Actress on the rise Aliyah Turner has paved a way for herself by making her debut feature in “Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G” and then securing her first major role in “Power Book III: Raising Kanan”, a role in which she showcases her abilities as a triple-threat. Born in Fremont, California and growing up in the Bay Area, Aliyah is a former model, who began developing her craft at the age of 3 and is trained in competitive dance including tap, jazz and hip-hop. Outside of her blossoming career, Aliyah can be found focusing on both her physical and mental health. She loves doing yoga, lifting, martial arts – including Kung Fu – meditating, and journaling. When she is not working on personal wellness projects, Aliyah is heavily involved in philanthropic endeavors. With each job she books, Aliyah sets aside a portion of her pay to donate to a cause of her choice, including her church community, victims of human trafficking and those experiencing homelessness. Read more about her below!
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Hayward, a city in Northern California. I am a proud Bay Area native.
What made you consider becoming an actress?
At the age of seven, I was chosen to play a lead in a production of “The Jungle Book”, and that’s when I realized there was nothing else I would rather do. Falling in love with storytelling at a young age completely changed my life. From then on, I immersed myself in the arts and with guidance from my high school drama teacher, I secured top roles in school productions, spent hours in drama rehearsals and dance studios, and attended acting for camera classes on weekends. This led me to join the UCLA Theater, Film, and Television program after a successful audition. In my freshman year, I gained a manager and agent, launching my career in professional projects.
What do you enjoy most about acting?
I feel completely free when I’m working. There’s nothing on my mind except for what’s happening in the scene. It’s just so much fun to release what’s going on in my life and step into the lives of complex characters.
How did you land the role in “Power Book III: Raising Kanan”?
There were three parts to my audition for the role of Krystal: acting, singing, and dancing. It was a very fun challenge. I think what landed me the role was embodying her fierceness and relentlessness to do anything to succeed.
How do you prepare for your auditions?
I take time to create specific relationships and history of characters. I think it’s important to try to understand who you’re stepping into and how they exist in their world.
What advice do you have for people who want to be an actress?
Do not give up. Ever! Success takes time and endurance. Always remember your path is unique and cannot be compared to anyone else’s. Your time is coming.
What actress/actor inspires you the most?
Recently, I’ve been on a “Hunger Games” binge. While there are countless actresses and actors I find incredibly moving, I’m going to name two who’ve inspired me recently: Jennifer Lawrence and Rachel Zegler.
What do you do in your free time?
I’m new to New York, so I love to hit up speakeasies, jazz clubs, and foodie-recommended restaurants. I’m also obsessed with going to the movies and can be found there on the regular.
How can our audience stay up to date with you?
Social media. @_AliyahTurner
Images: James Barton