"Hey! It's a rough job, but somebody has to do it." That is how Nicky Schillace, head of the hair and makeup department at Days of our Lives, sums up his job.
And what a job to have! One can only imagine what it is like to do hair and makeup on some of the most beautiful women like Deidre Hall (Marlena) or Kristian Alfonso (Hope), or those hot guys like James Scott (EJ) or Galen Gering (Rafe).
Schillace has been with Days of our Lives for about nine months, and incidentally he is the real-life husband of Lauren Koslow (Kate). Oh yes! He whimpers that he never instructs her what to do with makeup, and why should he? She is a stunning natural beauty.
Prior to Days of our Lives, he was the head of makeup at CBS at Television City, and in fact helped with the design of their makeup room. He also worked on shows like Beverly Hills 90210 and Knots Landing to name a few.
Schillace had a love for the business and was apprentice trained under a makeup artist, and said his job is very rewarding and he loves what he does.
Schillace's day begins at 6 AM. He first downloads the casts photos into the computer of their last hair and makeup job. "I do this because continuity is critical. When finishing an episode that may be the same day the actor needs to look the same with same hair," Schillace explains. "I can't have an actress in one scene with a bun and hair down in the next scene."
The hair and makeup room is a bustling place early in the morning because some scenes are taped as early as 8:45 AM.
Schillace also prepares the chairs and makes sure everything is ready to go for the actor upon their arrival. He said the actor usually occupies the chair that is available and it doesn't matter if hair or makeup is done first.
Schillace does many of the principal actors like Eileen Davidson (Kristin) himself, but he works with and oversees a staff of four makeup artists and three hairdressers, who also strive with utmost professionalism.
Hair and makeup goes on throughout the course of the day. There are always touch ups, or a new hairdo will be done as the actor changes into another scene which will be the next day, or perhaps a bedtime scene, or the actor changes clothes.
Schillace said that on an average the actor spends about an hour and a half in the hair and makeup room. "I must say this is a real business setting. You know in the regular salons it's a lot of chatter and talk," Schillace said. "You know...the hairdresser knows everything! Not here. It is pure business."
Schillace said most actors come in with their scripts and study their lines, or they come in with their partner and run lines together. He jokingly interceded that there is a cappuccino machine.
Schillace orders one type of makeup and hair products and all the supplies needed. There is everything from powders to creams to blushes, and if there is a special need for an actor, due to allergies, for example, that type of makeup will be ordered.
Schillace's belief is when doing hair and makeup it is all about being true to the character. "I strongly believe that you perceive the character and make them look the part," Schillace said. "The good part about this job is that in daytime TV and especially Days of our Lives, I work with some of the best looking people, which makes the job easy."
Schillace is big on toning down the makeup and going and striving for the natural look, saying that natural is in. An actor is not to be overly made up, but rather enhance the beauty and bring out the qualities that are there. "I believe in keeping them real and the makeup is applied in that fashion."
Soapdom wants to know if there is anything as a behind the scenes guy that you would like to tell the viewers? "Well! It is a pleasure working with these actors on Days. They are the most professional actors. I find my job a challenge, but it is joyful."
This is the first in Soapdom's series of articles on Behind the Scenes at Days of our Lives. Check back for more!
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