diary of a makeup artist #33 - funky town

My planets are NOT aligned these days.  I feel overwhelmed and underwhelmed at the same time.  Is it something in the air?  Oh wait thats pollen.  Perhaps its just my over stuffed head making me feel like Im in FUNKY TOWN.  And not groovy funky town.  My head is weighted, I have much on my mind..  I feel cloudy inside.

I started this year with a gusto!  If you remember, all positive, my direction was clear, my mind was made up.  I was no longer going to live in limbo.  I turned down a big job with lots of security that would move my whole life and career to new pastures, and I was GOOD with it.  Done deal, decision made, focus forward..  Freelancing is the way to go, I've been doing it for 10 years and have managed through feast and famine...  I was reinvesting in my market in my makeup business...  Yeah Baby!!

Then...  the job came back and begged for me to hop on board for even more benefits and security.

WHAT???  I just said no, I just turned you down, got you out of my life.... WHY..  are you calling me?  NO..  why are you playing with my mind?  Why are you enticing me with ....   with ...  work?  Who wants a steady job these days?  Oh wait.... EVERYONE..  So why am I so hesitant to leave the Vegas market and not hit L.A. like all the big timers do?

There were days when I wouldn't roll out of my drive way for less than $650 for even a few hours (It's no Linda Evangalista amout, I know).  There were days when I would turn a gig down because I simply wasn't interested.  There were days when I was insulted if someone would call me and ask me to help them out with a low budget gig.  There were days when I turned my nose up at un-established photographers, directors and producers struggling to pull a project together....

Why?  Cause' I was HOT, I was THE Makeup Artist to call in this market... If a celebrity was coming to town, I was destined to be in their entourage.  If a national commercial was filming, I was the key makeup artist.  I had makeup companies beating down my door, my phone range non stop with calls from New York and L.A.  Vegas was even beneath me.  NY and LA came first.  I even had an assistant who would pick up my laundry if I asked her too.. I had new makeup artists begging to clean my brushes for free... I had two agents for goodness sake!  Ya.. 2005 seemed a good year..

Those days are gone.  Those were NOT good days.  I was a high falooting makeup snob.  My ego was so incredibly inflated that I was drifting off and losing sight of what is important in a career..  Stability.
 I had alienated myself from all the locals.  My assistant turned into a SWF and solicited my clients behind my back and assimilated me when I was too busy to care.  I had shared way too much and carelessly trusted way too much.  I suppose I figured she would cow tow to me forever.  I was easily caught up in Vanity Department Drama and cat fights between other MUA's in town.  Before I knew it my phone wasn't ringing, SWF was working with all my steady clients, SWF was best friends with all my work buds and the other local working MUA's wouldn't touch me with a 10 foot pole.  It was a very humbling experience.  I didn't love my job anymore I was too fabulous to care. It was a major "Crash" from the top.  And I deserved it!!

It took a while for me to "start over".  I was deeply humbled.  My eyes were wide open and I realized I needed to do it right this time.  I stepped away from the drama and let my work speak for itself.  I became that makeup artist who was open to new ideas and willing to work for rates that were fair.  I learned who my real friends were in this business.  I learned who I could trust and I also learned who  was worth my loyalty.  I learned I needed a strong foundation locally because you cant build one in a market you're not invested in, that you do not live in.  I planted deep roots here..  I will turn down NY and LA for my local clients in a heartbeat.  I've come to appreciate this Sin City and all that I have made of it, especially the Vegas Vanities.

After all I've been through in this market, all the blood, sweat and tears, I'm reluctant to let go, even if work is drying up here. So thats why I've been trying to ignore this other job.  Am I crazy in this economic climate to do so?  Maybe... we'll see...  I haven't said no a second time...  But I've gotta get outta FUNKY TOWN!!

post signatureFunky Town version by Pseudo Echo


MiMi said...

I don't even know what I'd do!
You'd have to move??
Have you read Bitter is the new Black? Sounds like something you'd like or relate to. She was at the top and high falootin' too...and she crashed, but she's happier for it.

Marcie said...

Ugh. I'm not good with change. I'm kind of in the same boat. I recently was told of an upcoming opening that would be considerably more money, but I would have to move out of the classroom/teaching situation. I don't know what to do. With the economy, more money sounds great, but I'm struggling with leaving my "calling". (Thank goodness I've got a year or so to figure it out).
Good luck! I'm sure you will make the best of any situation.

blueviolet said...

Those life lessons are what shape who we are and obviously, you are much better from having been through it. Some people never learn.

Jeanette said...

Oh I hate funky town! But I love this post. So beautifully expressed. Hope you get out of funky town very soon!

Anonymous said...

Oh man, I can sympathize, or is it empathize? I must be crazy to even think about leaving my job in this economy but I'm not all there. I guess I'm in funky town with you.


Holly said...

I was a wedding planner in L.A. and your story could easily swap over to that market too. Eat ya up and spit ya out. Ultimately it is all for the better...but then there is this crazy economy. What to do? I really enjoyed your story and they way you told it.

Mrs. Fish aka Two Fish said...

You are amazing the way you bounce back woman. Sometimes we all need a "check" per se to our ego. A friendly reminder to keep up grounded even though our reputation is flying high. You do have mad skills....hope everything is coming back together for you. Hugs!!

Christie Moeller said...

Ugh. You just expressed almost everything I've been feeling about our market...except that I am frustrated beond belief that companies keep bringing makeup artists and stylists with them from LA for extravagant rates and we end up with the $100 or $200 for 12 hour offers. All the PR companies laid off all of my old contacts and have new ones that I dont know and newbies seem to be getting all of my work...im at a loss on what to do to imporove the situation..but I feel you..I have to get up off the sofa and my pity party and make some kind of a change.

Eve said...

Oh, honey I love your conclusions! These are the things we all have to learn eventually.

And I love that you saying: the most important thing in a business is stability! Sometimes things goes well, sometimes not but the most important thing is that you have to keep on doing it and believe in yourself!

Life is not always glamorous but I believe that everything will be fine in the end (if not it's not the end)...:-)

Much love: Evi

Ashlotte said...

ha cute puppy!!