Fort Wayne native directs Hollywood makeup documentary

Carroll High School graduate Amber Talarico returned to town Sunday to screen her new documentary about the ups and downs of freelance makeup artistry.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – If you’ve ever dreamed of being a Hollywood makeup artist, it’s important to know what it takes and a Fort Wayne native did just that. Carroll High School graduate Amber Talarico returned to town Sunday to screen her new documentary about her journey.

Talarico directed “What It Takes” to give an honest look at the ups and downs of freelance makeup artistry.

She did her due diligence before flying out to Los Angeles 5 years ago, but despite what she thought, she thinks seeing the job might have prepared her even more.

“The main message across the board is to follow your dreams, but also know what it takes to get there,” she said of the documentary.

The doc shows the long hours, low or no pay, excessive pressure, and impossible expectations of being a film and fashion makeup artist.

“It takes a lot of perseverance,” Talarico explained. “A lot of passion and a lot of dedication and understanding of the fact that you are not alone.”

The documentary features Hollywood actors as well as more than 20 award winning makeup artists who also share their stories, advice, and inspiration.

Talarico said there is a pay off for those who endure. Last year, she worked on a music video for pop singer Meghan Trainor and the ad campaign for the hit television show American Horror Story.

“You see your work on the biggest billboard ad campaign in the whole country, if not the whole world, you see your work and you see it on national television and it’s very, very gratifying,” she said.

Talarico has parting advice for those who may want to follow in her footsteps.

“I would say plan as much as you can, save back as much money as possible, but also just keep in mind the reason why you’re going and don’t give up,” she said.

Additional screenings of “What It Takes” are scheduled for Indianapolis, Chicago, New York City, San Diego, Seattle, Portland, Oregon and Los Angeles. Tickets can be purchased here.

Click here to watch the film’s trailer.