You’ve watched many television shows, movies and live plays. You’ve watched the stars at the Oscars, Grammys and Black Entertainment Television awards walk the red carpet. Each time you admired the hairstyles the celebrities were wearing. You said to yourself “I could do that”! or “I could have done a better job with her hair!” Your creative skills may be better, however you weren’t on set styling the celebrities hair! Why not? My guess is that you just didn’t know how to get into the circle. How to land that one gig that would get your feet in the door.
By now you are probably saying “how can this writer tell me how to become a Celebrity Stylist when she is not a Celebrity Stylist”!? Well you are right, I am not a Celebrity Stylist, however, during my Hairstylist journey in New York City, I met Celebrity stylist who shared information with me. I also had the honor of sitting through a class with Kim Kimble, Celebrity Stylist and Star of L.A. Hair on WE tv a few months ago. I know that there are a lot of Hairstylist out there who would love to venture into this line of business. So grab your pen and paper or iPad and jot down these tips that I am about to share with you.
Step #1 –
A. Write down your Visions and goals. You need a roadmap to guide you. You need to know which direction you want to go in. Celebrities are in different arenas. Ask yourself the following questions: Do I like working one on one? Do I like traveling with all my tools in a carrying case? Can I deal with the different personalities of the music or film industry? Can I hustle and work quickly while producing excellent work? What type of hairstyles am I good at creating or duplicating? Does the hip-hop world excite me? Am I a contemporary, modern or futuristic Stylist? Who do I want as my clients? Movie stars, television hosts, video vixen, reality show personalities? After you have the answers to the above questions, you should know if this is the job for you.
B. Create a professional portfolio of your best work. You will need a few models to showcase your work. You will also need a make-up artist (If you can’t do it yourself) and a photographer. If you can’t afford to pay professionals, then go to http://www.modelmayhem.com where you will find lots of potential models, photographs and makeup artists who may be starting out and also want to build a portfolio. You can work together doing test shots. Test shots are pictures taken by a photographer who wants to try out a new technique etc. By working together you all can have images to add to you portfolio. There is usually no exchange of money, just services. Once you have at least 10 – 12 different looks and hairstyles, you will be ready for the next step.
C. You will need an Agent. Go on-line to find an agency near you. Just like models need agents, so will you. This person will be your connection to the celebrity world. They will handle all of the correspondence and help to get you in the door. This is not a free service, you will have to pay your agent a percentage of your earnings once they land you a job. I don’t want to mislead anyone by giving you the impression that the above steps are easy! You have to sell yourself to the agent by showing your work. They have to like you and your work. It can take years before you get represented by an agency.
In the beginning, your Agent may be able to get you on the set working as an assistant. I know “Assistant”?? Yes, you have to start somewhere. You are a Newbie to the game. Holding a can of hairspray or bobby pins for the up do or standing there watching whats going on so you can learn, may not have been what you expected in the beginning:-( Do the best you can! Always be prepared, have a good attitude, look the part. You have to be professional and at the same time show how eager and excited you are as a Stylist wanting to show off your great skills by working on a Celebrity. Eventually people will get to know you. The more exposure you get the better! Hang in there. Good things come to those who work hard and are persistent. Eventually your Agent will get you that one Client who will put you on the map!!:-)
Stay tuned for Tip #2 – What do I need to know once I have a Celebrity Client??