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ELENA MILLER, Makeup Artist, IATSE Local 798

Based in Atlanta, GA

Where did you grow up?

I was adopted from Lima, Peru at 6 months old by two Caucasian lesbian women and grew up in Minneapolis, MN. My birth family is still in Peru, my sister was adopted from Guatemala and my moms grew up in small town Northern MN and central Iowa/New Jersey.

What are your responsibilities or roles in your department? I am a makeup artist and have had the role of Dept. Head, Key, and Background Dayplayer. My responsibilities are being a therapist, a magician, and a scientist. I use color theory and my background as a biologist

to create characters and help the talent tell the story.

Are there any films that inspired you to start

working in television and film?

Harry Potter. Nick Dudman’s creature designs blew me away. I was such a huge fan of the books growing up that when I saw the characters come to life — I knew I had to find a way to somehow do the same.

What has been your favorite project to work on?

Whatever show I am on at the time is my favorite. I have learned life is so short and the connections I make and the people I work with are so important to me — I keep a special place in my heart for every story I’m apart of. I think my favorite project of all will be the

one I write about all of these experiences.

What made you want to work in your department?

I love working with people to create characters using

makeup because it impacts how the talent moves through

the story, it’s how they see themselves, and it can change

and transform their performance.

How did you begin working in the industry? I graduated from college with a biology degree and was ready to go to medical school, I took the MCAT twice and had planned to start applying fall 2016… but something happened and I lost my drive momentarily. I started working retail and found myself at ULTA Beauty. I rose quickly from a cashier to the Lancôme Counter Manager and discovered I loved applying makeup and working with people, hearing their stories and helping them feel confident

and beautiful.

What advice would you give someone starting out

in this industry? Be kind. No matter where you are in your journey, kindness will get you farther than anything. Be

genuine and don’t manipulate people to get what you want. There’s enough content being made for everyone to succeed.

What are you working on these days?

I am currently based in Atlanta, GA and right now I’m working on a feature film that has yet to announce much so you know *NDAs* keep that under wraps for now — but I will post on my Instagram as soon as a press release drops, so check it out there.


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