When the Staunton School of Cosmetology opened I was the second student to enroll. The school was on Augusta Street in Staunton Virginia and I had to ride a bus to school because I lived in Harrisonburg. Boyd and Rose Thompson started the school and also owned their own Boyd’s Beauty salon on Frederick Street. Mrs. Thompson was the teacher and Mr. Thompson conducted weekly classes in many phases of advanced hairstyling. After graduation I was employed in a salon in Harrisonburg and later became the manager of another salon in the same area. After my Husband was transferred to a business in Staunton I began my hairdressing career at the Terry Court location of Boyd’s Hairdressers. Mr. Thompson’s Hair Mates salon was also located in Staunton and I later performed my Hairstyling in that location. My services were between the two locations while from time to time substituted teaching at the schools location. I became involved in the film business by working with the local theatre. It was here that I decided to investigate a career in the movie film industry. After being referred to an organization in Richmond, Virginia I was given a part as an extra Stylist in a film that was being filmed locally. This helped me get an inside look at the industry and it was then that I was positive this was the career I wanted.
I was directed to a film company and became employed as a part time stylist while still being employed part time at the Staunton School of Cosmetology Company. After a few years I joined the Makeup and Stylist Union in New York as a professional Hairstylist specializing in period films for twenty five years. It was then that I began working on some small films and it gradually became a full time career.
I’ve had the privilege to work with great people and stars on a variety of movies. Some of these include “Sommersby” with Richard Gere and Jodie Foster filmed in Warm Spring Virginia, “Evan Almighty” with Morgan Freeman and Steve Corell, “The Patriot” with Mel Gibson filmed in Charleston South Carolina, “Gods and Generals” with Robert Duvall filmed at Silverbrook Farms near Staunton, Virginia, “Big Fish” with Tim Burton and Danny DeVito filmed in Montgomery Alabama, “Flags of our Fathers” with Clint Eastwood, “The Replacements” with Gene Hackman and Annabelle Farrell, “John Adams” with Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney It was the story of John Adam’s life, “My Fellow Americans” with James Garner and Jack Lemon and “Glory Road” with Josh Lucas and John Voight filmed in New Orleans.
To be successful in any career or profession there must be a solid foundation with the best education available. I believe I did that when I enrolled in the Staunton School of Cosmetology. This was my foundation and it proved to me that with a little hard work and perseverance I’ve had a great career in the salon and film industry.
A WHSV TV3 Interview with Shirley Baker
Photographs from my experiences as a Professional Stylist in the Movie Industry
Please open each image for a detailed description and better view