“I’m a very blessed person and I’ve done a lot of cool things! My mother told me from the moment she had me, that there was a force in me to be reckoned with and she knew that I was going to do something with my life!”
Speaking of Kara Alaric’s journey with Blanche Macdonald Centre and to then to witness her career take flight is beyond inspiring. Time can go by so quickly and as each day passes, Kara’s Blancheworld story is an example of building a career steeped in hard work that is fuelled by gratitude! Gratitude for family and community.
“I realized that nobody could make me happy apart from myself. I thought, what can I do with my future that's creative and will give my life some structure? I typed ‘Hair School in Canada’ into Google and Blanche McDonald Centre came up first.”
“It’s because of my family, it’s because of their support, it’s also because of my First Nation community –Teslin Tlingit Council. Their continued support is worth celebrating.”
In regard to the strength it takes to propel oneself into an unknown learning curve, in spite of the challenges, heading out into the world did present some challenges for Kara as a young Indigenous woman. Kara shows that each day comes with a new opportunity to learn.
Before enrolling in the Blanche Macdonald Centre Professional Hair Program, Kara experienced a challenging shift after a relationship ended. “I realized that nobody could make me happy apart from myself. I thought, what can I do with my future that’s creative and will give my life some structure? I typed ‘Hair School in Canada’ into Google and Blanche Mcdonald Centre came up first.”
Kara arrived at the hair school looking for structure. She found inspiration!
A lovely surprise to work with a celebrated Canadian actor Lorne Cardinal.
A quick photo with actress/superstar Lily D. Moore.
“People are now listening to the reality of our history as Indigenous people and it’s very empowering. It’s 2024 and I’m SO proud to be an Indigenous person.”
“I loved it. In the TV and Film module, we learned to wrap hair to put on wigs. The idea of hair styling for film really opened a new door for me. As part of the Pro Hair program, we had a two-week taste of make-up too. Ashley Forshaw was my instructor at the time. And now we work on set together!”
Kara loved her experience at the Professional Hair Program so much that she came back and enrolled in the Global Makeup Program! “I volunteered all the time during Makeup school. I got a job working at the MAC Pro store on Robson Street early into the program. My experience there helped me so much. Working in retail taught me how to handle a multitude of diversity. It’s your job to instill confidence in people, and it’s a really rewarding feeling when you succeed.”
Processing actress Frankie McNellis
“It's because of my family, it's because of their support, it's also because of my First Nation community -Teslin Tlingit Council. Their continued support is worth celebrating.”
“Looking back, when I graduated from the Global Makeup Program, I didn’t quite know where I wanted to go next and I wasn’t getting to where I felt I wanted to be, so I ended up moving back to the Yukon. I remember feeling defeated and lost.”
Very soon after moving back, I was watching TV with my mom and I got an email notification. I opened the email and it was an acceptance notification to the IMATS (International Make-Up Artist Trade Show) FX makeup competition! I wasn’t even back home for 24 hours, and I got this news! I was laughing but frustrated and excited all at the same time as I had just packed all my life into storage! My parents were supportive and happy for the opportunity, and they assured me that we would get whatever I needed together so I could participate! So, back to Vancouver, I went to practice. I reached out to some of my BMC instructors, and they were so supportive, especially Celine Godeau. She gave me many tips and tricks that were extremely helpful. Then off I went to Toronto for IMATS where I ended up placing second place in the Character Prosthetics category!”
Prepping a personal birthday wig for an actress Kara got to take care of last summer.
A lovely moment with actress McKenna Grace.
A fun day on set with fellow Blanche Superstar Micah Gilbert.
“I loved it. In the TV and Film module, we learned to wrap hair to put on wigs. The idea of hair styling for film really opened a new door for me. As part of the Hair program, we had a two-week taste of make-up too. Ashley Forshaw was my instructor at the time. And now we work on set together!”
“That was exciting. I placed second by one point. The Makeup Artist who beat me was Darla Edin, who went on to compete in season 8 of Face Off. And won! When you show someone your résumé and they see that you have competed at IMATS they know your passion and willingness to take a risk. They know you’re not scared to show what you can do under pressure in front of a live audience!”
“It was such an amazing experience to get to compete in the IMATS FX makeup competition. I really got a taste of a world that I needed to be part of!”
Speaking about this experience, the initial feeling of defeat after graduation was revealed to be truly a teaching moment. Not everything comes easy, but when things do fall into place, the appreciation is so much more powerful!
Kara’s inspiring career in film started off in independent films. “Soon enough you get to know people, you keep networking, work hard and suddenly, opportunities are there in front of you, and you just have to take them and keep going!” Kara remembers Blanche Macdonald Centre instructor “Mama Bear” Cory Roberts sharing with her class that they were their own walking business cards, so the way you carry yourself is how you will be remembered.
Kara took care of Lexi Underwood‘s gorgeous hair looks and beautiful wigs on Cruel Summer 2.
“I reached out to some of my BMC instructors, and they were so supportive, especially Celine Godeau. She gave me many tips and tricks that were extremely helpful. Then off I went to Toronto for IMATS where I ended up placing second place in the Character Prosthetics category!”
When asked what was the important information to share with people who are aspiring to become an artist working in film, Kara was very clear. “It’s so important to network and get to know people. Ask questions and when people give you their answer- remember them and their advice. It’s a lot of hard work networking, and sometimes just when you think you’re getting ahead, you feel like you’ve fallen behind again. You must keep pushing forward, get the days of work in! Also, do research on professional expectations. The IATSE and ACFC websites are very informative.”
Kara has built a reputation on set as a welcoming leader and team member. “I’ll do any role on any team. I’m a team player and when I’m the department head, I always brief the team and say that I’m not your boss, I’m your leader. If you want to learn I can teach you everything I know. Work hard, have fun and let’s get the job done!”
Last Looks with actress Melora Hardin. Gotta break up those curls!
“Soon enough you get to know people, you keep networking, work hard and suddenly, opportunities are there in front of you, and you just have to take them and keep going!”
She continues with the awareness of her blessings. Alongside being a department head, Kara also loves to support productions on day calls with the friends she has mentored.
She tells her assistants “I don’t always want to be the leader, one day I’m going to come work for you, so learn as much as you can while you’re with me! I love to have fun; I like to treat EVERY single person that sits in my chair to the same great experience. It’s humbling and reminds me of where I came from and where I started. I also get to go out and assist past students that I am proud of! That’s life goals for me!” Kara adores sharing her knowledge and passion with the next generation.
On set with Julia Garner for the film ‘Tomato Red‘.
“I'll do any role on any team. I'm a team player and when I'm the department head, I always brief the team and say that I’m not your boss, I'm your leader. If you want to learn I can teach you everything I know. Work hard, have fun and let’s get the job done!”
Blanche students have also been lucky to have Kara come back and teach classes at the school. And although her schedule is too busy to allow her to commit to teaching regularly at Blanche Macdonald Centre, she values her time in our classrooms. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you can never stop learning. Teaching doesn’t just allow students to learn. You learn so much from your students too. The way they approach new things and comprehend them is so exciting to see. When they don’t understand something, you must think of new ways to teach them. Once that light bulb goes on it’s such a rewarding feeling to know that you’ve broken through that barrier. When you show makeup students how much that can add to their skill set, and how much that can make them more employable, they soon understand.” Kara’s career continues to climb.
With over 25 productions credited on her IMBD – including legendary shows and films Lucifer, Supernatural, The Order, Cruel Summer S2, Honey Girls and many more that are yet to be released! One of Kara’s favourite experiences was on the Netflix production THE ORDER. As Department Head for Hair, her team was recognized as an award-season contender. She remembers how great it felt to be trusted to lead her team and recalls feeling her ancestral strength and guidance to push her to make great strong decisions.
On the set of ‘Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between‘ with Nico Hiraga.
“My mother always reminds me that I am living a life that past generations could not live. She says “We are all proud of you and celebrating with you so just keep going!” Which really resonates with me.”
“There’s a huge sense of accomplishment when you work in film,” she explains. “It’s a big group effort and it’s an incredible feeling when the crew is on the same page, and everyone works together. My priority is to get my job done efficiently. But I’m also a fan of having fun. Once you establish camaraderie with a crew it’s really rewarding.”
In many photos of Kara, you can see her holding her hands up to the sky. When asked about this Kara revealed that it was in tribute to the impact that her grandmother had on her life. It has been a thought process that she carries throughout the blessings in her career as well.
“Losing my grandmother was the hardest thing I had to go through. I think of her every day, I went through a rough patch from her loss. I went through a depression and then the pandemic happened. This may sound strange, but I’m grateful for the time the pandemic gave to me because I was forced to take the time to slow down and grieve her loss. I faced it, I felt it. When I did that, my world started to shift and open. I started to travel again, and found myself again. With my hands raised to the sky, it means I’m happy, I’m thriving, I’m living! I know my grandmother is with me every step of the way. I feel her power, I feel her love and I feel her spirit. I have to celebrate that.”
“Society has come a long way from a time not too long ago when we were not allowed to have pride in our heritage. We were taught to hide and blend in. Growing up I was too brown for the white kids and too white for the brown kids. My mother always reminds me that I am living a life that past generations could not live. She says “We are all proud of you and celebrating with you so just keep going!” Which really resonates with me.
People are now listening to the reality of our history as Indigenous people and it’s very empowering. It’s 2024 and I’m SO proud to be an Indigenous person. I’m proud of the traditions my Granny passed down to me, I’m proud of the traditions my Mom and my Aunties passed down to me. If it wasn’t for their support, I wouldn’t have had the strength to leave my community to move to Vancouver and build this life for myself.”
“So throw your hands to the sky, be proud, be grateful and live with love!”