Olivia Bradin Interview by Michelle Sicard Nomination and Photography by Michelle Laskowski (Portraits With Michelle) Michigan Issue 15
The Nomination: Olivia Bradin is a young lady beyond her years. She graduated high school at the age of 15. She is a very talented special effects makeup artist, she can do hair and makeup for photoshoots, she is a very talented photographer, she draws, sings, dances, plays several musical instruments, cares for her sisters, planned an entire surprise engagement for her mom. She has got such an amazing perspective on life. Did I mention, she GRADUATED high school at FIFTEEN, yes, 15 years old!!
How did you become interested in makeup and how did you start? When I was around eleven years old, a friend of mine asked if I would help him in making a short film over the summer. He and I had participated in theater productions previously, and I often helped in creating props, so when he asked me to help him with his short film that is what I was expecting to be assisting with, the props. I wasn't entirely wrong, not only was I in charge of creating and obtaining all of the props, set accessories, and costumes but I also was told that I had to do everyone's makeup and special effects makeup. I spent the next week researching everything I could about this so-called "special effect makeup" and watching any video I could find on it. So the next week when I had to transform a twelve-year-old boy to an 80-year-old man I borrowed a big bag of my grandma's eyeshadows and powders and got to work! When I was finished, I looked over my newly created old man, and instantly felt so proud of what I had created. Now granted looking back, it was not as amazing as I thought, however, at that moment that was all I needed to know that I loved special effects and that I wanted to do for as long as I could. I've been at it for almost five years now, and I'm still learning brand new and challenging things every day.
Are you looking into a career with makeup in the near future? Yes! I absolutely love makeup, and it brings me such joy! This past year I had the joy of receiving my first professional job as a special effect makeup artist at Blakes Haunted Farm and Attractions. I would do makeup for the actors that worked there. That job really helped me to learn how to incorporate both quality and speed into my makeup. Fast forward in time a bit, and I am currently working on starting up my own business called ConstantLeeSharp that combines both photography and special effects makeup into one for the clients.
What is a piece of advice you would give to teens interested in starting makeup professionally? Save your money and get creative! Products for this field can get very expensive. Before buying, think to yourself whether you will use it in your kit. Most importantly be patient with yourself! Special effects makeup takes so much time and practice.
Being a great student, what did you do to graduate at age 15? I wouldn't necessarily call myself a great student. I had my struggles just as any other student would. The only difference is I treated my school work as if it was my extracurricular activity. To put it in perspective a high school football player dedicates the majority of his/her week to practices and games knowing that the more they better themselves, the more likely they are to further a career in football or even get a full ride to college. This is how I viewed my schooling.
I was a homeschooled kiddo, and through the years I met many people who didn't support homeschooling saying that they aren't social and will struggle in life. I took this negativity and turned it into motivation to push even harder. Plus, some of my best friends were also homeschoolers and helped and supported me to graduate early. By having a great support team, a drive to learn, plus a dream to study material that I am genuinely interested in instead of the basics, I was able to graduate early. I am now in my first year in college studying psychology! As Plato said, "To know is to be. The more you know, the more you are, and the better you are."
As a performer, what have been your favorite performances/shows/gigs and why? Every performance is different; each one brings its perks and their struggles. It is so difficult to pick a favorite. However, I have to say one of my more recent performances is in my tops. You see I am an oldie at heart, and don't listen to or play too much of today's popular music. Once I knew that the annual music show was coming up at the studio where I have taken instrumental lessons for many of my instruments, I signed up right away. I talked to my teacher and settled on doing a guitar piece and a vocal piece. But it was the vocal piece that I was most excited for this time. I decided to do " House of The Rising Sun". I felt thrilled with this performance, like I really let my voice off of its leash and expressed its true form. I put my heart and soul into the piece. It felt as if I had taken any ounce of struggle I ever faced and pushed it out, and at that moment it felt nonexistent to me.
Olivia will be featured in Issue 17 of Inspiring Teens Magazine.