by Lamont Dunnigan
Every month, HMAN recognizes the work and accomplishments of one of it’s artists. As HMAN members, these artists have displayed an admirable perseverance and dedication to their craft as well as the network. This month, we are highlighting the work of recommended artist Alex Noble. Alex recently was one of our guest speakers at our member meeting where he talked all about Set Etiquette.
We recently sat down with Alex to pick his unfiltered brain and learn more about him and how he got his start...
How did you get started?
I got started in makeup when I was 19. I studied Theatrical Makeup in College and then went on to work on various stage plays and for local news and commercials. I then moved out to Los Angeles in 2002 to pursue it full time as a career.
How long have you been a makeup artist?
I have been doing makeup for about 16 years. I don't count my school time, but I do count my early years, before I committed to it as a career, because it was during that time that I learned a lot of the do's and don'ts as well as getting paid to do it. When you do it for free, it is a hobby. When you do it for money, it is a job, and when you do it because you love it AND you can survive, it is a career.
List a few of your credits.
A few of the credits that I have worked on and am most proud of are; Desperate Housewives, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, I am Number 4, Hawaii 5-0 as well as a number of other, not so well known, projects.
What made you want to become a makeup artist?
I knew that I wanted to get into makeup when I was 16. I was on the set of a Pepsi commercial which was featuring the Alien from Alien 3. Tom and Alec were there, doing all the super amazing Alien stuff and I was being an annoying brat. I begged and begged them to let me do something. Finally, to get me to shut up (which they still deny to this day), they let me operate the drool. That was the moment when my life path was chosen. I learned, very early on, that my skills lay in on set makeup and application and not so much in the creature creation aspect.
What was your favorite job and why?
I have a number of favorite jobs but each for a different reason. Without Men was a movie that I did in 2010 and I was doing Eva Longoria's makeup. She introduced me to her makeup artist on Desperate Housewives, Gina Rylander, who then recommended me to the department head, John Elliot. That is how I started working on that show.
Desperate Housewives because it was the first TV show that I did that was all beauty makeup. I was given an opportunity to sink or swim and I swam.
Now, no one can say, "Oh, he only does effects makeup...."
Terminator: SCC because it was my first Union TV show and it was fucking TERMINATOR!!! One of my favorite Genres...Thank you to Rob Hall (until the end of time) for allowing me that opportunity.
I am Number Four because it was an amazing experience. My first big budget Union film. It was my first time working for Howard Berger. It was a location gig. It was with some of the top makeup people in our field.
What is your funniest set story?
That is a tough one...There are a bunch...most involving fart machines of some kind or another...There are a couple where a certain celebrity and I crank called someone who was a big fan of them...
What are common mistakes you see makeup and hair artists make that keep them from getting rehired?
Common mistakes that I see that prevent people from getting re-hired are few and far between because I generally follow my gut when hiring them in the first place, but there are a few that slip through...One thing is timeliness, another is talking too much or playing inappropriate music or playing on their phone / ipad too much as well as complaining...
What is you number one piece of advice you have to offer an artist working in the industry?
One piece of advice to offer...that is a tough one...I would say, "NEVER say yes to something that you KNOW you cannot do."