Being a part of Bel Air is being a part of TV royalty, says Diandra Lyle. Story lines filled with raw and sophistication, with a talented group of actors who are extremely strong, which creates a beautiful space for passion-driven performances. The actress highlights how getting to ‘play’ on a show like Bel Air, was the most amazing and humbling experience.

Diandra explains how acting initially crossed her radar when she took a class during her last semester of college. Admittingly, the actress recalls how it was not part of her career vision at that point. “It wasn’t until years later, that I started to actually consider it. I went to Los Angeles for a month in 2006 so I could see the business up close and get a better idea of what it entails (did background work, got headshots, worked with a coach)”. Following being laid off from her therapist job (2008), the aspiring actress decided it was time to throw everything into acting. 

“I personally believe what’s for you will be for you , so yeah, I’m pretty sure this role was in the cards for me! Although I didn’t realize at first, Jess and I certainly have our similarities. We’re both headstrong, can be stubborn at times (not always a bad thing!), independent, determined go-getters. We’re also protective single parents, who love fiercely and firmly, but not without a little humor and sass!”

For Diandra, keeping your head up and enduring this wild rollercoaster of a ride is paramount. There are definitely peaks and valleys, fruitful times and barren times. However, it is important to know your worth and not let the outside stories – or the ones you tell yourself – deter you.

As an actress, Diandra enjoys variety and considers herself more of a character actor. The actress enjots getting down to the realness of the character and portraying their truth the best she can, emotionally, psychologically, physically, etc. With a view of considering how they carry themselves, their posture, their rhythm, their tone and inflection…what’s beneath the exterior and simply, the beautiful sophisticated flaws that make them human. Enjoying the challenge of fully embodying a character.

For Diandra, it’s all about the journey. She does not feel there is a single ‘I’ve made it!’ moment. Diandra is of the view, that she is continually ‘making it’. Whether it’s climbing the ladder in regards to roles (co-star to guest star to recurring to series regular), or simply getting into new rooms and winning new fans (casting, producers, etc…). There are all types of accomplishments to celebrate. She highlights how experiencing a new ‘first’ is the absolute best and a great reminder that there is still so much more in store! With growth and improvement definitely ongoing goals.

The actress explains that she has a more of a non-traditional background compared to a lot of actors. With a degree in Therapeutic Recreation. She goes onto explains how early into her acting journey, she trained at a yearlong improv program at The Second City Chicago. Since then, she has taken several audition technique and scene study classes. Training can be debatable across the board. Some may get a BFA or MFA, some may train extensively in theater and/or methods, and some may not. I believe everyone’s gifts are different and as long as you’re honing your craft and keeping your instrument sharp, do what’s best suited for you”.

She believes that seeing images that viewers can identify with is necessary for improving the industry. Most people are not walking around stick thin or eternally youthful, she points out. Our weight fluctuates, we get wrinkles and grey hair – and guess what? That’s okay! I think the more we portray ‘humaness’, the more we allow for acceptance and grace. She goes onto explain how she is all for shifting the norm and dispelling the myths. As for behind the camera – the actress wants to experience the myriad of knowledge, stories, and voices from ALL! Knowing your worth, doing what feels right for you, and having fun is key. 

Looking ahead, Diandra explains how she would love to take on a fantasy piece. A fan of Shadow & Bone, The Witcher, and Wheel of Time, she references her screenplays she is currently working in. With plans to take the director seat in the not to distant future. Her advice is to listen to your spirit. If presented with the question “How can you”, to challenge with “Why can’t I”. For the actress, everyone is capable of greatness. Living by the quote “It’s never too later to be what you might’ve been [credit: George Eliot]. #watchthisspace