Sometimes the best opportunities in life come down to the people you know and meet. For hairstylist and director Stacey K. Black that was the showrunners for The Closer and Major Crimes. Through her skills in makeup, Black was able to make the move from makeup department to director’s chair.
Having worked many years as a hairstylist and makeup artist for various shows, Black found a path that would lead to her ultimate goal of directing.
“I thought, I’ll do hair and then I’ll get close to the people I need to get close to, and they’ll be my shortcut to directing and producing and writing and all that,” said Stacey K. Black on her early career plan.
Moving to Los Angeles in the ‘90s, Black worked as a hairdresser and makeup artist for stars all over Hollywood until she eventually became head of makeup on The Closer. Leading her own department, she would continue to hone her skills in hairdressing in the way a director would by focusing more on the story the hair told rather than just its appearance.
“I’m not doing Brenda’s hair, Brenda is doing Brenda’s hair. So we have to figure out what Brenda would do with her hair on this day, depending on what is happening in the script. I like the behavior and circumstances of what the character is going through to be what the hair looks like, not that she just walked out of a salon.”
For 5 seasons, Black would work on the story of Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson’s hair. After working with Kyra Sedgwick and James Duff for many years, Black would finally approach them for a possibly directing role.
“I said, ‘I know it’s not done all the time, but if you ever start promoting from within the company I’d like you to consider me, even though it’s never been done before.’ Never has a hairdresser been promoted to a director on a TV series they were working on.”
Putting together the plan for season 6 of The Closer, Kyra Sedgwick, James Duff, and the rest of the showrunners invited Black to talk and tell her she was going to direct. Black would direct 2 episodes for The Closer and later 9 episodes for Major Crimes. She still continued to be head of makeup for both shows, but later would focus primarily on directing for more shows including episodes for Stumptown, Station 19, and Walker.
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