Like many makeup artists in the US

job profile

The make-up department of a medium-sized German theater consists of a head make-up artist, a deputy and several employees. For television or film productions, make-up artists are hired as freelancers, depending on the size of the equipment. Your area of ​​responsibility includes all areas related to body and hair design: face and body make-up, hairstyle design, mask production, body hair and special physiognomic effects. A distinction must be made in each case for which requirement profile the mask must be created: dancers, actors and singers have different needs in order to be able to carry out their profession, and the incorruptible eye of a close-up film camera focuses on other things than the stage lights of an opera stage, where the singer acts at least five meters from the first row of spectators separated by the orchestra pit.

In the USA and most of the neighboring countries in Western Europe, the tasks of making masks, hair styling and make-up are carried out by various specialists. A make-up artist in Germany is expected to master all job-related areas of responsibility. He must have in-depth knowledge of hair design as well as make-up technology and mask making. In this way it is possible for him to develop a comprehensive make-up artistic figure design in theater and film.

The make-up artist responsible is fully integrated into the artistic process within the production process. Together with the director, stage and costume designer, dramaturge and lighting designer, he is part of the production team and contributes to the staging concept. His special contact persons are the costume designer, with whom he coordinates the figure concept, and the lighting designer, with whom he discusses the color scheme. The make-up work supports and completes the appearance of the actors.

Analytical skills in relation to piece reading, a comprehensive cultural education and knowledge of the current aesthetic discourse are just as naturally part of the required skills as the development of ways to implement the agreed figure concept. Creative solutions are often indispensable here, taking into account the practical framework conditions. Time frame and cost factor, individual requirements of the individual actors and the objective of the overall concept are elementary components of the work process in the practice-related art forms of theater and film, which must always be taken into account.


An important prerequisite for the makeup artist is a great interest in theater, film or television. Added to this are creativity and aesthetics, artistic persuasiveness and expressiveness as well as craftsmanship. Contact and adaptability and a sensitive approach to artists make work easier. Physical resilience, flexible handling of working hours and the ability to work in a team are also important. A differentiated aesthetic perception as well as a technical and artistic expression are required for all those interested in the profession of make-up artist.


There are various options in Germany to qualify professionally in the field of make-up art. The makeup artist profession has been well recognized since 2002. In 2004, the Make-Up Image - Theater and Film (BA./MA.) Course was developed at the Munich University of Music and Theater in cooperation with the Bavarian Theater Academy August Everding. The University of Fine Arts Dresden has offered a degree in make-up at a university of applied sciences since the 1960s. As part of a three-year apprenticeship under the umbrella of the IHK (Chamber of Commerce and Industry), training is provided at state and city theaters and public broadcasters. Various private schools offer training to become a makeup artist in one to three-year courses. Usually, it is not primarily the artistic and technical talent that is decisive for admission to such a school, but the financial situation of the trainees.

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