How do YA know the YA sisters?
I’ve known Maya since I was little! I met her Dance Molinari, and ever since, we’ve gone on auditions together, and become friends.
How old are you, where are you from?
I am 14 years old, and I’m from Connecticut, although I practically live in the city with how much I go in!
Tell us a few things that help to describe who you are.
Well, I am a singer-songwriter, actress, and dancer. I am a bookworm, a complete dork, and a lover of animals and literature! I try to be a glass half-full person, but sometimes I get too much into the science of it LOL. I love writing slam poetry and regular poetry, almost as much as I love hanging with my friends or playing guitar.
How did you start getting involved in music and performing?
When I was four years old, my parents used to work with a man named Ken Lundie, who was the pianist of the Rockettes as well as an amazing music director. My mom told Ken that everybody had said that I had perfect pitch, because I was constantly singing. So, he decided to listen to my voice. He called me a freak, and then took me to my first Broadway audition. That is when I fell in love with performing!
What inspired you to use your talent and passion to help others?
I’m not really sure. I’ve been doing it since I was little, and I think it’s just been a thing that’s been instilled in me. I run my own international anti-bullying program, and was inspired because I was getting bullied a lot. I wanted to be a voice for those who didn’t have one. Also, there was suicide in my town of a teenage girl, and I wanted to bring the topics of suicide, bullying, and mental health to the table in a safe, healthy, and understandable way for all ages. Art has always been a good release for me, so I figured that I could use that positive feeling help others.
It seems you focus on anti bullying and suicide prevention is there a particular reason for choosing these two areas?
First of all, there’s been a rise of mental health problems with our generation, so I feel like that is something that’s really important and needs to be talked more about. In many health classes in schools, they only cover the top part of mental health and suicide, without really talking about eating disorders, depression, anxiety, or OCD to its full extent.
There was a suicide in my town when I was in middle school. It was a high school girl named Abby Anderson, and it seemed to really touch the community. However, when I tried to bring up suicide in my school, they quickly shut me down and told me not to talk about it. I feel that it is something that needs to be talked about, so it’s been one of my main topics.
Also, in middle school, every day on the bus, I was getting bullied. People made fun of me, and one day I got threatened. Eventually, I wanted to stop coming to school. My friends thankfully brought it up to the guidance counselor and I then started standing up for myself. I wanted to start being a voice for kids who didn’t have one. I think that no one should ever feel afraid, and that these topics should be talked about at a young age.
Can you tell us about your programs anti bullying "Words Can Soar" campaigns and how people can be involved?
Of course! There are so many different ways that people can get involved. I’m trying to start a new sub chapter of my organization called project "Lorelei", which will be focusing on kids and hospitals and how we can bring joy to teens, kids, and adults. I want to write letters for them, as well as try and break the Guinness world record for most people holding stuffed animals! Then, all of the stuffed animals would be donated to a local hospital to bring joy to kids.
Also, we are always looking for volunteers to do all different things. We’re working on building an executive board right now, which works on everything from economics, to planning events, and organizing talent. We’ve spoken at colleges, dance schools, high schools, and so much more. We run cabaret is at places such as 54 below and are always looking for new people on the team to not only volunteer and but to come up with new idea's and be ambassadors! We’ve done a PSA that has reached several continents! Overall, we’re just looking to make a difference anyway that we can.
I have seen firsthand how bullying affects a kids confidence, is there something you can suggest to our readers on what they can do to help others who are a target?
First of all, if you’re the non-confrontational type, there is nothing wrong with just sitting with a kid who seems to be sitting alone, to befriend them and to make sure that they are OK. Bullying really does affect people, so you never know the affect that just a smile and a wave can have on a person. Also, if it doesn’t seem like a violent situation, there is nothing wrong with standing up for somebody, and telling somebody else that it’s not OK to bully. You should not be a bystander. In the event that there is a violent situation, find an adult immediately and try and help the victim.
For fun, what do you on your downtime?
I write music, slam poetry, short stories, and research papers. I play a bunch of different instruments, including guitar, ukulele, and piano. I also love to dance, sing, read, bike ride, and more. I also really enjoy learning random skills, such as making balloon animals and training my dog.
What’s your favorite ice cream?
This might be the hardest question. I really like ice cream, but I guess I’d have to go with vanilla chocolate chip, or chocolate chip cookie dough. Or, one of the places in my town has really good homemade cannoli ice cream.
How would you suggest kids get started in the business of acting and singing. What would be advice you can offer?
I would say just go for it. You have absolutely nothing to lose, and just follow your passion. Start building a network, and just start posting. Social media is becoming a tool that we can use really well to network ourselves, and it’s how many people get found. Also, do things like community theater, short films. Not only is it a lot of fun, but you’ll make some great memories, friends, and credits!
How would your BFF describe you in three adjectives and emojis?!
Creative, the mom friend, and ambitious ☺️🎭💞