Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Your Voice

I often say that with career’s I view how we shape them as a pie. How and what you do in your career you cut up into the slices you want. Of course the hardest part is deciding how you want to slice your pie up. I find a lot of the time we view other people’s choices of their pie cut up to be something we desire for are own. But through time and searching I have found that the best way is to find out what makes you happy and content. Also don’t put all your egg’s in one basket or “ most of your pie in one slice” as I say.
            I found out about fourteen years ago in my career that spans twenty-two years that I wanted the biggest portion of my pie to be freelance. I still have a slice in education and of course to keep in touch a very small slice behind the chair, even if that means in studio or hotel room’s cutting my coworkers.  Just like anything in life what you get you must give up some stuff to achieve it. Just like were you live you always give up certain pleasures or wants to live in that city or country.  Let me explain. I live in NYC the best city for me in the world.  I give up space and time to live in this city in all aspects of my life from personal, to walking the street, commuting, shopping, with everything. But from this city, I get to have the most productive and inspiring and creative energy in my everyday life. It is the same with deciding I wanted my biggest slice of my career to be in freelance. I get to do what I love, travel the world, different people and environment daily, and get to put my voice in the hair I do for the company I am branding.  But I give up security of a big beauty company or salon. Also medical, regular payday, or “ what I call mail lotto”. The most difficult of all I think part of freelance dealing with being rejected ten times out of eleven. 

            My friend who is a actor were talking the other day about how hard rejection inside of a freelance world can be and how it is hard for people outside of a career path that haven’t chose that to understand.  The constant,” not this time” you hear from accounts, that your voice,” is not exactly right for what they are looking for”.  I know that there are an immense amount of jobs out there that people get a lot of rejections. By asking and listening to others with the same amount of rejections of their voice or talent in their work, I have found that we all deal with it differently. As for me I find empathy in knowing that we are all different and that our voice (our personal style) is as different as each snowflake is . That we get hired for certain jobs because our voice is what the account is looking for and what we bring to the table no one else can.
            What ever your career is and how you have sliced up your pie, whatever city you have decided to live in and make your life, I hope your voice speaks loud in all you do. And remember there is no other like you! 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Fashion Forecast for Hair 2013

Tis the season! And the time of year I enjoy more than any other.  All that know me personally, this will not come at any surprise that I am a Christmas fanatic. Even my agent Doni at Judy Casey in NYC call’s me, “MR. Claus” this time of year. But on top of making my gingerbread houses. And going, Griswold (National Lampoons, Christmas Vacation) on the lights and decoration for the house and my all around Christmas cheer this time of year.  It is also the time to forecast what’s in store for hair in Fashion for 2013.
                   As of now, I have been shooting and creating the hair for campaigns for designers of clothes, shoes and hand bags, for the pages of Vogue, Cosmopolitan and advertising that can be seen in stores such as Target as well as billboards in Times Square through September 2013.  Also I have been shooting and creating the hair for editorial fashion and beauty stories for British Marie Claire, American Cosmopolitan and Teen Vogue. Even though these jobs have completely different demographics both globally and culturally, I have noticed some very distinct consistencies that keep resurfacing for the hair for 2013.

                  Whether it is sleek or playful looks the parts are clean and defined, not soft or crooked. The overall feeling for down or up styles have a clean and sleek look to them, not messy or disheveled.
Even if the image of the brand or idea for the story is raw and street, the hair is graphic and clean, not broken down and lived in. And even with a more avant-garde base line to a fashion story or an avant-garde flair to a brand, the textures in the hair are diffused and whimsical. Over all even if your going tight to the head with the hair for a sleek silhouette or massive silhouette shape with a more graphic Tim Burton kind of feel these words below, are what I see and have been using to create and describe the hair for 2013.
CLEAN, SLEEK, GRAPHIC, WHIMSICAL, DIFFUSED, Happy Holiday’s and happy hair styling into the new year!

Friday, September 14, 2012

New Season

New Season

            As this hot sticky summer comes to a close and we find ourselves coming into a new fall, which with it brings cool breeze. I find another part of my career ending and a new season starting.
            I have had the pleasure of co-working with the people at Kramer & Kramer agency in New York for the last twelve years of my career. I have learned such valuable and resourceful skills essential for the growth of my work through the experiences I have had with them. I have been blessed to travel the world and grow my understanding of the internal politics and players of the freelance world of fashion which I didn’t know before. And along the way have been fortunate enough to create unforgettable relationships around the world. After twelve years of the same surrounding ‘s and friendships emotions do come up when parting ways. Just like the human emotions when moving to a new town or starting a new job arises. Yet once those emotions pass and the leaves change, new colors, new weather and complete new surroundings comes in to play.
             The excitement of the new season surpasses the old anticipation of it’s coming. That is were I find myself with this new journey in my career.  I am so excited to start this new adventure with a Doni and Judy at Judy Casey Agency NYC and creating new relationships, forging new levels in my work with them.

Check out Judy Casey and my hair just click the link

Monday, July 30, 2012

El Otro Lado

There once was a time, not to long ago when in many industry’s including my own we got to travel to far off places that other wise we would of never known existed.

Depending on what you do for a living this usually stopped around the time on the years 2008 – 2009. It has been about 6 to 7 years for me that I have been to a foreign place that really blew me away. Well this month of July 2012 God blessed me using UK Traveller Conde Nast as a vessel.
I techniqually had literally set one foot in this country of Panama many years ago I thought, while working in Costa Rica. Let me explain. Many moon cycles ago I did a job in a town at the very south tip Pacific Ocean side of Costa Rica called Pavones. As for the avid surfers out there of course you know this black sand, one of the longest left breaks in the world. For the ones that don’t it borders Panama by meters and is a collage of rainforest terrain mixed with black sand beaches and every insect, wild life you can probably think of in Central America. On that trip I actually put my right leg on the side of Panama, or at least that is what the local told me. In reality it would of taken a quick bus ride to do so. That is the closest I had ever come to Panama until this July. Pavones Costa Rica is one of the only spots in all the contents I had been to that the local misquote loved my blood besides Zanzibar, Africa. The bites lasted almost a month and still itched once back home in NYC for the full 30 days.
We arrived in Panama City airport, drove from the Pacific Ocean side to the Caribbean side.

And took a boat to the most wonderful place called El Otro Lado. A place that a woman from Madrid bought and kept its beauty, history and encourages its life. Definitely one of a kind.  On top of having the honor to see their heritage and culture at night after shooting all day, I must say besides the misquotes attacking me all the time it was really a life memory.

I guess what I am trying to make a point of no matter how many bites you get, and how long they stay a special place God created on this earth will never go away.

I would like to thank, Noe Dewitt, Finoa Lintott, Craig Honeycutt, Kevin Keith and our awesome model Guisela Rhein. Thank you for the gorgeous pictures and the life long memory. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Art Of Listening

            I have been blessed with my work to be able to travel to many countries and experience and see the different cultures of so many people.
            I am also blessed to be able to live in the USA and in New York City with such diverse cultures and languages. But it took me tell Saint Martin an island in the northeast Caribbean, (approximately 190 miles east of Puerto Rico). To discover how the tone and fluctuation of one’s voice can explain, show and build a story without really understanding their language.

            The north side of the island of Saint Marteen is Dutch and the south side of the island of Saint Martin is French. I recently did a shoot in the French area of Saint Martin. I took three years of French in school and since the age of 19 have been to many French speaking countries including many years of working in France, so I do understand,”le petite “.  I find it funny that of all the places I have been, it was that in the south side of this island of Saint Martin is where I realized how ones voice can express so much with fluctuation.

            It hit me one night what I had realized a week after my trip…  I was Smoking a cigarette on my stairs in NYC.  My ears caught a attention of young man speaking,”French” he was on his cell phone as he wobbled across the path way in front of me, I assumed he was tipsy. The tone of his voice was longer and his pauses in between for a French man were even shorter than usual.
            As hairdressers we are used to talking with are hands and fingers and we can communicate so much by doing so. Not just behind the chair but as for me a lot of time it is with using my hands to communicate with the art director or model on set that are from a different country and don’t speak English very well or sometimes at all. Trying to communicate without using language as we all know is not always easy. But as it is with many cultures I am finding it is about the art of listening. Listening to someone’s tone and how their voice fluctuates not reacting to the up’s and down’s but really listening to what they are presenting is what I hope to hone in on.  I believe that listening is an art and it takes practice, just like doing great hair only comes with practice and then more practice. I hope to practice and hone in on the art of listening as much as I do with my hair.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Some Times People Don't Undrstand

            One of my friends asked me yesterday, “were have you been Noah?” which I get this question quite frequently from friends in the industry and from my friends that are not. I answered back Tulum Mexico, South Carolina, LA, and Palm Springs lately. He shrugged and let a sarcastic sigh out, “ I wish I had such a hard job.”

             As many of you hairdressers out their that freelance full time or teach or are on the road allot traveling for work understand, it’s no vacation even if there are models in bikinis and you might even be in really exotic places or fancy hotels. I have encountered this disillusion from my personal friends and acquaintances I’ve meet over the 18 years of doing what I do. I don’t expect them to understand and to be honest most of the time I don’t even try to explain. Instead I sigh with them and say, “ Your right, I thank God I love what I do and get to do it.” But the other day when my friend, that is a painter asked me that question, I paused in my sub conscious and made a mental note that maybe it would be a good idea to blog about what it does entail and why it is far beyond any were near a vacation.
             So here goes.  Hair and the model or models are the first one’s up on location.  Of course almost 90% of the time the account wants sunrise as one of the shot’s and I totally understand why. With how the sun gives that,” Golden Light” from sunrise and sunset it makes everyone look amazing and you only have it for a hour and half or so.  Now even if you’re not in a desert or beach area even in Rome Italy that “ Golden Light “ is what they want for their image. So that means usually I am doing hair in the dark from as earlier as 3:45am  - 5:00 am max since most sunrises are around 5:30 am – 6:00am. Sometimes especially on the beach places that are quite remote I am with generator in toe outside my hotel room if it is in a place were the electricity can’t take how much the voltage is needed from my blow dryer, hot tools and the lights the photo assistants have to set up the night before so I can see what I am doing in the dark.  As you can imagine, this also causes some anger to honey mooners and vacationers in that particular location with a generator at that time in the am on their special escape from their reality. I become such a favorite person of those guests of the hotel.
            After that we shoot and shoot and then the sun around 1-3pm get’s so high and straight down on the model that it makes the youngest of youth have bags underneath their eyes and shadows cast every were they shouldn’t be. So unless the photographer and account wants to capture images they want under shade or scrim the entire area we want to shoot we usually take lunch and a break. We get touchups done after that so we can start again around 3pm and we continue to shoot tell sunset which depending what part of the world you are can be any were from 5:45 – around 7 pm.
            So that is the run down as you can see it’s not all that it’s painted out to be on reality TV shows. LOL

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Hair Is All That Matters

Since the runway’s this last September here in NYC, I’ve been running into a very familiar situation on the road. Doing hair in the heat and humidity followed with embarrassment in the lobby of the hotel after work. Let me explain.
In the last month or so I’ve been in Sedona, AZ, 123 degree F., Charleston, SC, 90-100 degree F, with 95% humidity, and Palm Spring, CA, 104 degree F. Charleston we were shooting outside the entire 3 day’s on a wharf, sail boat and land. All that matters is the models look amazing, not what the crew looks like. So of course with 5am call times and going some times tell 10 pm you can imagine how the crew looks at the end of the day walking into the hotel? Let me give you a description of the make up artist and myself walking in the 1st night to the Charleston Place Hotel (four star hotel, with old Southern Flair).

We came into the grand marble lobby at around 11pm, her hair she put up in a bun trying to make it presentable but for lack of a good word it was a ratty, salty mess. Stains of dirt and ocean sand along with gosh knows what all over are shorts and my white tank top a nice shade of grey. Both of us in flip flops my hair a grease salty mess with our hair and make up kits, (90 pound luggage’s) in tow. Entering the lobby we both saw a slew of distinguished southern men. Slakes, tucked in silk and rayon button up shirts, shoe’s shined and cigars in hand. Accompanied by elite southern women with hair and make up all primped and textures and sparkles intertwined into all their outfits. Like only a southern woman can get away with wearing. We left our bags at the bottom of the two steps leading into the grand bar. No joke the entire bar stops talking, looks over at us and whispers floating in the air of the way we looked start floating around us. Except for one southern lady who clearly had quite a few drinks already, she continues her loud conversation with a gentleman. The make up artist and myself quickly order our drinks to take up to our room were our showers were waiting to wipe us clean of our day. Dashing drinks and kits in hand we get into an elevator. Right behind us the few drinks to many southern lady and her friends stepped in before the elevator door’s shut. She looks at the makeup artists and say’s “ You two where ever your from have checking in down. With your drinks in hand to your room.” We explain to her that our luggage is our work kits and that we just got off work. She reply’s, “ well you defiantly were outside all day hope your shoot goes great.”

This has happened to me in my career more times than I can remember. Still to this day it is awkward for me and the others of every crew. I was telling this story to the model “ Cintia “ just three day’s ago on set in Palm Springs in 104 degree weather after a 10 hour day in the van on the way back to the Parker Hotel (The famous Johnathan Adler interior design hotel, in Palm Springs) .We laughed and she said,” It happens to me all the time I hate it, everyone stares at me.” .We all get out of the van by the enormous double orange doors of the Parker Hotel. Cintia and I find out the crew’s dinner reservation time for the tonight and we are the first of the 11 of our crew to walk through the orange enormous doors into the lobby. Immediately as we walk in, myself looking exactly like or worse than I did in the Charleston hotel and Cintia make up washed off and hair still coiffed in short jeans and a dirty little blue tee. We run into the entire lobby packed all 2,000 plus square feet of it, completely crammed. Young men to older all dressed in slakes button up shirts clean cut even some in ties and blazers. The women and girls sporting Mossino, Tory Birch sundress lavish shoes, with full make up on. Our plan was to grab a drink and go straight to the showers. Cintia giggles and make’s a grown, “No not again!” she says. We put our heads down and as quick as possible by pass the over crowded bar and squeeze through the sea of people who frightfully move out of the way for us. Probably scared that some of my dirt will scrap upon their outfits. Of course for the men they are goking at Cintia, which is her number one thing she tolled me she hates about doing this. Later I find out our crew and a few more guest all check out tomorrow and the hotel is taken over by one of the richest and lavish wedding’s the hotel has every seen by some couple in Austin Texas.

Just another day on location in a hot weather place. The thing that makes me proud while walking into these situations. Is knowing these same people who we try to avoid in the lobby or hotel when we look thrashed from our day of work. Are the same consumers that what we are shooting pictures to sell their clothes or shoes or whatever product where their for. At the end of the day it’s all about your hair and your work not the way you look after a long day. At least with what I do.