Stage Stylist

Stage Stylist

Responsible for the wigs and makeup, stage stylists will also be involved in design when they reach a higher level

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Photo: May Tse
Requirement: Despite the long working hours, a stage stylist needs to remain patient and careful when handling the wigs. Candidates need to be creative and open-minded, but also aware of the standards set by the theme park they work for.

Qualification: He or she should have received professional training at a well-respected makeup school, and have at least three years of hands-on experience.

Average pay: Many stage stylists work part-time or on a project-by-project basis. Their pay will vary depending on the nature of the job and their own experience.

Stylists who are just beginning their career may do makeup and styling for a show without pay.

Those with more experience can earn between HK$500 and HK$1,000 or even more per show.

In-house stylists who work for, say, a theme park, are paid a monthly salary.

Work prospect: According to Annie Yu Tsz-wan, hair and makeup manager and senior cast image specialist at Hong Kong Disneyland, her junior stylists have to comb and maintain about 150 wigs daily.

They also need to look after about 100 actors every day. This work requires patience, as the stylist trains the actors to apply their own makeup for the character they are playing that day. These performers may never have done their own makeup before.

As soon as the junior stylists have a good knowledge of most of the characters at the theme park - and are working to a high enough standard - they can be promoted to a more senior level. Most senior stylists have at least five years of hands-on experience. Senior stylists work on hair and makeup design for the cast, and also train junior stylists. After reaching this senior level, a stage stylist at Hong Kong Disneyland can aim to become a specialist in the hair and makeup department. These specialists are also in charge of training, and work closely with Yu.

Long-term work prospect: A stage stylist's career path depends on their talent, experience and performance. Experienced stylists can rise to the level of producer. Producers oversee not only hair and makeup, but also costumes and anything to do with the design of a show.

Where to apply: Stage performance organisations, theme parks and management companies.

A day at work

Annie Yu Tsz-wan says a stage stylist at Hong Kong Disneyland works nine hours a day. Other than handling the wigs, stylists need to fit actors with their costumes and train them to apply makeup.

Stage stylists are also required to give actors tips on how to take care of their skin.

The stylists work shifts - 8am to 5pm and 10am to 7pm. But they need to work longer hours during rehearsals and on festive occasions such as Halloween.

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