I met Heather Allin a number of years ago when I was asked to create a makeup look for her to attend the Actra Awards (Canada's Film and Television Actor's Union). The Actra Awards are part of the television and film awards season culminating in The Screen Actors Awards (formally known as the Gemini and Genie Awards).
Heather is the president of Actra Toronto.
Part of the fun of my job is working with celebrities and creating looks for them. Many people don't realize actors are part of a business machine, and Heather has an integral role in the protection of these workers within that corporate environment.
A performer and actor in her own right, Heather represents thousands of performers ensuring that they have access to insurance, health benefits, credit unions, and, of course, that they are paid for their work on time and in full by production companies. What most people do not know is that actors are considered contracted entities (on most film and television sets) and, without the work of their union, could find themselves without the many employee benefits most corporate employees enjoy. Additionally, without their union charter, they would have to wait many many months to receive payment for their services. Heather's work is integral in the support of performers having the ability to earn a living.
Heather is uniquely qualified for this role. As a performer herself, having appeared in TV shows such as Rookie Blue (GlobalTV), Degrassi: The Next Generation (MTV), Witchblade (TNT), Flashpoint (BRAVO), and Millenium (FOX), she knows the special concerns of this workforce.
Recently, I asked Heather what beauty means to her:
"Beauty to me is about confidence and generosity. I feel most beautiful when I’m nourishing myself creatively. That means when I’m accessing my creativity.
Beauty is about making sure I feel good about what I look like, how I dress, how I do my hair and make-up. It’s also about the inner feelings. A lovely bubble bath, make-up that makes me feel look my best, dressing for both style and comfort, these are things that help to make me feel and share beauty.
I’m in a business that is all about how one looks, how young and beautiful you are, but also about how interestingly you can present a character on a screen. Those factors do influence my choices, yet, it’s important for me to reveal my personality, my values, my flare and joy. It’s about finding my beauty and making the most of those qualities."
Heather just finished filming episodes for Degrassi: The Next Generation, and she is currently writing a script, which she describes as "about a mature woman who has lost her creativity and searches for ways to reconnect with it."
Check out more amazing women who are redefining beauty.