Hi, my name is Eliza and I am a Rockaholic. Day 1 of ABS 2010.

"Um, Hi.  My name is Eliza Siep," I said to the receptionist at the 2010 America's Beauty Show press office desk.  She stared back at me strangely as if I was a lost baby bat that had escaped from the inner depths of Hades. She didn't reply, so I reiterated, "My name is Eliza Siep and I should be on the list." Without expression she instructed me to sign in and motioned to a sheet of paper with columns. I quickly discovered that this wasn't a rock show as I am accustomed to and that there was no "list." I figured that my standard introduction and method for collecting a backstage pass is universal, even at a beauty show.


After signing in, the press woman scrolled through some cards and to both her surprise and mine, there I was! One pass for Eliza Siep. I smiled and said thank you as I walk away. My stomach was churning for a plethora of reasons. First and foremost, at a rock show, anyone who is anyone does not wear there backstage pass around their neck.  The correct placement is to kind of put it somewhere where the pass won't be in the way and where it doesn't look like you're showing it off. Well wait. I am at a beauty show so does it make me more or less legit if you can see the pass? More importantly, this massive piece of plastic did not go with my look. Ew! Okay, okay.  I put the pass in my old standby of a rock show spot and rolled on in to the show in search of one thing and one thing only.... The Bed Head Rockaholic Livin' the Dream Tour Bus.
Why was I so eager to find the brand spankin' new touring hair salon on wheels, you might ask? To break it down, I am passionate about two things and two things only: the beauty industry and music. My whole adolescence and entire adult life has been dedicated to the dream that the two would meet at a magical place, at least a handful of days in my lifetime. Today is one of those days. I used to lay awake at night during some bleak 2003 nights while I was in beauty school in Davenport, Iowa, dreaming of how I could make enough money to have a bus such as this to travel the U.S. I would ask my teachers in cosmetology school if such a thing was possible or if anyone had ever done it. My teachers always replied with the same two words in return, impossible and crazy. I was used to hearing those words, as I have always been a bit of a dreamer, but on this day Bed Head and Rockaholic made the impossible and the crazy very possible and real.
I found the bus and stepped up into my wildest dream on wheels. There were a few of the TIGI and Rockaholic peeps on the bus at the time so I tried to blink a lot and swallow like normal as to not have tears rolling down my face. Like come on, I still have to at least try to act cool, right? Crying isn't rock and roll. I think at this point I must have had a sober black out because seriously, um the bus is that rad inside. I was kind of secretly hoping that I would have walked on to some "JV squad" suits idea of what Rock and Roll hair is so that I could feel like I would have done it better myself, but much to my dismay, TIGI took my dream and made it better. Amps that work? A sink with running water? Two chairs, product display, flat screens, a guitar on the wall, and a back lounge? Dude, you have to be kidding me right? I could not help but to reach out and touch every fixture on the bus. My body was covered in goose bumps and every hair on my head was standing up. This bus was as close to heaven as I had ever been!


I sat down on the couch and watched stylists, young and old, walk onto the bus. The good news is that everyone's reaction was basically the same as mine, so I felt like less of a dork as the day went on. "I want to live here!" one stylist shouted out as she stepped foot on the bus. I smiled as I thought to myself, duh! It hit me at that point that most people have never been on a tour bus before, let alone lived on one. I forget how lucky I have been on my path of trying to make the beauty industry and music meet.  I have spent great parts of the last 5 years on a tour bus. I tried to remember my first time on a tour bus and it was so long ago that I can not remember the situation. I guess time flies when you are having fun. At least I will always remember my first time on the Livin' the Dream tour bus.
As I sat there, stylists would come and go and most reactions were the same, but of course, I have a fave. Christopher J Wathen walked on the bus and virtually yelled out, "I worked for Disney World for three months and they had nothing on this! I always had a dream to do something like this!" I noticed at this point a common thread amongst the stylists; they all had the dream. We all wanted a functioning, touring hair salon! Christopher and his main squeeze, Christina Haas, stood out to me because they had a shredding vibe that was totally their own. They looked sort of like they could roll in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and style Outcast all at the same time. Christopher is correct.  This bus is better than Disney World and so is he, for that matter. He was sporting the only real Rockaholic product tattoos that I have ever seen. This guy is the real deal.  He got his barber license first and then went back to school to become a stylist among other things. I flipped through his portfolio on the couch inside of the bus. I could not get over the fact that he has devoted his life to doing hair and has devoted an entire arm of his body to beauty industry tattoos. I get emotional when I think of someone giving blood sweat and tears for the love of hair just as most musicians would for the love of music. The longer I sat there, the more I related the two, music and hair, now more than ever.


I left the bus for a hot minute to check out the scene on the TIGI stage next to the bus. Some of the top makeup artists, and hairstylists in the world were working their magic on stage, shredding through some killer hair to bumping music. After the artists left the stage, one in particular came up to me to talk to me about my icy blue hair calling it, "distracting." (Yes! Just what I was going for.) The stylist's name was Mitchell Wilson and I was stoked that he was talking to me a) because I just saw his stuff up on the TIGI stage and b) because he actually looked like a dude I would talk to in real life. I told him that I was inspired by about 3 different people, and the year 1992 in music, and that is how I came up with my hair color. I mean, I had been listening to Nirvana and New Order all morning, what else would I have said to a top stylist, right? It was right around that time that he asked me if I was indeed wearing a Bauhaus pin on my blazer. I laughed and said yes.  I was stoked to find that I had met someone who, "gets it." Bauhaus is not the kind of band that people usually get if you are anywhere outside of a specific music scene, sad to say. Mitchell and I decided to go on the bus to carry on our music/hair/life convo in the back lounge. Mitchell is the kind of guy that makes me a little nervous and off of my game. This dude knows rock music inside and out and also knows the world of hair. We bounced back and forth in the convo and he dropped a few bands that I still need to check out. I came to realize that this guy is the real deal. A punk, a rule breaker, and he, like so many others that day, mentioned the Bed Head Rockaholic Livin the Dream Tour bus as being a dream come true. I asked him some of the tough questions that I had long been brewing in my head. "How did you find following the rules in beauty school?" I was basically implying that punks don't follow rules. Well, maybe I should just speak for myself.  I have a hard time following rules and I feel like it holds me back. I wanted to know how someone sets that all aside to truly learn from the best; to walk away better than you were yesterday? Mitchell simply replied, "Punk was always the harder path to choose." That line hit me like a ton of bricks. It is hard to pay attention and easy to blow your days. It is hard to dream, and easy to say that something is impossible or crazy. Hum, it all came together in that convo for me and to think, this is just day one of three of the 2010 America's Beauty Show on the Livin' the Dream tour bus.

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