Please introduce yourself. What do you do? Why? What do you want people to know about you?
Hi! Nice to meet you! I am Kyla Carter, and I am a 16-year-old, a New York born actress, singer and songwriter. I have been performing professionally since I was 5 years old, touring the USA on Broadway National Tours, voicing characters for Nickelodeon and DreamWorks Animation, appearing in television and films, and recently I decided to tell my story by releasing my own original music.
My love of acting, singing, and dancing was inspired by Shirley Temple. When I was four years old, a commercial for the Shirley Temple DVDs came on the television.
I begged my mom for the whole set. I watched every movie, color and black and white, over and over, and I said to my mom, “I want to do what she does. I want to be just like her!” Soon after, I booked my television first job and my mother asked me what I wanted to do with my earnings.
I asked to see “Wicked” on Broadway, and after the final bow I said, “The next time I see this musical I will be in it!” I knew then it was what I wanted to pursue as a career; I have not looked back since.
What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?
In life, we have choices. We can see the glass half full or we can see the glass half empty. We can dwell on the negative or we can find the positive in any situation. For me, I always find the sun in the clouds. I always see the glass half full. There is always a smile on my face, even through the toughest times.
Working in an adult industry since I was 5 years old has taught me to be resilient, humble, and thankful for all of the amazing opportunities that have come my way. And, I believe these qualities, as well as choosing to be happy, positive, and confident in who I am, are the qualities that define me to the core and make me unique.
Describe THAT moment when you realized you’re doing what you were born to do.
As long as I can remember I have been singing and performing. The story goes, “Kyla was singing before she was talking.” But there is a moment when I was 12 years old that I will never forget; the moment I realized I am doing what I was born to do.
It was a Friday night, 10pm in Atlanta, Georgia at the iconic Fox Theater. I was performing as Susan Waverly on the Broadway National Tour of “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.” As the cast was taking their final bows, I was getting ready to run my usual route through the crowd of cast members, preparing to do my usual curtsy at the end of the show.
I always loved running out by myself and hearing the roar of the audience. But this particular night was special. I waited patiently for my turn, as each member of our cast took their bow. Then, with my usual excitement, when it was my turn, I ran out and bowed. But this time, as I looked up from my curtsy and realized an audience of 5,000 people were standing up for me clapping and cheering.
Tears of joy filled my eyes. My dreams were coming true, and I realized at that moment, I wanted to do this forever.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to go through and how did you grow through it?
I have worked as professional actress and singer since I was 5 years old. I toured the USA for 5 years on 3 Broadway National Tours, visiting over 75 cities and 36 states, traveling every Monday to a new theater in America.
I have been home schooled, in and out of public school, schooled on set, schooled in theaters, and finally landing in a private school. I was expected to have the work ethic of an adult, juggling full time work, auditions, training, and school.
My days run into nights, and I am usually non-stop, like a machine, for 15-18 hours a day. This has been my life, for my whole life. It is all I know and what I love. Working hard doing something you love is not work, but it can be challenging.
I have learned that nothing good in life comes easy. I have learned that hard work and perseverance does pay off. And, I have learned to have the courage to do what my heart truly desires, but also to have that same courage to change course any time you change your mind on what you want.
Who are the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could elevate your career or business? Why these specific individuals?
There are many people I would love to meet, but not because they could elevate my career, but because they would be master teachers.
Meryl Streep is an absolute Hollywood icon! She has an impeccable command over her craft and an impressively, diverse character portrayal. Just being in her presence would be absolutely jaw dropping.
I would love to sit with her and soak in all the wisdom she would have to offer about her on screen and Broadway experience, and how she was able to navigate all of its twists and turns. I would love to ask her how, after all of these years, she has kept her spark and burning flame for the industry.
For as long as I can remember, Taylor Swift has been the number one influence in my song writing journey. I love how raw and real her lyrics are, and it is always something I strive for in my songwriting. Through scandal, heartbreak, and celebrations, she has always remained true to who she is.
It is inspiring to see her evolution, and I would love to know what drives her to continue to write songs, and how her rebranding has affected her writing style. Taylor will always be a huge role model for me, and it is inspiring to watch her grow into whatever she wants to be, with humbleness and class.
I’ve had the privilege of learning Casey Nicholaw’s combos in master classes all over New York City, as well as admiring his choreography in person while seeing shows such as Mean Girls, The Prom, and the Book of Mormon. His immense talent and expertise in various genres of dance is incredible.
The use of rhythm, as well as the levels and dynamics in his choreography, has always drawn me in. His expertise would benefit me not only as a dancer but also as a performer and musician. I would be honored to be in a show directed and choreographed by him.
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