ANDRITA RENEE: On Why I Still Love to Assist
One of my make up artist friends said to me last night, “I don’t know how you do it.”
She was referring to assisting. We are both at that weird intersection of being ready to step out but not ready to step out on our own.
She’s stepped out on her own. Has an agent and is well on her way.
Me, on the other hand….
Well, as cool as it’d be to have a method to the madness, I’m really not 100% sure what the fuck it is that I’m doing here. I can confidently say today that I do good shit. Im not the best hairstylist in the world, but I’m poppin. Three years ago, I would have never said that. Time alone, didn’t give me that confidence. The experiences and skills Ive learned on set assisting did. And taking those tidbits and applying them to the work I procure on my own have made me a better artist. That being said, assisting other amazing artists on top tier productions/editorials is what works best for me in my journey to having the kind of career that I want. I’ve had experiences that most people won’t even come close to in this business. All through assisting. And I’m constantly learning and being exposed to things that are vital to my skill set, savvy and success. I’m also taking my time doing it which is vital to my longevity in this business.
Fashion is so fucking fleeting and too many times, that one kid who did/made that one cool thing that catapulted them to superstardom becomes yesterdays news. Or a virus that no one wants to touch. Or, like, Von Dutch. Juicy Couture sweatsuits? Wait, I think they’re gonna have another moment soon.
Anyways, slow and steady wins the race. The last thing I would want is for Beyonce to call me to do her hair and I fuck it up because I wasn’t ready for that level yet. As Tabatha Coffey’s book states repeatedly, Its never JUST about the hair. This business is widely tied into politics, appearance, social skills, timing, etc. I get to learn how to navigate this tricky landscape on someone else’s dime assisting.
In a nutshell, that’s why I’m still assisting. And thats why I love it.
*Bonus: Take a shot if you can spot me randomly throughout this vid assisting Amy Farid recently on a Bust magazine editorial here. Or here assisting Andre Gunn two years ago on Vogue Thailand with Karlie Kloss.