Zoe Manarel is a triple threat with more experience than most performers have in a lifetime! With all of her hard work, focus, and determination she has performed in some of our favorite shows. Zoe was in Matilda on Broadway as Lavender and An American Girl Story: Summer Camp, Friends for Life to name just a few. What more can a girl ask for at twelve years old?!
Not only is she a wonderful performer, Zoe is an ambassador for Smile Train, an amazing charity that provides corrective surgery for children with cleft palates all over the world (a cause that Tehya works for too)! Zoe also loves school and spending time with her family, and we thought you might want to know a little bit about this young Broadway Star.
How do you know the Ya Sisters?
I met Maya 4 years ago when we were in the musical A LITTLE PRINCESS together, and I know Tehya from watching her singing videos on the internet.
What do YA do?
I am an actress and singer and student.
Acting and being a food critic in my down time.
What is your go to audition song?
It’s a song called “ Stay with you “ its from a new musical in development that I worked on “THE REMARKABLE JOURNEY OF PRINCE JEN “ and “If I survive “ from a short musical called “KOI SYORY“
How do you balance school and extracurriculars?
Very carefully! I’m really good at time management and I do all my school work the minute I get home or on the train, that way it opens up time for my auditions and any project I'm working on.
Five things you need in your dressing room.
1. Steamer for my throat
2. Phone charger
3. Deck of cards
4. A good book
5. Mini Fridge filled with food and water
Favorite Broadway show?
What inspires you?
Seeing other kids my age succeed.
Who inspires you?
What would you tell yourself one year ago?
Don’t worry, your journey doesn’t stop here.
How did you get where you are?
Besides my family support, hard work, focus and just never giving up!
What is the one think you wish there was a cure to?
How do you give back?
I raise money for the Smile Train which fixes clefts palates in underprivileged kids for free, I also host Charity Cabarets and participate in Broadway Serves.
What do you wish people knew more about?
Empathy and how one small action or word, good or bad can effect other people.
How would your cast mates describe you? Give us three adjectives! Go!!!
Crazy, dependable and loyal.
If you could any role regardless of gender or age what would you play?
BEST part of life:
Happiness and laughing, I love the way it makes me feel inside.
Favorite activity/thing to do:
SLIME!!!! Arts and crafts and piano.
Favorite place to be:
With my family at the dinner table eating my favorite meal, my mom’s meatloaf and mashed potatoes.
What do you wish people knew more about you?
I’m not just a goofy kid, I love mathematics and learning and that school is one of my favorite places to be.
Everyday people who do amazing things, it makes me realize that you don't need to be famous or in a big position to do good things, achieve amazing goals or change the world.
Favorite Snapchat filter!?
Words of wisdom:
The latest you should be is on time… Unless you're going to a party, then just fashionably late.
What do you think is necessary to improve our education system?
Well my school is really great so I'm lucky. But I think paying more money to get more teachers in poor areas would probably help a lot. And help reduce overcrowding! And also to not focus so much on teaching to state testing I think it stops teachers from being creative and getting kids to love school.
…what about our world?
I think our world leaders should stop talking AT each other and just listen and be more open minded and respectful to each others opinions and differences.
What are your thoughts on diversity integration on Broadway?
While it’s getting better, I think there should be more blind casting based on talent and not color of skin.
What’s your advice to incoming performers like you?
To not beat yourself up when you don't book a role - Only 1 person will book it, so strive for a Call Back and think of that as a win. If you book it GREAT but it’s ok if you don't. It doesn’t mean you were bad, you and EVERYONE ELSE (minus one) did not fit into their puzzle! And there will be lots more puzzles for you to fit into :)
Do you prefer movies/television or musicals?
Thats a hard question , I love them all for different reasons and would never want to give ANY up!
What’s the difference between filming a movie and performing on broadway?
In theater you get a reaction immediately, everything is in real time so you have to be ready, prepared and on your game EVERY night. The acting is different as well, you have to project more and be a little bit bigger than life. Also in Theater you get that amazing exciting feeling before you go on every night and I LOVE that feeling - I also love how the cast becomes family for life. Theater people are special people, it's hard to explain but there is a beauty inside of them.
Film really keeps you on your feet and is really exciting because a lot of the time you’re on location and get to travel. I enjoy the type of acting you get to use because it’s the small things that matter, such as an eyebrow lift or slight smile that can make a huge difference in the scene. You are also allowed an opportunity to fix some mistakes in a scene, which you can’t in Theater. It took me a while to learn to not act so big when auditioning for TV and Film, but once I got the hang of it I started getting jobs. I also like Tv and Film because it’s a more low key acting style and believe it or not, not as easy as it looks!
What classes or lessons are your favorite to take?
I only take voice and I just started doing that last month on a regular basis - I LOVE it!! My voice teacher is amazing! She knows all these tricks on how to hit high notes or hold out ridiculously long notes. Right now Im learning a new pop song and a new Broadway song .
When did you know this is what you wanted to do?
I guess I knew I REALLY want to do this, was the first time I stepped out on stage as Anne in "A Little Princess". It was that amazing feeling inside like I never wanted to leave the stage - I remember I told my mom, if I could bring my bed to theater I would sleep there forever.
Give us a fun fact that no body knows about you!
Well, I’m Hyperextended in my elbows and knees, can wiggle my ears, I’m double jointed ALL OVER my body and I can cross one eye at a time! You might say I’m a walking side show!
What else do you want people to know about you?
That I have a serious side, I LOVE to write music and creative writing and hopefully go to Yale
Wanna follow Zoe's Journey?!
Social Media - @zoemanarel