Sidewalk Ghosts / Article – PHAMExpo Epilogue, “Equally Human”

Remarkable, disillusioning, unforgettable, tiring, inspirational,
only a few of the tags I can think of as I write this PHAMExpo epilogue.

Operation_365_PHAMExpoPHAMExpo. One of the up and coming trade shows for the cosmetic and hair industry. Two days; 1000s of people; booths, classes and demos of every scale. A hall filled with the young and older. From energetic to reserved, tatted to glittered to low-key, it was all there. Body paint to the left, traditional skin to the right, the horizon line was filled something for everyone; and, shop and network they did.

The venue buzzed the buzz of fashion, of beauty and of eclectia. Hair demos and make-up tips roared from the main stage. Models walked the floors, luring patrons to visit brands; and yes, there was I, the power-of-one guy; the anomaly at the event.

Her name is Cheryl, a remarkable woman who puts this event together every year, the person who I can credit as the very catalyst to my even being participating in the event. From day one she got the message of Operation-365, and after several discussions we made a plan: To align the philosophies of 365 in creating a set of programs regarding artistic integrity and creative direction. Easily defined, and a premise older than the works of the great Aristotle: “Art does imitate life.”

In it a question is served, simply, are we engaged in the world? Do we sincerely see and listen to the people around us: and, if so, do we pick up on this emotional subtext to motivate our own personal growth and creative point-of-view.

Sadly, my lecture hall moments were nominally attended, a hit that, at first, knocked me in the stomach of own self-worth, feelings that were especially tender with several long weeks of preparation and financial investment behind me. But who can compete with a hall of body paint and make-up demos? After all, I am at a hair and make up show. But that is only part of the story.

My booth is buzzing. Not by large groups or by any deal making moments, but by a presence much more subtle. A vibe that was palpable and warming. A sub culture was forming in the midst of a product and information storm. A proof that in this room of many; this 1000s of square feet of moving body mass and amplified noise; can be found quite and standing connections. The very fact that we as a people do have the depth to listen, the need to share and the courage embrace open emotions and expressed histories. A combined people who take charge to stand tall to carry the flag of shared footing… Equally Human.

Cheryl, thank you for allowing Operation-365, and myself to make our stance. Thank you to all the magnificent people who I met as well as all those who attended the event. Your impact on me is endless and my commitment to getting us to see one another has been pushed forward.

So this entry is to you, The Delia’s who tearfully shared of their lives, the Marie Antoinette’s who have taught us of forgiveness, the Ron’s who at the end of the day, take pause from their jobs to talk of people loving people, the Maggie’s who believe in what we are doing enough to get involved in networking me into new corridors, and to all who stepped up to share their words and wisdom over the days of Booth Operation-365.

So to every shy or make-up hidden face, to every extrovert, to every intimate tear trusted, and yes, to every I’m not interested in what you are doing. You are all remarkable. We are truly we–all together living on this planet Earth, and not one of us could grow as individuals without each other.

Talk tomorrow my good friends,


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