Author: TUBC Student Haley Skora
Imagine you are in a car driving down the street through a school zone. All of the sudden things start moving faster and there is no time to look around, you look at the speedometer and it reads 90 miles per hour. This is how I felt going from my average day at school to attending the James Ryder Makeup Boot camp.
It all started sometime in the beginning of September. We had a guest speaker coming in that morning to talk to the school about makeup. I was ecstatic. His name was James Ryder, an established makeup artist from Los Angeles, California. He caught my attention with his passion and inspiring words. He told us of a makeup lab he was holding in Chicago where one person would potentially be picked to attend a makeup boot camp in Los Angeles.
I attended the lab the next month where I was then invited to the makeup boot camp. I couldn’t stop crying when he told me I was the one they had selected! I felt mixed emotions about being invited. I was mostly excited but I was overcome with fear and stress, as I knew I was about to do something big, bigger than anything I had ever done.
On February 24, 2013 I flew to Los Angeles to take the first step to becoming a makeup artist. The very next day my journey began. We worked from a studio in the top level of Naime’s, the biggest makeup store in the world.
The models started filtering into the studio on day one and put into our chairs immediately, James was not wasting any time to start our training. It was glamour day so the objective was to make the model in your chair look as pretty as possible.
The theme for day two was 40’s and 50’s pinup. This is one of my favorite looks, classic beauty meets edgy. Later that day we learned how to make prosthetics and the application of prosthetics. We were put into groups of two and applied prosthetics on a model to be shot.
Wednesday’s theme was gothic/Victorian/lavishly undead. We created dark looks but still had the challenge of making the model look pretty. This day was really fun because there was a lot of room to play around with a look.
Copyright: RYDER makeup-labs LLC, Model: Nea Dune
Photographer: James Ryder, Art Director: Aly Ryder, Makeup Artist: Haley Skora
Thursday was models choice day, the day everyone had been worried about. The anxiety of not knowing what look you were going to have to create slowly diminished as we grew more confident of ourselves and came prepared with ideas.
Thursday night we prepared for, “the hardest day of our live”, to quote James. The mock movie shoot was the next day and we had from 6pm to 8am to prepare. This included analyzing the script, making face sheets for every character, gathering supplies, making prosthetics and creating posters to keep everything in order for the many characters in the movie.
It was finally Friday and I could barely eat. I was so nervous as my fellow boot camp attendees had appointed me as the department head. It was up to me to make sure everything was in order, if it wasn’t I was going to get yelled at. This was the day our featured model, Mosh, was coming in as well. The look you create on Mosh has to be grade A work. The pressure was on but my team and I did very well. I was proud. I didn’t even get yelled at that day!
Copyright: RYDER makeup-labs LLC, Model: Mosh
Photographer: Ama Lea, Art Director: Aly Ryder, Makeup Artist: Haley Skora
By the time Friday was over we were exhausted but the night wasn’t over yet. James, his wife Aly, and Adelina invited the group out for dinner. We laughed, talked about the week, and our future careers. It was awesome to get to know all of them on a professional and a personal level. The night was over and all that was left to do on Saturday was to go to breakfast with James, Aly, and Adelina, pack up, clean, and shop at Naime’s.
As the week was almost over I really couldn’t have had a better time at the makeup boot camp. I made some great friendships with the other girls there. I had the opportunity to network with models and other makeup artists as well as photographers. Unfortunately I have to wait about a month to receive my prints of the photos that were taken but it is well worth the wait. I miss the team and Los Angeles every day but there is no doubt in my mind that I will be back there soon doing some great makeup.