Friday, February 26, 2010

The Artist Series with Amy Strozzi

How have you kept your career growing in a challenging economy?

I try my best to stay as well rounded as possible in my career. I do my television show in the summertime, and the rest of the year I fill with photo shoots, client work, and commercials/music videos. Also, I blog. (

What three traits does a great makeup artist need to have?

1. Empathy

2. Fluidity

3. Versatility

What makes a good assistant?

Being tuned in to the artists needs, whatever they may be. Being aware of everything going on around you on set, while also staying on the sidelines. Your time will come (!) but this moment belongs to the person you are assisting.

Is there a project you have worked on that you are especially proud of?

I love my TV show, So You Think You Can Dance. The team of artists I get to work with are so amazing, they teach me something every day and constantly astonish me with their abilities. And they are hilarious.

What are you working on today?

A bunch of random, slightly absurd projects, as usual.

How did you get started in makeup?

I was the makeup crew chief for my high schools theater program. I wanted to do drama, but I always had a slight case of stage fright. This was the next best thing. And I loved it…. I think I took it a bit too seriously at times.

What is the biggest mistake a makeup artist can make?

I don’t know about anyone else, but I have a tendency to get ahead of myself. I always want the end results as fast as possible, when it’s really the journey that matters.

How did you know that you wanted to be a makeup artist?

After several years of a gypsy lifestyle, I woke up one day and said, “I want to be a makeup artist.” I packed my bags and moved to LA. I always knew if I were open to it, the universe would let me know what I should be doing.

What does "community" mean to you?

Community to me is a place where acceptance and support comes with no judgment or personal definition. Where we all realize there is enough for everyone if we live properly and give of ourselves freely.

Can you tell us about a change you have made in your career?

Lately I’ve been focusing on getting back to basics. A soft hand can make such a difference.

Is it important to do both hair and makeup in the industry?

I think it is, and I say this because I am totally lacking in hair skills. I have had short hair for the last 6 years, so even a blow out takes me longer than it should. I’m working on it ;)

Amy Stozzi is the makeup department head for the hit reality show "So You Think You Can Dance" . You can hear her story and listen to her unique experiences this Sunday Feb. 28 2010 — 1:00pm -2:30pm
at the Television Forum: Working in Reality TV. To purchase tickets for The Makeup Show LA please visit

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