NYWIFT Blog

Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Alfreda Howard

By Katie Chambers

Welcome to NYWIFT, hair & makeup artist Alfreda Howard!

New NYWIFT member Alfreda “Fre” Howard grew up in Michigan and now resides in Philadelphia, PA. Howard has been Makeup Department Head for Netflix’s Free Meek, Season 13 of Mystery Science Theatre 3000, and national commercials including a Smartwater spot with Pete Davidson. She was also Key Makeup Artists on season one of Bel-Air on Peacock, and designed wigs and makeup for The Fisher Center at Bard – SummerScape’s production of Dom Juan. Other credits include Wu-Tang: An American Saga (Hulu) and Lady in the Lake (Apple TV).

In 2019, she became the first woman of color to design makeup and wigs for operas at two teaching institutions: The Curtis Institute of Music Opera Department and Temple University’s Opera Department. Howard is very involved educating students and professionals on the importance of diversity, equity, inclusion, and agency in the arts, and teaches at both Opera Philadelphia and The New School. And she serves on the Board of Directors of NYWIFT sister organization Philadelphia Women in Film & Television.

Howard is the proud owner of Faces By Fre, LLC, Makeup Artistry that provides makeup, hair, wigs, special FX, and wardrobe and employs four artists. Outside of work, she loves experiencing other cultures, food, learning, traveling, and listening all types of music… and making her own bourbon.

Fre Howard spoke to us about special effects makeup, advocacy & education, and how the pandemic shaped her career.

 

NYWIFT Member Fre Howard at the Sundance Film Festival

 

Tell us about yourself – give us your elevator pitch!

My name is Fre! I am a professional makeup artist and stand in solidarity with three IATSE unions, 798, 799, and 917. And I’m the owner of Faces By Fre, LLC, a full-service makeup artistry business that specializes in serving television, film, theatre, and opera.

 

Jordan Bellow and Amelia Workman in Dom Juan (Photo by Maria Baranova)

 

What has been your favorite project to date? 

There are two… being the wig and makeup designer for Dom Juan at The Fisher Center at Bard and being Key Makeup Artist on Bel-Air.

 

You’ve done quite a bit of special effects makeup in addition to “traditional” makeup. What is creatively exciting about working on those horror / sci-fi / or violent scenes?

For me, knowing the body: how bruises, cuts, and abrasions form on the body in certain areas or how blood flows from a simulated knife or gunshot wound is amazing!

The ability to create a wound that is realistic and believable to the audience is my joy!

Fre’s special effects work

 

How has the pandemic impacted your work as a makeup artist? 

The pandemic was a curse and a blessing. I lost all work for one full year, two major contracts and five employees… but I was able to slow down, take stock in me, my business, and our industry. I designed a program to teach professionals on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; and participated as a panelist speaking on the importance of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, as well as on BIPOC skin and hair care in the arts.

 

With Dr. Erica James, the first Black and female Dean of Wharton School of Business

 

What is the best advice you ever received? 

I am worthy of receiving all I dream of!

 

In addition to now being a NYWIFT member, you’re also a member of PWIFT (Philadelphia Women in Film & Television) and on their board. What have you enjoyed about the experience of leading a WIFT organization?

Meeting potential members — women who want to network, make their films and be around other women in the industry — is an honor, and a position I am grateful for and take seriously. 

 

 

What inspired you to join NYWIFT? 

I work in New York more than Philly… [laughs] And I have attend a few events in New York with NYWIFT. I love the energy and welcoming spirit NYWIFT promotes. 

 

And what is next for you? 

I am the Makeup Department Head for two films, Assistant Supervisor for Othello for Opera Philadelphia, and wig and makeup designer for The New School’s production of Fefu and Her Friends… and to win an Emmy and Oscar!

 

Connect with Fre Howard on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and at www.facesbyfre.com.

PUBLISHED BY

Katie Chambers

Katie Chambers Katie Chambers is the Senior Director of Community & Public Relations at New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT). She also serves as the Communications Chair of the New Jersey State Federation of Women's Clubs and is a freelance writer and digital marketing strategist. Follow her on Twitter @KatieGChambers.

View all posts by Katie Chambers

Comments are closed

Related Posts

Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Amanda Bujak

Welcome to NYWIFT Amanda Bujak! Amanda Bujak is a make-up artist and Emmy-nominated film and tv costume designer based out of New York City. Born of Mexican American heritage, she has been working professionally since 2006. She has worked on TV, film, opera, dance, Broadway, commercials, award shows, and music tours. Amanda’s costume design film credits include The Unheard, Marvelous and the Black Hole, It had to be You, and So You’ve Grown Attached. Some of her TV credits include projects on NBC, Shudder, Hulu, Netflix, HBO Max, FX and Apple TV. She holds an MFA from NYU Tisch’s Department of Design for Stage and Film. Amanda spoke to us about what drew her to the art of costume design and her favorite collaborations.

READ MORE

NYWIFT @ Tribeca: In Conversation with Nikia Nelson

NYWIFT member and graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology Nikia Nelson has been working in the fashion and entertainment industries for several years. She started her career working in magazine publishing in the fashion and photo departments. She was able to parlay her experience into working as a stylist & costume designer for fashion, film, and television. Nikia recently worked as Assistant Costume Designer for the Amazon series The Horror of Dolores Roach. Based on the hit Spotify podcast series of the same name, The Horror of Dolores Roach is a contemporary Sweeney Todd-inspired urban legend of love, betrayal, weed, cannibalism, and survival of the fittest. The series will premiere at the 2023 Tribeca Festival.

READ MORE

Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Derya Celikkol

Welcome to NYWIFT, Derya Celikkol! A proud graduate of the Experimental Theatre Wing at Tisch Schools of the Arts, Derya Celikkol is a Turkish filmmaker who lives in New York City and has contributed her extraordinary artistry to numerous projects. In addition to acting and production designing, Celikkol has directed and produced films, some of which have been showcased and won awards at film festivals worldwide.  

READ MORE

Recap: FGI & NYWIFT Fashion & The First Ladies Panel

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Fashion Group International (FGI) and New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) took a look at Fashion and the First Ladies through a virtual panel on March 12. It was a candid conversation about how our First Ladies are fashion trendsetters, and explored how fashion plays a key role with history, politics and contributes to the making or breaking of public policy. 

READ MORE
JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
css.php