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Las Vegas got an extra dose of glitz and glam when students from the nationwide network of Paul Mitchell Schools arrived for their 27th annual Caper event. Held February 20–22 at Caesars Palace, the hands-on educational extravaganza drew 2,500 future professionals who earned the trip by selling specially packaged Paul Mitchell products. Highlights included surprise appearances by Magic Johnson, Marie Osmond, Robin Leach, and Tabatha Coffey.

Students lined up early to get great seats for the first day of nonstop education, motivation, inspiration, and fashion. Paul Mitchell Co-owners John Paul DeJoria and Angus Mitchell, Global Artistic Director Robert Cromeans, and Paul Mitchell Schools Dean and Cofounder Winn Claybaugh kicked things off with a warm welcome, followed by fast-paced fashion presentations from top Paul Mitchell artists, educators, artistic directors, students, and staff.

The future professional Design Team delivered three segments, doing all the hair, make-up, modeling, and dancing under the direction of school owner and Advanced Academy team member George Morales. Then the “pros” took over for cutting, color, and style segments, led show coordinator Brennan Claybaugh, Director of Education for Paul Mitchell Schools and Advanced Academy.

Making surprise appearances at Caper, Robin Leach announced that the mayor of Las Vegas had proclaimed February 21 “Paul Mitchell Day.”
 
Magic Johnson and Marie Osmond thanked Paul Mitchell Schools for including the Magic Johnson Foundation and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (co-founded by the Osmond family) in this year’s annual FUNraising Campaign, which has donated over $6 million to charity to date. Magic talked about what it takes to be a champion, and Marie introduced several children who are alive today because of life-saving treatments at a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, telling the audience she loves Paul Mitchell Schools because “you go out and you change people’s lives.”

Tabatha Coffey took the stage amid thunderous applause that drowned out her opening video. “I’ve never, ever experienced anything like this,” she said. With a powerful message about her lifelong passion for the industry, she showed a caring and compassionate side rarely seen on her popular shows, calling on the future professionals to “be true to who you are” and “never let fear hold you back.”

Industry icon Robert Lobetta, wowed the audience with his innovative styles and powerful message about following your intuition and your dreams. “Don’t let the noise of others drown out your inner voice,” he encouraged. “Stay true to who you are and what you believe in.”

Comedian Kathy Buckley ended the day with a powerful message of courage and hope. Born deaf but misdiagnosed as mentally retarded, Buckley's inspiring story had the audience laughing through their tears. She also talked about the No Limits theater program for deaf children, one of organizations supported in this year’s FUNraising campaign. Buckley showed a clip from Glee, featuring a deaf choir singing in sign language, and explained that the young actor leading the song was the reason they started No Limits. All of a sudden, John Autry, the star of the clip, walked out on stage, and the crowd went wild.

Day one ended with a traditional Paul Mitchell White Party, where students enjoyed “photo ops” with the show’s stars, yummy desserts, and the chance to celebrate with old and new friends before their second education-filled day.

Day two featured hands-on classroom rotations and a closing show filled with fun, fashion, and special presentations. Led by the artists and educators featured in day one’s shows, cosmetology students rotated through three 2-hour classes (Cutting, Color, Look and Learn), while skin care students spent their day in Hands-On Makeup. The grand finale featured the show teams from A Robert Cromeans Salon, Kelly Cardenas Salons, Lunatic Fringe, and Angus Mitchell’s Beverly Hills Salon, and a show-stopping surprise: the singing debut of Angus Mitchell.