BORN TO SHINE


I am Angela Ray; a daughter, an auntie, a soror, and a friend. Professionally, I am a multi-media artist working as an actress, author, speaker, and host. I am passionate about telling stories as well as helping others elevate their own voices. I have written three books; Blackberry Whispers, Rays of Motivation: 99 Tips for Staying Energized, Empowered and Encouraged to Create Success in Your Business and Life, and Megastar Student Leadership: Lessons I Learned as an Actress That Can Help You Lead, Achieve and Succeed. Personally, I am a believer who works on her relationship with God continually. I am also a die-hard Tar Heel fan, the mascot of my beloved Alma mater, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Lastly, I am a devoted member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

My most recent television project, Robbie, is the latest sitcom on Comedy Central. It premiered late spring and can now be streamed on the Comedy Central website and YouTube channel. I play “Sugar Stevens” a successful entrepreneur and author who makes a strong impression on the title character Robbie, played by Rory Scovel. The show also features the legend, Beau Bridges who I was also honored to work with on the show.


WHAT IS ONE HIGH-POINT OF YOUR LIFE?

I have been blessed to have multiple high points in my life. One of my more recent high points was my appearance in my first sitcom, Tyler Perry’s Love thy Neighbor. Prior to that show, I had always thought of myself as a dramatic actress. Ironically, it was one of my long-time friends and fellow actors who suggested I prepare something comedic for my first meeting with Mr.Perry’s in-house casting director. Shooting the show was a magical experience. From my cast mates to working with the iconic entertainment mogul who is Tyler Perry, I was on cloud nine my first day on set. Then, months later when my first episode was set to air, my scene made the commercial. For an entire week, I had friends, family, and classmates calling me, sending me messages, and looking me up on Facebook every time it aired. It literally aired no fewer than 100 times.

The day after my first episode aired, a picture from my scene was on the homepage of Oprah.com. That to me was almost as big as the appearance on the show. I knew there may be a lot of people who did not watch Love thy Neighbor, but EVERYBODY scrolls Oprah’s website. The following Sunday, I was grocery shopping after church, and someone recognized me from ONE appearance on the show.


WHAT HAS BEEN A LOW-POINT OF YOUR LIFE?

One of my lowest points was when I lost my only sister to breast cancer. She died in my arms. We knew that she had been in a lot of pain and the treatment was brutal, but it was still hard to let go. I immediately went into protection mode, mainly for my parents. I knew this was even harder for them than it was for me. I took over, planning the funeral, making sure everyone was okay, except me. After the funeral, I was running myself ragged driving back and forth home to help my parents with the estate. A couple of months later, I was depressed and didn’t realize it until someone described my behavior. As soon as I heard it all together, I knew I needed help.


After my sister died, I had another major loss coupled with my cousin dying from cancer a year after my sister. I was thankful that I already had a personal relationship with God. When I

prayed, I received guidance on what to do. One of my first steps was getting into counseling. I worked on my physical well being too. I invested heavily in personal development tapes, books, and conferences. Lastly, I made steps to really focus on my acting career. A change in my personal environment also made a big difference.




WHO WAS THE MOST INFLUENCIAL PERSON IN YOUR LIFE?

My parents. I was very blessed to have a strong team cheering me on for my endeavors. They introduced me to church, prayer at home and building my relationship with God. And, their love of family influenced me to value my loved ones.


WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM THESE LIFE EXPERIENCES?

It’s all temporary. Despite the pain of any situation, it’s all temporary. I remember how sad and angry I was after my sister died. Holidays were not the same. I hurt for my parents. I hurt for my niece. I hurt for myself.And then one day, though the loss was still there, I noticed a shift. It was like though we all missed her, we had adapted to a new normal. Ten years later, we are still adapting.


DO YOU HAVE ANY PRESENT OR FUTURE PROJECTS?

I relaunched my talk show online during social distancing. I used to tape it in a studio a few years ago and eventually that location was no longer available. I found a location right before the pandemic but then it was not safe to do it there. The Angela Ray Show broadcasts on my Facebook and YouTube pages simultaneously.

My latest book, Megastar Student Leadership is now on Amazon. It’s a great guide for both high school and college students and is an awesome gift as students prepare to return to the classroom.

More information is available at www.megastarleadership.com.



Lastly, I am also launching my speaker coaching program. This year so many people found themselves speaking online on Zoom meetings, Skype sessions and Webex conferences, often not prepared to communicate verbally on those types of platforms. With over a decade of speaking experience, multiple speaking awards, and my degree in communication, I am prepared for this next level of serving and training others.


Email: Info@AngelaRay.com

Website: www.AngelaRay.com

Instagram: @TheAngelaRay

Facebook: @TheAngelaRay

YouTube: @AngelaRayTV

Updated: Aug 12








I typically think that those of us that are suffering don’t always realize that we are, or that we have been. Does that resonate with anyone? Sometimes we grow so distant and so out of touch with who we are that we become hollow enough we feel we can reach inside our own hearts.


When I was 14, I was told I could never have children. And so, as a teen, I walked around mourning as adults would, yearning for babies I so desired but believed I’d never have. I had crazy health issues- at one point, I even bled non-stop for 11 months. I endured years of pain, health concerns, doctors’ visits- many that continued into my adulthood, with two surgeries, just last year.


I was married at 17, and by 19, almost immediately after getting off of birth control, I miraculously got pregnant with the baby I was told could never be conceived. And while I had all of the regular cravings and aversions, something wasn’t right. Throughout my pregnancy, my due date changed five times, I’d lost over 30 pounds, and the measurements never seemed to make sense. And because I was never expected to get pregnant in the first place, the conception date was never nailed down. I went to doctor appointments alone and this new baby in my belly hid during three different appointments when I tried to learn the gender.


Still, I was morning, mid-day, and night sick. I painted the guest-room-turned-nursery in pastel colors and filled an antique dresser with baby clothes and soft blankets. My due date changed again, to almost a full month past the original date. And at five and half months, on a Sunday afternoon, I felt my baby kick in the most crazy, intense way, like never before.


And then it stopped. I felt nothing else.




When I called to speak to the doctor, I was told that heavy women often feel all variations of intensity in baby movements; kicking or none was normal; just keep my next appointment.


At that next appointment, I learned I had a son. And my son had no heartbeat.


I learned that day that the child I was told I could never conceive; my wished for, wanted child, had died that Sunday. The kicking I had felt was likely during him fighting for his last moments as he suffocated due to sub-corneal hemorrhaging, yet I had had no bleeding. And instead of going to celebrate “It’s a boy,” I called our families to let them know I was being rushed to the hospital. I learned I was having a boy, then was questioned about what I wanted to do with his body after delivery.


And in that moment, I learned what being hollow feels like. If one could reach through their own chest and find “empty,” I have known that feeling too well.


I was taken for more tests to confirm my child had passed away. I was asked how I could sleep on my stomach by a nurse that didn’t know my child had passed. I was “comforted” by people that found they benefited from my loss.


My doctor came and opened a window of hope. He told me that God takes children that are perfect to be his angels before their feet even touch the earth. I was induced and delivered my stillborn son, Kristopher Isaac, the next morning. My silent son legally didn’t weigh enough to be given a birth/ death certificate. By law, he doesn’t exist. Yet, I felt him, named him, prayed for him, wept for him, wiped the blood from his eyes, counted his fingers and toes, and gave him away.


Words cannot begin to express how it feels to hold a lifeless child in your hands, yet it is because of him that I have been able to try again. The Lord has this intense way of rebuilding after breaking, and an undeniable way of knowing what he’s doing, even in our pain. Have you ever buried a child? Had one dissolve in your womb?


The doctor that gave me words of hope also advised me to get pregnant again immediately. My body suffered illness, false positives, eventually leading to two high-risk pregnancies, and eventually, these two amazing kids I’m so beyond blessed to have. I had two surgeries last summer to help heal my body, part of that also ensuring I’ll never have more children, and I didn’t realize until then that I was still hurting from loss… over 17 years ago.


For years, I pressed emotion and pain down into my belly, pretending life was okay. I wasn’t willing to heal, or even realizing healing needed to begin. I have these amazing children, yet there was still this pain that resonated deep within, and until I began to get very ill and very angry, did I realize what needed to be dug up and dealt with. Finality of surgery was heartbreaking and healing simultaneously, even though I had already known I’d never have more kids.


I would be a liar if I said life was easy or lacked suffering. But prayers from those that love me enough to pour into me when I simply couldn’t pour into myself are such blessings. God is a God of Love so beyond our understandings. Kristopher served his exact purpose while he was here. He showed me that life is filtered through hands of love, God’s hands. Despite how it often looks initially, my womb was opened, despite what doctors claimed. Life is often difficult and humbling, but situations must not define us. More so, when we truly look to who God is, we become overcomers. He makes no mistakes. And it’s okay to heal.

Jeremiah 17:14 (NIV)

14 Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed;

    save me and I will be saved,

    for you are the one I praise.

Updated: Jul 30

DRIVEN 2 EMPOWER




PLEASE BRIEFLY INTRODUCE YOURSELF, SO THE READERS CAN GET TO KNOW YOU? I'm Divorced Mother of two grandmother of 5. I'm a International speaker, an Evangelist and the Owner of Driven 2 Empower U LLC.


HIGH POINT When I wrote my first book on how to stay on the journey regardless of the rage when I stopped baby sitting everyone else's dream vision and idea and gave birth to mines I felt the chains of bondage fall off of me. When I stopped giving other peoples more words that I gave God's words. When I stopped walking in my brokenness and did the work to heal myself and walk into my true authentic self.


LOW POINT In 2012 I got hurt at my job and my doctor said I was totally disabled I lost everything, i lost what little self esteem I had left. I was evicted, bankrupted. It started my long road of my homeless in other people's home. I felt like nothing and no one. How did I work my whole life and end up in this position I even found myself sharing a room with my youngest child while he was in his last year in high school before he went to college.



TURNING POINT My turning point was when God sent me on my Abraham experience from California to Savannah Georgia not knowing how or what I was going to do or where I was going to live all I knew I was tired of being sick and tired and I rolled off my bestfriend's coach and made that drive from California to Georgia not knowing what my furture holded all I knew was I was leaving my past. God told me to trust him and I decided to let him to take the wheel and the car of my life because I was tired of the wrecks I was having with me behind the wheel of my life. Most people say they dont want to date someone with too much baggage when I left California I didn't have baggage I actually had a luggage store and each suit case had names to them low self esteem, domestic violence, molestation, abandonment, so many to mention and when I got to Savannah God placed me in a home with a family from Jamaica a husband and I wife and 2 children who I had never laid eyes on them until I moved into their home I was 50 years old. I had to share a room with a 7 year old with because God told me that I was immature from the inside up and he needed to grow me up fast and he did. I didn't know this was the journey that would change myself to my brokeness to my true authentic sel .


WHO IS THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSON IN YOUR LIFE? AL HOLLINGWORTH


WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM THESE LIFE EXPERIENCES ?

That everything in life happens for a reason, And the things that have happens to us in life has happened for us and not to us. That we need to be transparent and real so others can be healed and that im grateful for all the rejection, all the tears I have.




WHAT IS YOUR MOST PROUDEST OF ?

Becoming a international speaker and author while still living on my air mattress without losing my faith.


WHAT KEEP YOU INSPIRED AND WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU ARE UNINSPIRED?

God keeps me inspired. I choose to not let myself down for the first time in my life and to find out who Willette is and who Willette is not and to delete the lies people have spoken into my life and the lies I have spoken over my own life.


WHAT WISDOM WOULD YOU LIKE TO OFFER AS A SURVIVAL MAP?

To fall in love with themselves! To fall in love with all of themselves the good the bad and even the ugly. To forgive people who have hurt them and forgive themselves for the part they played in it or didn't play in their lives.


WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSION OR BUSINESS AND WHY?

Driven 2 Empower U, LLC Because I'm Driven to Empower my clients to be the best version of themselves and to walk in their true authentic self no matter what they have experienced on their journey called life.


DO YOU HAVE ANY PRESENT OR FUTURE PROJECTS? Working to build my company and working on my third book.


HOW CAN WE CONNECT WITH YOU ON SOCIAL MEDIA? Driven2empoweru@gmail.com


REFLECTION Its part of the healing process and to embrace it.

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