Make-up has long been a creative outlet for Broadway star Hayden Tee, even before acting career took off. In fact, before making it big on the Great White Way - most notably, in his award-winning portrayal of Javert in Les Miserables - Tee was a key artist for designers at New York's Fashion Week.
To this day, he doesn't rely on backstage make-up artists to transform him into his characters. He prefers to do it himself. ”I thrill at the challenge of the quick change. It’s a rush to make sure I meet my curtain call!"
“Many of the techniques are easy to do at home and would be fun to try this Halloween,” he continues. He demonstrates his skills in his latest make-up tutorial video that is also a cover of Lukas Graham’s powerful song about a man’s life and dreams, "Seven Years".
Directed by Alexis Korin Castagna and filmed on location at Cobbstar Studios in Sydney, Australia, Tee's "Seven Years" video is only four minutes in length, but by its end, he has miraculously aged into the 60-year-old man in Graham’s song.
“The idea to reimagine ‘Seven Years’ came as I was approaching my 37th birthday,” Tee explains. “I have always processed different stages of my life through performance and/or makeup. I thought this year, it would be interesting to incorporate both mediums in one.”
Tee's version of “Seven Years" is less pop than Graham’s. He worked with his long time musical collaborator, Nigel Ubrihien, to create an arrangement that is lush and cinematic, as if it could fit into a film score. His vocals are accompanied by a 41-instrument symphony from Budapest.
“Like most people, I often think about the evolution of my life, my legacy and the difference I can make in the time I have left,” he reflects.
Except for the beard, Tee feels the 60-year man at the end of the video is an accurate depiction of how he expects he'll look at 60. "What will be more important is the man beneath the skin and hair," he acknowledges.
Tee is optimistic that his 60-year-old self will look back on his story feeling that he has made a positive contribution to the world. More than anything, though, he hopes his 60-year-old self has family and friends around who can warm him.
Kylie Clarke Wigs supplied the wig in the video. Connie Dyson consulted on make-up.
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