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How do you get jobs in special effects make-up specifically in haunted houses?

I do SFX make-up and aspire to be a SFX artist in the haunted house field and would like to know how to get into the field easier.

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Christy’s Answer

This is a tremendous specialty career choice in today's entertainment industry because fantasy and science fiction movies are extremely popular. To meet the need of the industry, a person doesn't have to go it alone any longer. SFX make-up artist schools, both on campus and remote do exist across the country (you can find them in a search engine such as Google or ask on Twitter). In addition, since this is a legitimate educational field, financial assistance is available--either through the school itself, the federal government, or both. My advice: If you want to pursue a career in any specialty industry, begin by enrolling in the core courses (English, History, Math, Political Science, etc. ) that all degrees require, and the basic fine arts (drawing, painting, figure drawing) courses at a community college before you follow up with majoring in SFX. This way, not only are you spending less money, but you're also building the groundwork for your chosen career. Furthermore, since specialty schools are often fast pace environments (12 courses in 12 months), having that strong base you received in higher education will assist you in successfully making it through what could possibly be a high-stress situation if you're not mentally ready. This may seem like a lot, but I suggest it simply because too many people spend the money (or owe the money) and fail because they were not mentally prepared. Lastly, if you live in a city that has a professional theatre, why not join and become one of their make-up artists so that you are receiving some real-life practice at the same time that you're in school? It's also a way to make connections, and you'll never know where those connections will take you. I'm glad that this question was asked because becoming an SFX artist isn't merely a dream, it is a reality. However, you must really want to make it happen, and that takes work.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice. Layla
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Marissa’s Answer

Hey Layla! It'd be awesome to work at haunted houses near you and meet other SFX experts on LinkedIn. You could also make a cool website to display your SFX creations for interviews. Universal's Halloween Horror Nights offers internships and jobs, like being a scare actor, to help you learn more about the industry.

https://jobs.universalparks.com/universal-orlando-resort/
Thank you comment icon Marissa, thank you! Layla
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Zena’s Answer

Hi, Layla!
I've been in the haunted house business as a costumed performer for over 10 years, and every make-up artist who has ever made me look beautifully terrifying had a different back story! Some went to art school for years, some came out of working in traditional make-up and hair, and some were fortunate enough to network their way into the make-up booth!

Zena recommends the following next steps:

Since it sounds like you already have some skills, a smart move would be to document all of your make-up masterpieces for a portfolio. If you already have people willing to be your canvas, you're already partway there! Document your work from start to finish, and showcase your best work on social media platforms with accounts you specifically dedicate to demonstrating your skills.
Once you have a portfolio, start looking into haunted houses within your transportation range. Haunted houses start auditioning early in the year, around mid-summer, so that's when you should start to see auditions posted for actors. Make-up artist job postings can sometimes be harder to find that acting auditions, so don't be afraid to take the initiative and cold-call haunted houses early in the season, and be persistent! It can be a good idea to attend auditions yourself, because auditions tend to be good networking opportunities.
In the meantime, look into haunted house industry trade groups. Bulk make-up, costume supplies and accessories, and props and set pieces have large business communities online, and connecting with these people is a good way to hear about possible working opportunities.
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Kimberly’s Answer

Reach out to your local amusement parks to determine if they have jobs in this area. You can gain experience while going to school for this field.
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the advice. Layla
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