Forums > Hair, Makeup & Styling > how do makeup artists join unions and agencies?

Makeup Artist

ZenaDamali

Posts: 325

Boston, Massachusetts, US

I was doing some research on the various discounts offered by cosmetic lines and some of them require that you have a "union card" or "agency representation".

Is there a national union in the United states with chapters in every state or should I be doing a google search one in nashville?

is it expensive to join a union?

thanks in advance for any info you can share with me.


Zee

Feb 07 08 11:04 pm Link

Makeup Artist

CMMakeup

Posts: 1727

New York, New York, US

ZenaC wrote:
I was doing some research on the various discounts offered by cosmetic lines and some of them require that you have a "union card" or "agency representation".

Is there a national union in the United states with chapters in every state or should I be doing a google search one in nashville?

is it expensive to join a union?

thanks in advance for any info you can share with me.


Zee

this was in the FAQ:

union
http://www.modelmayhem.com/posts.php?thread_id=69292 (not very helpful though)

I'm not sure what local nashville falls under I would have to guess local 783 which is the east coast. 706 is the west coast.

All local's rules for joining are a little bit different I would find out what local your area is and go from there.

Mostly you have to collect hours working in either Film , TV, theater, commercial. Is film and Tv something your want to do? If not the union may not be a good choice for you. It is expensive to join, and a lot of work to get in, and you need to know SFX.

HTH
Chris

Feb 08 08 01:03 am Link

Makeup Artist

Christie Caiola

Posts: 31

New York, New York, US

Really, you need to know special fx to join the union?  I didn't know that...

Feb 08 08 11:18 am Link

Makeup Artist

CMMakeup

Posts: 1727

New York, New York, US

Christie Caiola wrote:
Really, you need to know special fx to join the union?  I didn't know that...

I met with the late Kelly gleason who was the pres. of the east coast union she said they look for artist who are well rounded, and know many aspects of makeup. If ya think about it, they would take someone who does beauty, SFX, and airbrush over someone who just does beauty.

Feb 08 08 12:29 pm Link

Makeup Artist

David Klasfeld

Posts: 2665

New York, New York, US

Christie Caiola wrote:
Really, you need to know special fx to join the union?  I didn't know that...

Usually, at least in NYC, we're talking basic, out-of-kit FX - stuff I'm sure you know how to do based on your training at MUD. We're not talking animatronic prosthetics or anything. big_smile But like Chris said above, the more well-rounded you are the better your chances are.

Lots of great info here for those of you on the East Coast.

Feb 08 08 12:39 pm Link

Makeup Artist

StephanieHart

Posts: 644

Wilmington, North Carolina, US

Here is the link to the union,it is national.
If you will be working in stage and film it is a great benefit.
If not you will probably do fine on your own.
http://www.iatse-intl.org/home.html
I have heard it is extremely expensive and time consuming to be part of the union,fees to pay yearly,cuts from each of your checks,you have to travel to NY yearly to have them inspect your kit and test your knowledge and techniques.
The expense can get very high from what I have been told.
The pay off is everything unions get you,rate protection,guaranteed working conditions,health benefits,etc.
Cons would be penalties for working on non-union films,losing out on work to non-union workers in right to work states.
There's obviously more to it,but someone who is in the union maybe able to help you more.
I stay away from them for my own reasons.

Feb 08 08 02:48 pm Link

Makeup Artist

ZenaDamali

Posts: 325

Boston, Massachusetts, US

thankyou so much for the feedback you guys! it seems like its more trouble then its worth. All I really want are the industry discounts offered by NARS and LM. Already got a MAC one:-/

ah well.

Feb 08 08 06:55 pm Link

Makeup Artist

KatAragon

Posts: 1549

FAIRFAX STATION, Virginia, US

Zena you can get those discounts without being in the Union. You need to show proof that you are a working artists by submitting tearsheets, callsheets, resume, etc. etc. There is a whole thread under FAQ's on the first post about it all. smile

Feb 08 08 06:57 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Elizabeth Lakomsky

Posts: 2235

New York, New York, US

ZenaC wrote:
All I really want are the industry discounts offered by NARS and LM. Already got a MAC one:-/

ah well.

A little aside about the NARS Pro and Editorial programs, from what I understand, they are big snobs about giving anyone a break. It's really not worth it. Trust, me there are so many great brands out there (like Yaby and CameraReadyCosmetics) who support the
artists. Look past your local Sephora, and you'll be pleasantly surprised...

Feb 08 08 07:03 pm Link

Makeup Artist

makeupguy dot com

Posts: 436

VALLEY VILLAGE, California, US

i've never heard such misrepresentations about the unions in one post!

There is no per-paycheck deduction. Dues are quarterly.

It IS hard to get into.. there's a reason for that.  We don't want new makeup artists in the union.

The West Coast (706) union is the hardest union to get into from what I hear..  I don't doubt that much. We have too many members and not enough work as it is.

Being well rounded is a MUST in this industry, union or not.  The more ways you can sell yourself.. the more  you'll work.

Agencies are much the same.. except they're hard to join/ become a part of.  There are 2500 people in the makeup/hair union in LA.. most agencies represent 10-20 artists...  at least that's how many "stars" they promote readily...

How about those odds!~?

Feb 10 08 10:20 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Rachel J

Posts: 101

Everett, Washington, US

NARS was easy to get the discount with and totally worth it, providing you have the credentials they are looking for.

I sent them copies of:
call sheet
tear sheet
business card
resume

They give you 30% off and you don't have to pay them yearly like some other folks.

This is the email for Julia Carmon in Public Relations and she can send you the application.

jcarmona@narscosmetics.com

Feb 10 08 10:38 pm Link

Makeup Artist

StephanieHart

Posts: 644

Wilmington, North Carolina, US

makeupguy dot com wrote:
i've never heard such misrepresentations about the unions in one post!

There is no per-paycheck deduction. Dues are quarterly.

It IS hard to get into.. there's a reason for that.  We don't want new makeup artists in the union.

The West Coast (706) union is the hardest union to get into from what I hear..  I don't doubt that much. We have too many members and not enough work as it is.

Being well rounded is a MUST in this industry, union or not.  The more ways you can sell yourself.. the more  you'll work.

Agencies are much the same.. except they're hard to join/ become a part of.  There are 2500 people in the makeup/hair union in LA.. most agencies represent 10-20 artists...  at least that's how many "stars" they promote readily...

How about those odds!~?

That's why I said that's what I had HEARD,and then told the OP they should contact someone in the union for the right answers.
hmm

Feb 10 08 11:23 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Jessica Steele

Posts: 370

Los Angeles, California, US

I was invited (or "jumped") to join the union- and declined.
I work internationally and it would have ruined some very lucrative business for me. There are very strict union bylines. And as for the OP- most makeup lines don't require you to be union organized to have a discount- that's absurd and frankly illegal.

Feb 11 08 03:53 am Link

Makeup Artist

StephanieHart

Posts: 644

Wilmington, North Carolina, US

Jessica Steele wrote:
I was invited (or "jumped") to join the union- and declined.
I work internationally and it would have ruined some very lucrative business for me. There are very strict union bylines. And as for the OP- most makeup lines don't require you to be union organized to have a discount- that's absurd and frankly illegal.

I was asked as well and declined,for many reasons. I think people have an interesting view of what good unions actually do.

Feb 11 08 05:20 pm Link

Makeup Artist

ZenaDamali

Posts: 325

Boston, Massachusetts, US

makeupguy dot com wrote:
i've never heard such misrepresentations about the unions in one post!

There is no per-paycheck deduction. Dues are quarterly.

It IS hard to get into.. there's a reason for that.  We don't want new makeup artists in the union.

The West Coast (706) union is the hardest union to get into from what I hear..  I don't doubt that much. We have too many members and not enough work as it is.

Being well rounded is a MUST in this industry, union or not.  The more ways you can sell yourself.. the more  you'll work.

Agencies are much the same.. except they're hard to join/ become a part of.  There are 2500 people in the makeup/hair union in LA.. most agencies represent 10-20 artists...  at least that's how many "stars" they promote readily...

How about those odds!~?

wow, that doesnt sound like something I'd be interested in being apart of.

anyway, thanks again to the people who responded with helpful advice. Thankyou rachel for telling me about how to get the discount...

If i find anymore info I'll post it here

Feb 11 08 06:40 pm Link

Makeup Artist

makeupguy dot com

Posts: 436

VALLEY VILLAGE, California, US

Other than not wanting to pay the initiation fee.. and the quarterly dues..  why would you turn down the opportunity to join the union?

it won't stop  you from getting work. Unlike SAG... the union will always let you take non-union work.  It doesn't take a percentage. All it does is guarantee a minimum and give you a great benefits package if you work enough hours to qualify for it.

hmmmm

Feb 21 08 07:06 pm Link

Makeup Artist

StephanieHart

Posts: 644

Wilmington, North Carolina, US

makeupguy dot com wrote:
Other than not wanting to pay the initiation fee.. and the quarterly dues..  why would you turn down the opportunity to join the union?

it won't stop  you from getting work. Unlike SAG... the union will always let you take non-union work.  It doesn't take a percentage. All it does is guarantee a minimum and give you a great benefits package if you work enough hours to qualify for it.

hmmmm

I don't know if things are different in Cali,(and from other union members I have talked to from there it's not much different),but IATSE east coast makes it mandatory for members to regularly pay fines if they work on non-union films(even if they inform the union they are working on them),require members to fly to NY yearly for kit inspections,which you have to pay for travel and expenses out of your own pocket, and must have all implements and supplies listed in their kit requirements,pass testing set by them,etc.
Not all of which are bad mind you,there have to be standards,and if any of those things are wrong-GREAT! I do not profess to know this as fact,just want to play devils advocate here.
It is NOT always in the best interest of a self-employed MUA to join something like this.
And frequently,the unions are known to cause non-union projects to shut down or be severely set back when union workers call the union and demand they come in and lean on the project to go union,so they can get more money,and causing everyone great distress. This is not just done on projects with bigger budgets,I have seen it done on small budget projects and it is just wrong.
If you KNOW a project is small and you are union,then you should NOT come in if you have a problem with a smaller pay rate. But that is a whole other issue,lol.
(I have friends in film-making,large and small productions, so that issue hits close to home.)
I recently worked on a project where the union representatives came in and told the production that they would be satisfied if they took our (non-union workers) pay and used it to supplement the hike in the union workers salaries so they would let their union people back on the set.
That is not heresay,btw.

The bottom line is,union is great for some people but not for all,and there needs to be a distinction. Because in a perfect world I would have joined when I was asked. I am not stupid,but if I said no,there is a damn good reason.
Just sayin.
wink

Feb 21 08 08:44 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Kristen S Makeup

Posts: 1371

Plymouth, Massachusetts, US

I'm working towards applying to the East Coast 798 and I have not been told anything about penalties for working non union projects.  Some of the artists that I work with are union artists who regularly work non union projects with no penalty. I'm not sure if there is a penalty to the production company for hiring non union artists for a union production.  I have worked union projects before but I have to be brought in as a last resort and paid exactly as if I am in the union, so there is no benefit to the production company for hiring non union workers. 

I'm not familiar with the kit inspection either.   I've submitted a kit inventory list, but no one's ever checked my kit against my list.

Edited to add:  I'm definitely not an expert on all things union but when I asked members about the ins and outs, these things that Stephanie spoke about were not mentioned to me.

Feb 21 08 11:05 pm Link

Makeup Artist

StephanieHart

Posts: 644

Wilmington, North Carolina, US

Image by Kristen wrote:
I'm working towards applying to the East Coast 798 and I have not been told anything about penalties for working non union projects.  Some of the artists that I work with are union artists who regularly work non union projects with no penalty. I'm not sure if there is a penalty to the production company for hiring non union artists for a union production.  I have worked union projects before but I have to be brought in as a last resort and paid exactly as if I am in the union, so there is no benefit to the production company for hiring non union workers. 

I'm not familiar with the kit inspection either.   I've submitted a kit inventory list, but no one's ever checked my kit against my list.

These are all things I have been told by union members up and down the east coast. So whether or not it's the truth is anyone's guess(although the people that told me are not the types prone to lying).
Anyway,enough of the info checked out enough for me to turn them down.
But you are doing your own research,and that is the key. Question everything.

I do know that I would rather work as a TOTALLY independent contractor,so to speak.
If you have no problems I say go for it! I'm all for people doing what is right for them,not what is right for everyone else.

Feb 21 08 11:14 pm Link

Makeup Artist

StephanieHart

Posts: 644

Wilmington, North Carolina, US

Ahhh,and please don't everyone think I am anti-union!
These are just things I was told,things I looked into that fed into me not wanting to join.
I DO see the righteous aspects of IATSE and comparable organizations.
Just thought I would put some other info out there.
The people who told me these things are people I trust EXTREMELY and have been working in the industry a long time and a short time,so I do look at things from all sides.
So you all know.
smile

Feb 21 08 11:21 pm Link

Makeup Artist

Kristen S Makeup

Posts: 1371

Plymouth, Massachusetts, US

StephanieHart wrote:
Ahhh,and please don't everyone think I am anti-union!
These are just things I was told,things I looked into that fed into me not wanting to join.
I DO see the righteous aspects of IATSE and comparable organizations.
Just thought I would put some other info out there.
The people who told me these things are people I trust EXTREMELY and have been working in the industry a long time and a short time,so I do look at things from all sides.
So you all know.
smile

I'm just a little surprised by your reluctance to join in light of you saying that you were having trouble finding good paying jobs.  Union jobs pay well, especially when you get into overtime.  The people I spoke to have been around for a while too, and maybe they didn't find these things signficant enough to mention.  As I said before, I'm not an expert.  I could be dead wrong.

My apologies to the OP for further derailing this thread.

Feb 21 08 11:39 pm Link

Makeup Artist

StephanieHart

Posts: 644

Wilmington, North Carolina, US

Image by Kristen wrote:

I'm just a little surprised by your reluctance to join in light of you saying that you were having trouble finding good paying jobs.  Union jobs pay well, especially when you get into overtime.  The people I spoke to have been around for a while too, and maybe they didn't find these things signficant enough to mention.  As I said before, I'm not an expert.  I could be dead wrong.

My apologies to the OP for further derailing this thread.

The jobs I have found pay pretty well,and if I lose some better paying jobs due to not being in the union I don't have a problem with that.
I have other things on my plate,mainly music,that I also have to focus on,so makeup is an additional career I love and want to grow in,but I can live without the union for now.
Where I want to be as a makeup artist doesn't warrant it at this time.
Does that make any sense? lol
smile

Feb 21 08 11:56 pm Link