A Student Success Story! Theater Makeup Artist

June 6, 2018 The love of makeup artistry transcends all ages, genders and races, and The Art of Makeup School supports students of all kinds with a variety of goals to make their personal dreams come true. Sometimes those dreams never got realized early on, and sometimes they are new dreams after already living through a successful career. Some people reinvent themselves, and some people embellish their existing careers, creating a new revenue path, creating new challenges, and continually making life more interesting.

One of these graduates is named Caitlin Williams. Caitlin earned an MFA in Theater and is also a professional Whole Person Certified Life Coach. She spends her life supporting, motivating, and coaching others to lead the lives they truly want to lead. After spending many years supporting others in fulfilling their dreams, she realized a dream of her own, she really wanted to work as a theater makeup artist! She also wanted to help her older clients learn how to do makeup on themselves. She realized she could supplement her successful coaching business by adding makeup coaching while also pursuing her love of theater makeup. Early last summer in 2017, that dream brought her to The Art of Makeup School.

Caitlin has now successfully added makeup coach onto her list of specialty skills, and works with her older clientele on shopping for natural, cruelty-free products that work well for sensitive and mature skin. “My clients want to feel very natural and polished. I really like using Physician’s Formula BB cream for its everyday purposes and its sun protecting ingredients. The BB cream goes on smooth, works well with fine lines and leaves the skin looking balanced with sheer coverage.”

Outside the Frame

Since graduating, besides doing her makeup coaching, Caitlin regularly does makeup for paid photo shoots with a new photographer client, and with the help of business cards and networking with other local photographers, she’s built her portfolio through trade and more paid work. She also recently got to work on a short film through The Art of Makeup job board, which gave her a chance to connect with a local director for a program called Outside the Frame, focusing on homeless youth, building skills in film production.

What Caitlin is most excited about are the theater connections she has made through The Art of Makeup job board.  Her first one was getting to volunteer for Oregon Ballet Theater’s production of Alice in Wonderland at The Keller Auditorium last March where she first met and got to work alongside Diane Trapp. Diane is the key makeup artist for the Oregon Ballet Theater, Portland Opera, among many other theater companies and productions, has been teaching theater makeup at Portland Community College for over 30 years, and is Portland’s 2nd highest ranking board member of the theater union. Caitlin had no idea that The Art of Makeup would bring another opportunity for Caitlin’s and Diane’s paths to cross again, but we did!

This month she started working on a paid theater production called Adroit Maneuvers with Lighthouse Arts in Vancouver, and Diane Trapp is heading the makeup department. 

Special Effects Makeup

Diane has taken Caitlin under her wing and has been privately training her in a one on one internship to do character makeup including historical likeness makeup, old age makeup, prosthetics, special effects makeup, costumes, and wig styling for the stage. Caitlin’s biggest career goal of all was to work in theater, so this job has been an opportunity of a lifetime. The show runs from July 6-22 at The Imago Theater in SE Portland, and although the audience won’t know it, Caitlin will be busy working behind the scenes with 14 actors changing into 24 different characters. She will learn how to do very quick changes that will include makeup, costumes, and wigs. Caitlin looks forward to taking on new opportunities presented to her through this new relationship.

Sounds like a dream has already come true! We wrapped up with Caitlin by asking her what advice she has for aspiring artists. She said,“Understand your strengths, what you value, and who you are. Know your market and build your knowledge from there.” …and go for it!