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Make up artist pay scale

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  • #16
    Jason, I understand what you mean, but for most haunts I doubt they could compensate a good artist what they are worth, ad tey probably know that. I would also think the haunt owner doesn't compensate himself/herself what they are worth verses what they put into it.

    So Jason, you said if you can snag a good artist for a very good rate, what in your opinion is a good rate?

    Thanks a lot,


    • #17
      at our haunt, our makeup artist are volunteers just like everyone else. They still bust their butts and do a great job. In return we do send them to makeup classes in orlando and vegas and what not.

      Sean De Wane
      The De Wane Asylum


      • #18
        Only a very small percentage of artists ever make a living doing their art. So art becomes something like a haunted house for most people, you do it because you like doing it.
        I once read that only 5% of the population really have artistic talent and of that 5% only one half of one percent Every make a living at it. The rest are relegated to the lower status of a hobbiest or weekend art fair booth exhibitor. A college degree might help open a few doors for employment but you may not be doing your art, but you will be getting a paycheck doing "art" as defined by your employer.

        Just like the mind needs several years to shake off the effects of serving in the military, it often takes several years to shake off the influences of college art training to re-find "yourself" and the art that fulfills you.


        • #19
          At a local major theme ;park haunt here, the artist oversaw about 75 make-ups and was paid around $ 10,000.00. But he fully designed concepts and really put a lifetime of hours in. Your right Rob, costuming and Make-up are a major part of your show, it either makes the characters real or costume store phoney! It also helps create a personna for the actor so he or she doesn't run around going GRRRR all night long.
          Listen to them, Children of the night. Oh what music they make.


          • #20
            I always thought an actor going "GGGRR" was from a costume that fit too tight , especially in certain areas of the anatomy.
            Or else it was "acting", probably faux-constipation.

            Doing such incredible make up and original costuming really would create another level of the whole experience for the majority of the customers.


            • #21
              What i am about to say is by no means a slap in anyones face!!! I have spent over $20.000 in trying to be a great makeup artist, MANY UPON MANY hours just practicing to even go beyond the norm . I personally do not always get what i think i may deserve , but sometimes i give a little just because i believe in a certain project or a specific venue, also the more people you work with the more your name gets around .But for the most part i gravitate towards the upper end haunted attractions because i know they have the budget to allow for trained talent, again i love all haunts(keep that in mind) so why shouldnt trained talent receive what they put in???? By no means am i trying to say how great i am , however i am trying to make everyone understand there is definetly a price to pay for talent!!! DO any of you haunt owners spend more on the actors that you feel have unbelievable talent, or spend the money on a great advertising company, or a great set designer, all of these factor in to a great haunted attraction,so with that said the make up artist has its place and i guess it depends on the budget and the owner to see what is best for there attraction. boy oh boy am i rambling!!!

              Just some random dude

              Jason Blaszczak
              Last edited by screamline studios; 04-12-2008, 11:35 PM.


              • #22
                Jason, you are not rambling, PointBlank, you are making a point. Its a VALID POINT.
                DarkAngel if your event pulls in 20,000 + visitors a season then you can afford to pay a FX artist what they are worth for a season. Again my last pay was 5000.00 for a local gig, Had it been out of state, you would have had to pay for expenses as well.
                If your Event pulls in 3000- visitors a season then you cannot afford to pay a FX artist what they are worth, and if you get a good one you better make sure they know that you appreciate the fact that they are basically giving away their talent to better your EVENT.
                Buried deep beneath Darksyde acres Haunted house In Michigan I'm the Best at what I do, What I do Isn't very NICE!


                • #23
                  If there are ANY make up artist out there who are looking for a job call me...I'm looking to hire you!!!

                  Larry Kirchner


                  • #24
                    Let me break it down according to other industries, if it may help:

                    $8/hour = $16,000 year (Fivebucks Coffee Barista)
                    $10/hour = $20,000 year (Best Buy Sales Rep.)
                    $20/hour = $40,000 year (Computer Networking Technician)
                    $30/hour | $5,000/Season = $60,000 year (Entry Level Computer Programmer)

                    It's all based on the who, what, where, when. I think that several people are overworked, underpaid and underglorified but you have an equal amount that are overhyped, over paid and underworked primadonnas (NO insinuations about anyone on here). That is just a basic pay scale to keep in mind of the big picture. The numbers are somewhat arbitrary since it is seasonal work, those are just to put you on par with what they'd be making if it were full time.


                    • #25
                      I had an unemployed brother-in-law living with me who proclaimed "I will never work for less than $45,000 a year!"
                      Then he jumped at a job paying $8.00 an hr.!?
                      Ever since the common practice of wearing shoes became popular alot of people are suddenly found "wanting" when it comes to basic math skills.


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by bodybagging View Post
                        Shredman, wasnt anything personal towards you, but I think that FX artists are the most underpaid, overworked, unappreciated, members, of the Haunt community.
                        Amen to that, brother!


                        • #27
                          First: Larry I'll email ya... I didn't get down to your place last year as there was that whole end of Creatures Crypt thing..... Your place would be FUN!!!!!!

                          Second: I LOVE the FX makeup job. That said, I think makeup artists are a tough call for a haunted event. I looked at what it would take to be the local haunted house owner and you know what, it is a PAIN IN THE BUTT. LOL ....There is so much involved I can see where often makeup is just not in the budget in a way people really want it to be. I doubt most haunt owners don't want to have some great makeup artist giving them incredible work. They just don't have the time or budget for it after all the "must have" work is done.

                          Are "FX artists are the most underpaid, overworked, unappreciated, members, of the Haunt community." HELL YES!!! But what can you do.... you already have a day job.
                          Last edited by dr0zombie; 04-08-2008, 05:46 PM.


                          • #28
                            Makeup Artist Pay Scale Continued

                            Well, there have been some very interesting posts here. I specifically appreciate the post by the person who was savvy enough to compare what "we" do with other very over-worked under-paid "professions" out there. I respect his understanding that "we" are not the only "ones" out there who work very hard, but feel "unappreciated" by our "employers." So, as you can see I pick my words carefully-the word employer in the haunted attraction industry can mean many different things. It can mean the guy who is out there to make a "quick" buck by having over-prized tickets to a show filled with kids in masks, or "blue" raccoon-eyed looking makeups worn by a bunch of kids screaming their lungs out. Or-hopefully- the word employer means a guy (or lady) who knows great makeup when they see it and understands (like my friend Jason Blaszczak mentioned earlier) the amount of time (many years) it takes to become a great makeup artist. A haunt owner can expect a local person who has shown loyalty towards their haunt (doing set building, design, makeup, etc.) and has been around for a year or two to do makeup for free, and that "artist" should feel happy with that-for they are building their skills, and ability. Then, there are makeup artists out there with say about 3-6 years of experience, that can charge anywhere from $7.00 to $9.00 an hour for about 2-3 hours each night helping out in the makeup room. Depending on the size and budget of the haunt, they could even charge a flat rate-like $50.00 per night given their responsibility. Yes, the main motivation is to "do what you love", and being a actor as much as a makeup artist myself, I truly understand the emotional frustration that exists in weighing our "talent" with our "worth" in the choice we make in where we decide to work. Having said this, I am now talking about the makeup artists who have at least 10 years of solid training/experience under their belt, and have worked in many different haunts(not just one). These makeup artists have (hopefully) several years of experience being a makeup coordinator at different haunts where they were in charge of running a makeup crew, and know how to schedule and handle time-management of many different artists and can keep the quality up to it's highest standard while collectively still turning out anywhere from 30-50 actors each night. These individuals usually charge a "blanket" fee for the whole season to the haunt owners and may even get travel expenses paid for as well. Again, based on the haunt, the budget, and the passion of the makeup artist, the fee can be several thousand dollars for a whole season. Also, doing seminars a month or so before haunt season is common place where (depending on how long), several hundred dollars per seminar can be paid by the haunt owner. Yes, this is not your normal nine-to-five "job", and it is seasonal, but if a makeup artist has proven himself and his reputation for many years to different owners familiar with their work, they can be in the position that they are booked a year or more in advance to the haunt of their choosing.

                            Geoff Beck
                            Makeup Artist/Actor


                            • #29
                              Well said Geoff, now stop hacking jasons account , and get your own!
                              Buried deep beneath Darksyde acres Haunted house In Michigan I'm the Best at what I do, What I do Isn't very NICE!


                              • #30
                                In a, help.. I'm in a nutshell!!

                                After reading all of the posts, I come to a few basic conclusions.
                                1. You get what you pay for, unless you luck out and get talent for peanuts.
                                2. Check out the artist, make them do makeup in front of you (as the BS in a biz like ours in neck deep)
                                3. In this day and age - multi task, make yourself worth more by doing more.
                                4. Haunt owners - teach yourself how to be an artist and you'll get it for free. And realize that the consumers of today have high standards (thanks to CGI in movies in my opinion) and bad makeup can really crap out an event.

                                And a side note - actually talk to the people that your artist/actor has worked for. As we all know in any profession, a resume can be enhanced to make someone out to be more than they are. I have been BS'd inthe past and wow did that cause me twice as much work and three times as much headache!
                                And tell the makeup artist up front what you can and can't pay them, then it's their decision if they want the job or not!
                                The thing that sucks is that it is a buisness, and in these times budgets can suck.
                                That's my summation, and I'm sticking to it!
                                Do Vegan Zombies eat heads of lettuce?