Avon makeup artist Julie Powers and friend Chie Sharp (a hair stylist from Danville who has a salon in Indianapolis) have added some star power to their resumes.
The duo has worked on two movies filmed in Bloomington, Indiana, through independent film company Pigasus Pictures. The first was “The Good Catholic” — a romantic comedy featuring Danny Glover and John C. McGinley (“Scrubs,” “The Rock”) written and directed by IU graduate Paul Shoulberg.
“It was amazing,” Powers said. “This was the biggest thing I had ever worked on, certainly with the biggest name talent and seeing it screened in an actual theatre, I mean, I cried during the credits.”
The Avon native first heard about the movie while doing makeup for an Indie project in Bloomington. The early buzz was that the film crew wanted to outsource a hair and makeup team from New York, but she and Chie Sharp were able to snag a coffee shop interview.
“I was calling Chie every five minutes, she was probably with a client, but I said whatever you are doing on Wednesday, cancel it. This is big!”
The ladies landed the job and worked on the film in 2016, proudly styling every character. Sharp said the biggest challenge was tending to the hair of Father Daniel (Zachary Spicer).
“He has sculpted, perfect Ken Doll hair that was always being maintained for length and molded into place. That’s what I loved about these characters, the challenges they gave me as an artist,” Sharp said.
Both artists (who have become close pals) were hired back for another Pigasus Project film titled “Ms. White Light.” The drama was shot in Bloomington in the fall of 2017 and is still in post-production.
“The work we did for ‘Ms. White Light’ is even stronger. Everybody was familiar with each other’s working styles. It was an incredibly satisfying feeling,” Powers said.
On set, you could always find the makeup guru carrying her go-to lights and signature “makeshift towel caddy” comprised of hot towels rolled into a Crock Pot.
“It’s refreshing for the talent at the end of the day,” she said.
During filming, the job got emotional for her crew while transforming a beautiful actress into a very sick patient.
“She was all made up and she came back to set and we had to strip it (the makeup) all down and then take it even further to make her look like a Stage 4 cancer patient. We just lost it,” Powers recalled. “I think it’s very realistic and everyone has been touched by that (cancer) in their lives.”
Familiar with the arts, the 1988 Avon High School graduate worked as an entertainer for more than a decade, co-owned a small theatre in Nashville, Indiana, and still does gigs like singing in the Indianapolis
Jazz Orchestra. She never wanted to stop pursuing the entertainment biz, but knew she needed a steady paycheck.
“I do a lot of things to try and cobble together a living.”
The single mom (her daughter is now a teenager) says being able to stay close to her family support system in Hendricks County while embracing her Hollywood passion has been win-win.
She and Sharp often collaborate on editorial work for bridal hair and makeup. With six more films slated for Pigasus Project, they hope to continue to be part of movie magic.
“I’m thankful to be able to build my career in film and still get to see my clients here in Indy. That means the world to me,” Sharp said.
For more information on the film company, visit PigasusPictures.com.
By Lindsay Doty