Profiles

Behind the Scenes: Working with a Pro

While this was Los Angeles–based nail tech Beth Fricke’s first shoot for NAILS Magazine, her resume boasts cover shoots for Elle, Glamour, and Redbook, to name a few. 

While this was Los Angeles–based nail tech Beth Fricke’s first shoot for NAILS Magazine, her resume boasts cover shoots for Elle, Glamour, and Redbook, to name a few. She’s worked on everyone from the likes of Angelina Jolie and Scarlett Johansson to Lindsay Lohan and Katie Holmes. So we knew she has the chops to hand this month’s polish preview and cover shoot.

While Beth has had her license for 18 years, she hasn’t been doing nails the entire time. After several years working in full service salons, she took some time off to attend college and study abroad. After college she spent five years working music video and commercial production before settling in to a job at the popular Burke Williams Spa. But that didn’t hold her interest for long. After three years, she decided it was time for a change.

“I have spent my time in salons, on my own, and most recently in spas,” says Beth. “If I was going to continue with this kind of work, I wanted to do the upper echelon of nails, which seem to be booked mostly through an agency.” So about two years ago she joined Artists By Timothy Priano in the agency’s Los Angeles division and now works almost primarily as a set manicurist. She enjoys the production work of being creative and hands-on. Beth notes that working on location is an experience most don’t get to see and it’s one of the things that make her job so fun (not so fun, a shoot in the desert she once did in 105° heat).

Advice for fellow nail techs who are considering agency work: “This is seemingly glamorous, but like anything, you have to start at the bottom and work your way up, sometimes this means you have to work for free. It’s about knowing what you are doing under pressure and while being watched, and bringing the dog and pony show. You never know what they are going to ask for. You have to be punctual, perky, confident, and accommodating. And above all else, have some on-set experience!”

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