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Brian Machon starts his work day by packing a bag, jumping on a train and ringing doorbells.

He is greeted with handshakes, kisses, hugs and hellos.

At 45, Machon has been practicing his craft for over 20 years and has spent much of that time in his clients homes. His customers come from diverse backgrounds and he often develops close personal relationships with them.

Machon's own family lives in Copenhagen Denmark, where at the age of 16, he left home because of an abusive step-father.

"I hated being home. I always hated being home. I always hated him," says Machon.

After finishing school, Machon left Denmark and moved to New York City where he slowly generated the business he has today.

Then three years ago, Machon felt a pain in his chest. The doctor said he was two to three weeks from a major heart attack.

This close call raised questions, specifically about his biological father, a man he'd never met. Machon wondered if he also had heart disease, and if so, what other diseases he might need to be prepared for.

He also thought it might just be interesting to meet him.

Machon has watched his clients' families grow, and he has grown close enough to many of them to develop lasting friendships that extend beyond his role as their hairstylist.

His clients ask how his health is, and if he wouldn't mind changing a light bulb before he leaves. He listens to to their confessions, makes dinner, and helps their kids with their homework.

"They become like my extended family."

Running With Scissors is a product of the MediaStorm Storytelling Workshop, where participants work alongside MediaStorm staff to create an intimate, character-driven documentary in just one week. Learn more about upcoming MediaStorm workshops and online training at mediastorm.com/train.

Published: December 1, 2010


Photography, Audio and Video: Ricky John Molloy, Thomas Tolstrup
Assistant Producer: Nancy J. Haws
Producer: Tim McLaughlin
Executive Producer: Brian Storm
Graphics: Drew Jordan

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