Photographer Liz Calhoun
How old are you and when did you start your acting career?
I am 13 years old and I started acting professionally when I was around 9 years old. However, I have been doing different things that led me to love acting practically my whole life.
Have you studied acting or does it just come naturally?
Who do you admire as an older actress in Hollywood?
I watch different projects and take classes to improve my acting, but when I started, it was only based off of what I’d seen. Now, I make sure I take any opportunity that can help me become a better actress, because you are never done learning. I really love Yara Shahidi, Marsai Martin, Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis and of course Amy Adams.
How do you prepare for your roles?
For almost any role that I am asked to audition for, I will book a private session with my acting coach Jossie Harris-Thacker. Mrs. Jossie really helps me break down the scenes and truly get into character, to make sure I have a great audition. She has taught me how to stay dropped in. "If you stay ready, you don't have to get ready."
Do you handle your own social media account?
Who's your favorite to check up on on social media?
My mother handles my social media and I just check it every so often. She does the posting, most of the messaging, and some of the commenting, while I check other people pages as well as mine. My favorite page to check is most likely Marsai Martin, as I feel she is always doing something new and inspiring. I also love Storm Reid’s page.
What's your all time favorite song right now?
Practically anything Beyoncé. She is so inspirational and gets me in a boss mood. I play her music 24/7 and even jam to it while getting my headshots done.
“The Woman in the Window '' your new project tell me more about the character play?
In “The Woman in the Window," I play Olivia Fox, Amy Adams and Anthony Mackie’s daughter. I cannot say too much about her relationship with her parents because it might spoil some of the plot.
How was it on set and what's your fondest memory of making the movie?
I had such an amazing experience on the set of “The Woman in the Window”. We filmed the movie in a huge armory, which I was able to roam in between takes, with some of the production assistants.
Everyone treated me as if, I was on the same level as any actor there, even though I was the youngest.
Two of my fondest memories on set were, Joe Wright calling one of my takes brilliant and getting to meet Amy Adams daughter.
How do you stay safe and remain humble during these trying times of covid?
I stay masked up All THE TIME! I am doing school from home, self-tapes for auditions, and COVID safe practices for cheer. It is not hard to stay humble right now because the pandemic is much bigger than any of us. I am grateful to be able to be safe, healthy and to continue doing what I love.
What are you most excited for this year and 2022?
I am excited for new opportunities that will take me to new places. I am also happy that auditions are rolling in and I know that as long as I work hard, there will be something new soon. I can't wait for the world to open up safely so that I can audition in person, hug my Great-grandma and cheer with huge audiences again.
How can fans follow you on social media?
You can follow me on instagram @theonlyryah
What projects would you like to mention that we should look out for this year?
My movie on Netflix “The Woman in the Window” will be coming out on May 14th, staring Amy Adams and Anthony Mackie. There will be more episodes of the web-series that I am a part of called Chi-nanigans on YouTube.