Heather Cormack Olive, who since her years as a Carl Albert High School student has captured the spotlight in local theatrical productions and beauty pageants, says she never dreamed her training would lead her to aspirations as a Christian recording artist.
Sure, she sang at church even when she was a "total jock" who preferred sports to the stage plays in which she always seemed to be cast. But about the time the reality of her slim chances as a scholarship athlete set in, the drama bug bit her, offering a new direction for her energy.
She credits Albert drama teacher Charles Tweed with whetting her interest in drama and stage.
A year ago she felt a calling to commit her talent to singing for God. Since then, she and her husband, Oklahoma City police officer Stan Olive, have put together and polished an act called Heather and Up-Word Motion.
They'll move the show from the familiar church atmosphere to a concert hall for the first time Thursday night, performing at 7 in the Little Theater at Civic Center Music Hall, 201 Channing Square.
Admission is free, but donations will be accepted at the door.
Stan Olive's part in the team is to handle the sound for performances and manage business aspects of Heather Ministries Inc. Heather Olive, 27, said she feels called to sing music sometimes described as "hip-hop," aimed especially at young audiences. It's high-energy and highly entertaining, she said.
Olive said she and Up-Word Motion - dancers Brina Hampton, Ellen Macaraeg and Stephanie Ballard - share a belief that God gave them their abilities.
Olive said her testimony is "just about walking a consistent life being a Christian. Sometimes that's the worst. It's the kids that have been raised in church and have a good family home which I think sometimes forget just how much God has given us. " Stan Olive often shares the stage during her performances to speak to the young audiences about drugs, gangs and other situations he runs across in his police work.
The Olives have footed most of the expense of making an album, taking the show on the road and now staging the show in a concert hall.
"It was a calling. We took a huge step on faith," Heather Olive said.
She is co-owner and operator of Stagestruck, a performing-arts studio in northwest Oklahoma City.
Representatives of a Christian recording company will be in the audience Thursday.
She said she views the record company as a "team member," a part of the process of whatever God is leading her to do.
"Whether the record company is a signing thing or not, I will always be singing. I will always be using my talent for the Lord. " Heather was born in England and lived there five years. After that, her family lived in Ohio and New Hampshire before settling in Midwest City when she was in the fifth grade. Her parents are Guy and Gail Cormack. An older sister, Nona Merriman, helps with her publicity. She has two older brothers, Guy and Scott.
Olive said her "ultimate" message is that Jesus Christ provides eternal life, "an alternative to anything the world offers. " But she also has a message as a role model for the young people she adores.
"I want them to know that Christians can ... look contemporary (and) be attractive - that you can be hip and up and enjoy things that you want to do, and that Christians can have fun. " BIOG: NAME:Archive ID: 494588