Adventures in Working Backstage
Destroy the Hairdresser Co-founder Caeleb Michael is regularly seen backstage at New York Fashion Week supporting Sally Hershberger, Frank Rizzieri, and Kevin Ryan. Co-founder Cyd Charisse can be caught on HSN with Campbell McAuley and Voloom as well as NYFW, and Columnist Kate Edna recently leveled up to certified color trainer and assisted Lupe Voss at Aveda Congress. There can be a lot that goes into being the support staff…the job is to be there to support in anything and everything. Should you find yourself with the opportunity to work for and alongside hair and make-up Masters, here are some handy-dandy tips to keep the flop sweat away and keep you on point.
1) Be succinct. It is not the time to catch up, dazzle, tell jokes, or chit chat. Be clear, be concise, and resist the urge to be the typical chatty hairdresser.
2) Save your money. When you start out, chances of getting paid to support a Master are slim. Trust us though; it is WORTH IT. Invest in yourself and do it.
3) Ask for help. Support staff who have been working with a Master for a while can point you in the right direction without needing to interrupt the boss.
4) Wear comfortable shoes. Heels are for the novice stylist; let the models squeeze their feet into them. You have to stand for endless hours.
5) Have pockets. They come in handy.
6) Remember everyone’s name. Make connections. Friend them on social media. The bigger your network, the more opportunities to support will show up.
7) Take advanced runway styling classes in major cities. These are usually gateways to being offered jobs at NYFW.
8) Take all the classes with Masters you can. The more face time you get the better the chances they will say yes if you ask to support them.
9) Work neat, clean, and fast. This works in tandem with #1.
10) There is no job too small. Get their coffee, hold a section of hair for braiding, shampoo fifty mannequin heads. Do it with a smile, have fun, and remember there are always people who wish they got to do what you are doing.
11) Bring a couple things in your travel bag that are outside the box and can come in super handy. Safety pins. Black Sharpie. Paper clips. Extra set of clips. A pen. Phone charger. Nail polish remover. Doesn’t need to be a lot but if the right moment presents itself, you could be a hero.
12) Keep your business card on you at all times.
13) Mints. Not gum. Mints.
14) Hydrate. And pack snacks. Don’t assume a lunch break will happen. Be ready to power through.
15) Be perfect and professional in your style. You aren’t just representing yourself, you are representing the Master to learners, models, whomever.
Have you ever wanted to work behind the scenes? Caeleb M., Cyd C., and Kate E. are here to answer your questions! Everything you ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask, we say: ask away! Comment below or tag us #DestroyTheHairdresser