How did you start off in the industry?
I started as a stagehand in the film industry, helping and assisting the construction team, before I moved on to being a set painter.
What is your best advice for students?
Once you have embarked on your journey of training as a make-up artist, don’t stop until you have succeeded.
What would you change about training in the UK?
There really should be a recognised skills level/attainment in the hair and make-up industry.
What is the best part of your job?
Whenever I am at a show in the theatre or a cinema watching a film and see one of my graduate’s names in the credits. That happens a lot.
And your least favourite?
Having to listen to the music the students listen to.
Which practitioners do you admire most/ who should students be looking up to?
It may sound very cheesy if I say Christine Blundell, but she has worked very hard to get where she is. She can also laugh at herself and has the wonderful confidence of allowing herself to be occasionally still surprised by her students’ knowledge.
What one skill should every successful theatre and film professional have?
There are a lot of important ones to choose from: determination and ambition, tempered by calmness and caring. But if I had to pick just one, it would be communication.
What makes a successful make-up school?
In the case of CBM Academy, I would say that what makes us different is that we are a small family, with small classes. That means each student is an individual and learns to work as part of a team. Also, aftercare is important. Ours has no time constraint, so no matter how long you have been out of training, you are still family.
Petar Agbaba is director at Christine Blundell Make-up Academy. He was talking to John Byrne