Davina Faye is a previous student and pupil of TATMA founder Paige Badenoch, and has since gone on to build a career as a film/tv makeup artist in Canada. We learn more about her journey today.
Having Paige as a mentor and teacher was a turning point in my career. She gave me the confidence and guidance to push myself to the next level and pursue my dream of working on larger scale productions overseas. I am forever grateful for what she has done for me.
How long have you been working in Canada?
I have been living and working in Canada for just over 5 years now.
What has been the highlight of your career since moving?
My career highlight so far would be working really hard and finally getting sworn into IATSE 891, officially as a makeup artist for the BC film union.
What challenges were you faced with when you first relocated to Canada?
What challenges didn’t I face! It was a very hard transition. Coming to a new country and starting from scratch by myself was a tough road. Trying to find a place to live, making a million calls to local non-union production companies, handing out resumes to every film person I met. As I had no contacts, it was hard to get a meeting anywhere. I didn’t have any local references that could vouch for my work. I slept on the floor instead of buying a bed at the beginning so i could use the money stocking my my kit in preparation for any makeup job i could get. I did PA work on many MANY productions, picking up trash and carrying tents to be able to get onto bigger productions to meet the makeup teams.
What is the best advice you were given on set?
Don’t try to be someone you are not. Be yourself! Work hard in whatever job you do, no matter how little the job is. I followed that advice and two years ago I met a makeup artist on set when I was picking up trash. The following year she tracked me down and offered me a position as a personal assistant to one of the biggest makeup artists on the planet for a feature film. I had the opportunity to be a paid ‘fly on the wall’ to a master and learn so much. She has recently contacted me again and now that I am in the union, I am able to assist her on a large scale feature production starting soon.
What advice can you give you artists thinking of moving to Canada for TV and film?
Don’t get off the plane expecting a job straight away. Be realistic, be determined and most of all, be very PATIENT! I did many jobs in the first few years to build my resume and my set experience. Sets are different to Australia and I walked in feeling pretty confident. However, I learned fast that I was in a different size pool. If you truly love the job, then the tough road is most definitely worth it!
Finally, what is the product in your kit that you can’t live without?
There are a few but the one that has saved my butt multiple times is M.A.C Matte. I can’t work without it!