Kyla Frye is being the change she wants to see
Kyla Frye, is young, talented and an inspiration to many; with her entrepreneurial spirit in tow, she has credits in performing arts, television, film and modelling. Her latest film project sees her play a soldier (though uncredited) in the summer blockbuster 'Edge of Tomorrow' starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. At just 25, she has a flourishing career as an award winning actress and model and the founder of her own company, Fryeday Entertainment LTD. In 2012, she made her filmmaking debut; The Key which was seen by over 21,000 people, a documentary to inspire a generation about the keys to success in the media industry- Kyla reached out to several people from the black community who embody all the qualities to achieve success in such a powerful working environment. So when Afronoire had the chance to talk to her about the nature of her work, she discussed the importance of education, the challenges in the media industry and her motivation as a young woman to succeed. It was clear that nothing proves too big an obstacle for Kyla and that she just keeps on going.
“We have to do what we don’t want to do in order for us to do what we desire”
Describe a day in the life of Kyla Frye...
Typically, I’d get up, do a short workout, eat breakfast whilst watching the news and catching up on the latest via my social networks. Depending on the days agenda, I’d more than likely head off to day job number one. Whilst there, I’d make the most of my resources and intermittently work on Fryeday Entertainment LTD., respond to emails, book meetings etc. From there, I’d head over to day job number two and continue in the same vein i.e. Going over scripts, character breakdowns etc. I usually end the day sitting on the sofa next to my Mr, whilst we snack on popcorn and watch great movies.
Growing up with parents who worked in entertainment, how did you get started in your career?
My “career” started when I was two years old, having won TV Toddler of The Year 1990. The rest didn’t happen until the age of 17 when I joined Identity Drama School. I was picked up by their agency within a few weeks, started auditioning and the rest is history.
You were named in Britain’s 100 most outstanding young black graduates, that’s an incredible achievement! What advice would you give to your generation about education and reaching their goals?
Knowledge is power! The more informed you are, the better equipped you are for what life has to offer. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go into Higher Education as the ‘University of Life’ teaches plenty that can’t be taught within conventional institutions, however, I cannot stress how important it is to be an independent learner. Especially since we live in the “information age”, it’s easier than ever to read up on a whole host of topics that YOU are interested in, as opposed to someone else telling you what you should be interested in. I graduated with honours after gaining my degree in Criminology and Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies. I often get crazy looks when I say that as people don’t understand how they go together. The way I see it, there’s no point in studying something for three years that you couldn’t care less about. In saying that, conventional institutions do instil discipline and teach us that sometimes we have to do what we don’t want to do in order for us to do what we desire... Sometimes we have to listen, talk and work with people whom we may not want to, in order for us to achieve something. Those are important life lessons I think.
You have your own production company, Fryeday Entertainment LTD. What made you decide to embark on this new venture?
It was the thought of me turning 25 years old and nothing to show for it – I asked myself, “What will be my legacy?!” When I was younger, I had all these dreams of what I would achieve by my turning a quarter-century but obviously, they didn’t materialise. That, along with the frustration I was feeling as an actor. The stereotyping, the lack of colour-blindness within the industry... I felt I needed to do something... A change was needed... It was a case of “Don’t be a part of the problem, be a part of the solution.” So I put my money where my mouth was and went out on a limb. Fortunately it’s paid off! Fryeday Entertainment LTD. ~ Being The Change We Want To See.
Your filmmaking debut; The Key was seen by over 21,000 people, do you think that you achieved all that you wanted from this?
To go from an inception of an idea to the fruition of that idea in less than a year is something that I never could have imagined and the success that The Key has had so far, has just blown me away! For it to be my first ever film and so far, for it to have been on two different TV channels, the most watched BUFF program on BBC iPlayer along with it being considered for a variety of film festivals both home and away... I cannot thank God enough! I cannot thank The Key Team enough, especially Daniel Onyia and Joshua Famaks... It wouldn’t have been possible without them!
What's your key to success?
You’ll have to look out for my interview in ‘The Key UNCUT’ for that! I will say that you have to love what you do and do what you love... Eventually, that will pay off.
You are such a phenomenal young lady. What does being a woman mean to you?
Thank you! That’s a hard question actually... I think being a woman means that I need to be the best version of myself and give the best of myself. That means being the greatest daughter, girlfriend, sister, auntie, friend, cousin, grandaughter and niece that I can possibly be. It means setting and leading by example and doing what I can to make a difference in this world so that when I do eventually have children of my own, I’ve already done all that I can to make sure that this is a world that I am happy to raise them in.
What has been the most challenging moment throughout your career?
What’s been the most challenging and yet, the most rewarding, has to be starting up Fryeday Entertainment LTD. Prior to this, I had no behind-the-camera experience and now I have written, directed and produced. Not to mention trying to launch the company, raise funds for the company and the general business handlings, of which yet again, I had no prior experience. I’ve really had to learn all of this as I’ve gone along at a ridiculously fast rate but that’s how I work best I think. I like rising to the challenge, pushing myself and surprising myself by what I have been able to do... You never know if you never try!
What advice would you give to a young girl/woman who wanted to be in your line of work?
Only get involved if you truly LOVE what you do... Be it as an actor, director, writer, cinematographer, set designer... Whatever! LOVE IT! As with anything you love, it will make you feel like you’re on top of the world but when heartbreak comes, the pain is unimaginable. In this particular line of work, you will experience more pain than joy and so my advice would be to prepare for that... Expect that but at the same time believe wholeheartedly that you and this industry are meant to be. Eventually, as with any relationship, if you work hard enough and stay strong throughout the ups and downs, you’ll be just fine.
You have got so much on your radar, what motivates you and how do you stay so balanced?
I’ve always said that my motivation is to inspire a generation. Working for myself means that if I don’t work, then nothing will work so I have to remain resilient and continue to pursue my dreams. Nelson Mandela was quoted to have said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” So I need to do what I need to do to show others that it is possible to work in one of the hardest industries in the world and actually succeed.
Any positive words for inspiration to our readers?
Impossible is nothing... In order to achieve it, you must first believe it... The Key to every door of opportunity lies within you, so wander in the possibilities, dream big and be the most amazing version of you that you have to offer!
What have you got lined up for the future?
There are lots of great things happening... I am super excited- wonderful things happening over at Fryeday HQ... and I’m also writing something exciting, so watch this space!
Find out more and keep up with Kyra below