Training the Eyes
A friend of mine from New York connected me with a professional make-up artist, Renee, who also works with a headshot photographer here in Los Angeles, in an attempt to enhance my own make-up skills for on camera auditioning.
"You have more the Eastern look, which isn't necessarily about being Asian," Renee continues. "It just means your features are more round, soft and youthful; as opposed to Western features, which are harsh, sharp and angular."
Make-up. Some girls are born knowing how to play with it, how to highlight and change the natural contours of their own face with a little powder here and a lot of concealer there. Not me.
I'm more the 'slap it on in five minutes' and head out the door in a t-shirt and jeans kind of gal, and pray it doesn't shine.
But when it comes to auditioning, particularly for film and television, the way a person's face looks on camera has a lot to do with how their performance is received by the eye of the audience.
Renee taught me different ways to paint, perceive, and reshape the angles in my own face, by training my eye to see the way hers do.
She explained why a natural look takes more time to apply than a dramatic one, and how blending is everything.
And I've never had the chance to vulnerably voice to a make-up artist who, like me, grew up Asian in a very Western looking world.
In the end, Renee didn't just teach me the tricks and trades of highlights and contouring, she taught me how to apply a stronger layer of self-esteem.
It was noticeably different, the kind of attention I got from others later that day.
There was a different twinkle of respect and acknowledgemet in people's eyes when they looked at me.
I've shot two co-stars since my session with Renee. And I'll admit, where the make-up artist didn't...I did.
A little smudge here, little outline there, takes an Asian girl's face a very long way. Conceal at your own risk.
(photos courtesy of yours truly and Renee Lee)
Yours Truly -- Ann Hu