Today we’d like to introduce you to Aliya Jo Ramey.
Aliya, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started in the performing arts when I was five years old. I started taking dance classes at DanceFx Atlanta after I told my parents that I wanted to be in entertainment. I took some time off from dancing after a year to focus on a television show that my parents were developing for me. When I turned ten, I returned to DanceFx Atlanta and performed in major shows with the company. My dance teacher, Ms. Payton, suggested that I audition for the national tour for The Lion King at an open call. I made it to final four performers. Although I did not get casted in the national tour, three months later, the casting director reached out to my mother about me auditioning for the Broadway show.
On February 4, 2019, I secured the role of Young Nala in the Broadway production of The Lion King. My mother made the hard decision of leaving her private practice as a mental health Dr and she, my three-month-old baby sister and I moved to New York City for a six-month contract. My mom became my manager and my dad and older three sisters remained in Georgia. My contract was extended and I performed in the role until broadway went dark in March of 2020. Since the broadway shut down, I have devoted my time to developing new shows and philanthropy. I want to inspire other kids to reach for their dreams and give back to my community.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
New York was fun but tough. I am a daddy’s girl, so seeing my dad only once a month (when we traveled home for a day or he came to visit for a weekend) was difficult. I missed my family a lot, so we would FaceTime and create special holidays anytime I came home to visit. There were not any performances on Mondays, so I would fly back home for 24 hours to visit.
Since I am from Atlanta, but I lived in New York, I had to do online school and that was pretty different for me. I had eight shows a week, in which I had to perform half of them. We moved around a lot and used public transportation, so I had to physically help my mom a lot with taking care of the baby, traveling and even moving. We lived in Harlem (Manhattan), the Bronx, Queens, Seacaucus, NJ, Brooklyn and North Bergen, New Jersey. With each new place, we had to learn the transportation system, the neighborhood, and the best places to shop. I really believe it when they say “If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere.” I am from the suburbs, so everything about my story was challenging.
We’d love to hear more about your work.
I am a child performer. I dance, sing, and act. My mother and I formed a company that she runs called “No Person Left Behind,” she manages my career (along with my sister), and we create original content. Although I am known for playing the role of Young Nala on Broadway, giving back to the community is another area that I am known for. When I was in the production, we were a family and since I come from a big family (I am one of five daughters), I do believe in working together. I enjoy doing charity events, speaking at schools, and using my platform to promote positivity.
I am most proud of the fact that I promote healthy and positive relationships among everyone that I meet. I don’t believe in competition. I believe that there is space for everyone to use their gifts. My faith sets me apart. I believe in God, myself, and others.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t really believe in luck. I believe in God, hard work, and being ready for an opportunity when it comes!
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: aliyajo4real