So there I am, without a pot to piss in and with a huge list of things that were essential for attending the course. After getting myself in a state with worry (like I usually do) the resourceful side of me kicked in and I went down the library again to research my options. I ended up finding a huge list of organisations that could possibly help me so I hand wrote a letter to each of them, explaining my situation. I received lots of lovely financial help so I was able to buy every thing that was needed – this was thanks to places like Trust Thamesmead, The Rotary Club and Face Stockholm that also gave me loads of make up.
I had a baby sitter for one day of whom I paid out of my benefits, and then James went to his Dads for a couple of nights? a week so I could go to London and study. The course was amazing, I was in my element. Not only did we learn about make -up and hair but also we studied Art, contextual studies of fashion, history, film and lots of other subjects..And I also made some friends for life. Of course the first friend I made was a Gay man Anthony (who is now a very successful wig maker for stage). The worst thing about the course was the actual make-up – I realised I didnt actually like touching peoples faces and that I was far too cack handed to do elaborate hair styles..However I still wanted to go onto film make up and work in prosthetics.. but when I applied to go on the degree my portfolio was too crap so wasn’t able to join and had to take a year out before going through ucas agin. Gutted.
Anyway.. through Trust Thamesmead I had my first taste of film work as a costume assistant ( Id already done make up on film) and this is what also convinced me that perhaps costume was where my love lay instead of make-up. I was contacted by the organisation as the BBC had asked a group of up and coming directors to do a series of short films, and one of them was going to be shot in Thamesmead so the trust were asked to find suitable candidates to help. I had a brief interview with a wonderful lady who decided I was the right gal for the job so set me the task of going around Woolwich taking photos of chavs for research. On set was hard work but I learnt ever so much, I was second in charge, and the team I was working with were pretty stellar.. the director was Andrea Arnold ( who went on to win an Oscar) and the costume designer was Jacqueline Durran who has also gone on to win an Oscar for her wonderful costumes in Atonement (that Green dress..swoon) .Click here to see more info about DOG .Fate has a funny way of showing people the way to go in life. Im still involved in film, and am costume designer for a series of shorts that are being filmed.. the last one is being shown soon and starred Stephen Graham, Hannah Walters and Seamus O’Neill.
After the course at London College of Fashion ended I took a year out and also got out of the tower block with the help of my mum writing strong letters to a counselor friend of hers, and also on the fact James was always bloody climbing (due to the undiagnosed adhd) so I moved to a lovely new build two bedroom house in Britannia Close, Erith from which Madam Popoff Vintage started a few years later….