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“Hi! I’m Celia Rose Gooding (@celiargooding). Before the pandemic, I played Frankie Healy in the Broadway show Jagged Little Pill. The original story was written by Diablo Cody, who also wrote Juno, and the show uses the music of Alanis Morissette. I didn’t know that I wanted to pursue a career in musical theater until I was in high school. I always knew I wanted to act, but I thought I’d do plays and movies—I didn’t feel like I had a strong enough voice to sing. When I was a junior in high school I did the original reading for Jagged, and then after my first year of college the Broadway show came together. Frankie is a Black girl adopted by this all white family, and though I’m not a transracial adoptee, like Frankie I am a Black, queer activist trying to figure out what those labels mean in a predominately white, conservative, straight space. Being able to tell a story that I could deeply relate to, a story that felt like my story, in front of people who have never heard from my perspective before was really special. That prospect really drew me to the role.
I remember the day I had to call my stage manager and ask, ‘Is there a show happening tonight? What’s going on?’ Since the shutdown, it’s been really interesting to explore what else I love to do. I started working so young, so I didn’t really have a lot of opportunities to exist outside of the show. And although this break has lasted much longer than I ever expected, I’ve been grateful for it. It’s so much easier to learn new things about myself when a bunch of other stuff isn’t happening at the same time. I’ve been able to dip my toe into other parts of theater, like writing and designing, and I’ve also been doing small shows, interviews, and podcasts here and there to keep my brain arts-oriented. When I’m not doing that, I’m trying to give myself and my vessel a break.
When I wake up, I get the crust out of my eyes, check Twitter, and then wash my face with Cetaphil cleanser on a spin brush. That’s just what works the best for my skin. Another thing that works for my skin, but not for a lot of other people, is Thayers witch hazel toner. My skin loves it, so that’s what I use! I like the rose petal one because I love the smell. Sometimes I go in with Niacinamide and Zinc Serum from The Ordinary, which has been a game changer for my incredibly oily skin. My skin needs a lot of moisture, but I don’t like oil-based moisturizer because I don’t need any more oil on my face. I’m good! I love this Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel moisturizer because it feels super refreshing and has hyaluronic acid in it. And then, if it’s the morning, I also use this SPF from Cetaphil. SPF is what keeps your skin looking youthful—or at least, that’s what I’ve heard.
I did my own makeup for Jagged. I’m a bit of a control freak, so I liked having control over what I looked like and how my makeup was done. I use a lot of Fenty—I love Rihanna, and I really love putting my money into brands that actually prioritize women who look like me. And what really helped was that I started watching Jackie Aina’s makeup tutorials. She taught me about baking, undertones, shade matching, layering products… I really do attribute my makeup evolution to Jackie Aina. She did everything for me!
I wear a lot of makeup, and because I have oily skin, it tends to slip and slide all over my face. I don’t want that to happen, so I always start with the Milk Hydro Grip Primer. It’s tacky but it doesn’t feel like it’s clogging my pores, and it doesn’t break me out, which happens with a lot of other primers. Next I use It Cosmetics concealer in 43, which has warm undertones, and 43.5, which has cool undertones. I like to have two shades because, depending on the lighting and time of year, sometimes one looks better than the other. And I can always mix them to get more of a balance. I use that to cover under my eyes and any dark spots, because if I break out, I get hyperpigmentation after two days. When I’m on stage, instead of using the concealer I do a layer of Fenty Hydrating Longwear Foundation in 440. I want to make sure the audience isn’t wondering why my face is a different color than my legs when they should be focusing on the story—it just gives me a more even finish. Next I use a thin layer of Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Setting Powder, which is incredibly blurring. If I’m not on stage I skip the foundation and just do this—in my opinion it works even better than foundation. Then I immediately go in with the Fenty Refreshing Spray, because after powder my face feels like the Sahara Desert. It adds a little hydration, gives me more of a dewy finish, and also blends everything together.
I put on my eyebrows with Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder, which I think is the easiest to use. I love really bold brows that look like they were drawn on with a Sharpie, but if I want something that looks more natural, I use the Laura Geller eyebrow pens. I have really patchy eyebrows, and a few flicks of that completely fills them in. After brows I contour with Fenty’s Espresso Match Stix. I’m not really an eyeshadow person, so the only eyeshadows I use are in stick form. I love the Laura Geller eyeshadow sticks, because I can add a little shimmer and it really makes me look glam. That’s the one makeup look I haven’t perfected yet: a solid, stunning glam.
I take off my makeup with Garnier Skin Active Micellar Cleansing Water on a couple of oval cotton pads. I know they’re not great for the environment, however, I honestly don’t know what else I could possibly use to get off all this makeup. I already have black towels, because it still ends up on my towels somehow. Actually, I have a funny story. Once, after one of my more intimate scenes in Jagged, I looked over at my scene partner Antonio and realized that a good thirty percent of my face was on his face. Antonio, being a white man, and me, being not a white man at all… well, above the nose he was very pale and everything was brown under that. I felt so bad because, if it were taken out of context, people would be roasting Antonio! As the curtains were closing and he was running away I remember trying to mouth to him like, ‘Antonio! Your face! My makeup is on your face!’ Eventually it became part of the blocking that when Antonio exits after leaving Frankie’s room, there’s someone in the wings with a Neutrogena makeup wipe. ”
—as told to ITG
Photos via the author