Meet Our Muse: Emily van Raay!
Emily is a multi-talented artist who is also involved with raising awareness of and working to address NYC’s Food Deserts. Read on to learn more about Emily, how she came to be a muse and why she inspires us!
mymuse: please share how you discovered your love and talent for acting and modeling
EvR: I’ve always loved being on stage and looking back I realize I always had some kind of intrinsic understanding of acting from a young age. I grew up on stage in a small town where entertainment as a profession was so far off the radar some might have called it a ridiculous fantasy, even myself. Luckily, modeling afforded me the means and capability to explore just that!
can you share your journey as an artist?
I’m learning more and more, especially since experiencing a global pandemic, that joy in my work comes first, and it’s a wonderful compass that I am grateful to have access to.
as a physical artist, what do you need in order to do your best work?
When I’m preparing for an audition or working on developing a character or scene, what is most helpful to me is alone time. Things can get messy and a little weird and I love having the freedom to explore things fully without having to worry about a zoom call.
what work do you most enjoy doing?
Anything where I can work with other actors who are willing to explore and play.
and what are you most excited about right now?
I’m very excited about the possibility of being in physical proximity to others again. I really thrive on the physical awareness I get from being around people, performing or not.
tell us about your advocacy for calling attention to, and working to help solve the issue of, food deserts. you live and work in NYC and some people would be surprised to learn that some of the country's largest food deserts are right here. how did you become aware of this issue?
I’ve always had a deep curiosity about food. I grew up on a working farm in Canada in a very fertile area where I worked on farms that grew all sorts of delicious things. I saw the process go from start to finish, seed to package, and I guess that has something to do with it.
I remember being a teen and really struggling with my options at the same time, culturally we lived in a very meat and potatoes- don’t question things environment, and I remember being very frustrated by that. I felt drawn to exploring my relationship with food and how it could serve me, as opposed to me serving it.
When I started traveling for modeling and exploring food, (I was exposed to) different cultural relationships to food and how different environments shape cuisines historically I really began to ask more questions. I was at the same time exposed to the incredibly restrictive relationship we were told models (women) should have with food, and I quickly learned that politics play a huge role in our most intimate relationship with being alive, food.
you've traveled all over the world - where did you feel the most home outside of the US?
Japan will always be the one that got away.
what are some sources of inspiration /what inspires you?
My friends inspire me so much, and people in general. I like to think I’m a wise guy, then I’ll talk to someone on the bus for two minutes and realize I don’t know a thing.
who is your muse, or some of your muses?
Anthony Hopkins, Snoop Dogg, Jane Fonda, Jamie Oliver, Glenda Jackson, my Dad, the guy who makes Italian sandwiches on Graham Ave. …
where can we learn more about you?