A theatrical makeup artist works at theatres and opera houses, providing makeup services to the actors involved in their plays. Theatrical makeup artists are different from those working on movie sets in that the makeup for a theatre play must usually be more expressive and exaggerated, due to the scale of everything when the actors are on stage. Theatrical makeup artists frequently work in teams, and it’s not uncommon to see several preparing one important actor before the big play starts.
Getting hired as a theatrical makeup artist requires a lot of knowledge and experience, and depending on the theatre involved, it may also take a specialized degree related to the job. Additionally, good theatrical makeup artists must be able to improvise well in tough situations and work under heavy pressure when a performance needs to be started and is being delayed due to a scheduling error. A good theatrical makeup artist must also be proficient in working with teammates, in order to achieve good results.
Working as a theatrical makeup artist can earn between $25,000 – $48,000, depending primarily on where one is employed at. Some theatres pay their employees significantly more, while in other cases the job is rather underpaid and additionally imposes some heavy working hours and other unpleasant conditions on those who practice it. A good theatrical makeup artist is able to find secure employment for the most part though, as their skills tend to be highly sought after by many employers and the job is very attractive for the most part.