We had the good fortune of connecting with Cindy K Cruz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cindy K, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I have to say that working for myself pretty much developed organically. After graduating with a degree in Marketing from CU Leeds School of Business, I went to work for a large corporation and I learned fairly quickly that the confines of that structure were not for me. Falling back on my makeup experience working for large cosmetic companies in College and for a small herbal health and beauty aids store, I went to New York and studied makeup at Stagelight. Shortly there after I started getting freelance work doing model headshots for a photographer in Denver. My first feature was here in Boulder working as a PA in pre-production where I got a crash course in Film production. From then on it was word of mouth referrals that kept me going.
Let’s be honest- working freelance is not for everyone. The potential for news about an exciting job prospect at the other end of an email, phone call or text is tantalizing, but potential won’t pay the bills. The ability to find the balance between the busy times and the lean times is critical to sustaining. Deepak Chopra put it best when said we must believe in “the wisdom of insecurity”.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As a professional Makeup Artist for film and television who has been in this industry for decades- and who has lived and worked in Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Denver and in Italy and Spain, I bring a unique perspective and approach to my craft. Working in Film, Television, Photography and Print- I’ve pretty much seen it all
Succeeding as a makeup artist requires more than just being excellent at the craft – it is also requires a delicate touch and balance between taking care of the talent whom I want to make feel totally safe, confident and ready as they prepare to go in front of the camera while respecting the rigors of a production schedule and continuity. Whether I’m bringing out someone’s best features for their portrait or helping the actor look the part, the better the talent feels, the more fulfilled I am as the artist.
My ability to deliver exactly what is required is key to what I do. Makeup should never compete with the performance. If I’m seeing makeup, unless it’s integral to the character’s role, it’ may not be right. Natural makeup, in particular is a speciality – making someone look amazing without looking like they’ve been in the chair is a skill in itself . This is why I love working with men who can be trepidatious. I’m able to make them look their best without it seeming like they have anything on at all!
Having done everything from writing scripts, reading scripts for Paramount Studios, working in development for a feature director, producing, commercials, styling, directing and even operating a Panavision film camera, and gaining a deep understanding of the functioning of the other departments on a set, I settled on makeup as my role. I understand what makes a team player who knows how to work other departments. Knowing the chain of communication- especially on a feature- and how everything runs, allows me to get my job done quickly, efficiently, and successfully.
I’ve had the good fortune of working with such luminaries as Robin Williams, Julia Roberts, Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Martin, Chris Rock, Leonardo DiCaprio, among other stars – but I love working with people from all walks of life. I find each person fascinating with their own story. It’s essential for a makeup artist to understand people and be able to draw them out. I would say most people are nervous in front of a camera, and it’s my job to not just make them look good, but to make them feel good about themselves, motivated and supported.
As a collaborator, I love the team effort, the coordination, the creativity and the uniqueness of what we do. We never know when the “Magic” might happen and it’s always exciting to witness and be a part of it.“
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am fortunate to live in Boulder- a town where within walking distance I find stunning trails like Chautauqua, Sanitas, and Boulder Creek for hiking and biking. Add to that, Boulder is very much a foodie town – with great restaurant options like Mateo, Oak, and Pizzeria Locale, just to name a few. So, after a day outdoors, it’s great to meet with friends for a meal or a drink at any number of great choices.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Locally, I’d like to thank all the amazingly talented Filmmakers with whom I’ve had the privilege of working -Madeleine Pollak, Pax from Medium Films and Studio1, Brook Aiken, and Bob Carmichael who produce, direct and shoot high quality videos for their clients – just to name a few. We have an amazing film community here in Colorado that I am proud to be a part of.
In addition I’d like to thank Isa Mazzei and Danny Goldhaber, young Colorado filmmakers killing it in Hollywood who keep me inspired and excited about our industry.
In Los Angeles, where I spent 20 years honing my craft, I would like to acknowledge the brilliant Directors Peter Bogdanovich, Gene Quintano, Orson Welles, Martha Coolidge, and the incredibly talented Photographer Bonnie Schiffman for believing in me, hiring me and supporting me for all those years. I learned so much from them.
Bob Carmichael Productions, Kim Huggins