Professional Achievement, Conservatory for the Performing Arts
Two-time Emmy Award winner Barry Lee Moe came to Viterbo intent on a career as a performer, but a nudge from an insightful professor helped him discover a passion and gift for other theatrical arts and taught him an important lesson in the importance of being open to trying new paths.
“While working with Jeffrey Stolz in the costume shop during my second year at Viterbo, I quickly learned that my path may be different than originally intended,” Moe recalled. “The moment he had me style my first wig, I was certain that I was destined for a career in hair design. Although I was a music theatre major, I started to dedicate my free time to refining my skill set and by the time I graduated, I was equipped with all of the tools I needed to start a new journey.”
Moe has used his hair styling skills in a wide variety of settings, from Broadway shows to concert tours (including Tori Amos), but he has gained notoriety and accolades for his work in television. Moe has won two Emmy Awards for the work of hair styling teams he has led in productions of Hollywood (2020) and Pose (in 2021 for season three).
He’s been nominated for a total of five Emmy Awards, including the latest one for the Hulu limited series Pam & Tommy. Moe also has been nominated for five Hollywood Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild Awards, winning one in 2021 for his work on the promotional campaign and music videos for Pose.
His latest project, to premiere later this year on Hulu, is Welcome to Chippendales, a limited series about the exotic male dance revue from Robert Siegel, creator of Pose. He also was on the team that produced Loot, the Apple TV+ original comedy series starring Maya Rudolph.
Coming up, Moe was tapped to be the personal hairstylist for Jennifer Lopez for Atlas, a science fiction thriller coming to Netflix (likely next year). Lopez is star and producer of the movie, in which she plays a military intelligence officer trying to stop a rogue intergalactic terrorist bent on destroying humanity.
While his studies at the Arrojo Studio in New York honed his hair styling skills, Moe gives a big share of the credit for his success to the education he got as a Viterbo music theatre major.
“Although I was a performance major, my fundamental training in theatre, music, and beyond prepared me to be a well-rounded artist who could approach every project with a critical, informed eye,” Moe said. “The curriculum challenged us to understand and appreciate all aspects of the industry. This helped me to excel in many aspects of my career and set me apart from colleagues who didn’t receive the same foundational training.
“Because of my drama lit classes with Janet McLean, I’m able to break down a script and contribute to the artistic vision of every project, looking beyond the hair, and diving deep into the sub text of the character that ultimately informs their appearance,” Moe continued. “Because of my costume design classes with Jeffrey Stolz, I can appreciate the journey of a costume designer and more successfully collaborate with them to bring a character to life. I can say the same for my studies in set design, music theory, theatre history, and so many more. Without the well-rounded education I received at Viterbo, I wouldn’t be the artist I am today.”
Now based in Los Angeles, Moe was deeply moved by being honored with a Distinguished Alumni Award.
“As human beings, we all share the desire to be seen, respected, and understood. Not only for our accomplishments, but also for who we are,” Moe said. “This award is an affirmation that I am valued and loved, not only by my peers, but also by the institution that helped build a path toward my future. My journey was far from traditional, but I am proof that the future is full of possibilities, and anything is possible when you live in your truth.”
2022 Viterbo University Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients main page