Today we bring you the awe-inspiring story of Kiara Iman, an Actress, Singer, Content Creator, Visionary, Educator, and Community Builder who loves to use her artistry to influence and create impact.
Kiara’s passion began peeking through at an incredibly young age. "I love that question so much because my parents tell me this story— obviously I don’t remember it— but when I was a baby my mom used to play music over me when I was in my crib," this little practice may have been what drew Kiara into the art of music. Then she recalled a memory shared by her father, of him coming home to her putting her hands out before her as she listened to Alicia Keys on a CD player at age two, a gesture that exposed the depths of which her tender spirit could feel the emotions of the music to which she was listening. "So, I think that there were always influences when I was younger," but her love for music intensified when she was about eight years old.
Around this time, Kiara started to pursue music as best she knew how. Later, she moved to the state of Georgia and enrolled in John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School in Augusta, Georgia. It was at this performing arts school that Kiara was given the opportunity to truly showcase her talents and hone her craft! Today, that exact same passion rooted in her infancy has grown tremendously and aided in her expansion as an artist! In addition to being a professional actress, recording artist, and creator, Iman is an educator that works with children in her community and a woman who works on her own original projects.
This world is overflowing with talented people, but unfortunately, many people take these gifts with them to the grave. This is often due to fear, doubt, and lack of opportunity! We had to know what pushed Kiara to be among the exceedingly small percentage of creatives that decide to pursue their dream aggressively. The recent college graduate revealed that the motto is the same as it was when she was at the very beginning of her pursuit. She is still doing everything while being scared and unsure of what might happen next! This release of control has been one of the many driving forces in Iman’s success. Iman elucidated that acknowledging that you are gifted is one thing, but deciding to express and showcase your gifts to others is another thing entirely. When relatives would invite and encourage Kiara to sing for them at family functions, she would find a way to escape performing due to nerves and fear. Though her response to an invitation like that would be different now, Kiara attributed her confidence to her continual commitment to honing her craft. "Not only [practicing] your gifts in front of people, but your mindset of ‘I am enough! I can do this!’ It's a constant rehearsal that I think a lot of artists have to… go through. "
Unfortunately, the environment Kiara Iman grew up in was never very conducive for her to become the artist she visualized for herself. Fortunately, Kiara was curious and hungry enough to find ways to work around some of the adversity before her. The then-teenaged entertainer would often dedicate time to conducting research on different opportunities and discuss her findings with her parents, who were incredibly supportive of her and her aspirations. These ambitious steps of commitment to her dream are part of the reason we are now able to share Kiara’s story! The other critical component in her recipe for success includes the opportunity she has had in recent years to share her original work. Kiara voiced the importance of creating opportunities for oneself, especially when there isn’t one. She believes that her commitment to this motto as a child has also manifested into her adult life as she continues creating original work.
College & Career
Currently, we are living in a society that is more accepting of people choosing not to further their education after high school. Receiving your diploma and going on to pursue work, entertainment, and entrepreneurship—among other things—have all been normalized more than before. Artists like Toni Braxton, Wale, SZA, Tom Cruise, Summer Walker, and Leonardo Di Caprio are just a few of the world’s most admired entertainers that either never pursued or finished college and have been succeeding in their chosen professions. Seeing that this is a common trend amongst many of today’s creators, creatives, and entertainers, we asked Kiara why it was important for her to attend all four years of college and why she did not pursue her artistry straight out of high school. The actor explained that her story "took a turn." Here’s why.
Kiara’s initial intentions were to take a gap year and focus on pursuing her passions full-time nonstop. The confident body language associated with Kiara’s reenactment of her self-consultation conveyed to us that Iman clearly meant nothing but business when she told herself this! She was prepared to be in beast mode, but her parents pleaded with her to give school a try before taking this step. Kiara agreed and committed to Kennesaw State University in Georgia as a theater major. Iman attended Kennesaw State University for a year and a half before she disenrolled and transferred. "I just had this really amazing faith experience where I felt like God was calling me back to Augusta." If you know, you know. College is hard, even more so than ever before as life has continuously been changing abruptly since 2020! Therefore, like many others, Kiara had her moments where she thought she’d fail and have to drop out or have to create a plan B, but fortunately, she was able to finish the journey she started at Kennesaw State University. Less than two years later, she graduated from Augusta University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication.
Iman expressed gratitude for her parents’ strong suggestion for her to attend college. She elucidated that college is more about "the developmental period that you go through" rather than learning how to pass courses and earn credit hours. Furthermore, she adds that the self-discovery, connections, and endurance you build are truly the things that make pursuing a higher education worthwhile, especially for her.
Booking The Role
Ideal practice in the acting industry when it comes to casting is to hold an audition, cast the roles, and proceed with production. The audition and casting process can take as little as a week, but sometimes it can be as long as nine or ten months! Yet, once again, Kiara’s own experience was quite different. "The opportunity actually presented itself—actually two years ago in 2020." While Kiara was still at Augusta University, the pandemic had manifested into a lockdown, so, like countless others, she was sharing more of herself and her creativity online. It was also around this time that she reconnected with a former childhood mentor. This reconnection is what opened the door to a life-changing venture for Iman. Her mentor shared the casting call for "Praise This" with her, and Kiara eventually decided to give it a shot. Kiara was nothing but smiles while recalling her audition experience! Initially, she submitted a headshot, which she does not recall submitting correctly. When she got the callback, the casting director requested for her to submit a self-tape, which she does not recall completely correctly either! Once that went through, she was finally given the opportunity to audition for real! After completing her audition, she did not hear anything back. Often, no response or callback from casting is the equivalent of a decline, so Kiara assumed they had cast someone else for the role, or so she thought.
One random day in February, while Iman was leaving one of her classes, she received a follow-up email from casting asking if she was available, two years after her audition. Her response was, "Am I available? Mmm, I will make myself available! " After responding to this message, she encountered another dead silence for about three weeks. Eventually, Kiara heard back again. "It was so amazing because like I said, [...] I didn’t really know what I [needed]. At the time of 2020, I didn't have an agent or anything, but then in 2021 I just had like, this desire like ‘Okay, maybe I should get an agent.’ And then, when the casting director reached back out and was finally like, ‘Do you have representation?’ all of that got connected. Before I knew it, I was auditioning!" On the day Kiara graduated, she was notified via email that her audition tapes were being forwarded to Will Packer. Then, some days after Iman walked the stage, she got the final life-changing call back from her agent that confirmed her lead role in Will Packer’s upcoming film Praise This! Doing a very cute happy dance, Kiara said she was like "Go God! Hey! I was so, so— It’s a miracle! That— That’s how I got it. A miracle," she expressed, her joy and gratitude radiating through the screen.
Production for Praise This (2023) has been underway and Kiara has since begun working on set for Universal Studios and Will Packer, alongside her celebrity co-stars. Thus far, Iman genuinely claimed that it has been an incredibly beautiful voyage that has brought her countless numbers of full-circle moments. "I’m just like ‘What? I get to work with them?’ You know, names such as Chloe Bailey, Druski, Koryn Hawthorne, Anjelika Washington, Jekalyn Carr— all of these amazing talents!" Working with the cast has been "super phenomenal because... coming in as a newbie—in a way—as a newcomer into the entertainment industry, they welcomed me with open arms," she continued. Stepping into an environment where she can work with such talented, artists, and creators was exactly what Kiara needed. The young vocalist professed that she has truly evolved and elevated in ways that she did not know she could, thanks to the opportunity she has to surround herself with "such greatness."
Praise This (2023): What to Expect?
Kiara articulated her excitement for the public to see not only the finished product of the film, but also all of the work that went into producing it! "Praise This" is set to release in 2023 and though Kiara can’t give too many exclusives at this time, she was able to give us some tidbits about her character to hold us over! According to Iman, the storyline of the film encompasses a journey that follows youth choirs through various competitions. Though the film seems to be built with the intention of uplifting and inspiring viewers, she mentioned that the film also has some comical elements in addition. "You’re gonna laugh. Trust me. You are going to laugh."
Iman further disclosed that she plays the character of an underdog who is on a journey of self-discovery and locating her purpose as a member of her choir and as an individual. As someone who has gone through a similar chapter in her life where she has been the underdog and had to find her own self, it is easier for Kiara to resonate with her character. Further elaborating, she hopes that her portrayal of her character can aid viewers in seeing "the story of the underdog breaking through... it's not only something that my character goes through, but I can identify with." she added that, "with audiences watching this— not just for my character, but for the story in general— I want people to know that you can do anything. Literally, you—you can do anything! Not— not just in this world of fiction, but also in like my own life. And I’m really hoping that people are encouraged […] to know that truly, truly, anything is possible."
A Glance Into The Future
After such words of inspiration and seeing Iman’s conviction when she spoke about the importance of faith in oneself, we were compelled to ask Kiara what she was manifesting for herself in the coming months. Within the next year, Kiara hopes to build community around the things she loves. In addition to the continued pursuit of her acting career, she would love to be cast as part of a television series, hence she is currently working towards achieving that goal. As we mentioned earlier, Kiara is also a drama teacher within her community for children, and she has hopes of continuously pouring back into her community by enhancing the development of her students as she grows in experience as an actress! She also revealed to us that she is working on her music as well. "I’m in the writing process and I’m planning for a project [...] I don’t know when I’ll release it, but I’m going through that right now." She unveiled that this untitled project is an expansion of her previous EP "Beloved Bits & Pieces" which was the catalyst that brought her to where she is currently. She’s also looking forward to performing her music on stage and releasing a single in the future! Overall, Kiara is mostly looking forward to seeing what the future holds.
Kiara’s story is a great example of how curiosity does not always kill the cat, and why God’s timing is coined as the best timing. We have no doubt that this young lady will soon take the entertainment industry by storm with her captivating talent, personality, creativity, and beauty!
You can keep up with Kiara Iman by following her on Instagram @OfficialKiaraIman and Subscribe to her YouTube Channel! Also be sure to keep up with XBlaze Magazine via Instagram, Twitter, and our YouTube Channel!
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