The truth on becoming an overnight success…
Francia Raisa, is a Los Angeles native of Mexican and Honduran descent. Currently she plays a college student named Ana Torres on Grown-ish, the hit spin-off following the success of ABC’s Black-ish. In 2018 she starred alongside Tyra Banks in the feature film Life-Size 2. Some earlier credits include her role as Adrian on The Secret Life of The American Teenager; and her role as Leti in the feature film Bring It On: All or Nothing released in 2006. Raisa dedicates herself to causes like, ending human trafficking and rights for immigrants.
Today we are joined with Francia Raisa. Her career started with getting a roll in Bring it On, now she is on the TV series “Grown-ish.” This industry is really tough to get started in but with everything in life, there is both challenge and struggle. “Jesus, I’m going to trust you, then everything gets hard.” You say ok I’m going to do this but life gets hard you have to fight and preserve through it. “The pain you go through during the process becomes like a sword to you in your career.” At the age of 17, Franica decided to pursue her dream of being an actress, she landed her first role just a few months later. At the time she didn’t realize just how rare that timeline was. “I needed that time so that I could get to where I am today.” She has since gone to audition after audition, getting maybe 10 roles for every 1000 auditions. “This constant but slow progress is normal. It’s the drive that you have in your heart that Gods put in you is what keeps you going, overnight success doesn’t really happen in this industry.” The truth is a new actress steps on the scene and we’re like, “Wow! She’s an overnight success.” Yet we don’t actually know the time she put in behind the scenes to get the role that puts her on the map.
Anytime she wanted to quit, God opens a door and she gets another job. Her manager came into her life kind of serendipitous because she had known him for years now but never talked. Now he’s in every part of her life. God has a way of letting us know that He still has something for us, it’s not time to give up. These little nuggets, or open doors keep us moving towards our goals.
Francia shares when she knew that being an actress was what she wanted for her life:
“Being an actress had been a dream since I was a little girl. I was a cheerleader in high school but got kicked off the team due to an illness, that’s when I decided that I wanted to really go after acting. After some prayer and time to reflect, I felt that if I’m going to do this then now is the time! Getting a part in Bring It On happened really quickly which helped give me confirmation that I was going in the right direction. But then when it wrapped up I was like, “Now what?” I still had hurdles and trials to get through. There are times when you aren’t sure what you are supposed to do but there are signs that lead you to it.” Perseverance builds character and the more we are listening for God the more he shows us and leads us to where He’s taking us. Are you listening to his nudges?
What are those defining moments when God does something radical, shifting our course; a marker in your life where you can see that God did something radical? Francia states, “I felt like there were times when I wasn’t happy with my representation and the way I was being lead especially seeing my friends going in the direction that I wanted to go. If I had known what I know now I would have done things differently and I asked God for a second chance. My mind shifted on why I wanted to do this and remember the reason I wanted to do this in the first place and why I got lost in the first place. God brought me through a season of remembering why I started. The pressure of the industry constantly makes you feel like you aren’t doing enough. I realized why I wanted to do this and what I would do differently, my heart and mind completely shifted as I prayed for a second chance to make a difference. On my 29th birthday, I booked my second TV show playing a teenager again on the same network which was me starting where I left off that was my second chance.”
Trusting your gut is so important when you’re going after your dreams. Rebecca asks Francia to tell us about the journey God brought you on to identify the intention of your heart. She states, “It was the worst experience of my life… can I please not cry today? Years later you realize it was discipline. I didn’t enjoy my season because I was so worried about the next thing. Sometimes we’re so focused on the next thing or what’s the next chapter that we don’t enjoy the time we are in. I build a lot of great friendships but as I look back I realized I didn’t enjoy that season. This time around I don’t want to be so worried about working all the time and start enjoying what I am doing and traveling more.” Regardless of what industry we are in, this can be true of all of us, being busy with the side hustle to make the dream happen. Rushing through the process, trying to get to the next things, not taking the time to enjoy what you have in front of you.
Francia shares, “I have met a lot of people who have a dream in their heart but God takes them in a different direction. What I feel like I’m learning is that God lets you pursue your passion, but your ministry is somewhere else. Just listen to what God is saying. Whatever God puts in your heart is a way better plan than what we have. If we keep going by what we want and set our mind to, it’s not going to work out.” We need to remember that God sees the big picture, and may have so much in store for us than what we are currently dreaming. Francia continues with “I’m very fortunate, I am not where I want to be in my career but God is taking my dream in a different direction and maybe I will be more successful in this lane than the one I planned for myself.” He will give you a passion but also give you a ministry. It’s important to do the work to learn what you need for where God has put you, keep learning.
Francia shows us it takes perseverance and persistence to get where you want to be. If God is in it, He will continue to go before you and open the doors. The moment you are ready to give up He shows up opens the door and everything you learned in your hard season becomes your weapon for success in the “now season”.
Follow Francia on Instagram and tune in to “Grown-ish” on Freeform.