Coming soon…

Soon I’ll publish Backstage at Blue Smoke World Tour part 4 and the story of Make a wish…to the M & G with Dolly.

I do also have some thoughts Of bringing back Special Guest – interviews with those people who work in the Entertainment business…Until then read My interviews with David Blackstock, Camp Elaine, Alan Mercer, Connie Freeman Prince and The twins Gary & Larry Lane

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Photo from Southern Living Mag

And I would love to have Dolly Parton as a Honor Guest too…

Special Guest: David Blackstock , Hair designer to the legends in Hollywood

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David working with legends like Ruta Lee, Debbie Reynolds, Gennifer Flowers etc in Hollywood and with his salon; Salon Six 9 in Texas. In this interview he talks about his journey as hair designer, Dolly Parton’s hair designer and how it is to collaborate with a photographer.

How come you’ve begin to work with celeb’s hair?

I met my godmother, Ruta Lee, at a theatre in Fort Worth, TX, called Casa Manana. I was basically orphaned and she took me under her wing. She believed in me, and helped me achieve a life that could have never imagined. Through my life with her, combined with the proverbial hard work and determined networking, I became friends with other celebrities. Of course, it helped that Ruta would always tell her friends, “Let him do your hair. I’m sick of feeding him.” That’s one my dear friend, Joan Rivers’, favorite stories about my life.

You working as a personal hair stylists to Hollywood legends like Mamie Van Doren, Ruta Lee, how is it to work as a personal hair stylist to celebs?

The one thing that you have to remember when you’re a celebrity hairdresser, traveling with a celeb, is that, in most cases, you’re not only their hair dresser, but you’re also their personal assistant, wardrobe manager, confidante, and everything in between. For example, when it comes to my BFF, Gennifer Flowers, not only am I her hairdresser, but I’m her body guard as well. Most importantly though, she’s my friend of 20 years, and one of my biggest cheerleaders. Even as I write this, I’m packing for a trip to New Orleans, to being the process of creating hair for Gennifer’s upcoming reality show.

You have your Salon six 9 in Texas, and it makes me think of big hair…What do you think of the hair design Cheryl Riddle do on Dolly’s hair?

I think what Cheryl does is tricky because her styles pay homage to traditional country, while still staying current with today’s trends. I especially loved Dolly’s hair at the premier of Joyful Noise, at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. You also have to remember, Dolly’s hairstyles while she is working are definitely different than her hairstyles when she’s just Dolly at the local Cracker Barrel. This requires Cheryl to always make one style compliment the other, so that there is no great disconnect between the two.

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Witch era do you think was/is the best of Dolly’s hair? 

I loved Dolly’s hair in the late 70s and early 80s. Especially the style she wore on the Midnight Special television show. But then, David Blair took her style from Nashville to Hollywood. Dolly has stayed with that style for decades, and probably always will. I’m a diehard Dolly fan, so it doesn’t really matter what hairstyle she chooses. But I do miss her 70s old school drag hair.

Do you want to work for Dolly too?

There was a time in my when that was my goal. And that goal led to the extraordinary life that I have today. I would love to work with her on a photo shoot or a concert tour, but with my obligations to other celebrity clients and friends, it would be much more difficult to manage at this point in my life. However, I never rule anything out!

You collaborate with the Hollywood photographer Alan Mercer, how can a day look like for you when you’re on photo shoots?

Because of our mutual friend Mamie Van Doran, I have a wonderful friend in Alan Mercer. We are truly soul mates. I’ve never met anyone that I have clicked with (no pun intended) than I do with Alan. Photo shoots with Alan are like being in a fantasy which we create together. We’re in sync when we practice our respective crafts. We are there for each other as well as the client, which makes the event seamless, as if it’s something that we do every day. What makes it even more special, is that Alan’s parents live less than five miles from me, so he and I even get to spend holidays together.

How much decide the photographer and hair stylist on how the photo will look like? 

Alan and I collaborate without exception. Once we decide what the theme of the photo shoot is going to be, he and I stage the wardrobe and accessories. I create the styles that will translate into effortless and fitting for the message we’re trying to convey, while Alan chooses what artistic direction the imaging is going to take. He captures the moments, while my job is to make the moments ready for his camera. I like to think of us as the Dolly and Kenny and hair. People just like us together.

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Tell me about the day you became a fan of Dolly…

The first thing that everyone needs to know about me is that I was born a Dolly fan. I can’t remember a day that I wasn’t a fan of Dolly Parton. And there’s not a day that goes by during which I don’t think about her; which, by the way, scares my friend Joan Rivers. There’s simply not a time in my life that I wasn’t a Dolly fan. It’s almost spiritual. For me, at least. But my most memorable day as a Dolly fan was when I met her during her Better Day tour and had opportunity get that elusive personal photo. When I entered the room where she was standing, my dream became a reality. That’s the day I will never forget.

By: Diana Falheim

Thank you David for making this interview possible.

Special Guest: Elaine Ballace , Actress, producer

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Photo: Alan Mercer

Elaine Ballace is an actress and producer in Hollywood. You might have seen her in Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Dracula: Dead and Loving It. She runs her own serie Camp Elaine on Youtube and will take it world wide.

You run the Camp Elaine series on YouTube, where do you get all of your inspirations from?
 
YouTube, I hope is simply the starting place…I want to see Camp Elaine on TV world wide.
 
How and why do you become an actress?
 
I believe that I was born to ENTERTAIN! My mom would tell me that as young as 4, I would perform for FRIENDS & FAMILY and gatherings! Apparently I was a good producer, too, for I would get others to perform in my shows.
 
You’re also in Guinness World Record Book, for the ice skating spins, how do you make up your goals in life?
 
I don’t think I really set goals, but rather follow my heart and my passion, and simply work hard until what I desire is achieved.
 
Tell me about the day when you became a fan of Dolly…
 
I recall as a child growing up everyone talking about DOLLY PARTON!  When I first saw her on TV,she was just so likeable, that I became a fan, and to this day, remain a fan.

How does Dolly inspire you in your profession as an actress and producer? 

Dolly’s longevity and success is not an accident.  She is a very disciplined, hard working woman who knows what she wants and gets it, but still remains a lady.  I think that is what I love most about Dolly Parton.
Why is Dolly special for you?
Her Light-hearted ways on interviews, but her inner strength to persevere.
 
Have you met Dolly?
I have not met Dolly Parton, as yet,but I do look forward to the day I do meet her.
Do you have any dreams of meeting Dolly?
 
I would love to not only meet Dolly, but also one day, have the honor of working with her!
If you had the possibility to go out with Dolly, what would you
do on that day with her?
 
Sometimes I think the best thing to do is simply sit back, let Dolly take the lead, and follow her lead, and learn as much as I can from her!
Do you have any more goals to make about your dreams?
 
I would love to become a household name as you will, for I believe one can use his/her celebrity fame to help others, and have a few causes that I hope one day I can aid in making a difference for others.
 
By: Diana Falheim
Photo: Alan Mercer

Special Guest: Alan Mercer; Hollywood portrait artist/ photographer to the Stars

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He’s a portrait artist/ photographer to the stars in Hollywood. They contact him when they need some amazing photos to books, albums, portfolios, portraits, magazines etc…

Alan have worked with stars like Pricilla Presley, Sean Young, George Jones, Linda Gray, Gilles Marini, Steven Spielberg, Andy Warhol , Jane Lynch, Mamie Van Doren, Elaine Ballace, Marlena Shaw and a lot of other famous people… 

When did you begin to work professional as a photographer for celebrities?

I have been shooting celebs for over 12 years now. I started in Texas and moved to Los Angeles 11 years ago.

Andy Warhol is one of your influences; tell me how it was to meet him?

I met Andy because a friend worked for the newspaper in Dallas and he invited me to go along with him to interview the great Warhol. Andy was the nicest man and a dream come true!

Tell me about the day when you became a fan of Dolly…

I can still remember being a child and loving Dolly on her syndicated show in the 70‘s! I had just gotten my first car and I found a bumper sticker that said “I LOVE Dolly Parton” and I placed in on the bumper very proudly!

Why is Dolly special for you?

She is special because she is a one-of-kind artist and human being. There is no one even close to her in any way!!! She has touched my soul for decades now…that is special!

Do you have any dreams of meeting Dolly?

I have met her before a couple of times but I have dreams of working with her naturally!!!

Tell me about the day /days you met Dolly… 

My first meeting with Dolly was a dream for sure…It was 1976 and I was visiting Hollywood on a school trip. We stayed at a hotel in Hollywood and when I got on the elevator Dolly Parton was in there and I about died!!! She was so nice and I was so star struck! She gave me her autograph on a small piece of notebook paper!!! I met her again in Nashville a few years later and she autographed an album for me.

You love all things about Dolly, have you worked with her too?

I have never had the opportunity so far but with the help of friends I hope to make this happen soon!!! Personal time is very important to Dolly so I would work fast and not waste any of her valuable time.

If not, how is your dream of working with this legend?

I just dream of photographing her more beautiful than she has ever been photographed before and that will be a challenge as she has been so beautiful for years!!

You run the blog amprofile.blogspot.com, which is really awesome, when will we see Dolly there?

As soon as it all works out and I would like that to be as soon as possible…

If you had the possibility to go out with Dolly, what would you do?

I would take her to her favorite Indian Restaurant in Los Angeles.

Do you have any more goals to make about your dreams?

Oh yes so many it’s hard to focus on just one but after I have my chance to work with Dolly I will have accomplished a lifetime goal!

By: Diana Falheim

Thank you Alan Mercer for the support of this blog, and that you wanted to be my first Special Guest. I appreciate it!