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CHARLES ZAMBRANO, Make-Up Artist, IATSE Local 798


Where did you grow up?

I was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, but grew up in The South Bronx. I migrated to the U.S. in the late 80s as my parents sought out the American dream. I am incredibly grateful for their sacrifices and hard work. I wouldn’t be where I am today or would have been able to pursue my dreams.

What are your responsibilities or roles in your department? The Makeup Department has many roles. I currently work in Television & Film and have been a Department Head who runs the entire department, Key Artist (who is second in command to managing the department), and an additional artist who is there to support the

department. You have to be a quick creative

problem solver.

How did you begin working in the industry? For over 9 years I worked in post-production,

but makeup always seemed to present itself

in some manner. Once I realized I was ready

for a new path I followed the signs and ran

with it. Once I made the big leap, I started

with the usual assisting, makeup counter.

What made you want to work in your department? I’ve always enjoyed being part of a team that helps create a project from start to finish. Especially being able to bring to life stories of characters that can be everyday people to fantastical beings. To be a visual storyteller.

Are there any films that inspired you to start working in television and film?

A few movies like Legend (1985) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) enticed me as a child wanting to work in the makeup world. The Cell (2000)and Apocalypto (2006)

showed me the possibilities of makeup

from high-end character designs to period looks.

What has been your favorite project to work on?

My favorite project I’ve worked on thus far is Pose on FX. I learned many valuable life and

professional lessons, especially when we

returned to film in late 2020. I hope to work on a future project just as groundbreaking

and life-changing.

What advice would you give someone?

Be ready and willing to put in the work and be a good person. If you work hard and aren't hard to work with, you will do fine. What are you working on these days?

I have a few projects in the works. I’d like to mention the film Players (2023) starring Gina Rodriguez set to release later this year on Netflix and season 2 Run the World on Starz, which premieres Friday, May 26th. Both projects were really fun to work in!


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