Meet a Student: Sabrina Flores
It’s often a child’s dream, but so few are able to make it happen. Sabrina Flores, an undergraduate interdisciplinary studies student, is one of the few. “I was about 6 when I started to bug my mother about becoming an actress, and a whole year went by until she cracked and took me to a local casting call,” the Maryland native says. She landed her first job the next week.
Since then, the 19-year-old has appeared in films such as 2007’s The Invasion with Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman, in television shows including Veep and The Wire, and in music videos for such artists as Brian Fallon and Sia. She’s also done voice-over work for the animated series Go, Diego, Go! and is a model, dancer and makeup artist—in short, a full-service show-biz package.
“Show business has really taught me so much about how to handle different things that are becoming important as I’m growing,” Flores says. “It’s helped me handle rejection. And the most important thing I’ve learned growing up as a child actor is how to get along with other people and to respect others.”
In middle and high schools, Flores began developing passions beyond acting, including makeup artistry. She began applying makeup for her friends during dance performances and then started dabbling in special-effects makeup: “fake blood, cuts and bruises,” she explains. In high school, her makeup application took a creative leap: “My school had a winter formal dance; it was a masquerade theme, but instead of buying a mask, I decided to paint on a mask.”
And Flores’ interest in body painting was, ahem, unmasked. Unlike theatre makeup, body painting involves the delicate application of lighter-textured makeup, as it doesn’t necessarily have to be seen from the stage. A single application can take four to six hours and requires only regular paintbrushes.
“I like to do more of illusion-type body painting,” she says. “I like to make myself look like something I’m not.” For Halloween 2015, for example, Flores transformed herself into a half-skeleton, half-pumpkin creature. She’s also body-painted herself into a zombie and a superhero.
Given Flores’ eclectic interests, her choice of major—which allows her to combine three fields of study—may not be surprising. She’s chosen to focus on English, communications and the arts to benefit her various professional pursuits. “Being able to do ‘submajors’ has given me the opportunity to develop skills that enhance my career,” she says. “I can be a more well-rounded and informed artist. I really enjoy UB because … they’re working with me to allow me to study something that I can apply to my career.”