Le Maire Interview
(Hairstylist To The Stars)
She’s known as the “Hairstylist To The Stars”-----and one look at her client list tells you why.
Roseanne, Stefanie Powers, Terri Garr, Helen Hunt, Mel Gibson, John Larroquette, Ray Manzarek-----and the list goes on and on-----all claim Le Maire as their hairstylist.
Now, you’d think that would be enough to keep someone busy and satisfied.
You would be wrong.
Le Maire is also a stand-up comic.
That’s right-----a stand-up comic
Q - You say, “You’ve got to know how to treat a celebrity as an individual”. The first time you cut a celebrity’s hair, did you know how to do that, or were you awe-struck?
A – Never awe-struck because I come from a show-biz family. I was never awe-struck that I always wanted to be one myself. I was just kind of taking lessons from them as I was doing them, of planning my own fame. I was never awe-struck. Most of them are just regular people. They just have a gift that other people enjoy viewing or being around. So-----no.
Q – While we’re on family, your father was a jazz guitarist/comedian?
A – Well, yeah. He played in very famous jazz bands and then he also did stand-ups. A lot of musicians are really funny because they actually have timing. It kind of is a similar gift. My Dad went on a lot of USO shows with a lot of celebrities. Living in California, celebrities are-----everywhere! I’ve seen celebrities at my cleaners. So, it’s not that big of a deal. You just have to know how to handle them. What I meant as an individual is their needs go a little deeper, they think, then the average person, because they have to look good. They have to look young. It’s all about how good they look. They get very insecure sometimes and you have to re-assure them that what you’re going to do on them is going to look good and help their career.
Q – “Celebrities just like other clients want a hairdresser to listen to them, to be put at ease”. What are they telling you-----their problems?
A – Well, yeah. They’ll discuss like a hair problem. Then, when they see I have more on the ball than just doing hair, I turn into a therapist with scissors. They start discussing other things. What concerns me is when someone gives me too much information in 5 minutes. I just wanted to make sure you wanted it shoulder length or longer. Now, we’re into a therapy session. But, they like anybody else; to use a punished term, like to let their hair down. I think the hairstylist is part therapist. In my case, I say the haircut is free you’re just paying for the entertainment and the therapy.
Q – Do any of the celebrities catch on to the fact that you’re a stand-up comic?
A – They know it the minute I start doing their hair. They always go, “Oh my God, you are so funny. You should be a comedian”. I go-----I am. Every hairdresser has a way of putting people at ease. With me, I think it’s my sense of humor. I think humor puts people at ease the minute you talk to them.
Q – Would anyone famous have offered to call their agent and move your career further along?
A – Well, maybe a few times. Mostly they’re just concerned about their own career.
Q – That’s what I thought.
A – (Laughs).
Q – You’d almost be better off if you had a William Morris agent sitting in that chair of yours.
A – Well, yeah. Exactly. But, I mean it just depends on who is in my chair at the time. They pretty much want someone who wants to do their hair. They’re not really interested if you have an acting career or not. In L.A. your doctor is a screen paid writer. There’s hardly anybody in Los Angeles that the career they’re doing is actually what they do. You could go to your gynecologist and he could say, “I just wrote a new song”. You’re like, great. (Laughs). All waiters are actors. I’ve hardly met anybody here who does what they do here. For me, haircutting is so close to stand-up because I’m standing up all day and I can be funny towards these clients. I can just cut their hair. I don’t do any color. I don’t do anything complicated with any chemicals. I just cut their hair.
Q – That’s all you do?
A – Yup. I hate chemicals. I think you have to be a specialist. Usually people who are really good with color don’t cut very well or people who are really good with cuts don’t do color well. You have to be a specialist and people in this town (Los Angeles) pay for specialists. Cutting is fun. It’s like sculpting. You can just keep cutting.
Q – You charge women $110 for the first cut and $80 after that?
A – No. It’s much more than that now. It’s $200. Then, if it’s a house call-----it’s $450. I have a thing now that if you stray-----you pay. In other words, if you go to somebody else and come crawling back to me-----you have to pay double.
Q – How many hours are you working each week?
A – I’m cutting hair like 6 hours a week. On Wednesdays and Saturdays. Then I do house calls on certain celebrities.
Q – Are you able to reveal who those celebrities might be?
A – I do Rene Russo’s hair. Mel Gibson is one of my clients. Ray Manzarck, keyboard player of the Doors is one of my clients. I do a lot of major agents. Huge producers. I even at one time cut Martin Scorcese’s hair. That was really great. I did him for the night at the Oscars. One of his movies was up. I do Steven Spielberg’s sister. I’ve met Steven Spielberg. I don’t do his hair. I do a lot of people’s hair.
Q – It’s probably word of mouth isn’t it? You don’t advertise do you?
A – No. Never had to. Never have advertised ever. It’s like God did all my advertising for me. I would just get write-ups in magazines. I never had a publicist. I never paid a press agent. I never did anything to call attention to it. They were really good cuts that took their shape as they dried and people just kind of liked that.
Q – When you were starting out, did you zero in on celebrities?
A – This isn’t what I wanted to do in the first place, but I thought if I was gonna do it, why not do it the best way. I always knew I was going to be a famous hairdresser. That’s why you do a thing-----to be the best, to get the most money you can for it an do the best you can. I knew that’s what I was going to do. I met this guy Dusty Fleming at a hair show. He asked me to come in to audition to be an assistant. The first day I was there he put me on the floor and the first client I did was Jaimie Lee Curtis. That was the first celebrity I did.
Q – You said, “Had I known that drummer and unemployed were the same words I don’t think I would have done it (gotten married). He had the Santa Claus Syndrome-----he only worked one day a year”. Is this the way you really feel or is this a joke?
A – Usually drummers are unemployed. Usually drummers are the ones looking to get into a band. So, it’s actually a joke.
Q – You don’t actually feel that way about your ex do you?
A – It’s just a joke. He’s a lovely person but, he never worked.
Q – What’s he doing now?
A – He’s still looking for a band. That’s why I’m not with him. (Laughs).
Q – “Of course I want to be discovered. I want to rule Madonna”. What does that mean?
A – Madonna, when she was on “American Bandstand”, Dick Clark said to her-----“What do you want to do”? And she said, “I want to rule the world”. So, everybody knew she said “I want to rule the world”. So, I said, “I want to rule Madonna” which I think is very funny.
Q – I don’t get it. She’s a singer. You’re pursuing a career as a stand-up comic. You’re saying you want to be bigger than Madonna?
A – No. Again, it’s a joke. I guess my sense of humor is different than yours. He (Dick Clark) said-----“What do you want to do”? She said-----“I want to rule the world”. The joke is what do you want to do? I want to rule Madonna. If she’s ruling the world-----you’d want to rule the person who’s ruling the world. It’s a joke. If she’s ruling the world and I’m ruling the ruler that rules the world, then that means I’m even greater than she is. Do you know what I mean? But, it’s like a far-fetched joke.
Q – Does everybody get it?
A - Yes. Everybody does, but you. But, that’s o.k.
Q – Being a stand-up comic has got to be brutal. You’re up there all alone without any support really…..
A – I know. It’s like walking on tightrope without a net.
Q – If a joke doesn’t go over, it’s got to be terrible. How do you adjust to that?
A – Well, you don’t do that joke again. At the time you’re doing it, you’ve learned how to stand-up well enough that you learn how to recover yourself. Not every audience, obviously talking to you is going to get everything you say. (Laughs).
Q – Where are you drawing inspiration for your material?
A – My stuff comes from dealing with people. I have characters. I love to eaves-drop into peoples conversations that don’t know I’m listening to them.
Q – How do you do that?
A – Well, when two people are talking-----I just listen and they don’t see me.
Q – Where do you stand now in your pursuit of a comedic career?
A – I believe I’m phasing out my hair career. I went to become a full-time working actress. I’m working on my one women show. I just kind of cut hair now on people who will pay me a lot of money.
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