EDMOND — Olivia Kay is fresh off a national television performance and has cyberspace videos with hundreds of thousands of clicks. She’s also only 10 years old.
Olivia now has something in common with many presidents, John Wayne, Lady Gaga and a galaxy of other stars: She’s been interviewed by Barbara Walters.
Olivia admits she wasn’t that familiar with the legendary interviewer. But that changed after her appearance on “The View,” a morning talk show on ABC.
“It was awesome,” she said of her visit to New York.
The Charles Haskell Elementary school fifth-grader probably traveled the most of any youngster during spring break. She was in Los Angeles getting ready for an important audition with Disney when the call came for “The View” appearance. She flew from Los Angeles to New York and, after her performance on “The View,” flew back to Los Angeles for the audition.
All of this came about from a YouTube video of her singing “Rolling in the Deep,” which at last count had well over 700,000 visitors.
Unlike many videos on YouTube, this one is as professionally made as any artist’s video. Then there is that voice, with range, modulation and control. It’s the same voice that awed the hosts on “The View,” as she sang “Rolling in the Deep,” a song co-written and performed by Adele.
“I was a little nervous, but it was great,” Olivia said.
In New York, she got up at 2 a.m. and arrived at the studio by 3 a.m. There was a brief rehearsal, and then she belted out the tune before a studio audience and cameras transmitting her image to millions.
It led to posted comments on the Internet such as the following: “She is absolutely amazing. I saw her on ‘The View,’ … wow!”
Accompanying Olivia was her mother, Heather Kay, also briefly interviewed by Walters. During the questioning, Heather Kay admitted she wasn’t sure of the source of Olivia’s talent. She said family friends had encouraged her to “do something” with Olivia’s gift. She found a singing coach and signed up with nextstarnow.com.
The audition with Disney and its television network went well also, as Olivia acted out lines. She’s yet to hear back but is optimistic.
“They seemed to be smiling and enjoying it,” Olivia said.
Support of family, school
While waiting to hear back, Olivia is like any other student at Charles Haskell Elementary. She sings in the honor choir, as does her brother Owen. The family is rounded out by older sister Madison, who attends Edmond Santa Fe High School, and their father, Charles.
The elementary honor choir is led by music instructor Molly McNulty, who is also a big Olivia fan.
“She’s sweet and confident and has a great attitude,” McNulty said.
School principal Dayna Hamilton also is an admirer and friend of Olivia.
“We’re all so proud of her here,” Hamilton said. “She’s a sweet girl, and she updates me all the time on how she’s doing.”
Olivia is also involved in the school’s anti-bullying program, Rachel’s Challenge.
“I used to be bullied because I am short,” she said. “If I see someone bullied, I tell a teacher.”
At age 10, life holds a great deal of promise for Olivia. There are other auditions and performances awaiting her.
“I hope to book a stage and sing sometime,” she said.