Beauty Link - Volume 4, Issue 2 - (Page 48)
From Normal to HARPO
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION! These elements along with plenty of time between takes are all part of celebrity hairstylist Michelle Forst’s busy workday on the set of The Rosie Show. The program airs on Oprah’s OWN network and is taped at Chicago’s legendary HARPO studios. While the program length is one hour, a typical day for Michelle may extend beyond 12 hours. When Michelle is not working on the HARPO set three days a week as Rosie’s hairstylist, she is cultivating a prestigious clientele at Chicago’s glamorous George, The Salon. Just 25 years old, Michelle has accomplished much since graduating beauty school five years ago. She recently chatted with BeautyLink about her career, working on The Rosie Show and her goals for the future.
and work with different types of people. That kind of learning comes from observing other professionals and how they handle clients.
BL: What are some customer skills you’ve learned? Michelle: It’s not just about being able to cut hair. You need to always be patient and let the customer know you’re listening to her. Working with affluent people—with all types of people—requires that you know what to say and what not to say. Manners are really important. I owe a lot to my mom for impressing on me the importance of “please,” “thank you” and simple common courtesy. People notice small gestures. BL: How did you get the opportunity to work on The Rosie Show? Michelle: The opportunity came about through a HARPO publicist who was a client at George, The Salon. She needed a hairstylist and I was referred to the HARPO team. BL: What are some things you’ve learned from working on The Rosie Show? Michelle: Every day is different and punctuated with plenty of wait time, so I’ve developed patience. There are practical considerations, too, like making sure I don’t spray hairspray near the camera, as it can crack the lens. BL: What do you plan to be doing 10 years from now? Michelle: I’ve always wanted to teach at a salon or in a school. I’d like to give back to others similar to how my mentor, George, has supported the On Your Feet Foundation which helps domestic violence victims.
BL: Did you always know you wanted to be a hairstylist? Michelle: I always loved doing hair, but didn’t
think a lot about my career when I was young. In school I tried sports and other activities, but none of them seemed like the right fit. I got my first job sweeping hair in a salon when I was in high school. I loved being in the salon atmosphere and watching the other stylists. It just felt like the right fit.
EDITOR’S NOTE: As BeautyLink went to press, the Oprah Winfrey Network cancelled The Rosie Show. Michelle says the experience will serve her well in future endeavors.
BL: Where did you go to beauty school and how would you describe the experience? Michelle: I graduated from Midwest College of Cosmetology in Normal, Illinois. I loved learning about hair. Once students were mid-way through the 1500 hour curriculum, they could stay longer to observe and learn. I literally hung out until closing time every night for the added experience. BL: How did you begin your career after graduation? Michelle: After earning my license, I went to work
as an assistant at Salon Buzz where I met my mentor George Gonzalez. When George opened his own salon, I went to work as a hairstylist for him and have continued to learn from him each and every day.
Do you know a superstar graduate? Send a brief bio along with the graduate’s contact information to editor@ beautyschools.org. Your superstar could be featured in the next issue of BeautyLink!
BL: Why is continual learning so important? Michelle: You can learn something from every
single haircut you do, if you’re committed to doing your best work. Just as important as developing technique, is learning how to cultivate clientele
| B E AU TYLINK | E FFICI ENC Y | 2012
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Beauty Link - Volume 4, Issue 2
Message from the AACS President and CEA Chair
Workings of Washington
CEA 2012 Convention Preview
A Student’s Perspective NEW!
A Beautiful Return
AACS Listserve Q & A
Building a Powerful To-Do List
Creating Agile and Efficient Meetings
Wearing Many Hats
Beauty Changes Lives
Your Career Center
Never Assume a Pitch Is Dead
Creating Green Value
And Then There’s Compliance
Voices from the Classroom
Behind the Scenes with The Hunger Games
Creating a Dream Career
Accommodating Students with Disabilities
Associate Member Profiles: Insurance and Legal Services
People & Places
New Products & Services
New School Members
Upcoming 2012 Events
Index to Advertisers
Beauty Link - Volume 4, Issue 2