I’m on time. Noon in Linthicum Maryland. Ringing the doorbell in anticipation, I wonder what I’ll say. “Hi, I’m Jana. I’m the hair and make up model… Hi, I’m Jana. I’m here to serve as Ebony’s hair and make up model… Hi, I’m Jana, I have hair and my face needs some make up. I will model…” Hmm. The door opens.
An internationally renown hair and make up artist stands in front of me tall and strong. She is thin with a dress wrapped around her body and she holds a small chihuahua. Her hair is slicked back into a perfect pony tail.
“I’m so glad you’ve come,” she says before I can say anything remotely like an introduction.
This is probably a good thing.
“Please, come in.”
She steps back and I’m swept into the room. Ebony is already here. I go to shake Ebony’s hand and she goes in for a hug. This makes us look unfamiliar with each other, but the whole point is to make Ebony look good. I drop my hand and hug her… maybe that was a quick enough recovery?
“Please sit,” this famous make-up artist instructs.
I sit in a swirly chair.
“Now,” she looks at Ebony, stroking her little Tito chihuahua, “I want you to put the basic make up on her face. Just the day make up. And do it fast, fast. The client is waiting. Fifteen minutes. Go.”
Ebony gets to work… taking make up out of her bag and spending too much time at it…the clock is ticking.
“Can I get you something to drink?”
“Er, just some water please?” I say.
Is it appropriate for me to imbibe something in this house? I shouldn’t send her to get me water… her assistant should do that… but then again, that’s why Ebony’s here.
Tito jumps up into my lap and starts licking my hands. The only time I like to see a chihuahua in on a Taco Bell commercial, but this guy is pretty sweet.
She sets water in front of me. I’m nervous and not thirsty, but I take a sip anyway, leaving a stain of my cheap Avon lip gloss on the glass. It makes me look tacky…
Ebony sizes up my coloring and works what feels like magic. The make up is weightless and she makes my eyes and cheeks dazzle in the most natural way. Looking in the mirror, my eyes are drawn unrelentingly to my eyebrows. Ebony’s darkened them. I guess they photograph better this way? I start to panic about looking like a transvestite with man eyebrows, but she seems pleased. I guess the audition is going well.
“Now make a slick pony tail,” she dictates.
A struggle ensues. A pony tail looks so simple, but it is so hard to do it well – without frizzy hair escaping. It has to be sleek and stylish. It has to be perfect. Ebony attempts it and it looks like a ten year old did my ponytail. This cannot bode well.
“Curl the hair. Curl the hair!”
Ebony curls my hair to look like a goddess. I’m serious. I could start a small cult movement with these luscious locks. Ashton Kutcher would have nothing on my followers.
“Your hair,” she says. “It’s perfect.”
I mean, I’ll take a perfect compliment any day of the week.
“I want you to be my assistant,” she tells Ebony. She gets the gig – perfect.
I leave the house. I leave Ebony to go on to work with Whoopi Goldberg, Magic Johnson, and Baby Face.
I leave, blowing a kiss to Tito and flipping my hair like I’m in a L’Oreal commercial. And I know I’ll be back.
Jana (it rhymes with “banana” or “anna”) is an artist from Clarksville, Maryland. Growing up her parents always told her to “be whatever you want to be.” Seeing as she has come from three generations of doctors, she obviously became an artist. As an actor, she has performed internationally Off-Broadway, and locally to the Baltimore/DC area. Favorite roles include Juliet, Ariel, and Caliban. Jana is the Founder of Red Connect Online, a social media marketing company that creates customized advertising campaigns for small businesses. You can listen to her podcast, Confessions of a Closet Christian, on the E-Squared Media Network. You can also follow her on Twitter (@Jana_Stambaugh) and friend her on Facebook.