Todd McIntosh is an icon in the Makeup business. His work on Buffy The Vampire Slayer changed the face (and faces) of the sci-fi/fantasy genre, deservingly winning him the first of two Emmy Awards.
He’s also an icon here at Blanche Macdonald. As our Makeup Director, Todd’s expert fingerprints – the same ones that won Emmys for Buffy and Pushing Daisies – can be found over Canada’s ever-evolving and most complete Makeup curriculum.
As part of that commitment to providing students with the ultimate professional Makeup program, Todd made a weeklong pilgrimage from his Hollywood home to Vancouver this July, which enabled both students and faculty to take inspiration from the wisdom and techniques of this Makeup legend.
“I travel to Vancouver on a regular basis, primarily to do upgrades to the curriculum,” he explained during a pause in his hectic schedule. I also make classroom visits to talk about the industry and the changes that are happening. I try to inspire the students a bit and to focus their attention.
“There are always small changes to the curriculum. The teachers give us their feedback and we make the adjustments. I look at the content of the curriculum, and make sure we’re talking about new products. In my work experience, if I encounter products that change the way I apply things, I’ll add those in.”
Students are staying passionate throughout their time here. I love that!
Perfecting the curriculum is just one aspect of Todd’s Canadian excursion. More important (and fun) are his many hands-on interactions with students and instructors, sharing his many stories and the latest Hollywood techniques in and outside the classroom.
“This particular visit the students have been more energetic and passionate than I’ve seen,” he continued. “These students are staying passionate throughout their time here at Makeup School, and I love that. This time around things are better than they have ever been before. Every day I see beautiful makeups, sometimes very expertly done by people just beginning. I’ve seen students’ second or third bald caps as good as union people I know in the States. I’m very happy with the technical work I’ve seen here.”
Throughout his time at Blanche Macdonald, the straight-shooting Emmy-winner told it like it is. He knows it’s entirely possible for students to create incredible careers for themselves. He’s seen it for himself many times.
“I’ve never been a salesman,” he laughs. “I tell the truth and have never said anything but the truth. Being a Makeup Artist on a film or TV set is challenging. The work needs to be done to a high standard and often done very quickly. It’s often a high-pressure environment. We want to prepare students for that, but in a classroom situation they should be relaxed enough to open up and learn more. We’re not coddling students. We’re providing a safe space so they can learn to express themselves.”
Of course, any chance to learn from a two-time Emmy winner should be seized with both hands. Which is why Blanche Macdonald students had multiple opportunities to watch the makeup master work his magic throughout his week in Vancouver, Todd spending hours demonstrating and discussing the finer details of makeup fundamentals, career development, airbrushing, and bald cap and prosthetic applications. Students and faculty agreed that Todd’s eagerness to share made for an incredible educational experience. It turns out that inspiration can be a two-way street.
“My favourite part of my time here is when I get to be in front of a group of 15 or 20 students and can talk to them on a personal level, addressing the things that they want to hear. The more questions they ask, the more interesting those sessions get.”