I realize I've been so busy with beauty shoots, that I haven't given a salon update in awhile. I got away from writing about specific clients on my blog if you haven't noticed, I am afraid to quite honestly. It took one client recognizing herself in one of my posts, walking into the salon and confronting me about it. Thing is, I didn't say anything negative, just personality quirks(like we all have)! Maybe I should talk more about my own quirks instead. What do you think? There are plenty of blogs about how to's for hair, and not enough about the psychological side of hairdressing. However, I am finding the psychological side less interesting, and the creating of beauty more compelling! Maybe I should change the name of the blog.
I’ve been under a bit of unusual stress the last three weeks, I would have been better off taking time to assimilate life’s latest serving of chewy bits. But life goes on, and as a Buddhists have said, “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” Cutting hair, even though a family member may have been on her death bed, seemed odd.
And yet, my clients were there for me. At first, I did not think I could work. The salon environment, albeit quieter than usual that day felt too overwhelming. I had no intention of laying it out for everybody, nor did I need to become maudlin, or ignore my reality. At times, I felt as though I walked a tight rope. On one side was my life, on the other, my profession, and when I engaged in conversation about myself, I began to falter, and the net below swung in all directions.
At home I placed a platic bag on a hot burner, walked in three directions at once, not remembering what I was doing. At work, during a weave, I turned my clients hair a pale violet in a few packets. The flashing light inside strobed, sending a warning to refocus, and bring the conversation back to the client.
My family member felt better today, we all could sigh with relief. The road to healing is still long, and perhaps even questionable. Meanwhile, I am grateful for my life, and for my clients who continue to awe me in their respect, concern, and kind words.
However different we make think we are, it is minuscule compared to what we have in common. Marcia Branca and I have known each other since 1988. For twenty years our relationship has winded down a path that hugs the earth, and comes upon vistas that one can see as far out as eye can see. When she first became a client, we realized we had a couple of mutual friends. Her personal interests seemed to be similar to mine, and to the friends we had in common. And although our relationship has not brought us together socially, it's as reliable. It's as if each time, we fumble for a few minutes to see where we left off, but then quickly get back into a rhythm of sharing that makes us laugh, cry and remember why we carry on for this many years.
Some of the ways we knew each other were from unrelated arenas, giving us the feeling that really this is too much. We have seen each other grow, and shrink, and grow again. We both have one daughter, we both write, we both have a similar spiritual practice, we both paint, we both love travel, we both want something better for our daughters. We have both dreamt, and have had our dreams shattered. We are survivors, and after a kind of life that we catch glimpses of, and mirror for each other.
The other day, she did her makeup and I colored her hair and took a photo. Because the time before, I colored and cut her hair, we applied makeup, and she looked fabulous. The camera had no card. So, this is what we captured this time. And this is what she had to say about our presidential campaign: Click here to download.
There is a certain kind of beauty in knowing that certain people you are sure you've known before, and will always feel a connection to, no matter how much time goes by, and how little you do see each other. Thank you Marcia for the years of friendship, loyalty, trust and laughter. You are a beauty.
Yeah! The Cutting Chair, has officially launched. We have all been waiting with abated breath. I know this online venture, as well as a coming out in print version, will do well. They have high hopes of being a leading hair, fashion, and lifestyle magazine. I think they can do it. This mulit-faceted site is in it's infancy, but already has come out with some strong visuals, fun content, and tips of the trade, for both clients and professional stylists. I have written four articles for them. Two are in this initial launch under articles. How Green Does Your Salon Grow? Things you can do to clean up your act. The other, Interpreting the Runway: Translating Trends into Wearable Hair. We will see if others make it in at a later date. Writing articles is new to me, but I found I enjoyed the research, and getting them in and out. Unlike the book, which is taking eons to bake, writing needs the time to mature. It calls for a patience, particularly the book, that I didn't know I had. Kind of like child rearing.
But back to the magazine. Log on and see what you think. Let them know what you would like to know more about. http://www.thecuttingchair.com/. Let's help make this ambitious project a great success.
I can't get enough. It may be time for therapy. Hair and beauty is an obsession. Reading articles, writing, building a make-up /hair kit, wanting to photograph every client, and finally craft a portfolio, producing my own fashion show, doing hair at the LA and New York Fashion Weeks, traveling to Paris to rest, study and be inspired, giving to groups of people around the globe. The ideas don't stop! Even the thought of owning my own salon ran through my mind over the last couple of months, but how could I? I wouldn't have time for all the other interests I have. Are these all manifestations of one and the same? Or am I completely psychotic? My creative energy overflows into my sessions with clients. Today marked by awesome color combinations, and silhouettes made clients, and I, swoon. And yet, I raced the clock all day long. I want a day with some clients, hair color in the am, lunch, and then haircut, style, make up and photograph in the afternoon. I want to illuminate the beauty inside people. It sounds so civilized.
I am ready to let go of the pictures I have put in place about my life as a stylist. I am ready to walk in the shoes before me, and break them in. Unchartered territory is where I am heading. I trust what I know, and I know I will take me wherever I go. I want to meet with beauty professionals in the industry who are working the runway, who really get team work, who work to bring out the best in people.
I want to create beauty. I want to bring out the beauty that resides in people, and it's not tall, thin, and blonde. It's wrinkles, it's grey, it's whatever a person brings to me, and allows me to work with them. I want to tell their stories.
I've got a lot of questions today. The balance of writing, working behind the chair, daughter time and partner time, let alone time for myself is one that is fit for the finest circus. I mean and I love everything I'm doing. Is the doing about the doing though? What would it be like to not do for a change, or are doers always fantasizing about the possibility of not doing? Is the doing a cover up, for fear nothing will happen? Some would say, "Get yourself to a therapist, quick." But I feel done with that for now.
I heard, while traveling in India for six months, years ago, "whatever you are here to do, will be done through you, whether you are consciously working on it or not."
So does it happen unconsciously? Is it magic? Does it happen while I sleep? A simple guided tour map of our life handed to us as we slipped into the world, would be helpful. We wouldn't have to know all the details, that would be dull and boring. But if we knew that we would be doing exactly what we are to do this life, we could relax. Take a vacation, read a book with our feet up on the sofa, take more walks and breathe in more fresh air, snuggle with our lover, play with our kids.
So, do you think hearing that from the teacher has helped any? I mean, I'm supposed to know it, right? But I do what I do, what I think I'm supposed to do, creating my own reality, full of it's limitations, every minute. Am I running from something, or to something? If I stop long enough, I can see I am still with me.
How can I stop, when there is so much to do. So many things in life I have yet to experience. I want to do hair the rest of my life and do it well, masterfully. Maybe I don't need to stand behind the chair 4/7. I want to travel to Baja, with my family and see the whales birth, and visit the Rodin museum in Paris, visit Africa and look into the eyes of a gorilla, and smell the earth, visit my mentor in Japan and see the cherry trees in bloom. I want to experience having a real conversation with my mother, without her talking over me, I want to meet with teams of highly creative people, talk to them, create together. I want to finish my book, I want to...the list is long. How can one stop?
I will continue to do because I have to. A life not verging on insanity will have to come some other time.
The reading date is set. It will be the first public reading, in a very long time, from my book. I've been working on this project for10 years, and I'm focusing in on the first 100 pages to get it to an editor. Although,I am thrilled to have the date set, and sure it is time to start building energy around the book, I am terrified. The material has become much more personal than I ever thought it would, and richer because of it. Do I really want my clients, who will fill the audience, to know me that well?
Ugh. Self-doubt would like to settle in my body. My brain wants to think it has control, by saying nasty little things to me, like, "Maybe it's too soon." "You're getting ahead of yourself." "You're diffusing the energy of the book, so it will be anticlimactic when it gets published, if it publishes." Dealing with the demons are a full-time job these days.
Even so, I find myself talking about the date, and letting clients know. I've invited some friends from the Squaw Valley Writer's Conference to read with me, their company and support will be a great help. You know sometimes you just have to do what you have to do, regardless of the fear that is the size of football in your gut? This is one of those things, I've just got to do.
Oh, yeah. The date is February 28, 2008 at Keter Salon 1815 Suite A Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710.
Hi my name is Rebecca Beardsley. I work as a professional hairstylist in an upscale salon in Berkeley, CA. I've been styling hair for 24 years and I have some thoughts about this experience. I'm finally diving into this known world to millions, the blog world, unknown to me. I want to write about what happens in the chair, really. I'm not clever, but thoughtful. Will my posts have an edge. I don't know. I want to write for the public, about what is real to me and see what happens.