How To Become A Platform Artist In 5 Days
The 10 students with the TIGI® Creative Team and Mary Rector-Gable!
Photos: Alex Barron-Hough
What were your dreams when you were just out of beauty school? You probably had big goals and found the support of a mentor to help guide you through the start of your career. Anthony Mascolo, TIGI® Founder and International Creative Director, remembers the beginning of his career well.
“When I was a teenager, I was given the opportunity to go on sessions with my brother, assisting on photoshoots and going backstage,” Anthony shared. “You get a taste for all of it. And it was really great to have the opportunity to be taught all of these things at a young age—to be able to get on stage and talk, learn techniques, do session work and learn photography.”
Anthony feels so strongly about this opportunity he was given that he started the TIGI® Inspirational Youth program to give young hairdressers the same chance. The TIGI® team selected 10 participants, all under age 25, from hundreds of applicants based on their enthusiasm, technical skills and desire to learn. The 10 participants then spent five days at the TIGI® Academy in New York in an intensive boot camp and worked with top hairdressers and session artists to develop their skills in presentation, session styling, cutting and coloring, model selection and photoshoots.
“We wanted to create something that we could give back to the industry,” Anthony says. “It can give you such great confidence. These participants are going to be the great talents of the future, and we need to nurture that.”
The 10 participants will have a chance to put their newly acquired skills to the test at BTC’s Color, Cut & Style 2016, Sept. 25-27 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., where they’ll take the stage in front of more than 3,000 attendees! No pressure, right?
BTC was invited to the five-day boot camp to get a close-up look at what goes into molding the next generation’s platform artists. Luckily, we grabbed the best tips from the whole week so you can use them in your work!
Studio 31 Hair Lab, Houston, Texas
Anita is already a salon manager, but if she weren’t in the hair industry, she’d love to be a math teacher, which speaks to her passion for education. She’s calm, cool and collected and has killer nails!
Dolce Vita Salon, Orlando, Fla.
Katie started out as a photojournalist in college but realized hair is her true passion. Fun fact: She used to be a competitive sweep rower! We loved her enthusiasm and attitude of inclusiveness.
Attitudes A Salon, Sylvania, Ohio
Logan was going to be an orthodontist but switched his career path. He attended the huge TIGI® event, World Release, and even brought his family along so they could understand why he loves the brand so much! He’s very funny and a great communicator.
Salon 600, Sayville, N.Y.
An aspiring educator, Tara speaks to students from her beauty school about hairdressing. She loves to run, crochet and sew. We loved all the sleek looks Tara created!
Attitudes A Salon, Maumee, Ohio
McKenzie is a TIGI® diehard and the youngest of the bunch at only 20 years old! When she’s not doing hair, she plays the ukulele and loves to dirtbike. Our favorite thing about McKenzie was her infectious happiness!
Salon De Ville, Coronado, Calif.
Brittany started doing hair as a child (she would put her dad’s hair in curlers!) and was so inspired after a TIGI® class that she got an “inspire” tattoo right after it. We loved Brittany’s confidence onstage!
Renaissance Academie, Provo, Utah
Kirsten’s mom runs a hair school and is a TIGI® educator, and Kirsten followed suit! Besides doing hair, she’s also an amazing makeup artist. Kirsten’s poise and kindness were so inspiring!
TONI&GUY, Dallas, Texas
Joey’s passion is people. He’s into anime and obsessed with Grimes, his inspiration. Joey’s already done some educating with TONI&GUY and hopes to continue! We loved Joey’s sense of humor and his ease on stage.
Grasshopper Salon, San Francisco, Calif.
Selena comes from an artistic family—both her parents are musicians, and she is inspired by music. She loves David Bowie and thrives off of the quirky San Francisco environment. Our favorite thing about Selena is her welcoming, warm nature. (And nope, she’s not related to Sally!)
Salon Bella Vita, Pittsford, N.Y.
As part of the TIGI® Technical Team, Cristina is a TIGI® believer! She is proud of her Italian and Ukrainian heritage and loves to learn! We loved Cristina’s excitement and positive attitude.
Day 1 – Kick-Off
The first day started with the TIGI® International Creative Team and the 10 participants spending time getting to know one another. The participants had their first chance to stand in front of a crowd and talk about their inspirations in hairdressing. They also heard from TIGI® U.S. Session Director Adriana Papaleo, who gave them a breakdown on fashion trends. Adriana and TIGI® European Creative Director Akos Bodi did a Catwalk styling session hair demo, and the participants finished the day by getting their hands in some hair and creating looks inspired by fashion trends.
Akos shows the students how session styling is done!
Adriana gives Logan some tips on Day 1.
Day 2 – Presentation Skills
It’s not easy to stand up in front of thousands of people and talk about the look you’re creating. That’s where TIGI® Executive Creative Session Director Mike Esa comes in! He gave the participants tips on presentation skills and lucky for you, we grabbed them!
Mike in the middle and part of the audience watching someone give their presentation… #NoPressure was the joke of the week, and you can see why!
Mike Esa’s Top 5 Presentation Tips
1. Be yourself and enjoy the experience. You can look for inspiration in other platform artists, but be sure to let your own personality shine through.
2. Make a plan in advance. Map out your most important points before you take the stage.
3. Stay flexible. You should always have a plan, but sometimes things don’t go the way they should. Be adept enough to switch things up on stage, and stay on your toes.
4. Capture a mix of technical and emotional terminology. Using technical words (such as point-cutting or overdirecting) are important to inform your audience of what you’re doing, but you should also use emotional words (such as glamorous, sexy or retro) to convey the feeling of your look and inspire your audience to keep watching.
5. Know your products. It’s crucial to know the name and purpose of every product you’re using and be able to explain how it will help achieve your final look.
Cristina, Kirsten and McKenzie watch attentively…while Thomas laughs!
The students also had a fun guest: BTC’s own Mary Rector-Gable! She interviewed Anthony, who shared some fantastic insights on why he started Inspirational Youth. Watch the whole thing!
Day 3 – Cut and Color
Here’s where the 10 participants really got to showcase their technical skills. The TIGI® International Creative Team took the stage first to demonstrate different techniques using TIGI® Copyright ©olour. Then, the participants were turned loose to practice what they learned on mannequins. They also used the new TIGI® 24/7 app, an interactive app that includes access to the complete library of color and cutting techniques, with videos and step-by-steps. We gathered five awesome tips for using the app and Copyright ©olour!
TIGI® U.S. Creative Technical Director and Creative Colorist Richy Kandasamy shows Joey and McKenzie how to use the new 24/7 app, a super useful tool behind the chair!
TIGI® Educator Joel Torres gives Brittany some pointers on Day 3!
Day 4 – Model Casting
Here’s where things got really interesting. “Casting is everything,” Akos said. “Getting the right model is 50 percent of your success. You can only learn by experience with this—it’s a certain attitude, there’s a persona within the model that has to shine through. If you have a budget, I would say spend half that budget on the model. It doesn’t matter how good your production is. If your model isn’t right, you’re wasting your time.” The 10 students were guided through the model selection to prep them for the final day.
Nope, not selfies. The students were snapping model pics for reference later on!
Hey Thomas! He showed the students how the pros typically pin all the model shots up while they consider which models to choose.
Day 5 – Photoshoot
It’s shoot day! The students got a firsthand look at what it’s like to be on set for a photoshoot, from start to finish, including prepping the models and directing the photography. Of course, Akos and TIGI® U.S. Creative Director Thomas Osborn were on hand to act as mentors and assist. The final looks are completely awesome, but won’t be revealed until September on the BTC stage!
That’s a wrap! Akos shows McKenzie what it’s like to style on set.
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