5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I First Started Performing, With Tori Kay Harris
“I would like to start a movement using the power of social media for positive. I would love to see a trend using the hashtag #feelgoodfriday. Every Friday people would post on their social media three things they love and admire about themselves and one other person.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Tori Kay Harris. Tori Kay is the definition of a triple threat and true entertainer. As a singer, dancer, and actress, Tori Kay is here to inspire the world through all forms of art. Her original songs “Girl Power”, “Kings”, and “Own It” are messages of empowerment.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I got started as a competitive dancer in Texas. The competition studio I went to also had a theatre department. I decided that I wanted to try out theatre and ended up falling in love with acting. At that time, I also became obsessed with the TV show ‘Shake It Up’ on Disney Channel, that’s what led me to on-camera acting.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your acting/directing/performing/hosting career?
My funniest memory from set actually involves my mom. When I was working on the set of ‘OMG’ for DreamworksTV I had to wear an ugly wig for one of my scenes. My mom had taken a break from set to handle something and when she came back she asked one of the other moms who was the girl with the short hair. It was just me in a wig. It was hilarious!
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I just finished filming the movie “Next Level” which will be in theatres in early 2019. Also, my girl group, Pynk Lemonade, is putting the final touches on our EP, which is coming out very soon!
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
One of the most interesting people I have interacted with would be JLo! She is breathtakingly gorgeous in person and even nicer than she is beautiful. She made me feel so special and important. She inspired me because someone at her celebrity status took time to make someone like me feel special. No matter how big I get, I always want everyone I meet to feel as important as she made me feel.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
How I avoid “burn out” is to not let myself get caught up in the stress of the business. When I am on stage performing or shooting a movie if my heart is in it and I am having fun then my audience is going to have an authentic and fun experience. Continuing to let myself go and just be in the moment with my craft is helping me thrive in this industry.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
I would like to start a movement using the power of social media for positive. I would love to see a trend using the hashtag #feelgoodfriday. Every Friday people would post on their social media three things they love and admire about themselves and one other person.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1. You don’t have to be in LA to make your dreams come true: While living in Dallas I grew my social media, did covers, and dance videos. I continuously listened to podcasts on what was trending or new on social media. By the time I got to LA, I already had a brand and presence online.
2. Be authentically you in every audition: I have learned to walk into every audition nerve free and confident was that the casting directors want you to do well. They want to find the right person for the job. This helped me walk into every audition confident in who I am.
3. Practice your craft every day: I practice for at least 10 minutes every day. This helped me a lot because I did not have to spend an hour every day working on singing, dancing, piano, and acting because that would take up all of my days. I could balance my day but still, make sure I was continuing to work on my craft.
4. Keep your family and friends close to you: I am blessed to have the support of my friends and family back home who have been there for me since the beginning. They keep me grounded. I have a good community around me that reminds me of where I started. They help me stop and appreciate how far I have come.
5. Every no is closer to a yes: This really changed my outlook when auditioning for a role or job. Every no you get or job you don’t book is closer and closer to your yes. This helped me stay positive and hopeful.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
My motto since I was 4 is “I am not wishing on a star, I’m chasing it.” This quote is about how you have to work to get to where you want to be. I’m never sitting and waiting for something to happen. I am always going out and working every day to be successful and accomplish my dreams.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My mom is the backbone to my success and my biggest supporter. Not only is she a supportive mom but also when I had the crazy idea to move to LA to chase my dreams my mom was completely behind me and went for it with me. She has never doubted me even when I have doubted myself. She knows me better than I know myself and I could not be more thankful for her.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. :-)
If I were to sit down and have lunch with someone I have looked up to in my career it would definitely be Zendaya. I have admired her since the show “Shake It Up” on Disney Channel. I would love to ask her questions and get to know her. She is one of my biggest professional inspirations from the charities she is associated with, to her fashion and music.