Mia Neal Sweetrocks Inspiring Women
Gary, IN native Mia Neal made history as one of two Black women nominated for the first time for Oscars in the makeup and hairstyling category.
A veteran of New York stage productions, films and movies, Mia has been based in New York since graduating from the Juilliard School of Professional Internship for Wigs and Makeup.
After graduating from Horace Mann High School in 1997, Neal attended Merrillville Beauty College, and moved on to Columbia College in Chicago. She decided she wanted to live on a campus and enrolled at Jackson State University, a historically-Black college in Jackson, Mississippi.
While working at a MAC Cosmetics counter in Jackson, a co-worker encouraged her to apply for the nine-month wig program at Juilliard in New York. “She never looked back after that,” said mom Dena Holland-Neal.
Adapted from a 1982 August Wilson play, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” traces the experiences of 1920s blues singer Ma Rainey and her entourage during a 1927 recording session in Chicago.
Viola Davis plays Ma Rainey and Chadwick Boseman, who died from cancer last year, is a trumpet player fired during the recording session after a dispute with the star.