Evolving at a Home Away from Home
Making the transition from a child actress to a Hollywood starlet can be tough. Many actors have a hard time navigating adulthood after working in the business during their formative years. But every so often, a child star rises above the fray and creates an indelible mark on Hollywood. Olivia Holt can be proud to say she is one of those actors.
The Tennessee native and former gymnast began her career in acting upon joining several local theater productions and then appearing in various TV commercials at the age of 10. She eventually starred in Disney XD’s Kickin’ It before moving on to several other Disney productions. “I worked with the channel my entire teenage life, for six years. I grew and learned so much within those 6 years, as an actor, an artist – and an individual,” she recalls. “It felt like a safe and comfortable place for us to explore and soak up as much knowledge as we could. And for me, personally, it really became [my] home away from home.”
As Disney provided a foundation for Holt, she used it to venture out onto her own, making music and starring in a TV drama series. Based on a Marvel comic book, for instance, Cloak & Dagger tells the story of Tandy Bowen and Tyrone Johnson, two teens from different backgrounds that find out they have supernatural powers. Tandy, the Dagger, boasts the ability to project light in the form of energy daggers. The Freeform show takes on some pretty heavy topics as this is what the network is known for. However, Holt was happy to push the envelope, especially now when marginalized voices are fighting to be heard. “We don’t shy away from what’s actually happening in the world, in this day and age. Our first season, we focused on police brutality, drug addiction, and sexual assault. It’s our job as actors and creators to tell an authentic story and not glamorize these horrific situations on television,” she says.
As for her personal life, too, she is fearless. She partnered with WE for a trip to Kenya in 2017, proving to be life-changing for Holt as WE works to build and improve disadvantaged communities around the world. “I gained so much perspective from that trip – on the importance of education, on community, and so much more,” she shares. “I now know the kind of human I want to be. I never really questioned that, but this trip just reconfirmed how important it is to spread love and kindness, and to work hard and be grateful for what I have and not complain about what I don’t have.”
Holt still has a long road ahead of her and so much more to accomplish, but we have seen her blaze her own trail hitting many milestones along the way. With her maturity and positive attitude, the star has big plans for the future. Most importantly, she wants to evolve “not only as an actress or artist, but as a human. Both music and acting. It continues to teach me about not being afraid to let go, to [stay] curious, to travel, to learn about people and cultures.”
Writer: Leonye McCalla
Photographer: Seung Lee (www.kokumastudio.com)
Photographer Manager: Phil Kim
Stylist: Katelynn Tilley
Hair: Marissa Marino
Makeup: Tonya Brewer (for Dew Beauty Agency)
Videographers: Mason Kim & Wanhi Lee
Editor: Eiko Watanabe
Special thanks to Shakey’s Pizza Parlor (@shakeysusa - www.shakeys.com)