By Grigor Avetisyan
A new contest Miss Global 2013 kicks off in Los Angeles in early August. Multinational pageant will welcome participants from different states, among them Armenian beauty Emilia Zoryan.
A week ahead of the contest NEWS.am STYLE talked to Emilia about her career, family and Miss Global 2013 pageant.
When my editor sent me the request to find out some information about Emilia Zoryan who is supposed to represent Armenia at Miss Global 2013 Beauty Pageant, I was surprised to find out that a young girl with an Armenian surname has a successful career in the US but still is unrecognized for most of Armenians. Could you please tell about your career? How did you move to the U.S. and what do you do now?
Well, I moved to the US when I was a child and I grew up here, went to elementary, middle and high school and a little bit about my career now, I work as a model as an actress, I do some writing on the side and I am a businesswoman .
Are you really going to present Armenia at Miss Global 2013?
Yes, I am. I have been lucky enough to be sponsored by very generous people at Paul Mitchel, which is popular beauty supply brand here in America and they will be paying for my stay and food and entire the content. And they are going to do my makeup and hair, by the wonderful team at Paul Mitchel. So, I am much exited to represent Armenia at Miss Global 2013. If you are interested in tickets you can go to www.missglobal.com and there will be a number you can call to purchase tickets so that you can come and support.
What do you know about Armenia and Armenians? Do you follow the news or keep in touch with some people living in Armenia?
Other than having some friends here in Hollywood that are Armenian I have always been raised around our culture and I have always danced Armenian dances eaten Armenian food but I would have to say when I first really learned about Armenia and the culture was at UCAL. I studied economics there and it’s a wonderful program because they allowed me to expend my studies to anything I am interested personally. For example I study astronomy, Russian culture and Armenian culture. I also studied psychology, film, so when I was there at UCAL I took a class, a course from a professor named Perer Cowie who is a genius. He is a professor of Armenian studies at UCA , he has written many books about Armenian culture and history. Some of his works have been published at Cambridge University, and with his guidance I learned very much about Armenian culture and history, including the Armenian epic poem The Sasuntsi David, works by Komitas and Raffi. We learned a lot about both culture and history. And I feel blessed to have the opportunity to get acquainted with the culture of my people and especially under the guidance and supervision of someone brilliant as MR. Cowie.
Have you ever been to Armenia since you moved to the U.S.? Do you plan any visits?
Unfortunately I have never been back since I was a child but after seeing pictures reading the history and knowing the beauty and the rich culture that is back home, It’s a big dream of mine to go and visit churches and the ruins. And see it all from myself, in person.
How do you find the right balance between ballet, acting in films & commercials and also spending time with family and friends? And I know that you are running your own business, selling electronics on Amazon?! That must be quite hectic, isn't it?
My answer to that question is yes, it is quite hectic. As is my life since the minute was born. I think that all of my life I have always found myself juggling minimum 10 inches at the same time, and I think that comes a lot from my family. Because my mother was always taking me to classes, art, dance, singing, so I was never really forced to choose one thing so I grew up in a really artistic environment and although the school were very important to me, I enjoyed sports and art and film and many different things and so the one thing that helps me in my hectic life is my planner. I have to write everything down in my planner ,everything that I have to do, I wake up and I look if I didn't do that then everything would fall apart and I will forget everything, so that helps a lot.
Is it difficult to grow up in America as a child, teenager and now actress who is trying to find her place in Hollywood?
I wouldn’t say that it’s difficult to grow up in America, because it’s a wonderful country full of freedoms and liberties. It is quite difficult to grow up in Hollywood because it’s important to stay grounded when there are so many things distracting you from what is important in your life and there are challenges that my parents try to install in me: so that I am not absorbed in mass consumerism that is and so you have to make sure that you connect with your spirituality With things like taking a walk or yoga or whatever it is that helps people connect to what's inside rather that to everything that destructs you all their superficial things which are sometimes fun but it's important to know who you are.
In one of your interviews you said you had a lot of struggles in life. Was it connected anyhow with the emigration from Armenia to the U.S.?
I think that I have this in common with most of families who immigrated to the US and as soon as you get here there is a language barrier. We weren’t lucky enough to learn English before we got here so there was that struggle I was very young and I was the first in my family to learn the language so when it came time to go to the different departments like emigration departments and fill the paper work, my family relied on me to common and translate for them and as I child it was lot of pressure because you need to make sure you are not making any mistakes , you feel responsible. It’s as if you are taking care of people that always set to take care of you. Do I feel like if it was a burden? No because I feel like it made me who I am and it made me strong so that now when I face challenges it's easier for me to overcome them rather than to shy way from that I think that sometimes I seek out challenges purposefully
You used to say that you have a very strict Armenian family, has anything changed since moving to the U.S.?
It’s true I have a very strict Armenian family I had one all the way after high school and I wouldn’t say that they are strict because they are Armenian I think they are strict because they are very protective of me they want to make sure that I follow the right path make the right designs and when you have a little girl I totally understand that it is too difficult to let her go because you are afraid of what might happen, but as time went on I think I proved to my parents that I had the capabilities of making strong thoughtful designs or at least that's what it feels like because as soon as I prove myself in that sense I felt freedom and they allowed me to go out and make the right chooses, even live for my first year of collage at university, I even lived on campus which is very rare in Armenian community and so it way really beautiful when I finally got my first taste of freedom and independence here in America.
Let’s speak about Conrad Jackson’s Falling Overnight film, where you played Chloe Webb, a young photographer who was helping a young guy called Elliot, on the day before his scheduled surgery to remove a brain tumor. What did the film mean to you? And did the plot have affected on you anyhow?
Falling Overnight was one of my first feature films here in LA. It meant a grate deal to me not just because it was my first feature but because of the subject mattered itself. It was very close to a lot of film makers and it changed the way I felt about life and helped in sense of the significance of the fragile fabric of life and I remember waking up every day after making that movie and looking at the people I loved and telling them constantly how much I love them and how much they mean to me because the film highlights the fact that the character.
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