“Sometimes when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place.”
AN INTERVIEW WITH ALEXIS JOY
BTCF: At such a young age, you created your site Alexis Joy VIP Access, what was your inspiration? How did you get started?
ALEXIS: I feel as though I was bitten by the writing bug at a very young age. I’ve always had a great passion for writing, so much so, that I remember even when I was in elementary school, I would always write in a journal to help me remember certain memories from trips I went on with my family. My great grandma is a writer herself, so I definitely was inspired by her to pursue a career in journalism.
When I was 13, I started writing for an online entertainment news site. After being able to furthermore expand my love for writing and combine that with the world of entertainment, I decided to branch off on my own and create my own site, AlexisJoyVIPAccess.com when I was 14 on 11/11/11. It’s been such a magical, surreal, and blessed journey that I’m so grateful for.
BTCF: What are some of your favorite moments in your career?
ALEXIS: That’s a tough one! I can honestly say that every moment, every event, and every opportunity I’ve had throughout my career has been so special for me in its own way, so it’s hard to choose a favorite. I can say meeting Drake at the Euphoria premiere was a top favorite for me for sure. He’s my all-time favorite musician, so that photo is definitely framed by my bedside, lol! It’s also always an honor covering Nickelodeon events and having attended the premieres for phenomenal shows like Disney+ and National Geographic’s Welcome to Earth and the premiere for Damsel starring Robert Pattinson. Those are memories I’ll never forget. But for me, my ultimate favorite memories I’ve had in my career are those that I get to share with my family. Being able to take my mom, grandma, great-grandma, and now, even my uncle to my events with me has been something I’ve always dreamed of. For me, it’s really like my prayers have been answered to have them be a part of these milestones.
BTCF: As a red-carpet host and interviewer, are there ever times when you get nervous and if so, how do you overcome those fears?
ALEXIS: In the beginning of my career, I would find myself getting nervous before interviews, but something that I have always kept in mind with everything that I do – whether it’s conducting interviews, or being on set for video-shoots, or any kind of new endeavor, I would remind myself that this is something I’ve always dreamed of doing, and now I get to live out that dream. So, instead of getting nervous, those nerves are overpowered by excitement, and it actually gives me the adrenaline that I need to give it my all. I would advise anyone who may feel nervous before doing something to always remember why you started
BTCF: Along with your career, you are also a college graduate. Can you share how you navigated both your career and school at the same time?
ALEXIS: One thing I can say is that it definitely wasn’t any easy feat to balance college and my work. My life was defined by A LOT of sleepless nights just to get my work done 😉 Lol! Especially since I am the sole member of my team (aside from my mom and grandma as my videographer at events), but I conduct all the interviews, write all of the articles, edit all of the interview videos, and work on all of the social media posts and emails. But something I always say is, if you love what you do, you’ll make time for it all and always find a way to get it done. I always made sure to do any schoolwork that I had in advance, so that it made more time for me to focus on my career and write my articles and cover events. I really utilized every moment that I could. In fact, when I used to live in New York, I would cover events in Los Angeles, go on a red eye flight, and instead of sleeping on the plane, I would study for exams or do advanced homework, and then I would go straight from a plane to the classroom. I think the biggest driving factor for how I navigated being a full-time college student and my career is my drive and passion for my work, and that was always the fuel that kept me going.
BTCF: What are some of your top self-care tips you can share? How important is self-care to you daily?
ALEXIS: Wow, I can’t stress enough how important self-care is to me on a daily basis. But, I have to admit, it’s something that I actually wasn’t so good at prioritizing on before, and is something that I continue to work on every day. I’m someone who is always on the go and loves doing something productive every single moment, but what I’ve learnt over the years is, sometimes the most productive thing you can do is to take time for yourself and relax, otherwise you’re going to experience major burnout, even if you’re doing what you love. My top self-care tip would be to find something you enjoy doing – whether that’s watching a movie with family, or taking a power nap, or putting on a face mask at night, whatever it is, make it a priority that you actually take some time for you. This way, when you take a few moments for some self R&R, you can come back to any projects you’re working on with full force and a better mindset.
BTCF: You have always been a big BTCF supporter and have done several interviews on our first annual red-carpet event, as well as many other interviews and articles in support of our work. What draws you to our mission and call to action?
ALEXIS: Breaking the Chains Foundation is something that this world has needed for a long time. Especially now with social media, I feel like people have a lot of pressure on themselves to look a certain way, which can lead to eating disorders. I love how Breaking the Chains Foundation provides an outlet for so many and helps with education, awareness, and healing. I also grew up around art my entire life, so to see how Breaking the Chains Foundation uses art as a medium to express a road towards wellness and recovery is another one of the many things I admire about the foundation.
BTCF: As you know, BTCF uses all forms of art and artistry uses art as the process to unmask the stigma of individuals affected by eating disorders, disordered eating & negative body image providing a bridge to recovery and serving as a prevention platform toward a healthy journey to mental, physical, and emotional wellness. How do you connect to your artistry when it comes to creating your brand and connecting to others in a positive way?
ALEXIS: That’s something that has always been a goal of mine with my site – to create a positive experience for those who come across my content. My site has always been a happy escape for me. Even during some of the toughest of times, like when my family and I went through Hurricane Sandy when we were living in New York, my site was something I turned to as a sense of normalcy and made me feel good. That’s how I’ve always wanted people to feel when they read an article on my site or watch any of my interviews – that feeling of positivity and being able to forget any worries or troubles they have. I know that’s a big reason why I’ve always gravitated towards supporting Breaking the Chains Foundation’s mission as whatever project the foundation works on, it always brings positivity and a great impact.
BTCF: What are three pieces of advice would you give to youth who inspire to do what you are doing?
ALEXIS: The first piece of advice I always tell people is to work hard, then work even harder. Hard work actually does pay off. Another piece of advice is to never give up. It’s something we hear so often and it may sound cliché, but it’s so true. I have heard “no” so many times in my career, but each time has just brought me closer to working towards my dream even more. One day that “no” will turn into a “yes” and it will be such a gratifying feeling, so just always believe in your heart that it will happen and you’ll see it come to life. My last piece of advice is to just go for things. My mom always tells me, “the worst thing they can say is ‘no’” and that’s something I’ve really lived by. When I started out in my career, I used to be somewhat hesitant to try things because of the thought that they might say no, but the word “no” shouldn’t be something that’s feared, it should be something that will drive you to be the best version of yourself.
BTCF: As a host, interviewer, and writer with several social media platforms, how does social media affect you personally? How do you think those using social media can empower others?
ALEXIS: Social media has been such a pivotal and game-changing part of my career. It’s helped me get my message out and spread positivity through my site and platforms to people all over the world. I am able to connect with viewers and my audience, some who I may otherwise not have been able to meet or get to know if it weren’t for social media. Social media has also helped me hone in on my creativity and find different ways to share my content. With the good, also comes the bad, and I do see the downfalls social media can have, especially when it comes to things like body image. But, I think that when you take ownership of what makes you different from others and celebrate that, and at the same time have a support system (be it family, friends, or a great foundation like Breaking the Chains Foundation), then social media can be a really great way to empower yourself and others.
BTCF: Tell us a little bit about serving as an entertainment news expert on Gordon Ramsay’s daughter, Matilda Ramsey’s show, Matilda and the Ramsay Bunch on BBC. What was that experience like and how did you receive this opportunity?
ALEXIS: It truly was the most unforgettable and enjoyable experience! One day, I just received an email from a member of the show’s team asking me if I’d be interested to share some of my top tips as an entertainment news reporter on BBC’s Matilda and the Ramsay Bunch. It was such a beautiful surprise and really such a blessing for me because I recognize that there are a lot of other amazing reporters in the entertainment field, but the fact that they chose me to be a part of this great project was incredibly surreal. The day of the filming, I met Gordon Ramsay’s daughter, Matilda and her terrific siblings, and I got to share some insight on how to have a successful time interviewing on the red carpet. They all were so sweet and wonderful. It was such a joy and I love getting to watch that segment because it was definitely a highlight of my career.
BTCF: You have covered a multitude of award shows as a red-carpet host, a couple being the Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards and the Latin American Music Awards. Can share a favorite experience from each and why?
ALEXIS: Ah, those are some of my favorite memories! The Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards is always a blast to cover. It’s an event that has so much energy and the excitement in the air is just different. One of my favorite memories from the KCAs is that I actually got the chance to get SLIMED during a KCA pre-event I covered. I think it’s everyone’s lifelong dream to get slimed, so it was a memory I’ll cherish forever. And, it was COLD!
The Latin American Music Awards was really fun to cover too. I started covering that during its first ever awards show, so it was a pleasure to be a part of the inaugural event. I got to interview Idina Menzel there and Bad Bunny, which was a great honor. I also got to do some interviews in Spanish because I had taken up the language for several years.
BTCF: Family is super important to you and anyone that follows you can see how often you share photos with your family. Can you share a few pieces advice you have received from them that have great meaning to you and why?
ALEXIS: Aw, thank you for asking about them because it always makes my heart so happy to talk about them. There are so many things that I’ve learnt from my family, and I really attribute who I am as a person to them and their guidance, support, and care. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received from them is to “do my best, but never stress.” My whole family has always told me that – even when I was in elementary school when I would take exams. They taught me to have a good work ethic and to always work hard and put my 150% passion into everything that I do, but to always remember not to stress the outcome, because in the end, I tried my hardest and that’s a success in and of itself.
Another piece of advice I got from them is to just trust the process. My family and I are really faith-based, so we believe that with hard work and with our faith in our angels, saints, and God, things will always work out. So, for anyone reading, whatever you believe in, trust that it will always work out in the end.
BTCF: What are some of the unique cultural influences in your life?
ALEXIS: I come from a family of four generations of women, so having that strength of being a woman has always been a big part of my life. I also am really in touch with my Filipina culture. Filipinos pride on resilience and compassion, which are two things that my world really revolves around. I’m half Filipina and half Italian, so seeing how both sides of my family are all really close and prioritize on family time and faith is a big reason why those are such important influences in my life.
BTCF: As a red-carpet interviewer and host, what is your process for creating your interviews for people?
ALEXIS: I always try and make the interview experience a memorable one – not just for myself, but hopefully for the person I’m interviewing as well. I’m always grateful to have the time to speak with every person I have the chance to interview, so I always make sure to do a lot of research on them and really highlight the amazing and awe-inspiring projects they are working on to help get their message and goal out to other people. What I do is, I sit down and write my questions, but then, I look them over to find ways to ask that question in a more fun and creative way, so it’s something that the interviewee has never been asked before.
BTCF: If you had one message to share with youth who struggle with their body image, what would you say?
ALEXIS: I would say that you are perfect in every way! Social media has made a lot of us think we have to look a certain way, but your inner beauty is something that will always shine through. Celebrate yourself and what makes you unique every single day.
BTCF: In 5 words, how would you describe yourself?
ALEXIS: Compassionate, hard-working, determined, ambitious, and caring
BTCF: Anything else you would like to share?
ALEXIS: I would like to send a big thank you to Debra and her remarkable Breaking the Chains Foundation for having me as a Featured Artist. It is a true honor, and I am always mesmerized by Breaking the Chains Foundation’s trailblazing and impactful work. I look forward to continuing to support this outstanding foundation and seeing how it continues to help people all over the world.
Thank you, Alexis! You are such a positive light! Debra Hopkins
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