When I was 18, I went to my first HAIR SHOW in San Antonio, Texas. I was told by my instructor that I was to go for the two days, take a lunch, and learn at least ONE thing that I could use as a hairdresser.
I didn’t listen to her so well, so I simply showed up, walked in and was instantly drawn to a platform where I was mezmerized by two of the most talented hairstylists I could ever have imagined. He, like an Italian mobster in a fine suit with the flair of Al Pacino, was atop a runway platform with a most beautiful model seated expressionlessly. He, miked, was speaking to the crowd of hundreds of stylists hanging on every word he said as he explained the complex details of how her hair had been colored, and now how he was going to sculpt her hair with his comb and scissors. At first, I thought he was speaking Italian, but as I slithered my way between the other stylists, and focused, I realized that he was speaking English. It wasn’t regular English. It was specific. Almost like some words I had already heard in beauty school, but this artisan was speaking passionate technical terms of angle, projection, texture, fabric, intensity, natural fall, laced with terms and nuance that almost no one could capture.
As he hypnotized us with is speaking, we were understanding more as he cut and slung hair through the air on the brightly lit stage, pushing and pulling her head in all directions as he explained his methods. Within minutes, her hair was shorn. As the DJ pumped the volume, his hands began to dance to the beat through her hair as his blowdryer blew the stray cut strands into the air, sparkling like glitter and confetti. The crowd with eyes locked on him, started to bounce to the beat, as if they were actually at a concert, turning to each other, sharing their delight in what they were seeing, and as he finished off the hairstyle, the crowd burst into applause and cheering and flashing of photography! He walked off, during this ovation, to be replaced on stage by yet the next superstar of my dreams! I was hooked already, and didn’t know that I had been waiting all my life for this!
She was elegant by the way she commanded the stage and as she introduced herself and her haircut model, I found myself expanding my mind instantly. She was elegant, and yet at the same time, I realized that no one showed more skin onstage than Cher in her Bob Mackie gowns, yet this lady did it in a way that was so understated. Or was it that the way she moved her hands over this model’s hair, that was capturing my undivided attention. Or was it her slight European accent that began to speak words that were so unique and distinct to explain the impeccable way that she worked the hair. Within minutes, she had taken an expressionless model in a haircutting cape, and fashioned her into a spectacular bride as she ripped off the haircutting frock to reveal her modern day princess bridal gown and sent her down the runway! The crowd again cheered and soon our Italian Hair Mobster was back with his next model, and the cycle went on….. for hours, or was it minutes?
I got there at 10:15 that morning and by 2:40, I realized that I was now working on that big bladder thing that stylists are known for. As the crowds shifted, I stayed and eventually made it to a seat in the 7th row. As I realized how bad I needed a bathroom break, I was NOT going to give up my seat, and at the same time realized why my instructor told me to take a lunch! I was hungry, but not as hungry for food as I was to learn every single thing I could learn from these 2 stylists who didn’t take breaks either! I sat there til the end at 6PM, ran to the nearest restroom, and then went to a store on my way to my hotel to grab food. I grabbed sandwiches and snacks, went to my hotel, and packed my lunch for tomorrow’s show!
The next day was a repeat for me as in I sat still at the very same stage theater. Ate my lunch sitting in my seat, but only ate a little bit, so as to BE LIKE THEM, who didn’t eat all day ( on stage ) at least! Seriously though, that day, they worked opposite sides of the stage, and if one left, I didn’t notice, because I was so engaged in taking notes and watching and learning. I said to myself “I’m gonna be like them. I’m gonna be a star. I’m gonna rock the stage like them one day!” I knew that very day my future. It was a future I didn’t even know was possible just 24 hours prior to this show! I didn’t even know what a Guest Platform Artist meant….until then! As the crowds were dying down the second day about 4 pm, two stylists were sitting behind me with their feet perched upon the chairs, sighing from how exhausted they were from walking the 20,000 square feet convention center. I heard her say, “I really want to go to her class.
She’s the Godmother of Guest Platform Artists, and her class ticket was $200, but I just can’t go any more. Plus, we have to drive 2 hours to get home and I am too tired!” To which I turned around, smiled and said, “You wouldn’t be interested in giving that ticket to a young beauty student like me, would you?” Without a word, she reached in her purse, pulled out the ticket, and with a twinkle in her eye, handed it to me and said, “Hope you enjoy it.” I was so shocked, I don’t even remember if I said thank you as I grabbed my lunch garbage, and ran toward the private classroom at the other end of the convention center.
That class alone…. THAT CLASS ALONE…impacted me so much that I still use techniques that I learned from her over 30 years ago!
By the time I was 20, I had accomplished my licensing as a stylist AND instructor! I then moved to Houston, and found the best salon to work, and simultaneously went on the show circuit to meet the right people who could give me the training to be a Guest Platform Artist…. In the 80’s, there was no such thing. There also was no one under 40 years old who was a Guest Artist! In fact, Guest Artist meant that you had real salon experience and were one of the finest hairstylists in the world as well as a public speaker, choreographer, entertainer, and little did I know a glorified salesman hocking wares from the stage. Fortunately, I was a great stylist already, thanks to my schooling and living with the school owners, but not much experience. I didn’t care. I was going to be a Guest Artist. So, when I found out the Educational Consultant of South Texas lived in Houston, I made it to every salon class she taught! I became her best assistant, and before I knew it, she was requesting that I travel Texas on the weekends with her. She’d organize and present, do hair color on the models, and then plop them in my chair behind the stage and tell me to cut and finish them! In the Ice Cream Capital of Texas (BlueBell), Brenham, Texas, she called me up in front to acknowledge that the styles they had seen were partly my contribution….. It was my debut!
Well, I went on to work the stage. In fact, I rose quickly, because no one could really believe that this little boy (I really looked like a teenager back then) was able to do hair the way I did! At the ripe age of 21, I was teaching classes, and by 22, I was on my own stage at a tradeshow introducing VaVOOM from Matrix Essentials! We sold out that day, which made me even a bigger “Dougie Howser of Hair!” (Dougie was a great TV show starring Neil Patrick Harris, as a teenaged doctor genius)! I just kept on, and though it seems like it was easy…. that’s only because I am a GREAT story teller…. If you want to hear the real stuff, you’ll have to come to our SuperStar Stylist classes. Yes, I’m proud to say that just 3 years later, I was invited to the Godmother of Guest Artists hotel room after a grueling show work day….. to cut her hair! She said, “Kid, I trust you after I’ve seen you in action today!” SHE was my first celebrity haircut!
Do you aspire to do awesome things with your career and your life? Do you want great stories to share with your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren? Do you want to be the first hairstylist with a statue in your hometown park for being a hero to your community? Or, do you just want to have celebrities ask you for YOUR autograph? Maybe you want to live the glamorous life in TV, movies and film…. Maybe you are simply out to be the very best you can be right in your own neighborhood. YOU CAN be any of these possibilities. YOU CAN do it even if you are from a small town south of Houston, where it might even be dangerous for you to be living in your own family surroundings! ( More story in the SuperStar Stylist classes. )
Aren’t you ready to go to Hollywood with us? Click here now to apply.
There is no step by step formula to get your plan worked out. What I do know is that you will need tools. Tools that work. You will need certain language. You will need skills. You will need mind expanding concepts. You will need to know how to use your fears to their advantage. You will need to learn how to be unstoppable. You will need to know how to move the roadblocks quickly. You will need to know how to do the “math.” You will have to know how to evaluate things quickly and effectively. You will have to know the right people at the right times, and how to make that happen…..(you CAN learn this). Cheryl and I will be your access. We are your mentors. We are your friends. We are your trainers. We are your coaches. We are your guides. We are you.
Just recently, I realized that I had come full circle into being the Guest Artist for my own company. As I made millions of dollars for Matrix in the 80’s and 90’s, because I knew that I was working for my dear and beloved idol, Mr. Arnold Miller. When he took ill, and eventually passed, lots happened that had me awaken to my real mission. And, this was to make safe chemical-free products that, as Mr. Miller always said, “Exceed Customers’ Expectations!” For the next decade, I awaited the next Arnie Miller, and realized, that if it was to be, it was up to me! I don’t know that I could ever pretend to be as great as I knew Mr. Miller to be, but I set out to make products from food to feed the hair, and Cheryl and I did it! We exceed customers’ expectations, and we’ve even exceeded our own expectations, given the enormous challenges we’ve had along the way… ( more about THAT when you are part of the SuperStar Stylist Classes!)
Ready to make it big? Click here now to apply.