Some people might recognize Olivia Black from her appearances on the reality show Pawn Stars. Others know her as a SuicideGirl, an alternative nude model. What many people probably don't know about Olivia is that she is actually quite the nerd! I sat down with Olivia and talked about video games, Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit.
So first thing's first. How has the drama between you and Pawn Stars worked out?
Well the "drama" was actually with the production company, I still work at the shop. After being told I was no longer going to be filming for the show, I cut ties with them. I have no reason to contact them, nor them I.
I've always wondered... does Rick ACTUALLY know all that stuff?
Just like any expert, one must do research on things. He is extremely knowledgeable on many things, but what makes him most intelligent is his willingness to learn.
A lot of people like to go to Las Vegas but what's it like to actually live there?
Most people have a love/hate relationship with Vegas. It is very easy to get swept up in the partying and forget about your future. Most people also think there is no art or culture here, but Vegas is still a baby when it comes to major cities. I have been here for six years now (my anniversary was February 5th)! I've seen this town change and form it's own art scene and opinion. I love this city and as long as you don't get distracted I think it's a beautiful and viable place to live!
What kind of things do you like to do for fun?
You can generally find me hiding in a corner somewhere reading and listening to music. I also have three Chihuahuas I love spending time with.
A bookworm! Who are some of your favorite authors?
My favorite author is Patricia Cornwell, a crime novelist. When I was a kid, and even now as an adult, I want(ed) to be Chief Medical Examiner of New York City. I've read her series twice, and some even three times. I also own her cookbook, haha. I love her writing style and I have created an immense attachment to the characters. I can even see a little of myself in them.
I have recently fallen in love with The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings in general. I read The Hobbit in five days, while listening to Grizzly Bear Shields. I listened to the album 2,436 times in the five days it took me to read the book. It was the first non-crime novel I read and enjoyed. I could see the lessons in the story that mattered in my life. I have even decided to dedicate my right sleeve to both the book and the album. I'm obsessed.
Holy crap. And you never got tired of listening to it?
I have this uncanny ability to ruin a song/album shah. I still listen to it constantly, though. I even bought the CD and have yet to take it out of my car's CD player.
My newest SuicideGirls set, "The Hunt," was named after one of the songs off of the album, so it's loosely related to The Hobbit, the album, and that time frame in my life.
What did you think about The Hobbit as a movie?
I did see the movie, but I walked out an hour in to it. I went to the midnight showing on opening night and was unbelievably disappointed. I couldn't believe that they changed details in the first epic battle Bilbo has in the story. I feel it's a major part and there was no reason to change it except for the sake of changing it. As a makeup artist, hairdresser, and model (I'd love to do a Hobbit themed set), I'd like to watch it again for research purposes, but I am in no hurry for that haha.
Which is your favorite Lord of the Rings volume?
I haven't finished reading it yet, I am only half way through the series, but thus far I like "The Two Towers" simply because that is where Treebeard's chapter is. I have always had this obsession with old trees, the way they were described in that chapter was like the author reached inside of my imagination and put what he saw on paper. I rebelled against anything Tolkien for years and overcoming that meant a lot in my world. So to find out I actually love his writing made me love and appreciate the books even more!
What about favorite character in the Tolkien universe?
I'd have to say Bilbo, my love and obsession for "The Hobbit" was created from the trials and tribulations of him, finding yourself in a world a chaos. Reading about his struggles helped me with a few of my own in real life. After reading the book I went to L.A. for a week for my birthday. I was able to see Grizzly Bear's concert, I sat there and took notes on my feelings about the book, and how it went in with the story. When I was a kid, my family would play me fables narrated over orchestra, that's sort of how I feel about the Grizzly Bear and The Hobbit now. Every time I hear a song I am reminded of Bilbo's journey, how he found himself, how he evolved, and most importantly how he began to love and accept himself. I even remember the sights and smells of the coffee shop I was sitting in while doing the majority of my reading.
Since reading The Hobbit, are you interested in checking out other fantasy series such as Game of Thrones (aka A Song of Fire and Ice)?
I am not sure what the series is about, but I have been told by numerous people that I would be interested in it. I love to read so much that I am pretty much willing to crack open anything. The real book of course, I am not really a tablet fan. I like to feel the pages! I am even interested in reading the 50 Shades of Grey series. I like to know what has the general public hooked and why. I keep an open mind and form my own opinion on the situation.
Are you into video games at all?
I was a bit more of a gamer when I was a kid. I grew up playing Super Mario Bros., Mortal Kombat, and some Baseball game with my dad. I had Super Nintendo at my dad's (where I lived), and a Sega Genesis at my mom's. When the Nintendo 64 came out I got that as well, but my love has stayed with Mario! Haha! My brother had a ton more games that we would play together like Donkey Kong, Twisted Metal, and Grand Theft Auto. To this day I go to Insert Coins, our local gamer bar in DTLV, and play Mortal Kombat or Super Mario until someone bothers me hahaha
Does the shop have any cool/rare video game-related items?
We're constantly getting new things, and moving around inventory. Sadly, I haven't seen anything gamer-related in a while. I can't even remember the last time we had something. We get a lot more toys than games.
Tell me about your Gypsy Heart Tour.
Well, I am a hairdresser and makeup artist and have been doing both since I was 11. When I was hired at the shop and then offered to be on the show, I thought it would be perfect to get my face out there. My goal in life is to start two makeup lines, one for professional use and one that is all mineral based.
After being fired, I thought that plan was over and I was going to need to start all over again. Then all the fans began to show up. I was blown away by all of the people who reached out to me. They had so many lovely things to say in hopes of cheering me up, I was also getting offers for photo shoots and meet and greets.
I was driving to work one day and thought, what better way to meet everyone, update my portfolio, and talk about my life goals than to tour this beautiful country I reside in. So that's exactly what I will do! I will be blogging the entire tour as well. Some cities I will only be stopping for a few hours, so I want everyone to have a chance to meet me. I also think it's fun to get everyone involved, it's mostly for the fans, so why not make it all about them?!!?
Where can fans keep up with you?
My website: www.missoliviablack.com
My Facebook: facebook.com/bookoliviablack
And my SuicideGirls page: suicidegirls.com/girls/OliviaBlack