Anita Gutierrez


A Day In The Life: Anita GutierrezTHE JOB:

Best Part: “Seeing passion from people you are performing for, it’s all worth it to me.”

Hardest Part: “Leaving family. Being on the road.”

Best Advice: “Always be prepared, help other team members, know how to introduce yourself, and know what your topics are going to be.”

Anita Gutierrez remembers the exact moment she got her first taste of fame—the moment she credits as “starting it all.”

“It was in Cincinnati , Ohio, and I was working as back-up support for a platf orm arti st who was going to be performing in front of 600 people,” says Gutierrez. “When we found out that he got stuck in Customs, my boss came up to me and told me that I needed to go up… that I needed to perform in his place. I was extremely nervous! Yet, aft er that day, my appearances on stage came one aft er another. Even though you may be nervous at first, aft er awhile you learn to just be yourself and then everything becomes easier.” But for most new graduates, an opportunity like this can seem like finding a needle in a haystack. “Generally for most people who want to become platform artists, you need to start finding ways of helping other people at shows and then start working on smaller stages. If they like the way you interact with the audience and you have your craft nailed down pat, then you will have higher chances of getting booked.”

From the earliest age, Gutierrez watched and learned from her family of Europeantrained stylists who worked side-by-side in their upscale salon creating elaborate coiffures for their French clientele, aspiring to someday be a sought-aft er stylist and educator like her parents. Today, Gutierrez has worked her way up the ladder all the way to a North American Professional Master Colorist for Clairol Professional. She has appeared on stage more than 100 ti mes and still continues to learn from each performance. “If you have your heart set on doing platform, make sure you do a lot of education, go to classes and find your technique,” she says. “Education is the key to everything. I still go to classes and I keep learning. If you have a dream, you have to go aft er it. I am living proof.”


When Gutierrez prepares for a show, the process starts months before the actual performance. Meetings are made, storyboards are created, models are cast, and rehearsals are exercised. “I like to showcase models at all levels: blondes, brunettes and redheads,” Gutierrez says. “Usually casting takes about four hours.” On the actual show day, Gutierrez and her team meet their eight to 10 chosen models behind stage and the prepping begins. “Models will go into make-up and wardrobe—which gives the fashion stylists an idea of how we are going to do the hair for cohesiveness— then we run and get dressed. Right before the show we line up all of the models, touch up their lips, put on their shoes, check the microphones, and then before you know it the music starts and you’re out on stage.”

Behind it all is the teamwork, says Gutierrez. “Say a model doesn’t show up for the show. We will then call our event managers to get a back-up model ASAP. A lot of times a model might get ill or faint, and she can’t go out there. The people behind stage help the shows go on, too.”

Being a platform artist also means you have to be prepared for things to go wrong. “Once in Chicago, I was just about to start working on a blonde model when I looked down in my bowl and saw that I had RRV, which was way too red,” she says. “I was looking at the bowl thinking, ‘Oh gosh, I can’t do this to this girl!’ So I played it off cool and told my manager backstage the color was wrong and I needed a new one while on stage.” Gutierrez says sometimes mistakes are going to happen, but it’s all about how you play it off that gets you by. “Just tell it how it is or make a joke to lighten the mood.”

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Being a platform artist has been a very rewarding experience for Gutierrez. “A big perk is seeing your name in magazines and in show programs. It’s rewarding to see that your career has gone where you want it to go,” she says. “When you walk on stage and people know you and come back and remember you, it’s all worth it. If you want to be a platform artist, remember that it’s all about education and hard work—you will get to where I am today if you are dedicated enough.”

Hair: Danny LaPointe and Anita Gutierrez for Clairol Professional

Photography: Roberto Ligresti

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