October 4, 2019

Meet Ronda Althen: LA Campus Instructor

Ronda Althen is a native of Minnesota. She began her career as a professional make-up artist and hairstylist after graduating from Fern’s Beauty School, Brooklyn Center, MN, in 1981. She owned a “Touch of Class Salon” in Minnesota before moving to Los Angeles to continue her education in make-up artistry, studying at Joe Blasco Professional Makeup School in Hollywood. After graduating, she went on to work in film, print, commercials, and music videos, most notably working with Prince on several projects, including the “Purple Rain” music video. Throughout her career she has also worked as a make-up artist on many well-known television shows such as Frasier, Everybody Loves Raymond, and currently The Ellen Show. She is actively involved in Women and Breast Cancer at City of Hope where she volunteers her time helping with styling hair wigs and make-up application. She began her career as an Educator at Paul Mitchell Hair Color in Minneapolis, MN, and joined the Make-up Designory team as an Instructor in September of 2002. We are so happy to have her as an instructor at our LA Campus!

Get to know Ronda below.

How long have you been an instructor at MUD?

I have been an instructor since 2001.

What are your areas of expertise & what class(es) do you currently teach?

I am currently teaching Special Make-up Effects 201. I have also taught Beauty 101: Fundamentals of Beauty Make-up, Beauty 201: Studio Hairstyling for the Make-up Artist, and Beauty 301: Beauty Lab.

What is your career background in make-up?

I was trained at Joe Blasco in Hollywood. I started in film, commercials, editorial, and have been working in TV for most of my career. I was fortunate enough to work on such shows as Frasier, Everybody Loves Raymond, Friends, and I have been a part of The Ellen Show since the second season.

What skills & insight that you’ve developed over the course of your career have you been able to pass on to your students?

Patience, flexibility, and to remain humble. Our industry is a crazy one, so being on your toes,[and] being kind and easy to work with is key.

What do you feel is unique about MUD and the experience offered to students and instructors?

We are all working artists. We are able to bring our experiences to the students. We offer working opportunities for the students. They are able to come back to us with any questions… it is a constant learning experience.

What brought you from the professional industry world of make-up to the classroom?

I love teaching in general. Throughout my life, I have always taught something (Sunday School, swimming, tutoring) and I was teaching at Joe Blasco also… then Tate Holland asked me to join MUD and I was honored.

What do you love most about your job as an instructor?

Watching the students thrive and blossom into great artists. I get very excited!

What is your most memorable experience in the classroom?

I have always felt that if I impact one student’s life, I am doing my job. I’m very fortunate to get the most amazing cards from students expressing how I have done that for them. It certainly means a lot!

What has been your favorite course to instruct at MUD?

Special Make-up Effects 201… I love it! I love all make-up, but teaching students that may be very apprehensive about effects and end up LOVING it and doing great work is a bonus.

What is your favorite make-up look or technique that you teach?

I enjoy aging, beards and mustaches, burns, and prosthetics. It’s hard to pick one!

Do you have any advice for new or incoming MUD students?

Take it all in and be the best you can be. Don’t compare yourself to another artist… each of us offers something unique.

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