written by: Sohini Ashoke
Junior Olivia Stanghellini has been involved with Gunn’s theatre program since her freshman year and is now the o cial theater makeup artist. She is also a crew member who participates in stage tech, and does all three activities backstage during showtimes.
Stanghellini’s passion for theater stemmed from watching a previous Gunn theater show, “Anything Goes.” Watching the show helped her discover a new interest and de- sire to take part in theater. “I watched ‘Anything Goes’ in eighth grade, and thought it was cool that high schoolers could put together that show,” Stanghellini said. “I wasn’t even interested in theater but I was impressed, which made me want to join in and try it out. I was just like amazed at what [Gunn theater] was able to put together, and was inspired by that.”
Before getting involved with theater makeup, her initial passion for makeup came from high fashion: she was drawn to how it opened a new perspective for her on the subject of makeup and beauty. “I started seeing a lot of really artistic runway makeup in magazines and online, and I thought that was really interesting and cool because I never thought of makeup being like clothing, or like something that artistic,” Stanghellini said. “I never thought you could change makeup up until I started seeing it in high fashion.”
When it comes to managing her many activities with theatre, Stanghellini feels that the process and expectations can be overwhelming. “It can be very stressful and de nitely di cult,” Stanghellini said. “ ere is a very high standard of how the show should go.
Jim Shelby has very high expectations for us and how he wants things to be.”
e creative aspect of makeup draws Stanghellini in and was a factor in her deciding to work in the entertainment or acting industry in the future. “I think that I de nitely am more interested in entertainment than real world work,” Stanghellini said. “I like
theater because it’s kind of pretend and fun, and I get to be creative.”
She has also expressed her desire to move around and be physically active while work- ing in makeup or entertainment. “I would be happy with a job in entertainment and a job where I can walk around, since I’m kind of restless,” Stanghellini said. “Something even like the MAC [a makeup brand] counter sounds awesome, since I could work with
makeup and move around.”
Stanghellini’s favorite aspect of doing theater makeup is how she can create characters
and change people through makeup. “I think it’s the transformation [of the makeup process] that really draws me in,” Stanghellini said.
She nds the entire process of doing stage makeup to be an enjoyable activity. “It’s fun—it’s really really fun,” Stanghellini said. “I think that whole process is kind of re- laxing for me too. I feel like one of those people in the sped-up makeup videos you see, and the end result is always so cool.”
—Written by Sohini Ashoke