T Gordon Salon Talks
Episode 31

Hollywood Hair-a Discussion with Kathrine Gordon

Tony Gordon published on

My sister Kathrine Gordon is a champion among hair stylists, she votes for the academy award winners in hair and make-up and has been doing Hollywood hair for 40 years. Like many Gordon's before her, Kathrine Gordon chose the hair industry, but with an entirely different take than the rest of the family. She is a Hollywood Hairdresser. As her family, we are all so proud of her -- she has "made it" in an incredibly tough part of the industry. A specialty like no other: hair for film, television and theater. She has done it all and to a level that has made her a judge for the Academy Awards. She and I talked about doing a podcast for a long time and her own humble way, she said, "why?" 

What Kathrine does is what many young stylists want to do, but like many young people, they have no guidance on how to achieve their goals. What are the pitfalls? What is the job really like? In this amazing discussion we talk about what it is really like to work on superstars, A-list celebrities and the extras on a film set. What skills do you need? What is the focus and how does it all function? What is it like to be in a trailer or make up tent for 16 hours a day? Where does one get these skills and how do they take it to next level -- the level that gets them the dream job? 

I remember being back stage at the Horwich Jewish Community Center on Chicago's far north side, while my sister did hair and make-up for a production of Guys and Dolls. I distinctly remember my thoughts while watching her work, "How does she know how to do that? Why does she look so confident?" Yes, I am the braty little brother. 

After beauty school and tutelage from great hair stylist and grandmother Rose Gordon Greenberg (that's a story for another podcast), Kathrine went on to the San Francisco Opera company, where she learned wigs, characters, production pace and so much more. She ended up in New York at 30 Rock! -- that's the fourth floor of Rockefeller Center -- where she worked for Jane Pauley on the Today Show, soap operas, a local news cast and eventually Saturday Night Live.  At Saturday Night Live she created wigs and hair for some iconic characters: Garth and Wayne for Wayne's World and many many others. From New York, it was off to Los Angeles where she entered the movie and television business of Hollywood. She was tasked with creating the looks for many characters and movies from HBO's Dorothy Dandridge Story with Halle Berry to American Hustle with Christian Bale and Amy Adams. She continues to work with A list celebs. Right now she is deep into multiple projects with Anne Hathaway. 

In this fascinating podcast, she talks about what it takes to do this job: reading scripts, creating characters and maintaining the all-important continuity from scene to scene. 

If your interested in this type of hairstyling work or know someone who is, take a listen to this conversation with my amazing sister, Katrhine Gordon. 

Tony Gordon


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