September 2015

Working with Carrie Fisher; more than just makeup.

As Salt Lake City’s Comic Con September 2015 gets closer and closer I cannot help but to think of my last Comic Con experience…

At Salt Lake City’s Comic Con I am hired on as a makeup artist and hair stylist who not only provides assistance in the green room prior to the celebrity photo ops, but who also arrives early at the guest’s hotel to get select stars ready from “0 to 10” as I like to call it, or shall we say “wet hair in a towel to ‘Celebrity Fan ready.’” I have always enjoyed my experiences at Comic Con and have found them very rewarding. This event I am about to share in particular stands out to me and has very little or rather nothing to do with actual makeup or styling.

This past January one of the selected celebrities I was responsible for getting ready was Ms. Carrie Fisher. Carrie is our beautiful actress whom most of us know from being the female lead in Star Wars, “Princess Leia”.

I was with Carrie for two days and caught on quick to the idea that she never has lived a “normal” life. Just to give you a bit of understanding, she was an only child who grew up with Frank Sinatra as a regular guest in her parent’s home as Carrie’s parents were Debbie Reynolds, a well-known actress, and Eddie Fisher, a famous singer.

Unlike her life however, Carrie is very “normal”. Like a “normal” person would, she greeted me with a smile and offered me a Coke; and as with happens with many “normal” people, we soon became comfortable acquaintances and the day started off great. Noticing that throughout the first day of her signings she had hundreds if not thousands of fans I thought to myself, “Wow! I can’t imagine the type of pressure you would feel having to continue as this false person (or character) you portrayed over 30 years ago and to be only known as Princess Leia and not Carrie.”

I have always been one to treat all my clients, talent, actors, etc. the same- with dignity, kindness, and respect. There is no reason why anyone should be treated any differently. The truth is, that is all people want! At the end of the day, any person wants to be treated like just that- a person. They want normal conversations about real life events. They want to feel appreciated for being who they are, not who they are trying to be. After those two long days, being there to escort her in and out of photo ops, giving her positive reinforcement,, there to give her a hug and reminding her “you’ve got this”, Carrie made it through all of her countless fans.

As the end of the closing day came, the owner of Salt Lake City’s Comic Con’s wife, Stephanie Farr, approached me and said, “Thank you for being so motherly and nurturing to Carrie. I think she really needed it.” I remember that night as I packed my bags and left, I couldn’t stop thinking about what Stephanie had said to me. In all of my years of doing makeup and styling, I have never had anyone give me such a genuine heart-warming compliment. It caused me to really think deeply about the idea that all people want at the end of the day is to feel cared for and appreciated on a real level. The glam and fame is all a cover. Underneath it however, lies human beings just like you and me who want to be just that- like you and me- and to be loved as “just” that.

I am eternally grateful for the experiences my career has led me to and that I have the privilege of sharing them with you. This experience has enhanced my life as it has granted more love and compassion in my relationship with myself and with others.



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