Milan Ray is an actress who is in the ABC’s The Wonder Years. The Wonder Years premiered on September 22nd, and is a coming of age comedy Inspired by the 1988 series of the same name. Milan portrays the character of Keisa Clemmons. YEM was able to speak with Milan about the first acting project she was involved in, her favorite line she has delivered, and her biggest inspirations in life.
Young Entertainment Mag: How did you know you wanted to act?
Milan Ray: Well I guess when I was about 3 years old, I just kept saying that I wanted to be on TV. Then when I was about 6, I constantly asked my mother to put me in acting classes. She finally agreed and it just took off from there.
YEM: What was the first acting project that you were involved with?
Milan: My first acting project was a Walmart commercial for the movie Trolls. It also happened to be my very first audition, so I was super excited about that.
YEM: What was it like being a part of the Walmart trolls commercial?
Milan: It was so much fun! I felt like it was such a good experience for me to take in. It was my first job ever, so just seeing how everything worked ( the cameras, the set, all of the behind the scenes stuff) was fascinating. Needless to say, I was hooked after that!
YEM: What is the most rewarding thing about being a series regular on ABC’s new rendition ofThe Wonder Years?
Milan: I would have to say the most rewarding thing is being able to work with such a talented cast and crew on a regular basis is really special to me.
YEM: What is it like going through hair and makeup?
Milan: I always have a great time in hair and makeup. Both departments are super talented and I love the different period looks that they come up with for my character Keisa. I especially love the fantasy scene looks because they really get to show out!
YEM: What is the best acting advice that you’ve gotten?
Milan: I think the best acting advice I’ve gotten was from both of my acting coaches Coach Mark and my now manager Margo. And that is that the eyes are super important when it comes to acting. It’s been said that the eyes are the window to your soul, so it’s important to show emotion with your eyes when auditioning and working.
YEM: Do you have a favorite line that you’ve delivered?
Milan: I honestly don’t think I have a favorite line. I’ve enjoyed all of the dialogues that I’ve had so far. I will say that Keisa has some good stuff coming up on The Wonder Years, so I may change my mind!
YEM: Is there a time that you were presented with an obstacle during filming? How did you overcome it?
Milan: I would say one big obstacle I faced was while filming the Jamboree scene in Troop Zero during the summer in the swamps of New Orleans. It was so hot and humid! I think it was over 100 degrees and I was in a globe costume! I got through it by drinking a ton of water and eating lots of fruit!
YEM: What does it take to be a good actor?
Milan: I would say it takes guts. And patience. Lots of patience! Also being able to take direction well is a great quality to have.
YEM: Do you share any similar qualities to your character young Lil on Amazon’s Modern Love?
Milan: Of course! I would say Lil is a character that I can definitely relate to. I’m not talking about her story or background necessarily, but just the way that she carries herself. She’s pretty confident and her shoe game is fire! 🙂
YEM: Who is your favorite character that you’ve gotten to play and why?
Milan: Honestly, that’s a tough question. I truly have loved all of the characters that I have portrayed so far, and I think they are all special in their own way. It’s tough to choose one!
YEM: Who is your biggest inspiration in life and why?
Milan: I would have to say that my mom is my biggest inspiration. She’s always been so patient and understanding throughout this journey. She’s always supported and believed in me no matter what and that means the world to me.
YEM: How have you grown from your first acting project to now?
Milan: I think I’ve grown from my first acting project because I feel like I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable with being on set. Once the nervousness subsided, and I started getting used to the set environment, I was able to focus on showcasing my acting skills. I’m constantly learning and wanting to grow more as an actor, and hopefully I will keep improving as time goes on.
YEM: Do you have any advice for people who are new to acting or hoping to make a career out of acting?
Milan: I would have to say to have faith in yourself. Because when you have faith in yourself, your confidence grows which changes the way that you carry yourself. This can change the way that people around you perceive and how you perceive yourself. Also, never stop learning and practicing your craft. And finally, learn how to take rejections (because there will be many!) and move on. There are so many factors that go into the casting process, so don’t beat yourself up too much about not getting a part.