Even TV Stars Feel Like Outsiders Sometimes
Actress Keara Graves on her new Netflix series, balancing work and school, and staying positive.
The only thing harder than being in high school? Juggling high school with a starring role in a TV show, that’s what. Sixteen-year-old Canadian actress Keara Graves has been performing professionally since age four, and she’s only getting started. Her latest gig is playing Leia in the new Netflix original series, Lost & Found Music Studios, which follows a group of talented teen musicians trying to make it big. With actually-relatable issues alongside plenty of musical numbers, it reminds us a little of Degrassi—if it were set to pop songs. On a break from homework (she’s a normal teen, after all) Keara called in to tell us about finding her passion, feeling different, and how she deals with rejection.
What do you think makes Lost & Found Music Studios unique from other teen shows today?
I really like how Lost & Found really touches on a lot of subjects in adolescents’ lives. I think it gives them a really amazing place to relate to, and to get advice from. Even in addition to romance, there are so many issues that are presented later on. This show really presents a wide spectrum of the stuff that real teenagers go through.
How is life on-set different than life in school?
Filming has honestly been the best experience of my life. I met so many incredible, like-minded people that feel just like my family. It’s been so amazing to connect with people just like me. I’ve felt a little bit like an outsider sometimes, in school and with my peers. I’m very artsy; I’m very optimistic, and I do things that not everyone does. It was so great and comforting to meet other people like me.
How do you balance school and acting?
I actually go to a local Catholic school. Right now we’re not filming, so it’s a little bit easier to be focused on studying. But I also need to practice my singing and my instruments and I’m taking acting lessons on top of school. So even when we aren’t filming, it’s really hard to balance!
Actors have to deal with a lot of rejection. How do you stay optimistic?
It’s definitely really hard, but I’ve always envisioned where I want to be and what I want to do a few years from now. Let’s say I don't get a job that I really want, and they tell me negative things—I don’t take it to heart. You can’t. You just have to focus on all of the positive aspects about yourself which can sometimes be really hard.
What advice do you have for girls trying to find their own creative outlets?
I know it’s really basic, but you have to follow your heart. A lot of people don’t think about that right now when they’re young; but when you’re older, you want to be happy. Doing stuff that you love will give you satisfaction. You want to feel like you have a purpose. You can’t let others discourage you, or tell you that you can’t make a career out of your passion. Don’t let others tell you that your dreams are irrational...Unless your dream is to be, like, a princess or something [Laughs].