Being the hair and makeup junior for Small Axe

Meet Annie Little, the hair and makeup junior for the Small Axe collection of films on BBC One.

What is the day in the life of a junior hair and makeup artist like?

My day might involve getting in early, setting up, doing my actors' hair and makeup, or it could mean helping a makeup artist prep the hair for a wig then following the actor down to set and making sure they look okay before they go on screen. You might not get a tonne of hands-on (experience) in the beginning, and you kind of have to earn that, but you're in the environment and that's what you shouldn't forget.

How did you get into hair and makeup?

I went to the local jobcentre, put in all my interests and out came makeup artist. I'd always had an interest in hair and hair styling, and anytime any of my little nieces came over to the house they'd always leave with a different hairstyle, so there was a clue there. I was very much into Hollywood movies, and fashion and colour. Up until that point, I'd never even heard of the job so I didn't know it was an option for me, but it fits me perfectly.

Do you need any qualifications or have to study certain subjects?

You can learn a lot on the job, and every day is a learning experience, but I would say, fundamentally, you should have a basic understanding of hairdressing and makeup. I think you can come to this job from different avenues: I trained as a wig maker, so that has become a very useful skill to have on set.

Why is it important to have diversity in the cast and crew?

I didn't realise that there wasn't as much diversity in the film industry, or in cast and crew. It just really didn't really occur to me. But with current conversations and the jobs that I've been on, I do realise that there could be more diversity. I think it's important to reflect the world that's out there, and especially if you are telling diverse stories, I think it's highly important to have a diverse crew.

Have you got any advice for someone who wants to work in film hair and makeup?

I'd say go for it, really. The thing about it is if you don't see it, you don't know it. Depending on where you've come from, you may think that film and television is not a career for you or you can't aspire to that career, or you can't reach that career. But I would say go for it because it is possible. If you possibly can, get a day on a film set. It might seem all very glamorous and very romantic, but once you are there, you see the ins and outs of it and that will quickly tell you if you are made for it... then when you are actually hired you aren't so much like a fish out of water.

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