Ten-year-old dancer, singer, and actress Asia Monet is full of life, love, and a whole lot of talent. She may be young, but don’t let her age fool you; she’s taking the entertainment world by storm and loving every minute of it. Sassy, smart, and on the path to stardom, Asia gave us the inside scoop on her struggles as a young performer, her love for Beyoncé, and the secret behind her success.
Cliché: At the tender age of 10, you’ve accomplished so much in the dance, acting, and singing world. Where do you draw inspiration from and who would you say inspires you the most?
Asia Monet: My mom always said I was a self-motivated kid from day one who loves the stage and loves the challenge. I wanted to do everything! I guess she’s right. I’m a total Leo and I like everything about what I do! I’m inspired by people who are strong, driven, passionate, and don’t give up on their dreams. Misty Copeland always comes to mind because her story is so amazing and reading about Oprah’s story is another inspiration. There are so many!
As such a young entertainer, what have been some of your greatest challenges?
I think the challenge of being 5 years old and starting in the entertainment industry first as a dancer is that you want to be so perfect and don’t realize that you have so many years to grow and mature. Since you’re on TV, you are critiqued as if you are a teenager and people forget you’re still a kid. I was always critiqued really hard, and I had to stay strong and stay focused, so my love for what I do wouldn’t be taken from me. It made me grow up fast, but I wouldn’t change a thing. It has made me strong, and now that I’m acting and singing, I’m prepared.
What would you consider to be your biggest strength, weakness, and greatest fear?
My strength is that I am very good under pressure and I can tune things out to stay focused. My weakness, well… I feel it’s trying to please everyone all the time. I have to learn to be stronger and tell myself, “No one can please everyone all the time.” My mom tells me to be happy with myself first. My fear is definitely that I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing right now. I’m so happy acting, singing, and dancing. I feel so blessed and grateful I’m able to do all this. I thank God every day for all my blessings.
Your family is extremely involved in your career. What are the best and worst things about that?
It’s the best. I couldn’t do it without my family and my amazing team around me. Even when there are moments we disagree, it all works out at the end. I know they will always have my best interests at heart… my mom is definitely my rock.
Going from reality television shows like Dance Moms and Raising Asia to playing Sydney Simpson (O.J. Simpson’s daughter) in the scripted series American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson is no problem for you, but which would you say you enjoy more?
One million percent being an actress now in a scripted series is the best. I could never go back; it’s what I’ve always wanted and working hard with my acting coach has prepared me. I’m really in a happy place!
You’ve accomplished so many things in a short period of time, but what would you say has been your greatest achievement or most prized experience thus far?
That’s always hard to answer, but I think I would have to say being on a Ryan Murphy project is pretty amazing. I have always been a fan of his work, and being a part of American Crime Story is on the top of my list. I know a lot of girls auditioned for this role, and I feel blessed that they picked me.
If you had the choice to perform with any dancer, singer, or actor, who would they be?
I think everyone knows this one. Beyoncé (Queen Bey) would be at the top of that list!
Describe your ultimate day off from dancing, singing, and acting. What would you do?
My ultimate day off would be flying somewhere tropical for the day, shopping, seeing a concert, and going to swim with the dolphins. Then I would meet Beyoncé, perform with her, and fly back on a private jet. Then I would wake up from my dream!
As a dancer myself and a music junkie, I constantly have that one song I’m currently listening to on a loop or stuck in my head. What song are you obsessed with now?
“Formation” by Beyoncé and “Work” by Rihanna.
Let’s talk boys. I know you’re 10, but everyone has a celebrity crush growing up. Who might yours be and why?
Celebrities! This changes daily but Yazz from Empire and Zac Efron.
What’s a quote or mantra that you like to live by?
Two quotes by Maya Angelou: “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it,” and “You will face many defeats in your life, but never let yourself be defeated.”
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Dancer Asia Monet Chats ‘American Crime Story,’ Acting Advice: Photographed by Birdie Thompson, Hair/Makeup by Nichole Ray