Make-up can be an exciting part of the production process. Rosemarie Swinford illustrates its importance in an actor's toolbox of skills.
I wonder if you know that in the past all actors called their make-up ‘Slap' presumably from slapping on the heavy greasepaint that they used. Greasepaint was the first professional stage make-up and was – well, ‘greasy', and often applied with a dried rabbit's foot rather as we would use a sponge today, which became a good luck talisman for performers. Greasepaint reigned supreme until a shrewd Russian immigrant to America reformulated it into a fi ne cream for the movies and in the process created a famous company and made his fortune – his name was Max Factor. Factor developed many of the products that we still use today.
History lesson over. I suppose the question for you as a drama student is – should I use make-up today? Yes, I know that you will meet pros who don't. In my opinion, that is a mistake and often lets the audience down. After all, why should they have to imagine, for example, that you are ill as stated in the text, when clearly you look in rude health? More than that, well done and subtle make-up can be an enormous help to you especially when you are at drama school and cast as many different characters.