Kim Westlake // Diploma of Screen and Media

I am 2 yrs past from my Diploma Course in Screen Media [Specialist Make-up] but since then I have come back twice to complete a masterclass workshop and an advanced prosthetics course. Well worth the money both for experience and recognition but also the mass amounts of joy and achievement it gave me.

From my very initial interaction via my interview with Irene, I felt the support and encouragement that I have never experienced in previous creative courses. I was not looked upon for the fact that I am a guy, but was rather embraced for the fact I was chasing a possible career for myself and could express this.

As I progressed through the course there were lots of obvious challenges in my lack of experience and exposure in this Industry; but communication and support was constant and my Trainer Priscilla really helped nurture my confidence. I recognised how well the entire TrainSmart team of trainers co-existed and bounced off each other’s strengths and weakness. Ego’s were not welcome in this environment and the team was extremely humble yet confident in their skills and knowledge!

Really enjoying the course practical units I naturally grasped these aspects. What was really valuable was the industry knowledge and Priscilla and the entire team had extensive amounts! I realised how wonderfully fast paced, energetic and consistently evolving the Special FX and Make-up industry is and this being iterated by Priscilla in particular showed me what it would take to succeed – Always keep up to date and always be open to learning and improving was a key lesson. Never did I feel I was taught something without
reason and if something was unknown it was clear that the Trainers not only vigilantly sought the answers to then pass onto the students, but the passion and drive was clearly evident. Quite often the floor was available for the student to share things the rest didn’t know, so a 2 way door definitely paved the way for lots of respect!

The course was very challenging and it definitely felt like TrainSmart were ironing out some kinks and I’ve heard since, trying to improve the structure and units involved. I did however always feel like I was considered and accommodated and just like in life, I made the most of what everyone had to work with. If people had the same positive attitude as our trainers, maybe more students would see the value in what they were learning.

Since my courses, I have carried on with the confidence and experience built by involving myself in showcases and taking my first Halloween Bookings last year. I have was even sought after to teach prosthetics masks to a young boy and and be on a short film project [Which I had to sadly decline]….
I definitely can say I have learnt how to conduct myself professionally and what it takes to build your own career and that is something you can only learn from good training!

If I had one word for Priscilla my trainer and what I got out of the course it would have to be ‘Inspiration’…and this has been a very rare thing that I have experienced in the many courses I have delved into the past! I can confidently say that I will continue to have a positive connection with TrainSmart!

Kim Westlake

Diploma of Screen and Media Student

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