The Cut Life Podcast
The Cut Life Podcast

Episode · 4 years ago

Ep. 4 - Vernon Scott


We talk to celebrity barber Vernon Scott about what its been like working with some of the biggest names (men and women) in Hollywood. How it was working with Danai Gurira as she filmed Black Panther and handled her press tour. Also what happens when you cut Ursula Stephens sideburns without letting her know.

The welcome. Everybody's of the cut life podcast is to hear a joy founder of the cut life my homie big MED, producer, is in the building and I have my friend Vernon Scott on the line. Hey, burning, hey, good night everyone. You do what you want when you popping. Huh Hah, I my propit. I mean you're popping because my the responses to the emails I send you to book you for this podcast. I'm like, can I get a response? I mean part of it might have been my fault trying to work around scheduling, but really it was your scheduling. I'm like learning it's I think I got a little confused with the dates and I was like, wait, did I respond to this email already? I wasn't really sure, but it's okay. I was like give me your number, because we're going to handle this. Your your coming on today and we're going to make it happy. Appreciate it, I do. So let's talk about all the awesomeness that is Vernon Scott. Like I'm so incredibly proud just because, at least for the last couple of years, I've been able to see this trajectory and you are killing it in so many ways, but you always maintain this humility and this grace and it makes me want to cheer or even louder for you. So other I'm I mean, honestly speaking, I feel like I mean, it's not even a feeling. The fact of the matter is we kind of, we pretty much were on the same path as far as the cut life and, like you know, my career really starting to push for the past couple of years. It's pretty much been the same thing at the same time, and I don't think there's anything that is miraculous that happened to me or you or anyone that's successful. It's hard, right and and consistency pays. You know what I mean? Like hard work has never going on rewarded. You know, I know, and I mean like and of course, like God, just God's favors, is absolutely just mind blowing. But the fact that the matter is then it's it's fifteen years and now I'm at this point. Right, then it's that what I'm saying. Yeah, that's real talk and I think nobody really wants to hear that. It's just people just love result, and that's cool. To celebrate that, but I mean, we've been on phone called. We've had to push each other, we'd have, yes, check each other. We have to, you know what I'm saying, like you know all these different things. The one thing I do understand about people and success and when you finally achieve, you know, portions of it, it's never really unwarranted. No, I mean there's always a backstory. That's the thing young people don't understand. There's always years of backstory and grinding and pushing and ups and downs, and even when you are at a level where people view you as successful, when you're the type of person that has that tenacity, it's not even enough. At that point you're like, no, I'm not there yet, like, don't give me too much, too many accolades. I'm still working. You know, I mean to be honest with you, I've never I don't really listen either way, and it's not a negative thing, but it's something that keeps me focused. Right. If I if I really listen to critics, it could cripple me. Unit that I'm saying exactly. Listen to never ending accolade, it could pacify me. You, and I see I'm saying it's just you just kind of for me. I just maintain this kind of my optic door process of just, you know, continuing to push forward, and I'm...

...appreciative always of everything, both negative and positive, because it all, it all deposits to the same account. Keep pushing forward. It works together for the good, you know, it works together. But you know, I'm going to be on the side of giving you some praise because that's what the cut life podcast is about, because I am here to have this platform to give you the recognition that you deserve and people that I'm complete fans of, and obviously you are at the top of the list. But we have to first like let the people know, like the real deal behind because you're not just talking, like let's run down some names. I'm I'm just looking at your ig bio, like, okay, Maxwell, Kanye, Zane, par real, it just Elba, trevor, Noah. Now, deny, I don't want to say her name in correctly, but Black Panther, hello that night lead, yes, and I okay, I was saying it correctly and I'm going to get back to that. But I'm still running down Judana, a, burrose, Jaden Smith. I mean the list just goes on and on and I'm over here like wow, Yo, this guy works. Were you talking about me? That's right, that's right, that's you, love. I mean, listen to me. I forget about me. This is so much not about me that you're honestly, and I say this all the time, I'm in awe of all of this. The other something I'm saying this is me being as transparent as possible. I don't have an agent, I've never had an agent, I've never had a pe our person, I've never had a management is me, and God said what. I'm saying that, and I'm being a thousand present honors. I believe you, because I think you at least need an assistant to respond to my emails homey. Yeah, and I feel like I'm getting here and I really feel I really feel like I'm getting not to be to be honest, like I really feel that I've reached a point where certain things, it's not hyped or anything else like that, but certain things are in this sessies, you didn't mean, but I mean like this, this stuffing is really humbling for me. I could be honest. Know it really is. It's amazing and I'm sure that even with success comes like that overwhelming feeling of maintaining it, but I do want you to enjoy it, enjoy these moments because it's amazing. And let's talk about moments, okay, because I just saw Black Panther and nominal films. Like you know, I couldn't even really talk about it for a few hours after I saw it. I had to just let it sink in and I have to go see it again because there's just so many messages and themes and beauty and or it's just amazing. So I have to know, like, how do you feel, because you are a part of this vernion, you are a part of this epicness, this black excellence epicness that is going on right now. I'M gonna be honest to do I do. I do take the responsibility because I didn't work on the film. On the film she was actually shaven clean. You know, we had to Scutt that. We have talked about it, you know, throughout filming process about just maintenance and you know, and you know scalt treatment, because you know shaving is pretty a braceist. Yes, they were shaving it completely clean because they were they were doing a tattoo on her head and for every time that she shot, which was pretty much about, you know, every every day that they shot, they was re Redo those, the whole process. I'm a part of a big puzzle. It is so it is so amazing to see the amount of people that part of making a project like this right. Seriously, even even...

...even the press junker which was up like it in not insane. Is it's a legit work for it because literally, like I crashed after all of it, like my body just shut down. Honestly speaking, every actor and actress has their own team here, makeup and wardrobe and it is you got to figure something to do with twenty five interviews in a day. We're on camera, off camera. You know, Tris, it's intense, right, right intense, and it takes it. It's not, it's not an individual effort. You know, we said and we discussed mooks and we put together things and options and this and other we're talking about every single day and Vernon, like your creativity with these designs and how like what I love about what you did with her, specifically deny from Black Panther, because I got to keep saying it again and again because it's so amazing. But you gave her edge, but you still kept it feminine and that's an art and then you being a man as well and to execute that on a woman like talk about that as far as and I know sometimes you might and there may not be words to explain because it's just your natural gifts and ability. But just looking at that, I was like, you know what, I love this design and is edgy but it's soft at the same time, and I think that takes a lot of a lot of skill. Obviously. So even with even with haircuts or hairstyles, and even scaling back to like the stuff, the stuff we were doing, like Chris said, and I with like the natural, the natural twist out Pixie and those types of haircuts, even the side part, which started a large wave a good amount of years ago. With woman, and I always try to teach this and classes that I teach. It's like with woman there are subtle nuances that make the difference between Masculinitian and femininity, you know, and once you cross those lines the entire look is compromise. MMM, makes sense. Specific areas like the sideburns, the the temple area, the of course, the front, the hairlines, you know what I mean, the the neck area, the nape area, all of these things. I mean it really those those those gentle things define whether something is soft or really sharp, or braces, even with designs, placement, the the type of shapes, the size, it's it's very specific, and I'm specific about my sideburns. So I understand. I probably will fight a stylist about my side Burns because you can trim them, but you got trimmed them a certain way. I don't want them to get too long and I got nice little curls, you know what I'm saying. So they got to be on display the right way. No, I will be and I'm going to be honest with you. It's the learning process, you know, if you choose to embark on that path. I didn't. I don't just know this because, oh yeah, he's so dope, he just don't know. Listen, earthless, Stephens, my girl, that's that's that's my right hand, Hey Seles. She was on the podcast. To her one time I cut her hair and I cut her CIDEBER. That would be on a clean off made them start. Listen, you know, it was sharp, you know, it was short and like, listen to me, listen to me now. We from Brooklyn, so she wanted to fight. Oh my God, now he was hot. She stopped Paul Looking to me. No, I'm dead serious, I'm so, so my God. I learned. I learned that they probably like two thousand and fourteen, twenty thirty fourteen. And I'm telling you, that day I learned about the importance of a woman's Kurt.

Wow, I'm telling you, and that's a recent lesson. So you're still able to carry that out? Listen, listen. Oh, it's still burns. Oh No, she, like war wig, didn't have a short chase. Are you serious? He was. Oh my gosh. I love that you could tell this story, though, because that is the real people always want to give you the glamor and not the real learning lessons. Don't Messo personal asside burns. Any woman's side birds. I don't care if it's just a light dust. Leave it alone. Yes, and that's and that's why I learned, you know, the softer side you like. It makes us huge difference and lessons, more especially when you're dealing with a woman real, I mean they still it doesn't matter how soft the here is. I had applied that when I was working with Zane. I work with name for a full year we did so much editorial and and what people don't know, like a lot of barbers like, yeah, I can do that. I've never lined up any part of day. There's no liner and comb and a clipper. That's it, and that's a whole other technique. Then you call it first right, that's a whole nother genre right there. But there's no line up, not in the careline and as shortest is here is I would have to give him dain texture the front, even some, I'm saying, a little bit of point cutting. It's real wow, and people don't get into that. They don't understand just the diversity that you have to have. And you know, there's so many barbers and stylists that want to work with a certain type of clientele or certain arenas, whether it's editorial or at carpet, and we talked about this all the time on the PODCAST, but they don't realize what some of the demands are and how your creativity has to be stretched. And even speaking of that, I look at how you work with adult men like a Maxwell Pharrell and then you go to Caleb from stranger things and Jaden Smith. So tell me about the difference in conversations that you're having when you're prepping for your younger male clients versus the older men, like are they all an equal amount of particular? Do they just let you do your thing? Like how is it? How does that conversation go? And I know sometimes the younger guys want to experiment with new trends and how far, you know, do you take it there with them, like give us some insight, to be honest with you again. I mean, I'm a sage learner, you know what I mean. I'm just a sponge. But you know, there are lessons that you learn and you make a decision. You know what you're going to do moving forward. My first real lessons as far as dealing with actors and actresses is I was working with Samari Whiley for from oranges in new black, and you have to be caught, you really it's more meant. It's so much more than just a haircut. You really have to know. Are they still shooting because there was a problem with the way? Did I cut her because she was in the middle of a season? You're a kind of thing. Yeah, I think these are the things that people don't think of, you know what I mean, and this only and it wasn't what it wasn't my fault because they had approved it that, you know, her pr had approved it, so they gave me the green light. You know to mean. But it was a bit of backlashing salt, but it existed, you know what I mean, because the haircut was too precise. And then when and when she was shooting in character, there was more of UN Kent Look because clearly there in jail right right now now. So that's always, that's always a real thing. As far as you don't working with like where Cayleb I gotta Know How much I'm able to do because if he is, he still shooting. Is the season over? What do they want for the new season? Because it's here. If you cut it is...

...going to take time to go back right here. Saying so, you got to know the proximity of things that are going on. But I'll be honest with you, no one ever let me do whatever I want. Everyone lets me do whatever I want. Oh that is amazing and and I can and I can explain it to you because I have to explain it to them. I don't just walk up and say you are saying you know, you know, I'm going to keep a real shock for you. I got you. I'm a hold down, you'll just trust me. No, this is not a hustle. You're in the center of saying. This is a craft. So I have to explain the different options, the the pros and the cons of it. And then what in my and I never come to the table without doing homework and having a vision for what I want to execute. You in anything right. So there's what you want, there's what the occasion is, you know, and then what what my thoughts are, and some kinds who could be more aggressive and push the limits based on what the event is with the red carpet. Is what the editorial is. And you also have to have a understand like what if I'm shooting, if I'm working on the shoe, I have to get you know, what the the treatment is? What's the wardrobe? What's the mood? What's the all of it? Radio now works together. Yeah, if you have to have an understanding of that, it's like being an amazing singer but you have no understanding of engineering. But positive in a negative is still a negative. If you put a drop of poison in the gown of water, the whole gallon that point is absolutely absolutely that a crazy learning yeah, but it's but it's the truth. So it's knowing the fact that you're a team player, you're a part of a whole and you have to take accountability more more than just your immediate contribution. And clearly you understand how parts work together as a whole because also in your bio you have hair, wardrobe and photography. So you have an understanding of how these things work together, whether you're doing all of them yourself or collaborating with other creatives to make a look happen. Yeah, I mean you got to have an understanding. You have to undert have an understanding of makeup, you know I mean you have to have an understand because I there's so many shoots where I have to basically I have to dictate the concerns and the desires of what the client has about the overall look. Right, and that also is contingent on let's say I've been doing here with a client for five years, but we're going to do a shoot and you know we're using a new makeup artist. I have to know what the client wants, even if they can't properly express it themselves. Absolutely so, as that's really what that's really what it is, and I really don't believe in haircuts. I believe in hairstyle. I don't care how short you're here is. I love that. I love that and you're always an opponent of short hair, though. Yeah, you've been rocking with the cut life for a very long time. Listen, I believe in heir style, even with even with older clients that I have, and when I when I say older, I mean they're, I would say, more established. Right, this look and there's no highs and loads. I say this to my clients that come in the chair, whether they come weekly, by the Bi weekly or whatever they give you. No one should look at you and say, Oh, man, I see you got a fresh cut. You look good. Embarrassing because that means what did you look like a couple days before? MMM, that makes sense. You're supposed to set a look and maintain it, and so that's a part of the process, because you were explaining that earlier, how you're researching and figuring out what it is they're actually knowing and all these moving parts. But then it's also maintaining a look because you're not working with everyday people. These are these are celebrities? Why so, if they're in the airport or at a restaurant, there being a photograph really and it has to, you know, reflect their image and look, and that reflects back on you, I'm sure as well. That's true. But let's talk about collaboration though, learning.

Because yes, so a niked know only rose, you cut her hair and Cynthia glam colored it. Is there ever a time when you're not, when you're kind of maybe collaborating indirectly, where you're like, I wouldn't have done that, or Oh, I love it. Does it bug you if you don't like something? And I'm not saying you didn't like hers, but I boss if I if I didn't like something, like if you're work point, if you're responsible for the cut, for instance, right, but then say, I'm going to say it wrong. I have to say it like the name a thousand times to remember, but deny from Black Panther, I said it right. So say you cut her and you give her a particular look, but then she's out, you know, somewhere, or goes to travel somewhere and you're not with her and she decides to get this cut colored like purple. Does that bug you. Okay, let me, let me, let I'm putting like this, and this is the most professional answers I can give you. With it, with me, as real as possibly. Okay, be professional, but you can be you know, this is the cut life podcast. We're not on tea. We can talk, we can the truth. Okay, okay, I'll give you a I'll give you a prime example. Right, Taylor was going on to La and he was also doing a shoot. Right, who's going to do a commercial shoot? I was unable to do it because I was still booked with the press junker called Black Panther. Right, I could it here on Saturday in New York. Is the shoot was Thursday. I send a detail. Now I was looping. This is the thing. I don't just say, well, I'm not doing it, I'm not hired for the job. All right, well, that's fine. No, because the relationship between the client and I is that the clint the client trust you right too, always to always have their hair as your first priority. But don't matter how many clients you have. That's a relationship. That's how you become the preferred that's the that's the that is the business term for it. So as saying the deed. Yeah, it doesn't mean that you won't work with anyone else. It means that the call comes to me first if I'm your preferred and then if I'm unable to do it, they will either ask me to refer someone or they may find someone you know in another city. Now, even if you find someone in another city, you need to loop me in right with the person, and you can. You can stay CCED on it also, and his management will be CCED on it also and I will, IID my specific detail down to what products need to be used and how it needs to be groomed so that his look is maintained. It's not and I don't get a dime for that, but the relationship, the relationship is has to be maintained. His hair is my responsibility. It's the same thing with just about any any consistent client that I have. That's what sets you apart right there, Vernon. Honestly, that's all says you apart, because they are so many people in similar circumstances that will say, Oh, you have to use this other makeup artist. Okay, by you know, like they there's that conversation, I can assure you, is not happening often, and I think that's what makes you so great at what you do. To be to be honest, and this is this is a secret, and I mean I hope everybody gets there, because this is, this is really real. In order to to Excel at whatever position you have, I don't care if your corporate, I don't care if your creative, you have to figure out how to create intangibility with your clients.

So this. Listen to be told this. Look at it. It takes me about forty minutes, half an hour or forty minutes, or I could do it in eleven minutes. If they need to client walking by a certain time. It doesn't matter. I'm a hired assassin, but it really lets it takes half an hour for me to do what I do. So why is it Burnin? will be in another country for a week if it took a half an hour for me to do what I do. Right? Intangibility. You don't really know why you need me there, but you need me there because I take care of so many other things that it makes you the whole experience, whatever the job or the project is, flow smoother. I love it. Intangibility. Here's our words for the day students, are you listening? Hashtag heard, Hashtag intangibility. We need them to know this is a real listen. People think is easy. All they see is the pictures on your instagram burning with all of these amazing selebs and they see you what your fly I outfits, in your shades and everything, with my glass with a little light on it, with a little lights in on it, but they still are fly and they're just looking at it like Arnon is out here popping and they don't know the amount of detail that you're putting into this. And I don't even want you to give it all away because we're going to be doing Webbinar soon where they're going to have to pay you to speak in more detail about this. So we'll table that for another day. But I do want to quickly get into your background, because we talked a lot about what's happening with you currently. But how did this even start for you? It's real quick and simple. I started cutting here fourteen. was in the my first shot in a bottom shop at sixteen as a summer job. Basically, I didn't even have a model, so I cut my own here three different ways. Got The job cool. I did one year of college and it just I don't know, it just wasn't. It's I can't say it wasn't for me. I just knew that I had more to contribute to the world and I love working with my hands. I Love I love, you know, the start and completely take nothing and make it something, and I think that's why I love cutting so much. is so defensive. Once you cut that head, you can't put it back. You intend the same right, absolutely, yeah, it's you know. So I dropped out of college after my first year and moved out on my own. You know, my friends were trying to hear that at all, and that's something that we really got to be comfortable with, and I think that's where it really started for me. You don't need people to believe in what you believe. I could be your family, that could be your husband and wife, whoever you're in the said of saying. If God gives You a vision, that's for you, not for everyone. About only people to believe. The only thing people believe is results. Listen, my mom was like asking me for a good five six years, what the hell are you doing to hear? But then I brought home like a tenzero brand check and she's like, okay, never mind, like you're good later, have fun your life, enjoy, and that's what you got to be comfortable. You got to be okay with that. Yeah, you know what I'm saying, and that's what I'm saying because you got a figure for the amount of time that I should be in college. My parents would just telling me that I was lazy, not because they really think that I'm lazy, but as it appears. What is he doing right? Not at a barber shop. They don't get it. It's not. It's not traditional. We're in very non traditional cariers right, and should be told. Our parents have made so many sacrifices so that we can have these opportunity. But you got to understand they didn't fathom what these opportunities would look like ten years ago. Designing, you know, cases, wasn't a multi billion dollar industry. Now at all. You're I mean social media, and you know, people maybe len me online. It's, you know, it's a whole thing. That why they could rye and bad right. But...

I feel like we're the perfect generation because we have that beautiful mix between that foundation in that grind and that touching people and building relationships, but then we also know technology and social media and how to interact in that world, and that's why I talk to millennials, the younger millennials, all the time about connecting and make building relationships and work ethic and consistency, because a lot of that gets missed because they just see highlight reels all day long and think that is easy to just jump into something. But, Vernon, let me tell you, love you two pieces and I'm so incredibly proud and I don't care what you say, you're going to take all these accolades today. Okay, you're going to take all of these accolades today and take that with you. We're continue, we're going to continue to watch you. Everyone that's listening, make sure you follow on instagram by Vernon Scott. It's all spelled normally by Vernon Scott and you can see his amazing work and just continue to see his career sore like. This is really just like I feel like every level is a new beginning, so I feel this is just a new beginning to the next level and we're just excited to watch you glow and grow. So we I mean looking right now. You know, five years go, talking about this. I know that's thanks to big mad man. We went to college together and he is the one. He's producing and you can't hear him in the background, but he is the one that came to me and said, why aren't you doing a podcast? You have a million followers, you need to talk about something. So all credit to him for making this happen and making this conversation possible and hopefully we are inspiring the you to them. Come on, man, you gotta e and behind the followers. I know when it was a thousand and two thousand. Come listen. We're trying to get autumn M's in the account to match. You know what I mean, and we're good. So so let's make let's make the one clear change, and then will be good and you'll be able to hang up on me and it'll be fun. Exactly. Never, we would never use one word ever again. Absolutely well, thank crying much. No, we're doing doing crying. Trying doesn't exist. Absolutely now doesn't. You're doing it. I don't care if it's your first day or it's a hundred days later. You're doing Oh, thank you, and same to you. We'll talk soon. We're going to have you back on because you know there's going to be more landmark moments that happen and we have to capture them. Let's go. Okay. Thank you, Vernon. Scott talks in love. All right, thank you bay.

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