Mahya James is a model, dancer and an actress who can hula a mean hoop. Here is a link to her Facebook page:
Q: Where did you learn to hula hoop?
A: I think I had my first hula hoop when I was like 5 or 6! I would only hoop around my waist and knees though. When I started going to music festivals to see my favorite bands I got reintroduced to it through seeing girls dancing in them! They are so much fun!
Q: How did you get into modeling?
A: Well… it’s hard to say.. I did some stuff I hardly remember when I was pretty young. A pageant or two, and loved runway modeling! I’ve always been entranced by runway shows and fashion. I was pretty much just rocking out at a music festival with my hoop and I met one of my good friends, A.J… he suggested I move out to California and we were friends for a while after the festival and he was completely serious and encouraged me that I had talent to share. Around the same time I met one of the writers of Scrubs through posting youtube videos online and he really wanted to meet me and take some head shots, so that helped me book some jobs for sure! I’ve met lots of really talented and creative people.
Q: Is anorexia as rampant in the modeling industry as the media would suggest, or are the exaggerating?
A: Hmm… I’ve been seeing a LOT on youtube about anorexia.. and I’m sorry, but I’m like WTF? I’ve worked with so many beautiful and healthy girls. I remember noticing one girl that seemed really thin, but she said something about relationship troubles and being upset and not able to eat. I honestly thought she looked pretty muscular and strong though. Personally, I have been classified as underweight for quite some time and I do eat when I’m hungry, but sometimes have a hard time finding my appetite. Anorexia is really serious though, it sends girls to the hospital and can send them to their graves. I don’t think you’d be fit to work really. We shouldn’t be so quick to slap such a serious label on someone thin. Ultimately, I try my best to focus on health and not weight or size.
Q: What is your wildest work story?
A: Probably whenever people start taking out their cameras and the crowd effect of that happens.. Like getting out of the limo at the playboy party and just being kinda tipsy or in a daze and having people take photos of you walking from the limo to the club is wild for me. I was like.. omg.. is my boob out or something? Why are they taking pictures and why me out of all these playboy bunnies?
Q: What kinds of day jobs have you had?
A: A few.. I scooped ice-cream, babysat, and worked as a hostess for a restaurant. I also did retail for a summer when I moved to Saint Simons Island.
Q: . Do you feel being multi ethnic has helped you or hurt you?
A: I think it could help me stand out in a lot of ways, so that’s a plus. Sometimes it hurts in acting. Like, roles can be so specific and whoever’s in charge has one thing in mind to find for it. That’s just with anything though. Overall I think it helps because I can connect with more people through having been raised multi-culturally.
Q: What do you like about Hollywood?
A: The shopping, pretty people, lots of creative people too and just characters sometimes. There’s always something going on somewhere. It also feels smaller once you live there, which I like.
Q: What don’t you like about it?
A: There are quite a few scammers. It’s a bit harder to trust people out here at times. I feel like I have to be more on guard. It’s so light polluted that you can hardly see the stars out at night and it’s kinda not cool to walk around barefoot there. Island life spoils you though.
Q: What is the most common misconceptions about models?
A: The biggest misconception is probably that we’re catty with each other. Sometimes we’re almost pitted against each other, but I cherish the time I get to spend and connect with other models and share our experiences. We often share really similar experiences.. good and bad!
Q: Is there any product you would refuse to advertise on principal?
A: I do believe in freedom of speech & expression.. I kind of take it on a play by play basis. If I’m not comfortable with something, I pass on it. Sometimes there are good messages to be taken from controversial subjects though.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)