Dream Jobs for Teens (And How to Get Them!)

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 4.31.21 PMWhat do you want to be when you grow up? It’s a question teens hear all the time, but their answers are unexpected. Today’s dream jobs aren’t doctors and lawyers. They’re explorers, inventors, and game-changers.

In the November/December issue of Choices, we’ve interviewed some of the coolest people we know, with the most epic jobs we could imagine. They gave us their best tips for how they landed their dream jobs—and how your teens can get there, too.

And as an added bonus for all of our TeenBeing readers, we have one more interview to share! Victoria is a fashion and special effects makeup artist who loves her job, which has taken her around the world, into Panem, and back. Check out the interview below, and be sure to share with your teens!

The Official Title: Victoria Payne, Fashion and Special Effects Makeup Artist

What That Means: I help bring characters to life by creating their “look” through makeup. Whether sculpting a monster or making an actress appear  “natural,” a makeup artist is a key aspect in the creation of a character.

What That Doesn’t Mean: I don’t just apply makeup in the morning and then walk away—I put in long days, sometimes up to 18 hours, working non-stop the whole time. You also never know your location, which could be freezing, scorching hot, in rocky terrain or on the edge of a muddy cliff.

How She Got Here: I always knew I wanted to work in film, but I also loved art, fashion, and makeup. When I realized I could combine all those interests into one career, I decided to get an education that would really develop my skills. I chose the Cinema Makeup School in Los Angeles, California because the teachers are top artists in their fields. I met one of my makeup heroes through my school, and through respectful persistence she hired me as the Makeup Department Assistant on Catching Fire and Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2.

Photo courtesy of Victoria Payne Photo courtesy of Victoria Payne

Why You Want Her Job: In my time working on the Hunger Games, I lived in Five-Star hotels in Paris and Berlin with all expenses paid, not to mention my time in Hawaii, which is a pretty nice perk. I also get to work on a busy film set with some of the kindest, most talented people I’ve ever met. It’s hard work, but I absolutely love what I do, so the time flies by.

Get Started Now! In addition to art classes, pay attention in anatomy class—you need to know your canvas! Be sure to embrace the required readings in English. It may seem irrelevant, but to develop and create a really convincing character, I need to be able to break down a script just as I annotated books in school. And makeup artists spend all day with people, literally in their faces, so the actors need to feel comfortable and safe. You need to work well with others, whether they be an actor, a costume designer, another makeup artist, or some person walking by on the street. Practice respect… and color theory.

To see more of Victoria’s work, check out her website. And to see more great career and life skills advice for teens, click here to learn about Choices magazine!