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Amy E.: Hello. I’m Amy E. and I’m here with Diana Schmidtke on the Cutting Edge hair show and this is her book.
Diana Schmidtke: Shortcuts.
Amy E.: Shortcuts. How long did this take you to write?
Diana Schmidtke: About five years.
Amy E.: Five years? When did you decide to become a hairdresser?
Diana Schmidtke: At 18. I was 18 years old and I just graduated high school and I’ve been doing a little modeling and my hairdresser’s always seem like they’re having a good time.
I decided to go to hair school because I thought it would be occurring for nine months but I was wrong.
My work in the salon, just one salon for two years trained under a guy named Philip Palmerry at a salon called Trio and studied color for two years then got offered around two years then got offered my chair but I declined because I wanted to do freelance work.
Amy E.: Freelance? And who do acquit today?
Diana Schmidtke: All the guys. I work with male celebrities so it means grooming. Well, my favorite’s are, I love Will Ferrell. I do love Ashton Kutcher, Vin Diesel altho0ught he doesn’t have any hair.
I’ve worked with a lot of them, Jonathan Rhys Meyers. I've seen everyone from Dustin Hoffman to George Clooney, Harrison Ford, many.
Amy E.: How do you book these clients? Do you have a portfolio you want to show us?
Diana Schmidtke: I do. That actually is the freelance artist. Most important tool is that portfolio.
Amy E.: That type of portfolio.
Diana Schmidtke: Yes.
Amy E.: And there’s a whole chapter about it right? Portfolio.
Diana Schmidtke: Yes.
Amy E.: Page 94.
Diana Schmidtke: I like that you remembered that. It breaks down the whole portfolio. I brought my portfolio today.
Amy E.: Could you teach us? Could you teach me how to make a portfolio?
Diana Schmidtke: This is what it looks like. I’m not sure if you can see this on camera but it’s embossed so you always get your name there. It looks like a regular portfolio but there are a couple of things that are very important about making a right portfolio.
First off, the size, you have to order them from the right place. So in the book, it tells you where to order them and you get a portfolio that’s 11x14. So that’s what size this is.
Now, what you have to also do once you get it which is very important is you need to make a sticker in here. Often times in the back, you want to order it with a pocket. These bunch of artist’s promotional cards. We’ll talk about that later. But, you want to make sure that you get this pocket. This is really important. That’s going to hold your resume and your comp card or promo card.
But, sometimes this fall out or clients take them so you don’t ever want to lose your book. You want to make sure something is adhered to the inside that has your name, what you do and where to send it back.
Amy E.: Please call me. I need it.
Diana Schmidtke: Then we have this first page. It actually protects the photographs. You have to make sure that you order enough of these sets of acetate pages because you want to protect all of your work.
Another really important thing to do is anytime your work is printed, you want to get two copies of everything and at first you’re not going to get magazine works. You’re going to do text sheets. Even may, at the very least because it is expensive, then you will move on from the test sheets very quickly.
But, you still should get a laser copy of it because portfolios can get lost. And if it gets lost, there is all your work.
Amy E.: Right.
Diana Schmidtke: So, it’s very important to have more than one copy of everything.
Amy E.: All right. The third point.
Diana Schmidtke: There are different types of freelance artist within the industry.
Amy E.: Really? So what with the movie star when it is like when they’re on set for those?
Diana Schmidtke: Those are depending on the type of movie and most of the time if you have a big celebrity, it’s a union film shoot.
So, there are union artists being in the movie and television artist that belong to union which are here in Los Angeles. This is called the Local 706. They belong to that union and it’s illegal for production to hire anyone whose not part of the union.
Amy E.: How did you become part of the union?
Diana Schmidtke: That’s a great question. It’s a complicated question. In fact, in the research that I did for the book, I spoke to several artists. I am not. We’re more of the fashion artist when you have a portfolio like this
Amy E.: I can see the folder.
Diana Schmidtke: Exactly.
Amy E.: How do you get an agent? I can give the best hairdressing.
Diana Schmidtke: Nowadays, people know but most people don’t. It starts with the portfolio. What you have to do is first you have to find photographers.
Obviously, if your work isn’t documented, then you don’t stand a chance. The only way to show a perspective client your work and what you’re capable of is do a portfolio. So this is your first step and that starts with finding the right kind of photographers.
Now, I’m not talking serious portrait photographers.
Amy E.: I’m trying to be a photographer.
Diana Schmidtke: Yeah. My best advice is to use real models and that can be difficult as well so that’s why you have to work with a photographer who has modeling agent contacts.
But there are some ways you can navigate around that and be proactive. It’s not all up to the photographer. You’ll find in the beginning you have to do everything.
Amy E.: So what do you mean do everything? Like, what did you do?
Diana Schmidtke: Well, I would work all day and after I was finish with work assisting other artist, anytime I was on set I would speak at lunch to the photo assistants and find out where they were at, talk to the makeup assistant as I always present to myself as the hairdresser. I talk to the wardrobe assistant and find out what they were doing on the side and ask them if they were interested in testing.
So, even though I was working all day and then at night, I would set up a test shoot as much as we could do. Sometimes staying up until midnight turning around, being at work at nine in the morning.
So, it’s really difficult. You need to learn everything that you can. So, when you do get your opportunity which may only come once, you’re going to know how to take it and run with it.
Amy E.: What was your opportunity? What presented itself?