From acting in commercials and doing some work as an extra to starring in one of the biggest TV shows on network television, Lyric Ross has worked hard to get to where she is. The 16-year-old actress has portrayed Deja on NBC’s This Is Us, working alongside seasoned veteran actors such as Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, and Milo Ventimiglia. Ross knew she wanted to act from an extremely young age. “I’ve always wanted to act since I can remember. Everybody at [a young age] wants to be a princess or a superhero – I wanted to be those things too, but I would always want to stay an actress,” she says.
Despite being a teen, Ross has experienced firsthand the difficulties and frustration that come with being in the acting industry (“One of the most important things to know is that you have to have patience”). Before appearing on This Is Us, the young actress had a lot of “no’s” thrown at her. “I started to think, ‘Is this really what I’m supposed to be doing?’ It felt like I didn’t have the talent that people were looking for,” recalls Ross. However, she ultimately realized that rejection is all about the process and took it in stride. “It just wasn’t my time. People don’t really understand that concept when all you hear is ‘no.’ Patience is key when it comes to the process of auditioning,” she affirms.
Through all the “no’s,” Ross caught her big break with the NBC show. While playing this complex character that has experienced abuse and neglect, Ross has learned so much more about children in the foster care system – a topic she wasn’t really aware of beforehand. “I really would like to bring more attention to [foster care],” she says. “If it really just passed my mind like that, I imagine it can pass the minds of others.” According to the National Council For Adoption, the number of children in foster care increased in 2016 by 2.3%, making it 437,465 kids, a number that has risen every year since 2012. “It’s important to bring attention to those kids out there who are going through [the system] and no one is really paying attention to them,” she adds.
Through her craft, Ross is continuing to learn more about herself and the world. She is becoming more conscious of the injustices happening around her, and would like to utilize her platform to help promote more awareness. Not only does she hope to expand her world knowledge, but she would also like to continue growing as a positive and productive person while honing her craft as a professional actor: “I don’t want to be lazy. In order to get into movies, you have to work hard!” she says.
Writer: Gavy Contreras
Photographer & Videographer: Sandra Selva
Stylist: Loren Robles
Hair: Randy Stodghill
Makeup: Hendra Nasril
Editor: Eiko Watanabe
Special thanks to PodShare Venice (@podshare - podshare.com) & EPK Media (@myepk & @epkmedia - epkmedia.com)