Polly Avison

Organising Official

I started working as a floor runner almost by accident, and friendly Make-up Artists encouraged me to be one of them. Christine Blundell’s Make-up Academy made me a good all-rounder, but I was passionate about period hair styling from the beginning. Afterwards Shepperton Wigs Ltd took me on as their unofficial apprentice and I gained as much experience as I could depping in the West End. Life as an inexperienced freelancer was hard and I earned money working in bars and shops.

I assisted on a couple of BBC productions but, in my entire career, nothing has beaten working on The James Plays with The Scottish National Theatre  (Edinburgh Festival 2014). I’ve been very lucky: I’ve carved out a career and worked with many talented people, but I joined BECTU while working at the NT so I could stand up for myself and my colleagues. I wish I had joined earlier when, as a young freelancer, I really needed their support and guidance.