LOOK: Makeup artist mom gets in international theater tour

Myrene Santos on waiting for the right time, chasing her dreams, and handling family challenges

When 44-year-old Myrene Santos posted on her personal Facebook account that she got the job as deputy head of hair and makeup for the Lion King international tour. This mom studied makeup in 2010, "I have been the hair and makeup designer for local musicals." She also added that she's MAC Cosmetics Senior Affiliate Artist for Theater.

With so much work experience in this field, including being a local hire for international touring shows that visit Manila such as Les Miserables, Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, Beauty and the Beast, it was indeed a dream come true for Santos to get the post. "After the interview, I was given a picture of Young Nala hair and makeup to replicate within 30 minutes. I was an overachiever so I finished it in 28 minutes! haha! Needless to say, I passed the audition."

Mukelisiwe Goba as Rafiki and the North American Tour Company—THE LION KING (Photo by Joan Marcus © Disney)

Santos learned about the opening when her friend who was part of the team informed her about the opening. "She knew that I've been wanting to join for the longest time. I would consider applying yearly—no joke! But In the past years, the seasons were so long (eight months straight or the whole year with only a few weeks of rest), so I couldn't leave my youngest child, who is turning six years old now, for so long. But now, the timing is right, the season is short plus there is a three-month break, which is perfect for me and my family!"

Her scope includes makeup and wig application and removal for two principal characters, wig and makeup quick changes for ensemble, maintaining wigs such as cleaning, restyling, minor repairs, and teaching some ensemble cast members how to do their own makeup. This is because makeup artists are only assigned to the lead characters, the rest have to learn to do their own. There's also ingress and egress of the workstation, and tools and makeup inventory restocking."

When asked how she felt while waiting for the results, she admitted that she felt she got the post. "I had a chat with the HOD, Owen, when he said that they are not considering anybody else for the post." It became official last April 25. "I didn't tell anybody yet except my husband, of course. I felt scared for a bit because it meant leaving my family. I was worried about my youngest son who is undergoing speech therapy and occupational therapy. We had just confirmed that he is on the spectrum of autism but on the mild side. He is very independent but still very worrisome for us parents. We talked about it and worked on a system even before I signed the contract. When all that was ironed out, I felt very excited and It felt very good to answer my calling and finally pursue my dream." As of this writing, Santos is in Taipei and will move to Kao-shung after. She's on a 15-day quarantine and starts work on June 6. 

Myrene Santos with family

She also shares tips for those who wish to follow her footsteps. "Keep on learning, never be content with what you know and what you have achieved. Always upgrade your skills. Be humble and do the dirty work. Doesn't matter if you're the head designer or not. Get your hands in there and do what needs to be done and pray. God will give what you ask when the time is right."