Iver Academy Graduate Nabeel Hussain speaks about his career change

Thursday, October 13, 2016

My name is Nabeel Hussain, I am now a trainee hair and make-up artist from the Iver Make-up Academy for Film, TV and Theatre, graduating in May 2016. Previous to this I had a career as a graphic designer.  

Thinking back, a few key moments made me switch careers. One stands out, I work for an anti-bullying charity called Diversity Role Models. They go into schools and raise awareness about diversity. As a role model you are asked to share lessons learnt in life and how you overcome challenges growing up. At the end of a particular workshop I remember saying to a group of young people, “pursue what you’re good at and follow what you want to do in life”. I realised that after I said it, I had to put into practise what I was preaching.

During the course I learnt so many interesting things, all of which have equipped me to do what I love. If I were I were to pick one, hair cutting is something I really enjoyed, so much so, that I went back to continue advanced hair cutting a few months after I graduated to learn more from the talented Alex Volpe.

The hardest thing to learn was time management. Leaving a full-time job and adjusting to freelance and being self-employed was tough and something I struggled with. But luckily whilst on the course, the tutors often talked through the working hours and very importantly understanding a call sheet and breaking down a script. Sounds simple but it is essential to be prepared for a job. Once you receive a call sheet for a job, you can work out roughly what you need to know and where you need to be. Also, what time you are required, this all helps to be prepared and professional.

I count myself very lucky to have some great work opportunities through the academy’s agency. A few key jobs involved working at the National Film and TV School, the Royal Opera House and very recently working backstage for the National Wedding Show catwalk in London, Birmingham and Manchester. These jobs have lead to building a network of contacts in the industry, which is vital when starting out and trying to get your foot in the door.

The Future 

I would like to gain some further work experience in the theatre. I am very excited about my work experience at the National Theatre coming soon. Also, I want to keep learning and developing my skills. Every job, I have learnt something new, a different technique from an experienced make-up artist. I am so pleased I made the decision to change careers and know that I am on the right path for my future.