Spotlight on Tiffany Carvalho

Meet Tiffany Carvalho: Artist, talk show host and winner of TLC's Girl Starter.

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What were your ambitions when you were younger, and what are they now? How have they changed?

I grew up taking dance classes but I always knew I wanted to be an actress. When I was young, I used to go to the movies and say, "I want to be on the big screen like her. I want to be famous." I began to associate everything with this idea of fame and glamour. I'd be in my room alone rehearsing acceptance speeches or pretending I had a scene partner with me. When I went to undergrad for Theatre, I realized that the craft and process mattered may more to me. If fame comes, cool. If not, still cool. It's no longer my goal. I just want to keep learning and growing as an artist, while always remaining my most authentic self. I want everything I do to resonate deeply with someone in some way. There's a lot of intention behind everything I do, but it's also about letting go and freeing myself and, hopefully in the process, inspiring others to free themselves too.

In what ways do you support your personal development?

This is a tough question because I think I'm still learning to answer it. I'd say the biggest way I've been learning to support my personal development is accepting when my heart is not really "in it" anymore. Often, we try and try and try SO hard to make something work for us because we're afraid of letting others down. Or worse, letting ourselves down. We set a goal and then we experience life and go through things only to realize that the goal we set for ourselves no longer serves us. We've outgrown it to some degree. This doesn't always happen (nor does it happen in the same way for everybody) but when it does, it can be a difficult shift to come to terms with.

When I graduated from school, I landed an opportunity to be on a show called "Girl Starter" to compete for seed funding for a business idea. I learned an insane amount. Winning the show ultimately catapulted me onto my entrepreneurial journey. I was building out a networking platform for creatives alongside my business partner. We put SO much into this idea. I wanted to see it through because I stood by our mission and felt like this platform could help so many artists throughout their creative journeys. Ultimately, my business partner and I separated and I needed to reassess whether this would be something I'd want to be responsible for doing. My heart wasn't in it anymore. It was very hard, but I had to be honest with myself and let it go. It took a lot of time for me to heal and I felt like I let myself down, but I knew I had to start a new chapter. Since then, so many other opportunities have come up for me. I'm grateful for that because it affirms that I'm on the right track. The best part is that nothing I learned has left me. They've allowed me to be a better artist, a better person and a better entrepreneur.

What accomplishment are you most proud of to date?

Finally taking myself seriously as an artist. It's what I've always known myself to be since I was very young, but for as outgoing as I am, I can be very timid. I often undergo symptoms of crippling imposter syndrome and all my life, I have hidden my talents away in fear of not being good enough. For the first time ever, I'm allowing myself to learn and make mistakes when it comes to developing my craft. It's been such a liberating feeling. I'm giving myself permission to fail, shine and experience everything I was always meant to.

Personal Bible: The Tao of the Wu by Rza
Best trip I ever took: When I studied abroad in the UK for one semester my junior year of undergrad!
Breakfast of Champions: A bodega Bacon Egg & Cheese on a roll with salt, pepper, ketchup and hot sauce.

Alex Gordon