Very few child stars can say that they burst on the scene captivating with a role in a racy, revolutionary and honest adult drama series but Navia Robinson can. Navia made her first television series home on BET’s hit series helmed by Gabrielle Union, “Being Mary Jane” as D’Asia Patterson. On a show with countless adult issues at the forefront, even at age 6, Navia showed dynamic character delivery and true talent amongst her many adult co-stars. You knew then that Navia Robinson is something special. Flash forward a few years and I catch up with Navia on the set of her wildly successful Disney series “Raven’s Home”. Yes, thee reboot of the superstar Raven Symone’s original series “That’s So Raven”.
The days of a teen star filming a hit series are long and can be hard but Navia navigates her role and career with poise, grace and purpose. Navia credits her focus on the future and belief in manifestation with keeping her grounded in an industry that can be fickle, anxiety inducing and downright stressful.
“Honestly, it’s not like a one step solution, it truly takes time. For me, the one thing that I do is look toward my future. Just knowing that I will be able to have more control over my life not just as I’m older but as the world becomes more of my oyster. I don’t know [exactly] what’s going to happen in my future but something great is bound to happen. Even with the negativities that will happen in my future. Something great is going to happen. I keep my mind open and think about that. I want to know and feel whatever greatness might happen. So, staying positive helps. I know if I put positive into the world,it will come back to me. So if I stay positive about any anxiety or any stress as much as I can it will come back to me.”
Understandably Navia also counts on a tribe to support her through life.
“Friends are great! It’s hard to find real ones but I have friends who can relate to me in so many different ways and I think that is important. When you open up to people, most likely, they will open up to you. So when you find somebody who deals with the same things you do [open up to them]. I’ve found a friend who deals with the same things as I do. I talk to her constantly and she talks to me constantly. We kinda feed off each other good energy and help to get rid of each other’s bad energy. It’s a perfect situation.”
Of course, it also takes a certain amount of passion, fortitude, and faith to jump in and successfully navigate the entertainment industry. Navia’s journey into performance was one chosen by her which adds to the focus and fearlessness you see within her career. Early on she drew inspiration to become an actress from actually seeing the kids on Disney channel do it.
“These kids who were from Atlanta where I grew up and they were able to be on these shows made me realized that I could do the same thing and that’s when it all began for me.”
With that realization, Navia asked her parents to enroll her in acting classes. She entered into her classes completely unsure if she would like it and fell in love with it. The fun that she experienced in the process of learning acting quickly shifted into a passion for the craft. It was in those acting classes where Navia decided that this is what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
Navia realizes that the Disney Channel dream does not happen for every kid but she strongly proposes that if that is what you want you should go for it and never give up. There is a lot of narrative around the “pipedream” for children to take the leap and make the transition to being working and notable child stars especially in the Disney universe but it can be done.
“You truly have to be determined. Have a perspective of in terms of ‘I won’t give up’ because it will be times when you feel like you want to. You just have to realize that you’re going to get a lot of ‘NOs’. You have to stay motivated that’s the only thing that will help you propel yourself. It’s all a domino effect, you’re going to get one thing and then as you are more experienced and you grow, accept that you have to change certain things and that you need to just adjust as an actor, get better. You will be able to blossom and book something and the rest will be history.”
Navia Robinson maybe thirteen but her soul is well beyond her years. She speaks candidly about manifestation, goal setting and inspiring others to go do which all don’t tend to rank highly as a priority amongst others her age. The path that she walks now is one she knows she manifested. Painting a picture in her mind and visualizing what her reality will be in the future not only allows her to set and go get her goals but reassure herself in times of doubt or stress.
“It kind of keeps my mind on the future and not thinking about the present if I am going through difficulties. I remind myself in the future, I will be successful. I think that state of mind takes me off of anything that may not be motivating me and helps me thinks about the future is. Obviously, it hasn’t happened yet and you could change the course of your life in the moment in order to create a future for yourself that you want to live in.”
With her mind right, a future bright, Navia looks to goals such as attending the MET Gala and her first major feature film as on the docket to conquer next. She is excited to see her star rise and increase her visibility in film, television, fashion and the arts.
She looks to Oprah, “the Incredible and diverse women who were elected to the House of Representatives” and people who use their platforms to help those suffering as inspiration for her life and career.
“Truthfully, anyone who uses their platform for good, anyone of understanding and… anyone who cares about things that don’t directly affect them. So anyone who has the privilege of having a roof over your head, you care about those who don’t and you do your best to help those people who don’t have a roof over their heads, whether, it’s giving donations, whether it’s going to homeless shelters. You truly care about people who suffer from things you don’t suffer with or don’t affect you. I really respect those people “
And when asked about who she hoped draws inspiration from her she replied:
“I hope that my art inspires anyone who needs inspiration really. I don’t look for specific people. I think of course representation is really important, so any young girl who feels as if they won’t be able to do things because of their race, because of gender. I just want them to realize that it’s not true. You will have more burdens, of course. And hopefully, as the years grow on and we develop as a country, your know, worldwide, we don’t have any in balances, but even with in balances, you can still persevere and end up in powerful positions even if you don’t have the privilege of others so I hope I inspire those people but anyone who needs inspiration as well.”
Keep up with Navia on IG @NaviaRobinson
THE TEAM BEHIND THIS INCREDIBLE FEATURE STORY
Producer + Editor: Erica Vain
Creative Director + Photographer: Kaye McCoy
Fashion Styling: Keri Henderson + Germanee Gerald
Hair Styling: Kenya Alexander
Makeup Artistry: Jackie Delaney + Bria Sims