding a spot on the floor positioned between some scaffolding and huge white screens.

The PAs and PDs and the assistant to the assistant and the PM and the Director all scurrying about the set with blue scrub stockings on their feet so as to not besmirched the clean white set, it was really fun and intense and goofy and neat.

Yeah, I said neat.

It was neat.

It was also a job, a lot of people had been up all night making sure the art design team had all the sets done, and the make up and the hair team was coordinating with the wardrobe team and the director intent upon what the camera man was doing and showing the band how she wanted them to move.

I felt like a sponge.

Soak it up lady.

I don’t know the exact particulars of how I learn, but I learn a lot just by observing and taking it all in.  I have a great memory and the opening of the eyes, the ears, and the intent on taking as much in as I can get has always served me well.

My first task as assistant to the lead make up artist was to blot sweat off one of the male band members brow and hair-line.

I actually did not do any make up today.

But I learned a lot about it.

A whole lot.

Mostly by watching and asking a few questions and being willing to learn.

The things I did do were small and, to my mind, meaningless, but as it turns out, to others invaluable.

“I asked you because you are professional and you show up and you show up on time with a good attitude,” my boss said.

“You would not believe the people who come in and are cranky to be working, 50% of the job is just being nice and relaxed around the client.”

I probably know this at some basic levels, I think I have always.

If you make the client comfortable then you are more likely to be asked to return.

If you act like it is a privilege to be there, then you will be asked to return.

I am good at these things and though I have often down played them as not really negotiable talents, I realize that they are–not everybody is adept at being a people person.

Aside from being Miss Congeniality, I also held some make up for the main artist as she was on set, cleaned up a little, helped the Art Director procure some things for a set, told the band member where the bathroom was, offered my experience going to Burning Man to one of the female singers, and just tried to be helpful where ever I could, tidying here and there, putting people at ease when I could.

I think my shining moment was seeing one of the guys in the band sweating pretty profusely and having anticipated he was going to need to be wiped down, was waiting in the wings of the set.

He walked off, trying to not wipe of his face on his shirt sleeve, while looking around the set.

I stepped forward out of the wing and offered him the napkins to blot his face.

That was it.

No biggie.

But it felt nice and I realize that really, at its most basic,  so much for me gets to be done with a smile and a small bit of anticipation of what may need to be addressed.

I was also invited to assist again with the makeup and next time do a little bit more.

I did not get paid for the work.

I got some snacks and $15 for a hot dinner and a MUNI ride home.

I got, however, paid in spades with experience and a budding new community of connections and possible future work.

I also met a new, to me, band, Lucius, who are frankly awesome and I will be downloading their album here shortly after posting this blog.

I learned a lot about makeup.

I leaned about how to do a better baby doll eye lash then the ones I have done before, I watched how the make up artist did airbrushed foundation on the legs of the female singers, I saw what you really need to have a decent kit, I got some great instruction on lip lining and foundation and where to go if I want to pursue this line of fun.

I got to hang out with female singers and listen to them sing 90s pop songs in the wardrobe and make up area.

I got to meet a new set of people.

I even ran into someone who had just started working there as a production assistant whom I had not seen since before I left for Paris.

“What are you doing here!” She exclaimed and jumped up and down and squeezed me and I knew, too, that I might have just been there to help ease some anxiety for her in a new job.

That was a cool and unexpected thing to get to be a part of.

So many things to learn.

I don’t know that I will ever find out all things about any one subject, but it sure is fun to be a Jill of all Trades in this world and to be looked upon as someone who does a good job and is worth investing the time into.

And to get to see the inside of a really cool music video.

Not a bad way to spend a Sunday.

Not bad at all.

Teachability

February 6, 2014

I can learn new things.

I can.

But dude, sometimes I am my own worst enemy.

I am afraid that I will be “inconvenienced” due to inclement weather on Sunday.

Bah.

Take the train, darlin’.

I have the opportunity to assist a make up artist on a music video that is being shot in San Francisco this Sunday.

I was super excited and flattered to be invited to do so, then nervous, then why would she ask me?

Duh.

Because I show up for work all the time with Betty Page eyes and full blush on.

I wear makeup and I obviously have looked into doing it before as a career move when I was in the middle of making a shift away from nannying.

I investigated Aveda.

I went to Blush School of Makeup.

Both schools, said, yes, please, come right on in.

Both schools asked for a pretty steep tuition.

“You don’t need a licence to do makeup,” she told me, “you do if you are doing hair or esthetician work, but not make up.”

“Do you have any experience working on people?” She inquired.

“Helped one friend with makeup for her wedding and what I do every year at Burning Man,” I said.

I have put make up on folks, but not professionally.

Then again, it’s not like I was tapped to be the head make up artist, I was asked by the head make up artist to lend a hand, to be on set, to meet people, to see how it works, to watch from the process and learn.

That’s really how I learned what little I do know about makeup, from being the model of a friend of mine who went through the Blush program.  I paid attention, I listened to what his instructors were saying, I learned new stuff.

Then I just got used to putting make up on myself.

I still would like to be professionally made up sometime, that would be fun.

I am going to learn some new things, meet some new people, and hey, get to be on the set of a music video?

What?

I will take the train if it’s raining and I don’t want to be on my bicycle.

It’s not a paid gig, it’s more like an apprenticeship and considering how much courses to learn make up do cost, it’s a pretty awesome thing to get to be involved with.

It’s another thing I get to learn how to do.

There is so much to learn.

I don’t believe that I will ever master any of them, but I also get to find out what I like.  And from just a pure girly sort of stand point, I do like make up.

I never wore it in high school or in college.

I remember my first serious boyfriend rather poo poo’ed it.

Of course he was smoking pot, sporting t-shirts with Onion slogans on them (Fuck you, you fucking fuck was great for grocery shopping at Woodman’s) and plaid flannels, Van’s for skateboarding and playing frisbee golf and smoking more pot and drinking craft beer.

I am surprised he was ok with me shaving.

I remember once his dad made some comment about how I was high maintenance and it pissed me right the fuck off.

High maintenance?

I don’t wear mascara.

How can I be high maintenance?

He probably meant my personality.

But I did begin to wear a little something now and then to compliment the ever-present pot of Rachel Perry Lip Lovers that was always in my front right pocket.

I loved that stuff.

Still, to this day, I have not found an adequate replacement.

I started to learn how to put on make up in my thirties.

I started with lipstick.

I carry approximately seven to eight of them in my makeup bag.

I can do without the mascara, blush, powder, eye makeup, but don’t take away my lip gloss man.

“I couldn’t stop staring at your mouth,” she said to me one night after a get together, “it’s so, so, uh, glossy, what do you use?”

I love lip gloss.

Not too sticky though.

I am not a fan of the sticky gloss.

My hair gets caught in it, my lips feel funny, and it’s not good for kissing.

I like a creamy lip gloss that has high shine and if it glitters excellent.

If not, I make something happen.

No body is going to read this post, it’s all about lip gloss.

Bahahahaha.

I could briefly write about glitter.

Like the helmet I am going to get to accompany my Vespa.

Oh, don’t worry, I will make sure it is DOT approved.

I am not an idiot.

I just glitter like one.

Another new thing to learn and experience, the scooter thing, that is.

Two weeks from today at approximately this time I will be wrapping up my first of three days of motorcycle safety class.

Seems a bit surreal that all the sudden it’s happening.

But that’s how things happen.

Just out of the blue.

Yet, I know that a lot of work had to preface this decision.

I was thinking as I cautiously navigated my way home tonight, it was starting to rain on the way back, that I have really in a short period of time come a very long way.

I was completely broke when I landed at SFO in May.

I mean broke.

I had ten dollars in my wallet.

Nine months later I am living in a nice studio that is fully furnished with full-time work, having paid off the debt to Barnaby, travelled once to Florida, gone to Burning Man, re-established myself, and my wardrobe, have a smidge of money in savings toward a new laptop, am fed, housed, and taken care of.

And I am getting a scooter.

How amazing.

I really do show up and do the work.

I don’t always let myself see how willing I am to try to do.

To be taught.

Even when I get scared to show up and fumble around.

I don’t have to be perfect on Sunday.

I just need to show up.

Rain or shine.

I will be there.

I get to be of service and learn.

Not a bad way to spend a Sunday.

Plus, come on, it’s on a music video shoot!

Good times.


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