Hey Yasmeen, so excited to be chatting with you! What would you say brought on your passion for acting at such a young age?
It’s something that I’ve always really adored and have been interested in. The idea of bringing immeasurable amounts of stories and different lives and backgrounds to light is super cool to me. I’ve also always loved performing. No matter what I was actually performing as long as I loved it I loved being in front of an audience
What is one movie that has greatly influenced your life?
As interesting as it is, Toy Story has had a huge effect on my life! Singing “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” when I was little influenced my love of singing and the story in general taught me a lot about how to be a good friend. I would watch it on REPEAT when I was little and I definitely cried at the end of Toy Story 4….
What would be your dream acting role?
I would LOVE to play a Wonder Woman type character. I did karate for almost 10 years and bring martial arts into a role like Wonder Woman or Lara Croft would be a dream!!! Either that or a Disney Princess. I know that’s a huge switch but they’re both dreams of mine.
You are best known for your role in Disney’s new Upside-Down Magic & Andi Mack. What have these roles been like for you?
These roles have been even better than I could imagine. Just getting the opportunity to play those roles was fulfilling as it is, but all of the other opportunities I’ve had and people that I’ve met have made the experience BEYOND wonderful.
Have these roles opened doors for you in the acting world?
Absolutely!! When going into other jobs or auditions, I’m able to walk in with some really amazing experience behind me as well as some really cool stories to tell. It’s also opened the door for other job opportunities I wouldn’t have had before.
Do you have any projects in the works you can tell us about?
There’s a really cool thriller/horror movie I got the opportunity to be a part of called Let Us In and that should be out pretty soon 🙂 It was directed by the talented Craig Moss and it’s about the legend of the black-eyed children… definitely look out for that!
If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why? (If helpful, it can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)
One quote I find myself repeating a lot is “The presence of someone else’s beauty is not the absence of your own.” I believe growing up in an era of social media and feeling like you have to put out the best version of yourself has made a lot of women (and men of course) more insecure than normal; comparing themselves to this unattainable lifestyle and beauty standard. It’s something that I struggle with a lot of the time but repeating that quote helps a lot. Putting it on a billboard as a reminder for all who see it that they are beautiful and worthy of a wonderful life would be a dream.
What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?
An unusual habit that I have is separating my food on my plate. I genuinely don’t like my food touching and, yes, I’m aware that it all ends up in the same place.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in acting? What advice should they ignore?
It! Doesn’t! Come! In! An! Instant!! Having patients is the most useful advice I can give. Booking jobs and getting work takes time for most people. There are a few exceptions but the majority of people have to put in the time it takes to build experience and make connections. Don’t rush it! I promise it will come in time. As far as ignoring advice, I’d say to ignore anyone that says there’s a set path you have to follow or a “right way” to achieve your acting goals. Everyone has a different journey/experience so make sure to embrace your own and work at it! (Also, quick side note: you DON’T have to have family that is already in the industry to succeed)
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do?
I find it really hard to get back on track when I’m overwhelmed or unfocused. I have problems with procrastination soooo most of the time I have to motivate myself to get back on track by reminding myself that I’m just making it easier by getting things done now. That being said, does anyone else have any advice on how to focus again? Because other than that I’m at a loss.
How do you want your relationship to be like with your supporters?
Mutual! If they’re going to support me, I’d really love to support and cheer them on in all of their endeavors. Something I’ve always disliked is the idea of having “fans” because it feels like we automatically put that person on a pedestal above their “fans.” Supporters feel like a positive experience with people who want you to succeed. Just as I would want the same for them 🙂
What’s something your fans don’t know about you?
One thing they probably don’t know about me is that I’m pretty good at painting! I don’t really post about it or promote it because it’s mostly for my own personal enjoyment; It’s super therapeutic to me. But, yeah! That’s a fun little fact for ya
What do you want your fans to know if they ever see you in public?
I don’t bite haha! I would LOVE to say hi to you and talk for a second if I can! Just come on up to me!
What do you want your message to be towards your fans? What do you want your fans to take away from your music and shows?
Life is too short to not live your life to the fullest. I tried acting and ended up loving it more than most everything in the world. Try that new thing! Compliment yourself in the mirror PLEASE! Make that new friend! I’m working on it too so don’t worry about quick results! We’re getting there together 🙂
What’s one word you would use to describe what your fans have allowed you to accomplish?
Growth. They’ve helped me grow in more ways than I could possibly count.
Is there anyone in the acting world you are dying to meet?
Tom Hanks!!! I respect him so much as a person and as an actor and he just seems… so pure. Does anyone else have the overwhelming urge to give him a hug? Especially while watching A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood?
Why do you think social media is so important for artists like yourself?
I think social media is a beautiful way to connect to people we may not have had the opportunity to connect with. I think a lot of the times celebrities get so caught up in the thought of having a group of fans that they don’t take a moment to realize that these people have their own individual lives and amazing personalities! Social media is a great way to see that each person has their own account and support system and life.
What would you say is your biggest dream/goal right now?
To keep going. I don’t want anything more than to keep doing this for as long as I love it. To work hard on it and to make sure that I continue to make this love of mine a priority.
Any last things you’d like to tell your supporters?’
Yes! Hi! I love you! People love you! Thank you for everything you have done for me and continue to do for me. I couldn’t be more grateful for you.