By: Luana Mattos, Guest Blogger
Being THAT GIRL is all about finding your purpose, and Asia Monet Ray was blessed enough to find it when she was still a toddler. With her flexible and graceful moves Asia express herself through dancing, acting, and singing. She has an undeniable talent and a fearless soul. In this inspiring interview, Asia and I chatted about following your dreams, taking risks, dealing with the negativity, and finding balance in a competitive world.
Photo by: Araya Diaz; Make-up: Nicole Ray; Stylist: Ali Levine
You started in this industry at a very young age, when and how did you realize that dancing was your calling?
Yes, I did start in the industry at a very young age, and it's safe to say I was basically born dancing. I was involved in ice skating and gymnastics very early as well, but the feeling I felt when I would dance on stage was something special. I knew this was where I wanted to be….I just love to perform. I love everything about it: the crowd, seeing faces smiling back at me, and most of all, I feel happy. I really feel that I have found my calling in dancing, singing, and acting. I'm blessed that I can do what I love at my age.
As a young artist you must get a lot of advices from other artists and coaches. What piece of advice changed your life?
I do get a lot of advice from all my coaches and my support team. I think now that I'm 9 years old I have learned by listening and watching the right people. I always playback the best advice in my mind when I'm feeling that I can do better, which is: everyday isn't going to be easy and it's a journey not a sprint. If I train and prepare myself to go out there, give it my all, and enjoy my time on stage loving what I do, then I'm doing the right thing.
You made history in dance and you recently debuted your first album with 5 originals songs -- Congrats on that! Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Thank you. I am very thankful and blessed of my accomplishments. It's been amazing beginning on TV, movies, dancing, singing, acting, and recording new music. This all happened so fast and it's just the start. I have so much more I dream of doing. In 10 years, I hope I have worked hard enough to go on tour with my music, be on the big screen as a great actress, and to be able to give back what I have learned on my journey. Dreams are possible and I want to share it one day with kids.
The IATG community promotes collaboration over competition; in a competitive world as the entertainment industry what do you believe the girls can do to balance that?
I believe girls can balance this competitive world of this industry and still be supportive and have companionship as they follow their own dreams. I believe this comes from being secure and having a great positive, supportive team around them. I believe there is room for everyone in this industry. Girls should have friends that they can share their amazing experiences with and be happy for each other.
Being on the spotlight brings many fans but, unfortunately, also haters. How do you deal with the negative comments?
Fortunately I have always had a very strong supportive team and parents that have raised me to be strong and confident, They have prepared me for the negativity in this industry, so I have really never paid much attention to the people that don't like me since they don't even know me. It's also good that I don't have time to read or hear about the negative things because I'm focused on what's important to me.
Who has been the biggest female influence in your life and why?
My mom from day one has been a big supportive influence in my life. She has always encouraged me to work hard for what I want, to do what I love, and to love what I'm doing. She has also pushed me when I needed it and let me know things are going to be hard sometimes, but I just have to push through it because hard work always will pay off. My mom has taught me to be strong. She has always been on the tough side when it comes to my training, and now I thank her for it and understand why. She's like my rock.
What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken and what did you learn from it?
I guess taking the big risk of wanting to purse music and acting, when everyone associated me with being a dancer. I took the risk of being rejected and not accepted. Through that, I learned that there were more people that supported me and encouraged my leap of faith. Now I have landed a role in my first movie Sister Code as "Lexi" out in theaters this year. I have also released a self-titled album and have my show Raising Asia, as well as a hit Christmas single with over a million views. So, I have learned the risk of pursing my other interest in singing and acting was the best risk I could have ever taken.
IATG inspires girls to follow their passion, and you are definitely following yours, what advice would you give to the girls that want to pursue an artist career?
I would love to say to other girls who have a strong passion for being a dancer, artist, actress or whatever makes them feel their happiest. Whatever it is, it's possible! Follow your dreams, your passion, and do what makes you feel your best…stay confident and true to yourself along the way. For all those that don't support you, there will be may people that will support your dreams. Stay positive and know that nothing comes easy. Work hard, stay balanced, and love yourself.
Luana is Christian girl whose faith inspires her to be the best version of herself every day. Besides her work as an administrative supervisor, she is a freelance journalist and writes a column about real life experiences, focusing on topics relevant to social projects, volunteer work, and awareness campaigns for the Brazilian website www.hollywoodeaqui.com. She also had the opportunity to interview Nicholas Sparks, Wm. Paul Young and L. J. Smith.