TALES FROM TINSELTOWN: Celebrity hair and make-up artists: theirjobs are a cut above the rest

I blinked a couple of times and stared. 'Is that per day?' I


'I mean, in addition to what the production is already paying you?'

'Oh, yes,' they replied in unison. 'It's in our contract.'

'They' are the movie star's hair and make-up artists. Specifically hired

for this movie at the request of the star. To work on only the star.

This gives them clout. And their contract proves it.

'But you don't have to do anything extra. He's already made up for the

scene. It's just a brief television interview,' I countered, still

stunned that I had to pay both of them an extra fee that was roughly the

amount of my weekly salary.

'It doesn't matter,' they responded almost in unison. 'Anytime he does

any publicity you have to pay us this rate. It's in the contract.'

Publicists, we're in the wrong business. Is it too late to learn how to

cut hair?

Members of a star's entourage - be it a driver, a personal chef or

make-up artist - belong to a small and powerful clique known as a

'crew.' Big stars always have their own crew. If you're inside that

fortunate circle, life can be very, very good. Stars usually request,

ahem, insist, that the production hire their crew. In turn, the crew

knows they've been requested by the star and can command hefty salaries

and perks. It's in the contract.

That's why on-set publicity events, such as a photo shoot, TV interview

or press conference, can get expensive. There's the extra studio space,

lighting and grip equipment, photographer fees - or the previously

mentioned extra pay for hair and make-up. Before you know it, your

interview with PrimeTime Live costs an arm and a leg.

I started doing the math. 'If we don't get the interview today, and have

to reschedule for tomorrow, will that be another???'

'Yes,' they responded in unison. 'It's in the contract.'

On the flip side, publicists can also become members of a star or

filmmakers' crew. Steve Newman, for example, now the photo editor at

Fox, was Arnold Schwarzenegger's longtime publicist of choice. Jane E.

Russell is in Robert Zemeckis' crew. Attaching your wagon to a star can

take you far. You may end up becoming a little too chummy, knowing where

all the bodies are buried, but it is usually well worth it. A stamped

ticket to the inside circle gives you access and clout that even studio

executives and directors often don't have. You might as well walk around

with a sign that says 'Crew Member of Big Star. Don't even think of

messing with me. At all.'

There's much more I could say on the subject, but won't. I don't have to

write more than 475 words for this column. It's in the contract.

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