Oh, the amount of times I’ve wanted to hit the live button & tell my side of this story. I am still not sure why it is I haven’t. But, honestly.. I’ve been changing ( for the better )
When I first signed on to do education online, I thought to myself ” wow, this seems so cool.. not only can I keep doing what I love.. but I can also share my insights & ideas with other people just from my phone. ”
Night after night I would hit that live video button, take a deep breath, and hope I could connect with more people. It was a rush. A total high. I was able to personally connect with the same type of artists that enjoyed my craft. I kept the stamina going. I got creative & wanted to start to plan my lessons out. Reverting back to the days of being in college & waiting to see what my professor would come up with to keep my attention. It was a challenge to me. I knew if people were watching. I wanted to make sure they were entertained & learning..
As good as it all sounds… a major bump in the road happened quicker than I realized. You see, I had never put myself out for the world to see me through a screen. I was just me. Small town. I was able to inspire the women in my area by obsessing over getting those cuts & colors perfect! It still to this day is my highest achievement. As anyone reading this knows.. maintaining a clientele for a couple of months.. much less years… is not an easy thing to do. You have to stay ON. Get those formulas right and be able to execute when the time comes. I loved it. I was thriving and on cloud 9. I had a perfect clientele & a new passion online education after hours. I was in heaven… so, I thought..
I connected to Shannon Keel through fb messenger. We both had seen each other live & her presence through the camera felt very authentic & rewarding. I liked that. Shannon felt like a breath of fresh air in the business. She was relatable. Witty. Charming.. and not afraid to be heard. We would both continue to move forward educating in the Hair Dresser Forum. Building a social presence which then lead to touring the United States to teach workshops over our techniques from the screen. Again, I couldn’t believe.. here I was.. nearly 27 years old.. and people from all over the states wanted me in their salon.. I use to dream of that you know..
I use to save up all of the money I could earn to help pay for plane tickets to fly to New York and take classes with Beth Minardi. Although, I never felt a warm welcoming from Beth’s personality.. I managed to gain discipline & respect from the little interaction I did have with her. Back to the touring..
Shannon & I would have different convos through fb messenger. Mostly late at night after it seemed like everyone else was asleep. She felt like my sister. I could chat with her about the business because I knew that she too would be flying to a different state to teach another class soon. We could relate to each other.. so I thought..
Then came those moments of truth.. when you have to swallow and try to pretend you didn’t hear or read it. You know? Those crystal clear moments of jealousy when people make it so obvious you’re stunned & know it’s going to hurt the relationship. It started. Different remarks through messenger. Questions of how I was doing stuff compared to how she was. She would talk of money & monat because she was ” sick ” of being behind the chair & teaching.. still not sure how she’s managed to sweep that under the rug. I guess some things just don’t work out.
I know to some that are reading this.. it’s going to be hard for you to accept or understand how someone like Shannon can be sneaky or cutting. She comes across very sweet & innocent through the camera. She has a plan of action. Which also leads me to another fact. I’ve always been this little spit fire of cussing, speaking my mind, and telling it like it is.. I never tried to put on a fake facade for anyone. So, it still to this day confuses me how someone can listen to these fools when they make up lies about me being a horrible cyber bully. You do realize how serious a word like cyber bullying is? It’s like stalking someone & not leaving them alone. Not me. Not me at all. I’ve always kept it 💯 with everyone. Which is why I proudly took the title of the controversy gay guy that wasn’t afraid to stand his ground. That’s my niche guys. That’s who I REALLY am. I’m not hiding anything. If I call someone a crazy bitch.. it’s because they deserved it. Trust and believe that. I don’t randomly just start name calling for no reason. After all, when would I have the time? I would receive comments or messages in hateful ways.. then I would respond thinking I was defending myself.. when I reality.. I was being baited to have them screen shot & used to attack my character. Which overall just does not work. Why? BECAUSE I OWN IT.
I know I’ve rambled forever.. but I’m trying to keep you in the entire story.. here’s comes Jamaica.
One evening Shannon was messaging me asking if I would want to do some sort of getaway education vacation thing. I was so excited! I had never been out of the county. Are you kidding? Of course! Sign me up, I said. The next few months we worked on different strategies to help advertise & build a following for the trip. We succeeded and that’s when all the jealousy set in. And the truth. I would ask her how long she wanted to do the class.. I told her I think mine would be pretty long because they’re coming so far & I really want them to get it before they head back home. Shannon’s response?
” I’m keeping it short and sweet. Look and learn! I wanna get to the beach ”
Again.. red flag.. I ignored it though and continued on like it was fine. Here we go.
When we decided on how to do the money situation regarding payments. I told both Shannon & her husband Jeff that instead of it all going into one account. We should probably just separate it evenly.. that way there’s not a large sum in one spot and then someone having to wait on a payment. Negative. Not accepting that. They wanted it on their website. Their bank. Their taxes. No if ands or butts. ANOTHER RED FLAG. But, wait…
As time moved closer to the dates we were to fly out. I still had not received any payment. I messaged / emailed multiple times & still never received anything. Finally.. because of a deadline with the travel agent.. I was able to receive my money so I could help pay for my part of the room & trip. I will add that the travel agent HAD to call the Keels to tell them they needed to send my part so I could make my deposit. She keeps leaving these parts out of her story. The travel agent is Switzerland. But, I’m afraid if it ever came down to the wire. She would tell the truth. I believe in her to do that.
ADDED** Before the check was received I had a phone call come in from Shannon’s husband Jeff. It was the middle of the work week and I had a client in my chair. I answered thinking it could be important regarding the trip and the first thing that come through the phone…
” we don’t appreciate you acting like we can’t send you your money ”
An argument. I hung up. I didn’t know what else to do. My client was staring at me and piano music in the background. Was this really happening? I couldn’t understand why someone would be calling me to argue when it was set in stone that they were to send the money before hand so I could make my deposit. Red flags are flying all over the room.
We took a practice trip to Jamaica. I took my assistant at the time. Shannon brought Jeff.. and Mary ( the travel agent ) came with us too. We had an ” ok ” time on the practice run through. It was beautiful.. however Shannon was sick most of the trip.. and we all understood and supported her. Which is the exact opposite that happened for me later.
I want to add a moment that I feel really stood out to me. I had been in communication on the trip with Shannon and we discussed making a live video to show everyone the resort and chit chat. I thought it was a great idea.. however, the internet at the resort did not work well enough to hold a connection. As we were walking back to our villas one evening I said ” I hate that we can make that live video.. the internet sucks ”
She looked me dead in the eye and said:
” if that’s what you wanna go with.. that’s fine ” and walked away to her room.
Okay, she just slapped me with a red flag. I could feel it. I knew something was wrong but I didn’t know what. I tried to make the best of it.
On our last evening at dinner. I decided look up everyone astrology info.. I thought it would be interesting and I had just recently got into it more at this time. When I came to Shannon’s.. it surprised me.. it said specifically.. ” sneaky & can’t be trusted ” those were the weaknesses. Of course she laughed it off.. as we all did.. but it stuck with me.
When it finally came time to head back to Jamaica. I was 100% prepared. I had new folders with my logo on them. My new mani heads and stands. I was so excited to teach my class. The first night we arrived.. we were to have a meet and greet with the students. Sandals had made the biggest amount of food you’ve ever seen for all of us.. it was a neat experience. To mingle. Only problem, Shannon didn’t show. Txt and said she decided to go to dinner instead. No biggie. We just had this planned for months and food cooked for 30 people. No sweat off her back. Literally just didn’t come. Like, you just walk across the resort to get there.. but no.. no no no.
I’m still guessing it’s that food that evening that got me. Either that or the doctor said I could have caught something on the plane. Now, let’s get really fucking real here.. I hardly ever ever ever get sick. I mean ever. I’m a ” take the vitamins before the trip ” kind of person. I do not like to be ill. I came down with the flu. I would also like to add that this was the exact time that the flu was all over the news for killing people. Do you guys remember that? Here I am alone in a different country.. but a deathly flu? I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t eat. I didn’t want to talk. I would crawl to the bathroom literally to get in the tub to keep from freezing. Then I could come back to the bed shivering after a scolding hot bath.. then fall asleep for about 13 hours. Thank god mary ( travel agent ) was next door to my room. She would check on me and help me when I needed it. Eventually we had to call the doctor in a 3am. Jamaican Doctor. It was crazy. $500 for the visit and medication. Just insane.
By this point everyone knew that I was sick. We were all in a group message on Facebook and Mary and I both were trying to figure out what I should do. I was deathly ill and had a class to teach. This was the only class in my life that I knew I would have to cancel. I remember thinking why is this happening to me? What will this do to my career? My character??? I sent out a long message and to my surprise everyone was super sweet. They all responded with get better.. and some with ” don’t get us sick.. stay in!! ” lol.. so, I stayed in.. later that day or next.. I messaged again to tell them how much I appreciated them understanding this situation and that when my online course was complete later in the year I would send them all a copy for free. I also want to add that I sent everyone of them a copy of my haircutting video for free too. I created a separate Facebook page dedicated to just those girls so I could keep in touch.
Here’s when the shit hit the fan. I had a layover in North Carolina & still wasn’t feeling well. I managed to sleep on the plane and didn’t check my phone until Nashville. When I landed. The phone wouldn’t stop going off.
Have you seen this?
Lance this is bad?
What happened? Are you ok?
Once home, I logged onto my computer and found it. There it was. A video of Shannon’s assistant telling 1k people that I faked being sick to screw everyone over. And the most fucked part of it all??? People believed her crazy ass. She then managed to send me a message telling me I would never have children of my own. Throwing that in my face. Which is when I ( as you all know ) called her a fat bitch. Do I regret using the word fat .. yes! Do I honestly think she’s a bitch though? Yes! Unlike her.. I didn’t screen shot the vile things she sent me. She baited me to lash out so she could use it to her advantage. Started posting these screenshots of me defending myself on my local business page. After I blocked her. She had other girls do it. Enough so that my clients started to notice and started asking questions.
I had to call my grandma over. I swear I bawled for a good hour and a half. I couldn’t believe it. There I was.. that same person .. with the innocence I had always had from the beginning.. I never thought anyone would do something like this to me. I was prepared and I haven’t been the same since. I still to this day have girls that believe I flew all the way to Jamaica to pretend to be sick so I could just steal from them.
This all leads me to now.. another live video.. of Shannon talking about me. 2.2k views.. telling everyone to be careful.. be careful who you follow and who you trust. Bashing me. Just recently..
The only thing I can leave you with guys… is that I am strong enough to take this. I didn’t know it. But, I am.. I will push through this and be fine. The course is almost done and everyone of those girls are getting a free copy. Regardless if they want it or not. The email will be sent. I am not a lair, or a thief. I have never in my life missed a class. I’ve maintained my own business for 10 years and I am completely self made! I came from absolutely nothing & I’ve worked my ass off to get to where I’m at.. no one can take that away from me.
I hope you’ll open your heart to my story. I hope you’ll remember who I really am. The quirky little small town boy who went live at midnight in hef because he wanted to help make a difference in his own life and others…
and remember.. don’t be fooled by fake. I’ve always given you 100% and anyone that’s really watched me knows it. I’m on a plane right now about it land in LA. I’m going to the ocean. I’m going to relax. Mediate. I want to find peace of mind in all of this. I’ll see you in my forum!