Alexys Becerra, make-up artist

 3 October 2012

Hair and make-up specialist Alexys Becerra has helped create zombies for Thorpe Park and Circus of Horrors.

"I love creating life – or death – on people’s faces."


I was born and raised in California but now live in London.

What job do you do?

I'm a freelance make-up and hair artist. I'm also a part-time actor and singer. I've been self-employed for many years now.

I also sit on the panel for freelance hair and make-up artists for BECTU, the entertainment industry union.

What previous jobs in theatre have you done?

I finished beauty school when I was 19 and have worked on and off since then.

I didn’t begin to take myself seriously as a make-up artist until a few years ago.

My first job in theatre was a front-of-house job at the Cochrane Theatre, which is owned by the University of the Arts London. I was surrounded by people who were currently involved in theatre.

It helped me to understand theatre better, and I quickly made the leap to performing on stage. As the productions became more ambitious, I was asked to supervise make-up and hair.

I was responsible for creating a large cast of zombies for Thorpe Park's Fright Nights two years in a row.

I’ve also worked on several independent films. I've supervised hair and make-up for Circus of Horrors, too.

What qualifications do you have?

I’m a certified beautician from the Clairemont College of Beauty in California.

I’ve also done a short course in prosthetics at the London College of Fashion and a workshop in special effects and camouflage at Charles Fox.

What do you do at work?

On a typical make-up and hair day, it’s an early start. You need at least an hour to prep and set up your station.

Depending on what kind of project you’re working on, whether it’s film or theatre, you have to allocate your time carefully. You can’t spend an hour on one person if you have 10 others needing to be made-up within that hour.

"You can’t spend an hour on one person if you have 10 others needing to be made-up."

Once you’re finished with the preliminary characters, you begin to clean up your station and get ready for the interval. Once this is finished, you clean up your station again, and are on stand-by for any touch-ups you might have to do.

At the end of the show, my job is to make sure that any wigs, hairpieces or false facial hair are removed properly and stored for the next day’s use. The same goes for make-up. This is crucial when you're using prosthetics as well.

Once again, you clean up your station, and then it’s time to go. Hair and make-up are always the first to arrive and leave.

What’s the best thing about your job?

I love creating life – or death – on people’s faces.

And the worst thing about the job?

The long hours can be excruciating.

How do I get into theatre?

Keep on truckin’!

Aim high, keep your feet on the ground, and be persistent.

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