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TV Awards Season-Hair and Makeup Categories


By Paige Donner
When voting for an Emmy in the categories of hair and makeup, Mary Guerrero, governor of hair peer group for the Television Academy, is quick to admit: “It’s such a subjective vote. I try and encourage the people I meet to vote for the work of the show and not the popularity of the show.”
She explains that it’s all too possible to have a voter who, for example, particularly likes Jennifer Aniston’s hair over, say, period wigs, and so that’s where their vote likely will go.
Guerrero advises that, “Depending on the show category, look for hair styling that is right for the character, that it conforms to and complements wardrobe and makeup.” Guerrero elaborates that when voting on a show that involves a period look, voters are encouraged to evaluate whether “the hair is groomed beautifully and appropriately for that character.” And if a wig is used, “it must represent the character authentically.”
Tommy Cole, governor of the academy’s makeup peer group, weighs in on a similar note. “When judging a character, especially when employing prosthetics, the vision must come to life and not jump out at you as ‘makeup.’It must be part of the whole persona of the character, a creation that becomes an integral part of the story, and not just an appendage.”
Cole agrees that it can be tempting to give your vote to a friend, but stresses the importance, as peers, that politics and popularity of a show ought to be considered last when voting, and the merits of the work should be foremost: “We have to be very fair,” he says. “Don’t vote just for your friends, vote for the work.”
He also points out that: “Some voters are swayed to vote for a project by shock and gore. We are always drawn to prosthetics — the awards often seem to go for the biggest, the most special makeup — whereas really the subtlety of makeup can be more deserving, when something is very realistic.” Cole says that often the makeup that looks like it didn’t take a lot of work sometimes requires the most skill.
A limitation that Guerrero has recognized in the past when voting for who gets an Emmy in the hair categories, is that sometimes very different shows are put into the same category, such as this year’s Rome and Dancing With the Stars being judged against each other. She hopes that one day the category can be “more defined, so we’re not voting apples versus oranges, but apples versus apples and oranges versus oranges.”
She explains that this is why the peer group voting process is so important and why it works to such advantage. ”They (the peers) understand the value of the work that goes into the production.”
Cole advises to keep this in mind when casting your vote. “If you did the work, would you be proud to have your peers judge it?”

Written by Paige Donner

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