Always the Pro - Maintaining Your Professionalism with Celebrity Clients.
Let's face it. Being a makeup, hair or fashion stylist is considered a glamorous job. Of course, if you are in the trenches––busting your butt every day, submitting your book, testing, and still doing your time in a salon, or trying to make it as a waitress at night––you probably don't feel so glamorous.
But compared to many jobs out there, getting $500 to $5,000 a day to brush someone's hair, paint their face, or tell them what to wear is most definitely considered glamorous.
Yet, sometimes-freelance artists get confused about their job description. And if you don't keep yourself in check, it can hinder your career.
Maintaining the proper business relationship with celebrity clients is crucial to a LONG-TERM arrangement. Working on celebrities can be a blast. The money is top dollar and you get the opportunity to travel to interesting locations and be surrounded by great talent. However, no matter how many times a celebrity, well-known photographer or director specifically requests you for a job, you must never [ever] confuse a good working relationship with a real friendship.
This business is fickle and competitive. No matter how many times you work with a celeb––don't get too relaxed. The quickest way to get your feelings hurt is to assume that you’re a shoe in for the next big job or that you're locked in with that person.
Entertainers are proposition by everyone who thinks that THEY make them more fabulous than you already have.
Courtney Love, Halle Berry or Pierce Brosnan may very well have your home number, spend hours with you shopping, lunching, and talking fashion. However, they may still use different artists––just because they can.
Maria Cutrona, an artist's rep. at Jam Arts, Inc. in New York says, "Artists can't have a lot of expectations. Just because a celebrity likes you, does not mean you're promised the next job. Many celebrities have too much going on to ‘look out for you’. This is why it’s important to keep your professionalism and a positive attitude. Don't ever take things too personally because it will affect your work, and your vibe with the client.
Whatever you do––don't try to hang out with them in a social setting unless you're invited (and even then you should limit it). Just because you spent the last five days with Mariah Carey working on her latest video, laughing and joking the whole time, doesn't mean she wants you at her next barbeque. If, after an awesome day of styling Madonna (she raved about you all day!), she and her pal Ingrid are going to dinner, don't suggest that perhaps you could meet them and you guys could all hang out. WRONG!
Freelance fashion stylist Stacy Young, says, "Oh they all love you the day of the video. You hear all day long how fabulous you are and what a great job you're doing. But that does not guarantee anything! It's fine to accept all the compliments, just know that you still have work to do. No matter how successful you are, if you start acting as if you're the celebrity, it will effect your reputation––quickly”.
Cutrona acknowledges that, "Artists do have to put themselves out there at parties and functions in order to get exposure, but don't get confused about why you're doing it...to get work. This business is small and very judgmental. Negative news travels ten times faster than positive news.”
Obviously there is a fine line you need to walk and it changes constantly. If you stay on top of your craft, and work smart––you'll have longevity in this business, a lot of fun, and get PAID!