In my photography business I use a professional makeup artist on almost all my shoots. I tend to form strong relationships with the artists I work with, hence professional relationships often creep over to friendships. Monique Woolley was one of those, she was a delightful young woman that could easily have been my daughter. She came into my business at a time when my other makeup artist had a medical emergency, and was going to need time off to heal. The first time she worked for me she came in with her platinum blond curls, and her stylist diva mom Amour, the 2 of them waved their magic wand and transformed my sister Romanna, not only physically but mentally.
I got to know her family, and she got to know mine. She loved her little adorable 7 year-old boy Noah, we would adjust our schedule so she could always tend to her mommy duties. She always updated us on the current Noah story, while drinking my signature tea latte that I would make for her. She talked about her family a lot, her brothers, her sister and her mom and dad.
Over the year and a few months that I got to know her, we shared lots of laughs and stories about being a celebrity makeup artist in Hollywood, and interesting tidbits about how some clients you had to talk to their assistants while doing their makeup, because “they” did not want to speak to a “lowly” makeup artist directly. She was a perfectionist, always going beyond to please our clients, everyone who she touched loved her. She had a way of putting everyone at ease who sat in her chair, even the ones who were unsure about the “makeup” process and what the outcome would be. She could please the young ones, and my diva clients who were set in their ways and not open to new trends. I’m now learning moment by moment that behind that beautiful smile was a sad woman, a woman who was battling depression. Just like the makeup she so skillfully applied hiding blemishes and imperfections on my clients she was a master in concealing her pain.
I started thinking about how most of us are hiding our blemishes daily, with our own “makeup”, including moi. It becomes so routine, like the concealer, I never go out without, tapping a little bit on to camouflage those little annoying dark spots that never go away completely.
I can’t help but to wonder is there something I could have done. How could I have missed her sadness, and then I think about myself and how I am a master of hiding my emotions, while I’m an open book for the most part we all have the little shit that stays in the crevices.
I questioned why is it difficult for me to emote and I came to the conclusion that I’m a good listener and everyone can “dump” on me because I’m so “together”…Really? Not at all…I conceal a lot of what is going on in my life. I’m stressed about my business, I’m stressed about results from medical tests, I’m stressed about my kids, the list goes on and on. I don’t talk about it much, mostly I listen to others, most who are clueless to my struggles.
What to I do about it? I meditate, practice yoga and make sure I do “me” on a regular basis. Going forward though, I am going to share my feelings, listen to others closely, because at the end of the day we all want to know that someone genuinely cares about us and our well being. If you are feeling pain…reach out to someone you trust, don’t hold it in…we do care.
RIP Monique you will be missed by so many…