“Lights, Camera, Action!” was the theme of Paul Mitchell Schools’ 2015 Las Vegas Caper, a smoke-free, alcohol-free, hands-on educational extravaganza that united over 2,500 “future professionals” for two days of life-changing, career-changing inspiration, motivation, and hands-on education.
Between the throngs of black-clad, stylishly coiffed students and the beautiful banners on display throughout Caesars Palace, there was no doubt that Paul Mitchell Schools were in the house.
Nonstop education was the focus of theevent, from the moment students arrived at registration on Monday until the grand finale on Wednesday afternoon. After checking in and picking up swag bags, future professionals visited the Peace, Love, and Happiness Mall to browse through the “merch” and sit in on mini hair and makeup classes.
They dropped off business cards and résumés at the Career Connection, where reps from major salons and chains held mini interviews and shared hiring opportunities at their salons. Paul Mitchell Global Artistic Director Robert Cromeans, Co-owner Angus Mitchell, Paul Mitchell Schools Dean and Co-founder Winn Claybaugh, and Co-founder and Chairman John Paul DeJoria kicked off Tuesday’s general session with a warm welcome and one-hour stage show featuring the artists and educators who would lead the classrooms later that day.
“Our students will attend many shows throughout their careers,” said Paul Mitchell Schools’ Dean and Cofounder Winn Claybaugh. “We want this first one to be an unforgettable, life-changing, career-defining moment. We set the bar high, combining nonstop education and fashion with inspiration and motivation that will change their lives and leave them hungry for lifelong learning.”
Future professionals starred in two of the main-stage segments: the opening “Pastel” segment and a barbering segment. After the show, cosmetology students rotated through cutting, color, and style classes, while skin care students spent their day in hands-on makeup; they all attended “Look and Learn,” a live demo and Q&A session with top Paul Mitchell educators plus men’s grooming expert Diana Schmidtke and motivational speaker / author Charles Marcus. Day one ended with a favorite Paul Mitchell tradition: the White Party, where Future Professionals enjoyed “photo ops” with their favorite educators, plus music, dancing, and the chance to mingle with students from other schools.
Wednesday’s superstar lineup included comedienne, award-winning actress, author, and inspirational speaker Kathy Buckley, who returned to Caper for the fourth year with her powerful message of courage and hope. Billed as America’s first hearing-impaired comedienne, Kathy has appeared on The Tonight Show, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Entertainment Tonight, and Extra. Born deaf but misdiagnosed as mentally retarded, Kathy’s inspiring story and tireless work for the No Limits theater program for deaf children have made her a huge favorite among Paul Mitchell’s future professionals.
Making her second Caper appearance, Lizzie Velasquez has a rare medical condition that doesn’t let her gain weight or create muscle. At age 25, she weighs 60 pounds and has zero percent body fat. When an Internet video calling her “The World’s Ugliest Woman” went viral, Lizzie set out to discover what truly makes people beautiful. Now a popular author, speaker, and college graduate, Lizzie shares her story around the world.
Alvin Law was one of the 13,000 babies around the world born with deformities in the early 1960s because of Thalidomide, a morning sickness drug. Born without arms at a time when handicapped children were relegated to institutions or segregated from “normal” students, Alvin attended regular schools, became an award winning musician, graduated from high school and college with honors, and embarked on a career in broadcasting. He also worked in advertising, public relations, and government service before becoming a full-time professional speaker.
Caper 2015 concluded with a fast-paced segment by the show team of Floyd’s Barbershop and a special appearance Eden Sassoon and Seth Maxwell, representing The Thirst Project, a nonprofit organizations supported by the Paul Mitchell Schools’ 2015 FUNraising campaign. The Thirst Project is the world’s leading youth water activism organization, mobilizing more than 300,000 students and young people who have raised over $8 million to build freshwater wells in 12 countries, giving more than 260,000 people safe, clean water. “As an industry, we use water daily,” Eden said. “As an industry, it’s time that we give back.”
Singer-entertainer Marie Osmond closed the show, thanking the students for raising over $1 million in their annual FUNraising campaigns for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, the organization she cofounded.
For more information, follow Paul Mitchell Schools on social media using the #Caper15 hashtag.