q & a with Laya Hayes

In 2011, we met a spunky little first grader who was exploding with energy and talent. Laya Hayes demonstrated unbelievable vocal ability at just six years old!  She studied voice with Sarah Darby and her growth as a singer and entertainer was remarkable. It was no surprise that two years later, she and her parents moved to Los Angeles so that Laya could give acting a real shot.  Within just a few weeks, she was auditioning for major commercials and television shows and was cast in her first TV role on Grey's Anatomy that aired in October ("Thriller" episode).  Since then, Laya has appeared in a commercial for Wii and an episode of Cougar Town!  And she's just getting started.

We asked Laya, now nine years old, a few questions about dreams, winning & losing, and, of course, Grey's!  


1. When did know you loved to sing and entertain people?

 "After performing in my first dance recital, I wanted to get back on that stage because it felt so fun! So I asked my parents if I can take singing lessons because my friend Bella Grant was taking lessons too!"


2. How have your parents helped you to grow as a performer? What opportunities have they given you?

"My parents have helped me by encouraging me to work hard and follow my dreams. My parents created a mini studio at home with instruments, amps and microphones and we would do karaoke as a family. They signed me up for singing, dancing and acting lessons." 


3. Even though you've already had some exciting TV opportunities, have you also experienced disappointment when you don't get a callback after an audition?  How do you handle that? 

"Yes, I go on a lot auditions and sometimes I don't get a call back. So I keep practicing and preparing for the next audition because I go on a lot of auditons."


4. What was the experience like when you filmed the "Thriller" episode for Grey's Anatomy? "The experience on Grey's was really fun, the actors, producers and directors were awesome. I had my own trailer next to one of the main stars on the show. As a co-star they took me by golf cart to the set. My set teacher taught Michael Jackson when he was young and his wife choreographed Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal video.

"I was on set for 4 days and on the fourth day when I filmed the collapse scene the cast and crew gave me a round of applause." The food the best, we could eat anything we want, my mom really loved all the different snacks."


5.  What is your best advice to kids like you who want to be entertainers? "I'd tell them to never give up, always believe in yourself and follow your dreams."


words of wisdom from Laya {9 years old}

laya hayes