Ordinarily I interview artists who have been on the scene for years, but my recent shoot with Amanda has sparked my new Featurette series. These articles focus on the individuals who are taking steps in a new direction, and I hope that this inspires anyone who’s been stuck living a life that is no longer satisfying them. Have you ever wanted to just quit your job, move somewhere else, and start over in a new profession? I wouldn’t suggest such a stark change, but Amanda will share with you how she’s quickly making her shift from the office to the lens. I’ve been very blessed by her response to my questions, and I know you will “walk away” with some great nuggets of advice as well.
How long have you had this passion for modeling and acting, and when was it sparked?
My passion for modeling and acting has been a life-long interest, however it birthed from my passion for ballet and modern dance, which harmoniously incorporates modeling and acting in a beautiful way. At an early age I remember quite vividly watching ballet on tv–an Alvin Ailey performance to be exact–and ever since I’ve been captivated by the elegance, emotion, ebb and flow of dance. As far as my goal to act, it comes rather naturally because I’m quirky, witty, and dramatic by nature. I enjoy the authenticity of an actor’s ability to create touching moments as if the audience were there with them. It’s one of the most powerful gifts to have.
What made you take that final leap to get started and use that gift?
Quite frankly, I’ve spent almost over a decade being self-condemning for a variety of reasons: my past and tough life circumstances I went through. I clearly did not hold a correct view of the Lord. My relationship with God and my life was heavily based on my deeds and shortcomings instead of rooted in His tremendous unfathomable love and grace for me. I recently have come out of that old self through the encouragement of specific friends God’s divinely placed in my life. Having said that, I took a leap of faith and refused to let another day pass me by without following my passions proactively. I also realized how we can often times rob ourselves by not enjoying the journey along the way to where we are trying to go. It was my time to breathe and enjoy life for once.
That breath and leap of faith is clear to witness as you are always sharing encouraging and thought-provoking insights on beauty. Where does that come from?
I’m secretly a skin care and cosmetics guru! By “secretly”, I mean I have a head full of knowledge on makeup tricks and how to care for one’s skin through watching a lot of YouTube videos and reading online articles in my leisure time. I enjoy learning new things about how to achieve a radiant glow. It has always been my passion to teach girls and young women that they must take time to take care of themselves first because “If you don’t care about yourself, no one else will”. So I set out each day to share those tools when given an opportunity to encourage my sisters of all colors.
Research has helped you a lot in achieving the look you want for yourself, but it’s difficult for all women to overcome the insecurities they have and jump in front of a camera. What is your advice for getting past that?
The most crucial advice I want all women to know that struggle with insecurities like myself, is to NOT compare yourself to other women! Comparing is very lethal and damaging to a woman’s image and self-esteem. One of my favorite quotes, “stay in your lane” speaks volumes. If you don’t have a Kim Kardashian figure, don’t go to an extreme of starving yourself and putting yourself on a strict diet to be something you’re not. That’s not our purpose in life. Embrace all that you are and focus on the great things you have to offer this world. Personally, I don’t want to look like Kim, I want to be unique and look like ME, “Amanda”. Remember, someone needs you and cherishes you just the way you are. If you try to be someone else, think about how many people who might need you later in the future, but will never got to see the real you. What a loss indeed. Celebrate and embrace your “imperfections”. I encourage you to write a list in your journal of all the beautiful characteristics you possess. It will serve as a reminder of just how great you truly are, and you will start to blossom in front of the camera.
You are definitely uniquely “you” and I love your style. What are some of your favorite places to shop and what are your basic must-haves?
I love to shop at a trendy store called “G-Stage” located at the Long Beach Town Center. It has variety, however it carries its own distinct style: 70’s modern chic. I encourage you all to check them out! I also shop at Target and trendy stores like Forever 21. But my must-haves are my signature look, long blouses synched below the bust line paired with earrings, jeans and heels or boots that have a 70’s flare. However, I must have Fall fashion! I’m excited for its recent arrival! It’s my most favorite fashion season because it’s sophisticated and dramatic. I must have boots, nice coats, cute hats, gloves, and long scarves!
Below are a few of the great photos we captured during our shoot. Let us know what you think and don’t forget to “like” Amanda’s Facebook Page!