Would I write a book or should I take to the stage?
This article first appeared in issue 20 of SalonNV
I am a lover of music, lots of different styles of music, and I sometimes post lyrics on my Instagram account @emilthecaretaker. Song lyrics can have a real impact when listened to carefully and quite often I find myself inspired by them. Such is the case with the header of this article, a line taken from ‘left to my own devices’ by the Pet Shop Boys. The song was released in 1988 and the following two lines have always struck a chord (pun fully intended) with me.
‘I was faced with a choice at a difficult age, Would I write a book? Or should I take to the stage?’
Creativity takes many avenues in life and mine took me into the world of hairdressing, something that I have loved for over 40 years. I’m glad it was my chosen path as it has opened up many different avenues for me. The funny thing is though, when I was at school I dreamt (like lots of kids) of being an actor or a pop star, or both, with my debut single shooting into the hit parade at No.1, it was a very long time ago when the music charts meant something much more than they do today. I also fancied myself as an author and would scribble things down that I thought might morph into a novel at some point in my life. When I was a teenager, literature was very important, usually very pretentious works by Nabokov, Yukio Mishima, Proust, E.M Forster etc; you get the drift, serious stuffs? I gave up on that idea because everything. I tried to create just didn’t come up to scratch.
Now though, the pen has been resurrected, I have been inspired by my experiences over the last 40 years in hairdressing and I am writing a book, a real book at that! Possibly the biggest challenge I’ve ever undertaken. It’s not a novel, it’s a book about retailing and the way we shop these days. Online shopping fascinates me, the continuing decline of the high street worries me, and the way we are bombarded with subliminal and blatant messages through social media intrigues me.
‘When you’re young you find inspiration in anyone who’s ever gone and opened up a closing door’
More Pet Shop Boys lyrics, this time from my all-time favourite song from them, ‘Being Boring’ released in 1990 (it would appear that I live in the musical past). These lines have pushed me to try my hardest and write something worthy of our industry that can be used as a reference tool to help hairdressers understand the changing dynamics of the consumers purchasing patterns and the seismic shift in retailing. When I was young I found inspiration in so many people in the hair world, they opened up doorways to a dazzling world that has thrilled and excited me time and time again and now it’s time to try and give something back
It’s not a given that the book will be published, it’s a personal challenge and it’s an arduous one at that. But, you will be the first to know if my ambition comes to fruition, it’s going to be given my very best shot. Who knows, it might become a best seller and then I might be asked to star in a film about it and sing the theme tune … then I really would’ve wrote a book and taken to the stage.