Ethereal Interviews: OCTOBER 2013 x IRIS RAY

 Iris Ray is the definition of ethereal. When I look at her, I think, "how is this woman real?" She's heavenly and mesmerizing. It's not her flawless beauty that intrigues me though, it's how truly unique she really is. I respect her because she IS real, although it may not seem like it. She's inspired me for years. She has never hesitated to be herself.  Talented in every art form, this lady is going to go far. 

Check her out:
instagram: @irrisrray

Enjoy the interview, beautiful beings!

1. When I look at you I see a genuine old soul, with a very playful, kind heart. Your artistic depth amazes me sometimes. When did you start to realize you were so artistic?
I've always been an artistic kid, always had a creative passion and drawn to the abnormal. I don't think I really know that I was artistic though until about 6th or 7th grade. When you're in elementary school and you're different, no one really cares. But when you're in middle school and you're different, no one lets you forget it. I guess once people started pointing out how I was different, that's when I began to get that I was artistic. Though it was much, much later that I really embraced the artistic side of me.

2. I've noticed just by following you on social networks over the years, you have so many cute quirks. How important do you think expressing yourself is and what does it mean to you?
Oh my gosh, I think that expressing yourself is hands down the most important thing for a person to do. How you express yourself is only for you to decide, but I think it's imperative for every single person to proudly and boldly be themselves. You DESERVE it! I struggled with this a lot in my early teens. I suppressed all of the parts of me that I loved because I was afraid of rejection. For years, I was someone that I loathed. I carried this heaviness on me all of the time. Later on in high school, I realized that I was miserable and it had to stop. After I finally embraced myself, I gained the most outstanding people in my life. I made friends with people like me! If I had never expressed who I am, I would have never attracted such like-minded, lovely people. Expressing myself has also opened up a ton of doors for me through cosplaying, modeling, acting, and the like. Basically, expressing myself is everything to me.

3. Describe your high school experience and what you learned from it.
Oh wow. This is hard, but here it goes!
My entire grade school career, I went to private school. My high school was very small; this meant that everyone knew everything about everyone else... or at least they would think they did. Also, dogma was like a second language there. I swear, some of the stuff people would say... sometimes I felt like I was stuck in an empty room with nothing but a TV, and the only channel it played was Fox News. BUT! That's not to say that I hated high school. Okay, I mean, sometimes I did. But I actually received some great mentorship there, made far more good memories than bad, and I had the absolute greatest group of friends. We affectionately nicknamed ourselves "The Study Group" because of our favorite show, Community (cute, right?!). Seriously, my friends were my reason for crawling out of bed during my junior and senior years. 
I think everyone struggles through high school; you're creating who you are, and it's difficult -- especially when it feels like everyone around you is telling you who to be. Even if it was by accident, I think the most important lesson that high school taught me was to become who you want to be in spite of anything that may fight against you.

4. What is a "soul" to you?
Ultimately, I believe a soul is what connects us to something way bigger than ourselves.

5. Who are your OTPS? Real life, fictional, whatever. 
Ah, this question makes me so excited! I am one of those people who is CRAZY about their OTPs; I usually resist talking about them to people because I do get a bit carried away, but now I have an excuse to fangirl!
Two OTPs came to mind right away. First is Nymphadora Tonks and Remus Lupin from the Harry Potter series. They were my OTP probably before the term had even been coined. I remember reading the scene where Tonks confesses her love to him in Half-Blood Prince as a little girl and just being so moved. (I also own both of their wands!)
Next is Special Agent Dale Cooper and Audrey Horne from Twin Peaks. This pairing gives me so many feels. Like, I "UGH" really loud and fall off the couch when I see them on screen together. I love how taboo things are between them. They never end up together (darn Agent Cooper, being so morally upright), but they are just such attractive people and the way they look at each other, I just... UGH.
(Also, I have to throw in I freaking love some Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder. That is all.)

6. Do you consider yourself a spiritual person? How so?
To answer your first question: absolutely. To answer your second question: that's hard to say. I mentioned earlier that I went to private school my whole life; my years in that environment are responsible for basically all of my spiritual development. For the longest, my spirituality has been dependent on other people and what they told me. I liked to think that my spirituality was something personal to me, but I don't know if it was ever really my own. I've come to find that so much of the stuff that I've internalized most of my life is absolute crap. I am still a spiritual person, but right now I'm just so cynical about... mostly everything. I can't say I'm on some big spiritual quest or anything right now, but I am figuring a lot out for myself in my own ways.

7. Who is your favorite disney princess and why?
I broke out into the cheesiest grin when I read this question, not gonna lie! Anyone who knows me knows the answer to this question. Anyway, hands down, it's Ariel from The Little Mermaid. I think my love for Ariel is probably something people know me for, and I'm totally okay with that.
I fell in love with Ariel as a little girl because she was the only princess at the time with red hair. Being the gingery little kid that I was, I was all about it. As I've gotten older, my reasons for loving Ariel have evolved. I've heard people say things like "How can you admire Ariel she changed herself for a man she'd never met blah blah." To which I say... that's crap. Ariel wanted to be a human before she ever even saw Eric's handsome mug. She felt totally out of place in the life she had, which I think is universally relatable. She took a risk, lowered herself from a place of privilege and security, and risked her soul to pursue what she wanted. That is ambition! That's really why I love her so much (and of course, I still love her red hair).

8. Every human has a purpose. What do you believe your purpose on this Earth is?
Right now, I couldn't tell you. I feel like people choose what to make their purpose, rather than this fatalistic thing that's assigned to us. But I think I want my purpose to be happiness. I want to make people happy through my work or my influence, if ever I have one.

9. I admire how you appreciate all of the arts and try to participate in as many as you can. If all of the arts in the world were completely erased, and you had the choice to keep one art form: what would it be?
That's painful to think about! But I know without question which one I would keep: acting.
All art is entertainment, and to me, performing arts are the most entertaining. I especially love acting, because I love film and theater. I also love to act. Like, seriously, acting is so thrilling to me. I'm not even a great actress, but if acting was all I had, then I guess that would just force me to become better at it.

10. Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. What is a word of advice you would like to offer readers?
Be someone that you can be proud of!

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