And the Emmy Goes to… Alumnus Monte Haught
If you like what you do, so it's said, success will follow. This has certainly been the case for Monte Haught '91.
A hair stylist for TV and movie actors, Haught won the 2012 Emmy award for Outstanding Hairstyling for a Miniseries and Movie for his work on the horror-drama TV series "American Horror Story."
Haught came to RU intending to major in biology, but he switched to theatre during his freshman year. When he was cast in Radford's children's theatre production of "Punch and Judy," his career was launched.
Haught credits RU's Department of Theatre & Cinema with giving him a well-rounded education in his field. When he graduated, he realized he would need to specialize in one particular area of theatre. He decided on hair. The rest is styling history.
A native of Richmond, Haught returned his hometown after college and acted with a children's theatre company. Realizing he wanted something more, he moved to Washington, D.C., and enrolled at Graham Webb International Academy of Hair in Arlington. While there, he started working at the regional theatre Arena Stage for well-known wig designer Jon Aitchison.
"I was also lucky enough to have worked at the Kennedy Center on two national tours of' 'Miss Saigon' and 'Beauty and the Beast.' I then moved to New York City in 1996 to start working on Broadway as a hair and wig stylist. I worked on the original production of 'The Lion King' as the assistant hair supervisor soon after getting to New York."
During eight years in New York, Haught was a stylist for Broadway productions including "Phantom of the Opera," "On The Town" and "Beauty and the Beast."
In 2004, he moved to Los Angeles and began working in television and film. His first job was on police-procedure drama CSI: New York.
"I have worked with some amazing actors such as Molly Ringwald, Melina Kanakaredes, John Stamos, Neil Patrick Harris and the wonderful cast of 'Glee' and their guest stars," he said. His clients now include Jessica Lange, Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott and other stars in "American Horror Story."
His typical workweek is 60 to 70 hours, Monday through Friday, with time on the weekends to see friends and take his dog, Jackie, "on long walks in the amazing California weather."
Reflecting on his Radford University experience, Haught said his greatest influence was Professor Monica Weinzapfel, who encouraged him to try every aspect of theatre, including costumes, props, acting, box office and stage construction. Haught worked as a student intern in the costume shop, one of his favorite Radford experiences. By the time he was ready to graduate, he had the basic skills to find his niche.
"In both theatre and television, you find yourself working on long-running show and projects, and finding a way to make each day and season fun, creative and challenging." He enjoys knowing he has helped actors "get into their characters each day with my hairstyling and creations I bring to them."
This year's Emmy nomination was the second for Haught. The first was in 2011 for his work on the second season of the hugely popular "Glee." Ryan Murphy, the co-creator of "Glee," asked Haught to head up the hair department for his TV pilot of "American Horror Story." Haught received the Emmy for his work on the first season of the series, which is now in its second season.
What does one do after receiving the highest award in his field? Keep working, and keep working hard. Haught said he wants to find new ways to challenge himself artistically, adding humorously, "and not get bored." He hopes to find assignments that "I can really dig my teeth into and create something I have never done before."
The next time you're watching a TV show or a movie, take a good look at the hairstyles. When the credits roll, look for Haught's name. You never know which celebrity might be wearing Haught hair.