Meet the Barbados-born makeup maven from Broadway’s Phantom of the Opera

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“There’s nothing like live theater.” Thelma Pollard says she always knew that her passion for hair, makeup, and the stage would one day lead her somewhere great.

Produced by: Ryan Halpner 

Thelma Pollard says that she did not have many big dreams as a little girl growing up in Barbados.

She only knew that her talent passion for doing hair and makeup would one day lead her somewhere great.  That place would end up being New York City.

Since 1988, Pollard has been wowing and shocking audiences as the Phantom of the Opera’s supervising makeup artist. In fact, she’s been on the Phantom team for the entire run of the show: 31 years and more than 13,000 performances.

She’s responsible for the Phantom’s grotesque face disfigurement that literally leaves audiences gasping.

“There’s nothing like live theater. You can sit and watch a movie. You’re not going to get that same feeling you get when you leave the theater, after the applause comes and the curtain drops,” she said.

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