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HeadLiners Episode 12 | Directed By: Mr. Fademup

SCENE 1

Events in our lives are in chronological order. These events are factors that determine where we are today. Usually, we pay little attention to them. The public generally views a television show or movie in the same fashion. Once it ends and the first credit rolls, we leave or turn the channel. Little do we know of the hard work and effort it takes for someone to have his or her name become apart of the screen credits. In this article, we will explore the events that have gone to shape the career of our featured professional Barber.

There are individuals who are considered pioneers of their particular profession. They obtain this label through different methods. Today, the Barber industry is harnessing new faces that are rising to the top to gain acclaim and fame in a field that in years past went virtually unnoticed. Many Barbers can cut with speed. Some use their talent to create great artwork with the clippers. There is also a category in the industry of which the average Barber can only dream of being a part of. Then again, the average Barber isn’t the subject of this piece.

Stacey Morris, better known in the Barber industry as, Stacey Kutz, is living a dream. She is a female succeeding in a field traditionally and generally dominated by men. Staying true to the quality of her artistry and asking only to be judged by it, she is acknowledged as a leader in the field. The big and small screens have displayed her personnel haircutting exhibit for twenty plus years. Some of her projects include DREAM GIRLS, BAD BOYS and NORBIT as well as, cutting for the male cast for the hit shows, THE WAYANS BROTHERS, IN THE HOUSE, THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL AIR and THE MARTIN LAWRENCE SHOW. You may ask the question: How does a Barber become a product of the entertainment industry?

SCENE 2

Imagine your mother, Gina Harris, an accomplished model in her right. Allowing you the experience of traveling with her to different photo sessions. You see her face plastered on billboards, inside of trains and on the sides of buses. While strolling down the street with your mom, she’s being stopped constantly by fans. This fanfare and frenzy would easily sway a person to become a product of this lifestyle. What if your father, Kenneth Morris, was a producer/songwriter and ran a production company making hit records? What if he had worked closely with many stars including the late, great Rick James, who also just happens to be your Godfather? Surely you’d become a product of this lifestyle. To top things off, your mother later re-marries Ray Harris, the president of RCA Records at the time. Now the Grammy Awards and other extravagant events become second nature. How does one not become a product of this lifestyle? Stacey Kutz is a product of ALL these lifestyles combined. Born in the Bronx, raised in Manhattan and Los Angles, she would grow up with brothers that would prove to be the building blocks to a monumental, historical career.

Stacey began cutting her brothers hair at an early age. The backdrop was the 80’s and the Hip-Hop culture was in full swing. Fades and half-moon parts became the accessory to any true Hip-Hop aficionado. Experimenting with different dye and colors, while creating designs only added to her impeccable skill level. What began as a way of receiving a few extra dollars from her brothers, transformed into something no one could see coming.

SCENE 3

After her stepfather left RCA Records to begin Solar Records with her uncle. The family migrated with him 3,000 miles west to Los Angeles. They settled in the Valley. The location didn’t have many African American residents. The new address allowed the kids from New York to stand out among all the native Californians for their East Coast style and swagger. Stacey continued to keep her brothers maintained with stylish cuts while they attended school. Her work didn’t go unnoticed. One of her brothers peers, whose parents just so happened to work for a magazine, was doing a story called, “The Wild, Wild Haircut Craze”. A story was published on Stacy and her brother. The story resulted in her stepfathers office phone line bombarded with request for her service. “It wasn’t a thing I did (cutting). I did it for my brothers. They would give me five dollars allowance and I’d charge them three bucks. Just my little side hustle.” Explains Stacy.

Every summer following, Stacey would travel back to New York to work under the wing of her mentor and guide to the field, Bruce Clark. Mr. Clark was a highly respected hair stylist who allowed Stacey to do assistant work in order to gain experience. The time in the Columbus Ave salon in New York with Mr. Clark was priceless in the growth of her young career.

SCENE 4

johhnyAttempting to maintain a normal nine to five job wasn’t in the cards for Stacey. Having trouble with early morning hours cost her a position. She began to cut friends hair out of her home. This move proved profound. “Now wait a minute. I’m making the same, if not more money than I was at my regular job, and it’s at my leisure.” Proclaimed Stacey, as she became aware of her reality. A neighbor noticed the heavy traffic coming from the residence and realized she was cutting hair. The neighbor suggested that she needed to be working in a salon. “That’s not what I’m trying to do. I’m not equipped. I don’t have a license.” Responded Stacey. He told her not to worry about it. He went on to say. There was a guy that knew of her and wanted her to come to his salon and work. Apprehensive to the opportunity at first, Stacey finally agreed to see what the salon was about. The salon (F8TH), was in the upscale city of Beverly Hills. Intimidated at the beginning. The relaxed work environment put her at ease. She began to form her own celebrity clientele. Kid-n-Play, Mike Tyson, Teddy Riley and Guy became her personnel clients. Due to his managers’ recommendation, Will Smith became a client as well. The birth of a rewarding career was taking shape.

The salon would later close. Stacey’s association with high profile unisex salons did not end there, though. After maintaining her clients from home for a while, she then landed on Melrose Ave. at Winstons salon, another prestigious establishment. Winstons, being highly trafficked, provided Stacey with even more exposure and experience. Unexpected events caused Winstons to also shut their doors. Good fortune continued to follow Stacey, though, and she was presented the opportunity to work down the street at a newly opening salon called Millennium. Many of the clients and operators from Winstons also made the transfer. Stacey would serve as a mentor and role model to many other Barbers there. By this time, Stacey had gained notoriety. With that, numerous projects were presented to her and her time in the salon became limited. She worked on films and television shows, music videos and print work. She also made house calls for the likes of Eddie Murphy, Jamie Foxx and Martin Lawrence. Yet always committed and remaining true to her customers, Stacy maintained her client base during these busy times. For the past fifteen years, Stacey has been Eddie Murphy’s personal Barber-Stylist. She has maintained this exclusive relationship while still involving herself in other projects such as touring with Sean “Puffy” Combs and intermittent work with Will Smith, Anthony Anderson, Brian White and Columbus Short on some of their projects.

“It’s important to stay grounded. That’s where I came from. The regular people with their ear to the street.” says Stacey in reference to her customers. In an attempt to establish a less public presence, a private studio was created to accommodate her long-time and high profile patrons. This setting provides a comfortable, convenient venue that is a reflection of Stacey’s persona.

THE MARTINI

In every film, an issue that is seldom appreciated is a Barber being important to the production of that film. In fact, a Barber working on a film is as vital to the project as the director or the producer. After all, visuals are the essence of film. Establishing and maintaining the continuity of the appearance of the actors throughout the film is the primary responsibility of the Barber.

The industry wasn’t always setup this way. Before Stacey, there was no place for a Barber on set. Back in the days previous, the Make-up Artist or Hairstylist would shave an actor’s face or trim an actor’s head. There were no guidelines in place for Barbers. Stacey helped changed the game and rewrite the laws as she went along.

At the time in California, the Barbering and Cosmetology Boards merged together. The union proclaimed that you must have a cosmetology license to work on a film providing grooming services. Never having obtained her Barbers license, Stacey decided to bypass that credential and achieve her Cosmetology license. She attended John Wesley Hair Academy in Long Beach. 1500 hours later she accomplished that goal. A pioneer was paving the way!

Becoming a member of the union as a personal Barber was also a ground breaking process. The rules dictated that in order to work on a union film, a person needed to be a standing member of the union. But to become a union member in the first place you had to accumulate a certain number of required hours on a union project. This catch -22 didn’t stop or slow down the Barber Diva! Stacey was in such high demand, that her clients didn’t care what the guidelines stated. They just knew that, they didn’t want to be captured on screen without a Stacey Kut.

At first, Stacey would work in trailers and bathrooms, anywhere without setting foot on set. Doing so would violate union rules and regulations. Eventually, actors gave the studios and production companies an ultimatum unheard of at the time. They must recognize the actors and Stacey as a package deal! Confronted thusly, the union gave way and granted Stacey a waiver, per the star request, to work on that union film. This enabled her to gain the needed hours. At completion, Stacey was granted the right to join the union. Stacey has been a proud member of The Makeup Artist & Hair Stylist Guild, Local 706 for the past 11 years. Stacey is also one of the few Barbers to have an agent. Susan Wright of the Criterion Agency represents her the same way as any major Hollywood client in the entertainment industry.

Stacey is the proud parent of her two young daughters, and enjoys spending time and sharing life with them in many of the same ways her own mother and father did with her. She also enjoys writing, painting and music as a means of exercising her artistic ability. This exploration of her life and extraordinary career give affirmation to what we already knew: Stacey Kutz is truly a Product of The Entertainment! Every Barber that comes through the ranks must pay homage to this modern day trailblazer. The next time you watch a television show or see a film, stick around when it’s over.

Those names rolling on the screen traveled many roads and did a lot of work honing their crafts to get there.

FINend

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