If you’ve checked out our summer 2014 issue, you could probably tell we had a great time in the studio with the Impractical Jokers. We joked, laughed and had the opportunity to photograph them in full on ninja costumes nonetheless. But with our digital edition on the way, we’ve lately been able to relive some of the memories. So, we’ve decided to feature a few members of their crew because we just can’t seem to let go of the fun. Here’s an interview with Emily Amick, the Impractical Jokers make-up artist and a person who works nearly every girl’s dream job.
Hey Emily. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and what you do?
I’m a make-up artist who primarily lives in New York. I moved here in 2012 from Indiana right after I graduated college. I kind of just hit the ground running, I was really lucky. I got started with the Impractical Jokers almost immediately after I moved here and I’ve been with them up until now. I’m in a really good spot with them because they want me back, but right now I’m trying to expand my contacts. I don’t want to pigeon hole myself because I wouldn’t want to be on a show for years and years, then have it end and not have anything to show for myself. I’m really lucky, though, because I’m taking some time to expand my circle and still have a great television show as a backup—I know, it’s crazy to call that a backup.
So where did you go to school?
I went to Ball State University in Indiana, the biggest thing we’re known for is David Letterman. I studied theatre and design which is how I got into make-up. I started working on student plays a lot, then the student filmmakers figured out what I was doing and asked me to work with them. So that’s how I really got my taste for T.V. and film which is really what I love to do the most.
Great. Since you’re a make-up artist I have to ask: when did you first start wearing makeup?
As far back as I can remember I was always a little girly-girl. I used to love all of the fake peel off nail polishes and the waxy cheap lipsticks you get in little kids make-up kits. I think I remember having one of those plastic Fisher Price vanity mirrors with the little chairs. I mean, I was playing with make-up my entire life and I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t into it.
How did you get into doing this professionally after college?
It kind of just unfolded. I started doing some unpaid work in college because I wanted to learn more about it which sort of just transitioned into people paying me. I would do weddings here and there, and then I got this random e-mail—this was when I was still in Indiana and still a couple of months away from moving—from the Olympic U.S. Swim Team. There was going to be a big race before the Olympic trials and people like Michael Phelps and all of the big names were there doing press. They wanted me to come in and do a shoot with Summer Sanders, who was my first celebrity idol; I remember watching her on Nickelodeon. Then, they wanted me to stick around and do touch-ups with all of the athletes doing press. I don’t want to say this was my big break because I don’t feel like I’ve had my big break yet, but it was really the first moment when I was like ‘wow I can do this for real.’
So as a guy, I’m wondering how much make-up you actually use for men?
More than people think. A lot of people will say “oh it’s just powder,” but if you just put powder on somebody it won’t do much—there’s nothing for it to stick to. I usually use moisturizers and some white foundation to even out those skin tones and clear up any under eye circles. Then, you do the powder and that kind of stuff and it’s really just about monitoring how shiny or picky they get throughout the day. It’s more about keeping an eye on them versus applying a set of makeup at the beginning of the day. You can tell a big difference between not wearing it and wearing it—it really gives an overall polished look to the final product. But, you also have to be subtle about it and the Impractical Jokers are the perfect example because they’re interacting with the public who have no idea that they’re being taped.
Since we’re on the topic, can you tell me a little more about what it’s like to be on set with the Impractical Jokers?
I started with them in June 2012. I worked with the guy who started on the show for a little while, and he ended up leaving right after I got brought on. I was thinking, like, ‘oh god, they’re not going to keep me here,’ but I guess they liked me and kept me for two years. They’re some of the funniest people I’ve ever met in my life and they’re chemistry is unmatched, it’s a really cool thing. It sounds so corny, but we really do just laugh so much and they’re easy to work with. The entire crew is made up of such good people, they’re my best friends and have gotten me through some hard times. It’s such an amazing set to be a part of and every work place has its downsides, but there really aren’t many with this show.
When I was looking through your portfolio I saw fashion, editorial and commercial sections. Tell me more about that kind of work.
Well, I was kind of roped into T.V. and entertainment, which is where I want to be. But, to build a portfolio you need to do more editorial things because beauty and fashion industry shoots is what people who would want to hire you want to see what you’re able to do. I haven’t had as much work as I would like in that world, because once you get going and start making your contacts there’s a path: you either go down the fashion and editorial route or the T.V. and film route.
I love the opportunity to be creative and that’s more of what you get when you go into a fashion shoot. You get more of a chance to do things that you can’t get away with on television. Even though my favorite thing is making people look like an enhanced version of themselves, I still like to be able to stretch my legs a bit when it comes to creativity, color and drama. I have a couple great friends who are really wonderful photographers and we’ll do shoots together just to build up our portfolios which is a lot of fun. I think personality wise I fit in better with the T.V. and film world, but I love the chance to be creative in fashion and editorial world. I don’t know if that quite answers your question, but that’s where the photos in my portfolio come from.
Do you have any upcoming projects that you’re excited for?
Right now I’m kind of just doing little gigs. I work for a company which is sort like of a ‘beauty on demand” app. I probably shouldn’t describe it this way, but my dad calls it a “call-girl service but for hair and makeup.” Women will approach this company and set appointments for hair, make-up and beauty things. I don’t really have anything coming up at the moment, there’s a couple of opportunities I’ve been told about but I don’t think I should say yet. Mostly just other T.V. shows with people who are friends of mine and I’m really excited to work with.
Check out Emily’s site to find out more about what she does!