Getting a buzz off hairstyling
December 2, 2004
Filed under City News
Walking into a cosmetology room can change your life, if you’re Todd Watson.
Watson, 31, used to attend a trade school and had a photo assignment in the cosmetology room. He didn’t get a makeover, but after witnessing cosmetology students in action, he switched his major to cosmetology.
More than seven years later, Watson will participate in another competition on Sunday, Dec. 5, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in Los Angeles.
He will have half an hour to transfrom a model from casual to evening dress, which includes picking clothing and doing makeup as well as hair.
“Hopefully, we can get some EC students to come and cheer us on,” Watson said.
Recently, Watson utilized his talents in an EC hair-cutting competition and won the opportunity to participate in Supercuts’ Super Sunday at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel on Sept. 19.
“I was very excited to go to the competition; it was very cool. We were rewarded with participating products from Supercuts,” Watson said. “It was a learning experience, we got to meet people from big-name salons.”
Watson gave a makeover to an EC student to make her look like Meadow Soprano, from HBO’s “The Sopranos.”
“My theme for the competition was Jamie-Lynn Discala from the Sopranos. I think we did a pretty good job, as far as I’m concerned,” Watson said.
Supercuts supports California schools and plans to continue having EC students at their events to compete, Patricia Gebert-Kaper, cosmetology professor and former EC student, said.
“It’s very, very exciting, motivational for the students: they give out fabulous prizes, they get to meet all these people from other community colleges and the private sector schools, they get their students to go to cheer them on during the show,” Gebert-Kaper said.
The recent competition is one of two Supercuts sponsors, GerbertKaper said. Students arrived at 3 p.m. to do the haircut onstage, then had another thirty minutes to do the style. After this, students were judged by top stylists from New York.
Gebert-Kaper was a student at EC in 1964 and began teaching cosmetology in 1970. She has since won an award in 2000 from Supercuts, titled as the “Ultimate Teacher.”
“Supercuts believes in the industry of cosmetology,” Gebert-Kaper said. “They do lots of different things, but the main thing they do is this student competition.”
Gebert-Kaper said the Supercuts event benefits not only students, but the instructors as well. Supercuts provides a program called “Pivot Point,” an expensive form of higher education designed for instructors.
“What they do is they fly someone in from Texas, the head educator and she gives classes all day to the instructors. She teaches how to get students stimulated and the teaching techniques of cosmetology,” Gebert-Kaper said.
Gebert-Kaper organized a fundraiser to get Watson to the competition, but said Supercuts pays for everything else.
“Supercuts does a lot of amazing things: they get other community colleges involved in California (and) just do everything first-class,” Gebert-Kaper said.
“With the instructors, there were probably five hundred of us there. We didn’t have to pay for anything,” she said.
Watson is nearing completion of EC’s cosmetology course, which requires 1,600 hours of hands on training before students can be fully prepared to take the county test to be certified. Watson is confident that he will do well, citing the course’s high pass rate and what he calls excellent instruction..
“It’s gonna be an easy test because you get enough practice during the test,” Watson said.
“This is a cool class, but is also long; but it’s worth it,” he said.