From Humans of Inspiration

Q/A with Erin Groves: Makeup Artist and Actress

UntitledErin Groves is a 28-year-old actress and makeup artist, born on May 5th. She lives in Greenville, North Carolina and enjoys the comfort of working from home. To get in contact with her, you can find her on Twitter and Instagram.  

Q.)Tell us more about what you do?
A.) I am an aspiring actress, I’d also call myself a makeup artist, however, it’s not something that I’m pursing. Make-Up is a hobby of mine, another creative outlet for me. Though, I am looking to share my creative expertise on my social media and YouTube channel!

Q.) Is there an exact moment in time you can look back on, where you realized this is what you want to do?
A.) If there was a moment I could look back and realize what I wanted to do, it would have to be after I turned eight years old, and saw the movie ‘The Labyrinth,’ with David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly. I thought, “Okay, I can send my sisters to a magical place”, and everything would be singing and dancing and all. I found out around 13 years old when the DVD came out, and they had a ‘behind the scenes’ feature on it that it all wasn’t what it seemed. However,  when I found out that I could put my creative mind to work through pretending to be someone or something else, I wanted to go for it. And I mean, I changed my mind a lot; from acting to architecture, finding the cure for cancer, and even being a tomb raider like Lara Croft. But I always came back to acting. Always. That’s when I knew.

Q.) Who or what inspired you?
A.) There’s a couple of people; Eartha Kitt, David Bowie, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, and the list goes on and on.

Q.) If you had to choose one, who is your biggest supporter?
A.) Honestly, my biggest supporter is my family. My sisters, my mom, my guy. I couldn’t name just one! I have a lot of twitter supporters too!

Q.) Are you currently working on any projects?
A.) So, the one project that I am working on now is getting my YouTube channel up and running. I had to take a break from professional acting just to get my bearings in order, and I figured why not teach myself editing tricks and such. And so, that’s exactly what I’m doing! My last attempt at a video was some-time a month ago. If you’d like to take a look at my recent acting work, the link to both videos are at the end of this article.

Q.) Whatʼs the best thing about acting?
A.) The best thing about acting is being able to channel my imagination into becoming a character. I get to read about it, get a back story and create something based off of that. It’s one of the best things because, between you and me, I always get to put a piece of myself in there as well!

Q.) Is there anything you struggle with, as far as being an actress and makeup artist goes?
A.) Critique, and not from my teachers, or anyone else. I am very hard on myself. If my teacher told me: ‘Good job, Erin, just work on portraying a bit more emotion, but you followed well, and did an awesome job,‘ I’d automatically criticize myself horribly in my head. I’d tell myself it doesn’t matter what they say, you were horrible, and you need to give it up.
It’s horrible, I know, but that’s my issue. I don’t give myself enough credit. For make-up, it has to be coming up with a look. I see it in my head, but trying to get it right can go so wrong for me. I’m obsessive when it comes to getting my eyebrows right. For me? It’s not ‘They’re sisters, they don’t look alike.’ No, they have to be absolutely precise or I’m taking it off and doing it again.

Q.) What makeup brand is your all time fave?
A.) Ohhh. That’s a toughie. I’d have to say Make-Up Forever. I have combination/oily skin, and a lot of texture as well, and I feel like this brand does an awesome job at making me appear flawless!

Q.) How did you learn to apply your makeup so well?
A.) YouTube, if you could believe it or not. I used to spend 18 hours a day on the computer because the cyber world was so much better than the real one.

Q.) Did you receive professional training in makeup artistry and/or acting?
A.) I didn’t in either, though, I did attend acting classes in community college. My teacher told me he’d rather me get professional classes at an acting school.

Q.) How is the acting and theatre scene in your state?
A.) Well, ECU has a wonderful acting program, and there is a marvelous theater here (The Magnolia) and a classic theater in Washington, NC. The community college has a wonderful teacher (Lee Armstrong) who is also a professional actor as well! That’s right folks, I got to learn from an actual actor.

Q.) Looking back, is there something youʼd have done differently, given the chance?
A.) Tried harder to pursue my dreams instead of waiting for so long. That’s one of the things that I am hardest on myself about. I wish I could have tried harder to get a job, a car, and set out to pursue my dreams.

Q.) What are your plans for the next 5 years?
A.) I’d love to be working with Tyler Perry in a series as a co-star. And, I’d love to have been in a couple of movies by then as well.

Q.) Whatʼs your life motto? What keeps you going?
A.) My motto is this: You are the only person who can make your dreams come true, not anyone else. Do whatever you have to do to get where you gotta be. I’d like to take the time to thank everyone who’s read this! I appreciate it so much. ♥ Stay awesome!

Interested in seeing a demo reel of her acting? Watch it here! To see her everyday makeup routine, click here

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Kylie and Leafy Co.

The following article is about Kylie, a six-year-old girl who owns her own business. She’s an energetic, and unforgettable child whose interests are multifaceted. She has a red belt in Martial Arts and is a gardener and animal lover. She’s an outward-facing child, always on the look-out for new adventures. She’s also on the Autism spectrum, which presents both external and internal challenges.

Kylie’s mom explained some of these challenges to me:

 Kylie perceives the world very differently than others and is very in tune with her surroundings. Everyday noises, lights, sounds, tastes and textures can throw her body into uncontrollable meltdowns. She is currently in many different therapies to help her physically and mentally move through everyday life.

The name of Kylie’s business is Leafy Co and is completely her design. Kylie’s mom described the story behind Leafy Co.

The name came from her love of leaves. Most individuals who are on the spectrum have certain things that they collect. Hers in particular consist of sticks, rocks, and leaves. We find them everywhere. She finds them beautiful.

Soon after Kylie was identified as being on the spectrum, her family explored different creative outlets that would show off her strengths. When she was asked what she wanted to do, Kylie decided that she’d like to put her favorite pictures on t-shirts. If that isn’t amazing enough, Kylie and her best friend are planning a sister company called Bestie Beads. As the name suggests, they will be selling beads they’ve made together. An influential marketing company has picked up Kylie’s inspiring story as well.

Leafy Co. sells graphic t-shirts in all sizes. T-shirts are made upon order. Kylie does the designing, and pressing. Therefore, each shirt is unique. However, the differences between shirts won’t be too noticeable. The designs Kylie makes are inspired by her environment, which makes the t-shirts even more interesting. The designs are abstract and creative. Currently, their business page is on Instagram.

I asked Kylie’s mom what Kylie’s favorite part of being a business person is. She apparently said, “Being the boss!”

Kylie’s mom further explained: She takes great pride in being able to say she runs her own business. Overtime her shirts have flooded the area around us. The smile that comes from seeing her t-shirts on others is irreplaceable. Being a little different from her peers took away a lot of her self-confidence in the last few years. This business has shown her that she is important and her self confidence has gone through the roof. 

The most important aspect of Kylie’s business is the message she wants to send to everyone: Autism children feel and see differently, but they just want acceptance, and love.

Leafy Co. is a great opportunity for everyone to see that children like Kylie are not broken, they’re unique. Just like everyone else, they have their strengths and weaknesses. So, Leafy Co. aspires to enlighten people.

Kylie’s main goal is to gain more followers on Instagram, create at least 10 new designs, and start Bestie Beads. Her Instagram has a faithful following already!

I asked if Kylie or her mom had any advice for children seeking to open their own businesses. Kylie’s mom had a lot to say about it:

Any child has the potential to be an entrepreneur. As a parent I see this journey as one that Kylie can look back on and know that her parents always believed in her. She will know that she can do anything she sets her mind to. As an entrepreneur at six, she has an incredible business mind. Knowing how to cater to a customer, and working to make her business as personal as possible. What will she be doing at 18?

I asked if Leafy Co. has a motto.

Before answering, Kylie’s mom reminisced on the time Kylie was identified as being on the Spectrum. She described how all of the members of her family gathered together – some cried, some dwelled on it. In that moment, she realized that the news was not something to be sad about. On the contrary, she realized it should be celebrated. She explained how Kylie had always been a highly intelligent, silly kid. The news just gave them answers, and helped them map out a road for the future.

In light of their story, Leafy Co.’s motto is: “See the beauty, instead of the label.”

Visit their Instagram, @leafy_business_co.

Q/A with Randy Mallory–A Professional Drummer

The following Q/A is with Randy Mallory, a highly talented professional drummer. His story is by far, one of the most inspiring. His story will motivate you to take the leap, despite the distance.

He's currently based in Los Angeles, but frequently travels. He's currently on tour with a Grammy nominated blues artist, but if you wish to book him...

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Q & A with Carl Story–Up and Coming Pro-Baseball Athlete

’Til this day, I still receive negative feedback from people. I deal with it by simply ignoring those people who are too afraid to step into greatness. Most people go so far and then stop—they don’t want to leave their comfort zone. Well, I’m not one of those people. I would rather try and then fail, than to not have tried at all. 

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