We had the good fortune of connecting with Sheridan Ward and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sheridan, how do you think about risk?
They don’t call it ‘risky business’ for nothing.. Lol I feel all my best decisions have been made from taking risks.. From teaching myself to swim at 19yrs old and landing a job as a lifeguard (almost drowned in the process?!) then becoming an accomplished swimmer, turned swim teacher to having my own swim club.. To moving to Tokyo for a year (even though I couldn’t speak the language) on my 30th birthday to re-assess my life.. Which is where I had my first and only epithony of my life.. A literal light bulb moment. That I wanted to work in fashion and with Celebrities.. Returned home to London retrained as a Hairstylist and fell into fashion week a few years later, assisting the legendary Sam McKnight (I didn’t know who he was at the time.. Lol) and 7yrs later after a successful fashion career in London, and doing so many amazing fashion week shows in new York, London, Milan and Paris, working on such shows as fendi, balmain and Chanel, ended up taking another risk and relocated to LA to work with A-List stars on the red carpet and events, and have worked with some of my favourite actors from Nicole Kidman and Steven Yeun to Thandie Newton, and I have recently started pursuing and acting career myself (which is the most terrifying thing ever) but, so worth it, another risk, let’s see where this one takes me..
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m a celebrity Hairstylist, actor and drag artist ( the latter being hobbies that are fast becoming their own thing!) I started doing hair over 12yrs ago now after having several different careers, but it was the creative side that really drew me to it. I love meeting so many different people no day is the same and no job is the same I get to travel the world I meet some of most incredible people (pre covid) its very exciting, but it is also a lot of hard work and physically demanding, you’re often working very long hours and have to carry a lot of equipment with you, which is very heavy ( my case usually weighs upto 30 kg) and sometimes I might have multiple cases depending on how big the job, so sometimes I will need the help of assistants to help with the job if its a big one with multiple talent. I would say it’s not easy to do this job, it’s more of marathon then a sprint, although I have been doing it a long time so I can make it look easy 🙂 It’s a lot of hard work, I trained for 7 years under an amazing hair stylist by the name of Sam McKnight and working on many Fashion Week shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris after 7 years mentoring, I decided to start for working for myself as a freelance session hairstylist doing magazine shoots and shows. After many wonderful years, I decided to move to Los Angeles to work with actors and celebrities here, the industry with actors is very different then with fashion, in fashion you know the look and have a moodboard and art director, so when the model turns up you just need to execute the look or looks.. But with an actor they have own the opinion on the look and result so it becomes much more of a collaboration which is always fun but does come with its own set of unique challenges. I think the the hardest part of my job, is how quickly things change minute to minute, hour to hour and my advice would be it’s not about being good at your job it’s about being flexible to change, and adaptable. when things aren’t going well, it’s about how quick can you change something if something goes wrong and I think that’s where the skill really lies in this field. The more experience you have the faster you can correct something if it’s not right, or if theres a change of plan last minute etc. It takes a lot of practice, but I love what I do, it’s challenging and creative. I’m very lucky and always enjoy creating a beautiful finish
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
LA is great for taking friends around… The perfect day would start with an early morning hike at Griffith Park and the observatory, followed by coffee at kaldi Coffee in Atwater Village friendly staff delicious patisseries and yummy coffee, then a a quick trip to the beach down to Venice a walk on the sand while looking at the ocean and getting some fresh air, before window shopping along abbott Kinney, I love the little boutiques. Then back to Beverly Hills for a ‘Golden Hour’ photoshoot for Instagram, around the Beverly Hills Sign, palm trees beautiful wide roads and gorgeous houses, then back to Koreatown for fresh Ramen at Slurpin’ Ramen my favorite ramen place, then back to mine for a glass of wine & Netflix on the sofa.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The biggest shoutout is always to my mum, for without her none of this would be possible.. For her endless love and support in all my endeavours (however random they may first seem. Lol) she’s all always cheering for me from the sidelines. Sam McKnight for being an incredible mentor, and teaching me the ways of hair magic and industry etiquette. Book- The Actors Life by Jenna Fischer, an amazing step by step guide to becoming an actor, simple, straight forward, down to earth and charming. such a great read (even for non actors). And ofcourse my dance floor darling.. Linh Nham, best friend, Celebrity nail tech and the best wing woman & gym buddy any gay man could ever wish for ✨ and Gana Bayarsaikhan, actress, bubble tea enthusiast and comedian, whose always there and continues to make me laugh and keep me motivated on this path wherever it may lead 🙂