Why Enter?

Hi Friends!  I am currently staring right down the nose at my NAHA shoot.  This Saturday I will be heading out to Ohio to hopefully get some killer photos for the North American Hair Awards.  This will be my first time submitting to NAHA and I must admit that I am pretty stressed out.

First off, I have been working a lot on my video for a scholarship competition for the Vidal Sassoon Academy (google Beauty Changes Lives if you don’t know about this!) and that has been incredibly enjoyable but pretty time consuming.  And it has required more teamwork than I am used to, which is fine except for finding time to meet and get footage, etc. etc.  Secondly, I am also starting to lay the mental groundwork for my creations on stage at Intercoiffure in just a few weeks.  On top of that What’s Next Awards just launched their competition so of course my head is spinning thinking about the Alter Ego collection.

Lastly, my NAHA visions came to me in a series of dreams and I am having great difficulty implementing my designs.  And yet, the desired styles are small (though detailed)… but will they be BIG enough for NAHA?  Truly, if I can get across what I’m thinking, I don’t know if NAHA will even like it because I have really never seen anything quite like some of these concepts….  And yet the visual interest and impressiveness (if I can achieve it) will be so subtle.  I always wonder if I waste my time with some of the little things I obsess over.

So, I am writing this fairly lengthy post to tell you and remind myself why competitions are worth the stress!  Here are some of the main reasons it is worth it to enter:

1)  Exposure.  This is not even necessarily about your talent being exposed to the world but about YOU as an artist exposing the world to YOURSELF.  I entered a few competitions with no success before winning the What’s Next Awards.  Honestly, as long as I was satisfied with my own work I didn’t mind not winning.  My first contest was in beauty school and I went all out and it taught me a lot about organizing shoots, working with photographers and models and also about turning my inspiration into a style and finding inspiration everywhere, which are skills that are applicable to salon work, and really everything else.  You learn to activate your brain!

2)  Seriously, What do you have to lose?  This is huge to my life philosophy.  I pretty much just do things unless there is a probably chance of a bad outcome.  When it comes to contests, what is there to lose?  Most are free or can be done on a budget.  I tend to not talk about my work as much as I’m told I should, but when clients hear about “extracurriculars” it boosts their love and they are more likely to refer clients, tip better, come more often, etc., which I would bet would more than make up for any entry fee.  Losing a hair competition is not a big deal.  Most people lose.  And it isn’t always a matter of talent, it is a matter taste and what the judges are looking for.  

3) And if you are worried about wasting your time, seriously, what else are you doing with your time?  Many of the most successful people I know have no time and yet still always find time.  My mentor for the year, Anthony Cress, always finds time to chat with me if I need it and I’ll tell you, this is a busy man!  Works six days in the salon, plays in a band, runs a flourishing beard and mustache club, wins NAHA and places as a semi-finalist in Trendvision and STILL has time to deal with me.  Trust me, you are not too busy to enter a competition!  I mean, obviously you have to really enjoy hair to enjoy doing it and thinking about it when you aren’t at work, but really I think “extra-curricular” hair activities make doing hair in the salon more enjoyable.  It has a way of refreshing your love for hair!

4) You could win.  Hey, it’s possible!  You could!  And the more contests you enter and the more you learn and grow from each one, the better chance you have of becoming a winner one day.  Honestly, entering the What’s Next Awards last year was a great source of stress, and part of that was because I had this huge, aching feeling that if I gave it my all that the What’s Next Awards would change my life.  If I could just create my vision everything would change for me.  And it truly has!  I have received so much warmth and support from Sebastian and so many opportunities I never would have imagined.  So much more than just the award on my mantle.

5) Join the conversation.  Do you ever feel like something is missing, like there is something to add to the world of hair?  Competitions are a great way to join an international artistic dialogue.  Show the world what you’ve got.  And be proud of it.

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