Student Life – Victoria Does Halloween with Barking and Dagenham College

May 13th, 2020

May 13th, 2020

Victoria Spicer

In the third in our series, Victoria Rose Spicer, a second year student studying hair and media makeup at South Essex College in Grays, headed to Barking and Dagenham College to find out how they do Halloween.

Barking and Dagenham College logo

Barking and Dagenham College

On 31st October I was invited to attend Barking and Dagenham College to watch their Halloween themed fashion show and experience their hospital Escape Room.  When first arriving, I was greeted by the lovely Sally Jarrot who is the tutor of the Level two and three Media makeup students.  She gave me a tour of the three rooms being used for this event and introduced me to the other teachers and students involved.  Two of the rooms were used for hair and makeup and the third room (a beauty therapy room) was used for hair in the morning then later transformed into the hospital Escape Room.   This room had beauty therapy beds and curtains between them so was perfect for the hospital.  It was so inspirational to see how the students had transformed the room so drastically in such a little amount of time using props such as strobe lights and old bloody sheets.

Level two students, who were doing the makeup for the Halloween fashion show, created a variety of looks including brides, clowns and devils.  Level three were doing the makeup for the hospital Escape Room and created a range of looks including devils, insane children and other patients with cuts, bruises and injuries.  These all looked amazing and it is very clear they have learnt a lot on this course because everything was very professional.  To prepare for this event students produced a mood board on the look they wanted to create.  No strict brief was given only that students were to relate their look to Halloween.  The hair and makeup students then joined to present their ideas, chose which ideas would work best together and who should model.  In the following lessons the girls had to practice on each other.  Sally then involved other departments in the college including Fashion, Performing Arts and Photography to bring this event together.

When speaking to the level two students who only started in September, they all said that they love the course so far and are learning lots.  Sally explained that on the Media Makeup course she teaches her students how to do everything starting with eyebrows and how to get a flawless base, teaching them all they need to know to succeed in the industry.  Two Level three Media Makeup students, Leoni Varnava and Chantelle Greenfield, told me, “We loved creating the looks for our event.  It was even better to see our looks come to life.  Taking part in it was valuable and fun work experience and we feel more prepared for work in the industry now.”

Fashion Show

Fifteen minutes before the fashion show was due to start, I went downstairs to the corridor where the show was taking place to ensure I got a good seat.  The fashion show took place in a long wide corridor near reception that was decorated with various Halloween decorations including balloon arrangements, it was very clear a lot of thought had gone into organising this event.  There were rows of chairs going down the corridor leaving enough room for the models to walk through the middle.  The show was open for anyone who attends the college and it was very popular amongst the students.  There was a good atmosphere with Halloween music like Michael Jackson’s Thriller playing and lots of students supporting the models and artists by cheering and taking lots of pictures.  After the models had shown off their work, Sally got up to thank everyone who helped and congratulate all the students.  Then we went back upstairs and all the girls got a certificate and pin for their lanyards, before everyone went to take their makeup off.

I then went back to the hair room where three makeup students were transforming three theatre students into insane hospital patients for the Escape Room.  The beauty therapy room had been transformed into a hospital and all the actors were ready to scare other students, family members and teachers.  The aim of the Escape Room was for a group of people to go in and have ten minutes to match up a quote on a card to a patient otherwise the patient actors scream to get out.  In the Room students were dressed up as nuns, children, brides and other insane patients.  The makeup for this was so realistic and seamlessly blended onto the skin.  Actors came up to me and said things like, “Help me!” and “It hurts!”, while others sat on the beds screaming.  The Escape Room showed how creative Sally, her team and her students really are.

Throughout the day Sally was running between all three rooms checking on the students and helping them where needed.  She did an incredible job bringing this day together and organising not one but two events with multiple departments involved.  Everything that had happened was clearly planned very well and a lot of thought had gone into it all.  Everyone from the college is very passionate about what they are doing and I felt welcomed the whole time by everyone.

I chatted with Sally afterward.  “It was a fantastic event that showcased a range of media makeup, hair, fashion and performing art skills.  I loved seeing the students work together as a team to create some amazing looks.  We had a great turn out with over 100 guests coming to watch the show or experience the Escape Room.  I am so proud of the students that took part,” she commented.

Overall, I had a great day at Barking and Dagenham College and I loved meeting everyone and seeing their looks come to life.  Thank you to all the staff and students for having me and thank you to Warpaint for another amazing opportunity.


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