twenty years and still having a blast.

19 05 2014

In an unashamed attempt to rebuild my audience, I am posting pictures of some of my film work.

I have found my voice again after being silent for too long. I let my care about what others think of me stagnate my words. That concept is a writing killer.

so, let me say, I love you all but I don’t care if you like what I have to say. I am going to write.

But, for today, PICTURES!!!

image  Here I am in my first film endeavor. I was a featured extra in a movie called RadioLand Murders. I came to my first day of filming with my hair done in finger waves that I did myself and soon after was hired on in the hair department for the remainder of the shoot. Ha, God has a sense of humor.

image  Yep, this is my Eddie. He also worked on the same film as a photo double. When they asked if he would be willing to shave his mustache for it if they gave him a hundred dollars more, his reply was, “for a hundred bucks I will shave my legs too.”

image  Marilyn Manson and the wiener in Eastbound and Down.

Army Wives, Catherine Bell, 1980s hair

Army Wives, Catherine Bell, 1980s hair

this is season one of Army wives. Loved every day of working with this lady.

and…….

Sally Pressman/ Army Wives season 1

Sally Pressman/ Army Wives season 1

This lovely lady too.

I have enjoyed this career for twenty years this year and it has been my pleasure to work with many  kind and nice actors. There have been a few stinkers in the mix but, thankfully, they are few and far between.

These are a few of the good ones…

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It takes all kinds to work on a film set. For the most part we are all a little crazy some way or another. I don’t mind crazy. Crazy just adds to the fun.

My favorite films are the ones that have lots of laughter behind the scenes. The older I get, the more I realize that I don’t have to compete with anyone else in my industry. I have my own unique set of skills and so does everyone else on a film set. I have the most fun when I can let go of my fear and my ego and appreciate what each person brings to the table. I am pretty sure this translates to any job. It is in that kind of atmosphere of freedom that a job ceases to feel like work and begins to be a place and time for the creative juices to flow.

well, it appears I found something to say after all.

It would not hurt my feelings at all if you left me indication that you looked at my post today. Thanks for hanging in here with me.





hair fashion inspiration and the longest ride

17 05 2014

If laughter is a good medicine then laughing at myself must be good for my soul.

I should be reading a script and making notes this morning.

Does anyone else in the blogosphere agonize over starting a post with a word other than “I”? The more I think about it the harder it is to do. After all it is my blog with my thoughts and my words. I guess it must have “I” in it more than once or twice.

It is Saturday morning, I am in my PJs and have already had 3 cups of coffee and it is not quite eleven AM yet.

oldest Kenny

okay Coni, focus! You aint gettin’ any younger here.

I am excited that I will be going to a hair show and expo at the end of this month. Fawn is going to meet me there. It will be her first big show. This is one of the biggest in the country. There will be hundreds of presenters teaching about new products, conducting classes on hair cuts, colors and perms, new techniques and, of course, trying to sell us everything in their line. It is always an inspiring time and I get to hang out with my very cool daughter in between classes. We have reservations at a 4 star hotel that is only a block from the convention center. I love when a plan comes together.

http://www.premiereorlandoshow.biz/shows/orl/default.asp

I will begin prepping for a Nicholas Sparks movie as soon as I return. The story is The Longest Ride and it spans seventy years.

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We will be creating some beautiful period fashions of the 1940s, 50s, 60s and more.. Many of you know, this is my favorite thing to do. I will be working under a very talented lady who is a wizard with wigs among other things. We had a great experience working together on another film here in Wilmington and I learned some valuable things from her. Colleen is a ball of energy and her ideas come fast and furiously. I only hope I can keep up with her. I will have to take my vitamins every day and eat a healthy breakfast. 😉

Have I mentioned lately that I love my job?





Just in time!

10 05 2012

Timing is the key to comedy.

What if you had learned how to ski? Maybe you even got to ski every day for two weeks in a row and you felt like you were pretty good at it. Then, for next twelve years, you never got to get up on your skis again. You went to the slopes, you watched the other skiers and picked up some good tips on how to maneuver on the slopes but, you didn’t get on the skis.

That is how I felt about working with lace wigs. I had two weekend classes with one of the best in our business. Colleen Callaghan taught us finger waves, period hairstyles and all kinds of wig work. I felt pretty confident after her classes. The problem is that I never got to work on a lace wig. I got to use every other thing she taught us as I honed my skills but, for some crazy reason, not lace wigs. I have worked beside other incredibly talented hair stylists and watched them apply the wigs and make it look like that hair was growing right out of the scalp. I even handed the pins, passed the wig cap, held the bottle of glue and watched them press that lace into the skin until it could no longer be detected. But, I had no confidence to do it myself.

Last year, another wig class was being taught in NY by another wig master. I signed up and flew to NY by myself to take the class. Immediately after signing up for the class, I was hired as the hair department head on season 3 of EastBound and Down. The main character wears a mullet hair piece and there would be some other wigs involved in the show. Yep, timing is the key to comedy.

I stayed in NY with my friend, Michelle, who had hired me on my first job in the film industry. She had been inviting me for years and I finally took her up on it.

I had worked on a show before with the teacher, Werner Scherer, and was thrilled to set up my station next to him on that show so I could watch and learn. But now I had the chance to perform my lessons in front of the teacher so he could correct any bad habits I may have formed. It was a great class for me and restored to me some confidence for wig work. The only thing I did not get to do in that class was actually glue the lace onto someone’s forehead. When I told that to Michelle, she grabbed a lace wig she just happened to be working on at her house and took me out to her backyard patio. There we sat while I glued the lace to Michelle until I was confident working with wig glue!!! How blessed am I?

 

If I only knew how much wig work would be involved in the filming of my show, I definitely would have panicked. As it turned out, I knew everything I needed to know just in time to have a successful season and do some fun work with some great talent.





Writers, the movie

2 05 2012

I just finished working on a film with Greg Kinnear and Lily Collins. I got to be the Department Head hair stylist again. Each time I do, it is a learning experience for me.

This one is a sweet story called “Writers”. It is an independent that will show at some indie festivals and will surely get picked up by a distributor to be shown in theaters. That is my prediction, so be watching for it next year. The main actors are Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly, Lily Collins and Nat Wolf

Lily is a sweet girl and a good actress. She was a delight to work with every day even though she was on a whirlwind promotion tour for her movie, “Mirror, Mirror” at the same time as our one month shoot. I think she counted 12 flights to different cites. Some of those were to LA (long flights) and one to Paris! Okay, not even feeling bad for her about that! LOL.

Lily is pretty savy about her style and  very professional for one so young. Once she conveyed her wishes, she sat back and let the magic happen. It was so sweet of her to write in her thank you card to me that she felt good about herself every day when we finished her look. AND she had fun with us!! That means a lot to me. It was not hard to make her look good. This photo was the last night of our film. She had traveled and worked a full day and was still adorable and gracious enough to let us all jump in a photo with her.

Thanks Lily and best of luck in your future. I truly hope to see you do great things.

I actually enjoyed my experience on this film. Greg Kinnear was very interesting and gave me a generous gift card to Best Buy along with a card that thanked me for “many good hair days.” Nat Wolf is another professional young actor and he made me laugh ( at least once) every day! Jennifer Connelly brought her own hair and make up people with her so I had very little interaction with her.

It’s nice to have a positive experience to look back on. As many of us in the film business, I struggle sometimes with insecurity. A good friend and  successful fellow hair stylist said to me, “I am afraid that one day they will discover that I don’t know what I am doing.” I think we have all felt like that at some point in our careers.

A lot depends on the co-workers around you too. Gina Baran did a very good job as my key. I never once felt like I couldn’t trust her to do what is best for our department. That is priceless. After all, why wouldn’t we want to make our department look brilliant?

Hair and Make up have to work very closely. It is good to encourage each other and yet be honest enough to say when something is wrong. We all have some degree of ego in our work so this can be a delicate area. TRUST is of the utmost importance in the make up and hair trailer.





Betel of Spain

26 11 2011

A month has gone by since I went to Spain. It has taken me all this time to process what an amazing ministry Betel International  is. Several folks supported this mission trip and I want you to know that God used your gifts in a unique way. He is so creative in reaching the hearts of the ones He loves.

I cannot explain the ministry of Betel any better than this brief video documentary about Betel International. In 1985, eleven years before opening in Britain, Betel (Spanish for Bethel) received its first destitute men and women off the streets of Madrid. Since that time more than 100,000 homeless, substance abusers and socially disadvantaged have been helped throughout Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, France, Central Asia, Australia, Ukraine, Mexico, USA, Russia, Finland, Bulgaria, N Africa, Czech Republic, Ireland, Mongolia, Argentina, Brazil and the UK. Betel residences host more than 2,000 recovering men and women in 80 cities in 21 nations

Peggy Laney is the missionary director at Myrtle Grove Pres. She has been to Betel in Madrid before and God placed a burden on her heart for the women there. They have survived  a completely destructive lifestyle and are being redeemed from alcoholism, drug addictions, prostitution and lives of crime. Through it all, they have lost any sense of who they really are and who a loving God has created them to be. Peggy became aware that in their journey of restoration, many have lost (or never had) a balanced knowledge of their femininity. She began to put together a conference for the ladies of Betel ministry. It was to include teaching them on some of the women in the bible who were used by God to bring salvation to mankind. God is able to use all kinds of unsavory back grounds for His glory. I, for one, am very grateful for this truth. Peggy and Cynthia Mattis did some outstanding teachings on Bathsheba, Tamar, Rahab and Jael. I had the privilege of sharing my testimony of how God has redeemed my life from alcoholism and heroin addiction after these powerful teachings.

Part of the conference was to include a time of “make-overs” for any of the women who wanted one. This was to be a time of pampering and nurturing. Peggy wanted a couple of hairstylists, a make-up person and some one to do manicures and pedicures. This is how I got invited in the first place. Peggy needed a hair stylist and Mary Tepper, the “mother” of the ministry, gave her my name. That is another story that only God knows all the details of.

I have posted some pictures in other posts since I have been back. I do not want to repeat the bits and pieces I have already shared in those posts. I only wish I could help you to know how much your prayers and donations of make-up and finances for me to purchase hair products once I got to Spain have meant to these precious ladies. Thank you for your generosity and for allowing me to experience giving back in a whole new way for me.

This is a sample of the make overs we got to do. This is Ani. She has been in Betel for 3 1/2 years. For all of that time, the girls at the house have been doing her hair. It was an honor to pamper her a bit.





Spain

31 10 2011

Leaving for Madrid

I had the bottom bunk.

These are some photos of the beginning of our mission to the ladies of Betel ministries. Our mission was to encourage them to understand that women are important and loved by God. My part of this mission was to give hair cuts and new hair styles to help rejuvenate the women. Out of seventy women, I only got to do three makeovers because we were only there for 26 hours. If I didn’t have to sleep after 30 hours of travel I may have been able to squeeze in 2 or three more haircuts. I can be such a slacker sometimes!

Cynthia arrived a day ahead of us and kicked off the festivities!!

Front of the dormitory at the Campo

The makeovers were done at such a fast pace that I didn’t want to spend any time taking photos. This is a photo taken after her hair and make up were done and she went back to her room to change clothes for the evening session. Her hair had been long and unhealthy so she just piled it on top of her head. When she sat in my chair and told me, with the help of an interpreter, that she wanted her hair like mine I asked her to repeat it three times just to be sure I was hearing her correctly. She was mui valiente (very courageous). And she felt beautiful when her hair and make up had been finished!





wigs, wigs, wigs.

20 09 2011

It has been a crazy blessing for me to work so much since my Eddie’s passing. My latest project was as head of the hair department on a comedy television series. It has presented some interesting challenges. Especially when the writers are on set and the script changes in an instant. I want to establish that this job was unique. I also want to be as sensitive as possible in telling the story of God’s provision and protection while not giving away any pertinent information about the show.

To begin with, I had no intention of working on this series. I was asked if I would work as the second to a lovely lady hair stylist they would bring here from LA. Although I enjoy working as a second, I just didn’t want to do it on this project so I declined.

Then, I learned that two long time members of my union, Werner Scherer and Stephan Bishop, were providing a class on wigs of all kinds in NYC. The last time I took such a course was in 1999. It took me 5 seconds to decide to go to NY for the weekend class. I called an old friend who lives in the city and told her I was coming and she invited me to stay with her and her son for the weekend. The class was a perfect refresher and my visit with Michelle and Joshua lifted my spirits. It also provided me the opportunity to visit with some other friends that I have made over the past 17 years in the industry.

A few days before the class I got a call from the line producer on this same TV series. He said that they would like me to be the department head if I was interested. I accepted the position with the knowledge that 2 wigs would be involved. Is this a co-incidence or a God-incidence?

I started my new job a week later. As the series progressed, more wigs were added – lace wigs that needed to be fitted for actors who were not available to go to the wig maker for fittings. Thankfully, the wig maker we were using, Natasha at Favian Wigs, already had the measurements of two of the actors because she had made wigs for them in the past.  We created a lace wig for a specific look. I also made a mold of another actor’s head and sent it to the wig maker with measurements and a swatch of the color that we wanted the wig to be. Natasha did a great job and the wigs came out beautiful.

Thanks to the class and an arsenal of phone numbers of friends in my union who have excelled in working with wigs, I was able to accomplish every task that was thrust upon me.

This is proof to me that God ordains my steps and He provides all I need. God was preparing me for this adventure before I even knew I had an adventure to go on. Because of taking this class, hanging out with Michelle (who, by the way, is a fabulous hair stylist and the woman who gave me my first job in film) and talking with other hairstylists who took the class too I was completely prepared to succeed on this show.

More to come in next post…..