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(c) Copyright 2003 by J.C. Ramsey. All rights reserved.

This was my first test, or what I liked to refer to as my ?great opportunity.? There was a surprisingly large sub-market for this kind of event. I had viewed several videos and CD?s over the past two weeks as part of my training. I had acclimated myself to the various tools that would be available, and I had been given some practice time with a few of the company?s women employees, although we stopped just prior to the consummation of the event.

I was well rested, comfortably dressed, and ready for anything. This company liked to promote ?colors?, so I was being groomed as a ?red on red? person. That was fine with me. I was a little early, so I chit-chatted with the receptionist. She knew what I was going to do and wished me good luck, saying that I was one of the nicer men who were being tested for the new film series. She advised me to relax, take my time, and be creative.

I was called into the studio, and walked in, meeting the videographer and the producer. They told me the set was all ready, that I had one hour of film time to do what was required, and that I would have a few minutes to check things out. When I was ready to begin, I just had to give them a thumbs up sign. I was reminded to stay out of the way of the camera, and to turn the ?client? to maximize the view for the video audience. They asked if I was ready, and taking a deep breath, I said I was.

I was led down a short hallway that paralleled the sound stage, and we stopped at the next to last door. It was opened, the producer gave me a nod to enter and a wink, and I stepped inside. I heard the door latch click behind me.

The room was a dull white in color, simply four blank walls, with the exception of a rather large mirror directly ahead of me. I knew that was the location of the camera, peering at me through a one way glass. The client was aware of my presence, and I could see her face in the mirror, eyes growing wide, the duct tape over her mouth moving slightly. I noted the straps that held her hands to the arms of the chair, which was like a modified bar stool, only shorter. Her feet were tied together, but not tied to the chair, so I could move it from side to side or all around. A food cart was stationed beside the chair, and on top of the cart were two folded capes, one was plain white, and the other was pin-striped.

As I took a couple of steps forward, I focused on the long, bright red, very curly hair that hung to the bottom of the seat of the chair. Had to be, I guess, around 30 inches long from the top of her head. It was cut in a shallow ?U? shape. I stepped behind her and looked down on the center part, noting there was not much to see, and thanking the producer for acquiring such a wonderful first client for me. As she watched every move I made, and gave an occasional ?mmpphhmm? through the duct tape, I was careful to be slow and deliberate. I reached out to grasp her hair at the sides and pulled it all back, gathering it into a ponytail, placing it one hand, and then raking through the length several times with my free hand. Oh, what a glorious head of hair, thick, medium texture, and the beautiful curls. I wound a curl around my right index finger, knowing that I would have lots of time to enjoy her hair later.

So, be creative, I was advised. I dropped her hair behind the chair, and then stepped over to the cart. I removed the capes, and noted the array of clips, combs, brushes, pics, scissors, heavy duty clippers with snap on guides, disposable razors, a pan of hot water, shaving cream, and plenty of towels. She turned her head to look, and immediately began to whimper, knowing now what may be in store for her. Perhaps not the ?modeling? work she expected. My assignment was to shave her head in any manner that I desired in one hour. She had signed a release noting her willingness to have a ?haircut makeover?.

I put a large clip on my belt and stepped behind her again. I gathered the luscious red curls into my hands again and pulled the mass straight up, twisting it tightly, and setting it on top of her head, then clipping it all in place. I looked in the mirror to see that no stray hairs were hanging down to give away the length, and then gave them the ?thumbs-up? sign. I waited a moment, then I picked up the white cape, and with a bit of a flourish, as if I was a matador, I snapped open the cape, and swung it around her. I pulled it up to surround her neck and the ?snap? of closure could be heard. I made sure the cape covered her completely, and that there was slack in her lap for what would soon be falling.

I turned her away from the mirror, and now looking at her face to face, I reached up and opened the clip, allowing the long red curls to fall. I watched in the mirror as the auburn carpet covered the cape and the back of the chair. Standing beside her, I reached over and grabbed a handful of hair and slowly drew it out, and then up, from her head, letting my hand glide through the locks until they slowly fell back on her shoulder. I reached over her head to take a large handful behind her head and pulled it up, doing the same thing, letting the curls fall back again. Then, I used my hands to gather all of her hair together in a ponytail and pulled it up. I packed the thick hair into one hand, and then used the hair to move her head from side to side, from front to back, and then around. At last, and she have a sigh of relief from the hair pulling, I released the ponytail to fall around her again.

Now, I reached for the pic, and began to run the pic through her long curls from scalp to ends, sometimes with her hair hanging, sometimes in my hands. I worked my way halfway around, mindful of the camera, then switched sides to do the rest of her hair. I was constantly running my hands through her hair, picking it up, letting the future audience see how great it was to be able to do anything with her hair. I almost wished that I had an additional hour to play with her hair. It was so gorgeous it seemed almost a tease to show it for such a brief time on the film before cutting it off. I wondered if they ever did shampoos or different hairstyles before the cutting would begin. Something to suggest if I was chosen to be a regular ?stylist.?

With her hair now long, loose and completely combed, I turned her back to face the mirror. It was time to get to work. I picked up a very small pair of scissors, and a rattail comb. Standing to her side, I leaned over and made a small parting just behind her forehead hairline. I pulled back the hair from the right side and secured it with a clip. I walked to the other side and did the same thing on the left, with the result that there was now a thin curtain of curly hair obscuring her face. I combed through the ?long bangs? with the rattail. I picked up the section, drew my left hand down to almost the end, and stopped, leaving about two inches showing. Again, with flair, I clicked the scissors several times, lifted up the lock, and slowly snipped off the two inch curl that extended from my hand, watching the lovely red hair separate and finally fall onto her white caped lap. Audible whimpers could be heard from her, and a long sigh, signaling her sense of relief. I released the long lock and let it fall back to veil her face again. Without hesitation, I raised the scissors to her left eyebrow and began snipping off the long bangs, very deliberately. Her eyes darted back and forth from the mirror to her hair, then moving down to watch another long piece hit the cape. Long pieces of red hair now joined the first curl that had fallen. In a half minute, her beautiful face was visible again and was now accented by a nice line of bangs. Shaking my head for the camera, I said, ?This will not do!? I now raised the scissors to her hairline, and slowly snipped off the new bangs, as close to her scalp as I could cut. A tremor of nervous tension caused her head to move slightly as I was cutting. A tear welled up in the corner of her left eye and slowly trickled down her cheek. A piece of hair caught on her nose as it fell, and when I had removed the last short lock of the bangs, I picked up this piece, briefly used it to tickle her nose, and dropped it on the hair in her lap. She now seemed to relax a little bit.

I slipped my scissors into my pocket, and then I released the clips on either side of her head, letting her hair fall back into place. I gave the chair a small turn to her right, and reached for a large curl that hung way past her shoulder. Grabbing it, I pulled it up, following the tress with my hand as it grew thicker, until finally I was holding a large lock of her hair with my fingers just an inch or so from her head. I used my free hand to smooth it and free it from adjacent hair, and then I gave it a small twist and pulled it tight, causing her to give a low moan of expressed pain. I could see clearly where the lock was attached to her scalp, from the center part to a little more than inch below the part, and back a couple of inches from her forehead. My effort was to be as quiet as possible in cutting off her hair so the microphone would pick up the sound of the scissors cutting through her thick hair. I enjoyed the ?clack? made by the clippers when they were turned on, the even buzzing sound they made, and then the change in sound when they began to cut the hair. But the sound of the hair being cut was often drowned out by the noise of the clippers. But the sound that a sharp pair of scissors made as they sliced through a lock of hair, oh, that was music to my ears! Nothing like it, the ?rip, rip, rip, rip, rip, click? as the hair was cut and the blades finally came together as the hair was released into my hand.

So again with a flourish of the scissors, I placed the tips of the blades against her scalp and I began to slowly snip off this lock, moving my hand down to the center of the lock, so the camera could clearly see a foot of hair extending out from my hand and the large curl at the end. I watched her eyes as they saw the reflection in the mirror, following my movements, then hearing the sound of her beautiful hair being cut off, and the tears began falling freely now, along with muffled sobs. In less than a minute the lock was freed from her head, and I displayed it for the camera, and then let it fall onto her lap, almost like a big red snake. She dropped her head to see it, then with a shrug of her shoulders, picked her head back up as I slid the scissors back into my pocket and took hold of the long lock that now dangled just in front of her left ear. She was now resigned to her fate, but while the sobs subsided, the tears still fell freely. Conscious of my time, this was how I proceeded for the next several minutes, grabbing a curl at the end of her hair, pulling it up, smoothing the lock of hair, twisting and pulling it tight, then snipping it off. I purposely left the crown, the longest part, intact as I circled her head. With ten more minutes of time gone, I had scissored off the length, leaving a ragged stubble of red hair. For the finish, I pushed her head down on her chest and picked up the last remaining thick lock of her curly red hair, about two inches square on her scalp. I tied an elastic band around the middle of the lock, and then pulled it tight and again, with my scissors flat against her head, slowly snipped off this long tress. Ah, what a joy this was! Even if I wasn?t hired to be the ?red on red? guy, this one job would be worth it! I took this lock and placed it on the cart for my personal ?prize?.

Knowing that time was passing, I put down the scissors and picked up the Wahl clippers. I snapped on a tapering guide, and with her facing the mirror again, slowly ran the clippers down the middle of her head. I kept my left hand on the back of her head, enjoying the feel of the thick red pelt I had left, and captured the shorn stubble pushed forward by the clippers and dropped it mercilessly onto the huge pile of hair that now overflowed her lap. I made a pass on either side of the center, and then began to work the clippers up on the right side of her head, carefully turning the chair so the camera would always have a view of the action. I always enjoyed working around a woman?s ear with the clippers, bending it forward so I could clip off the hair around it. Soon she was shorn completely of visible hair on the right side, and I again pushed her head down for the clippers to travel from nape to crown. Working with precision and not speed, I used all the time I had allotted for this phase. In ten great minutes she was almost bare of hair.

Now, for the next to last phase, I removed the tapering guide, pushed the blade adjustment completely forward, and again carefully went over her head in the same pattern, removing the last vestige of her red hair. She was now a pale cue ball, the white cape strewn with long locks and a few small, short clumps of her formerly long red glory.

With less than twenty minutes to go, I placed a small towel in the hot water and twisted out the excess liquid. I placed the towel on her head, letting it stay in place for a minute while I shook the shaving cream can and took the guards off two Shick triple blade razors. I pulled off the towel, and immediately applied the gel shaving cream, rubbing it quickly into her scalp and building up a thin lather. I glanced at her image in the mirror and could tell that she did not like this at all. Her shoulders were heaving again with great sobs, as they had been when I made the first pass of the clippers down the middle. She had made it through the initial cutting off of her length without a lot of visible emotion until the chair was turned around to the point that she could see her shorn head. An occasional glance at her lap told her the bad news, that all of her hair was being sheared off. I don?t think she ever got used to that first touch of the scissors against her scalp as I cut off each lock, because I could always feel her try to pull away from me.

I stood behind her, facing the mirror, and began pulling the razor back from her forehead in long strokes. I used my left hand to check for smoothness, moving more lather to those places that needed another stoke or two. I shaved her completely smooth in 15 minutes, and used the damp towel to remove any traces of the lather. I applied a scented lotion, and I then dusted off her head with a soft brush dipped in talcum powder. With a minute left, I turned her completely around, very slowly, pushing her head back and forth so the camera would get all the angles. I finally stood beside her, pointing to the lap full of beautiful red locks and curls, and then bowed before her. I leaned over to kiss the top of her head, and turned to exit the room, carrying the last long lock that I had cut off for what I hoped would be a growing collection of red hair.

The producer met me at the door and said that I had done a terrific job. He said that it was hard to find redheads willing to do this sort of modeling, and he felt that I had a good future doing these short films if I was really interested. I thought he was preparing me for the old ?we?ll call you when a redhead shows up?, and that would be fine. But, he said that I had handled the naturally curly hair very well, and wondered if I would also want to be a curly haired specialist. I said, absolutely. I got my check and he said that he would be in touch with me. I was ushered out to the receptionist again. She noted my prize and we talked about my first film. I was very excited, and she said that if she could she would give me any scuttlebutt about their plans for me. Ten minutes later, a production assistant arrived with a box for me and said that I was free to go.

When I arrived home, I put the box down and tended to me personal needs. I was really hungry, so I fixed dinner, and then with everything finished, I sat down with the box. Opening it, there was small tray inside that held a video tape. I pulled out the tray, and wrapped inside soft cloth, there was the red hair that I had cut off my first client! Could this be my first video? I set up the video player and watched enthralled as I saw myself cut off, clipper and shave a woman for the very first time on film. It was like a third party experience. Nothing was better than actually doing what I had done, having my hands constantly in her hair, and then holding it as I cut off each long lock. But watching me do it again, while having the very hair I had cut off in front of me to feel, was totally d?j? vu. The tape was very good. I was proud of what I had done. I took mental notes on how I could improve the cutting process to show more action. The videographer did a good job in moving from head shots to close-ups to wide-angle. He even had shots of the pile of hair growing as I was cutting it off. It was a great contrast, the bright red hair against the white cape. While zeroing in on the lap full of hair, I could hear the sound of the scissors slicing through another lock. Wonderful theater!

I rewound the tape, and as it played again, I dumped out the hair onto my coffee table and began arranging the long curls, eventually making several nice ponytails and a braid. I could get used to this. Now, if only that phone would ring?

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