My name is Tarah-Rose Golding, I am 24 years old and a Graduate of Delamar Academy. I’m going to tell you about the 10 months since graduating from this incredible place. Many say a lot can change in a year, but after you’ve been to Delamar, you know EVERYTHING can change – and all for the better.
Before enrolling in the 16 week course in April 2016, I had just returned from an ‘oh my God I’m meant to be an adult and completely directionless’ soul searching trip to California, before which I had impulsively handed in my resignation from my in-between job to help get me by, after suffering a “quarter life crisis”, à la Britney Spears minus the shaved head or criminal damage charges. No paparazzi were documenting my melt-down.
I had never grown up with the opportunity to pursue a career in the creative industries; Studying English at University was still hard for my father to understand- God forbid my Degree started with BA instead of BSC. Nevertheless, I trotted straight into an office based business role, then jumped to recruitment and executive PA work before throwing in a short stint of PR work for good luck, and eventually becoming an account manager for a well-known luxury beauty brand – because I loved make-up. If there was a ‘none of the above’ tick box on my career choice form, it would most definitely have been ticked at this point.
I knew I enjoyed makeup, but as an avid social media user and a classic millennial child, I was under the same impression every other misinformed person about the industry was. ‘Oh everyone is a makeup artist now. It’s too competitive and I just won’t make it’ I stubbornly told my mum when surprisingly she suggested I re-trained in Film and TV makeup at Delamar. One week later, I was sat in Leda’s office, eyes bright and raring to sell any arm, leg or kidney on the black market to get the course fees together.
The course is simply amazing. It was the 16 week Complete Make-up Artist course, which covered everything from film make-up to 1940’s hairstyles. Learning how to do these things was an achievement in it’s own right, but let me tell you – the confidence and determination Delamar instilled in me as a Makeup Artist, is something I never thought I would have and is truly a testament to the teaching and running of this school as a whole. From the unpaid jobs and 4am alarm clocks, to experience with the most incredible makeup artists, I truly feel in good stead and after these past 12 months, I don’t think any gap year exploring amazon jungles could compare to the most wonderful, exciting, thrilling and at times, emotionally wobbly (to say the least) first year out of Delamar…
My first job was with my class mate Vicky who I now count as best friend and work-wife. It is so important to be around such a great supportive network at what seems like the most uncertain time of life, it did for me anyway! The job wasn’t paid, we didn’t claim kit fee but we got our names on the credits of a student film and sushi for lunch and that was good enough for us! The feeling of accomplishment was much greater than any target I’d hit working in recruitment.
I continued working on short films and unpaid jobs for a solid 4 to 6 months after graduating, building experience and making contacts. Needless to say I was living at home and on pennies but I made it work. The bridal and private client work pulled me through. Yes there were sleepless nights, yes there were tears, yes I tried and failed to extend my overdraft… but one mantra to live by is if you really commit to this line of work, short term sacrifice for long term gain honestly does pay off.
My first real paid job was creating the Hair and Makeup for a well-known jewellery brand based in Hatton Garden. I thought I had won the jackpot and started to feel like a legitimate makeup artist which was an internal struggle that I had been fighting for a while. I thought, does completing a course really make me a makeup artist because at times, I sure as hell didn’t feel like one. What I came to learn however, that this had nothing to do with where or what I had studied, but everything to do with self-belief. To be cliché, Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor was the light bulb invented overnight. Edison told a reporter ‘I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps’. Now, I might not have a BSC in Physics but I knew if I kept hustling, something great was coming as long as I believed in it.
Sure enough, the motivational quotes on Instagram that I scrolled through everyday were not wrong when I received a text from one of the Delamar tutors telling me to send my CV to an email address for a Trainee position on EastEnders. I was hired for 6 days and had the time of my life after which I was recommended for a job on an HBO feature film with a multi award winning makeup designer.
I have only been graduated technically for around 10 months but once you make that first domino fall, the rest will follow.
Keep hustling, and as a trainee, ALWAYS carry a pen- it’s surprising how many are needed and how few there are on set!
Edit – Tarah is now working on the main-team of a TV series called Good Omens for BBC and Amazon are also co producing, starring Michael Sheen and David Tenant. Anne Oldham is designing and Elaine Browne is supervising.