Getting to Know… Kara Royster

Getting to Know... Kara Royster

Kara Royster, the 23 year-old who is best known for her roles in Hand of God, Scream Queens and the teen drama hit Pretty Little Liars, is currently living the American Dream. But she is also just as normal as the rest of us: “When I get the time to relax, I make sure to really relax. Nothing makes me happier than sitting in pyjamas checking out Pinterest next to my cats. Also my Mum, sister and I have really got into puzzles, so they will come by and we will sit there for hours. I also love the times when I can get a group of my girls together and go out to some spots in LA.”

As acting has become such an important part of the Florida-born TV star’s life, she divulges that it is something she was destined to do: “This is something I have been so passionate about from a very young age and I have never really seen another path for my life. Acting is bigger to me than a career, it has changed my life in so many ways from the schools I attended, the friends I have made, and even where I live. It truly is a part of who I am and I couldn’t imagine my life, if I didn’t find my destiny.”

Getting a part in a current television show must be exciting experience, but to land a role in a hit TV show like PLL, which has gone on to win awards every year since its initial release in 2010, must feel surreal. Royster recounts how she felt after getting the call that she had been cast for the show: “I was in pure shock when I got the final word that I had been cast. I got the call very early in the morning when I was at a friends house, I remember walking back into the room after the call, my friend asking me what happened, and I was looking like a deer in the headlights and I said ultra calmly ‘I’m going to be on Pretty Little Liars’. I was in such shock about it until I got off set the next day.”

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The mystery we all want uncovered, is whether Kara Royster is in any way similar to her character Yvonne. She admits: “I think out of all the characters I’ve played so far, Yvonne is the most similar to myself. I was absolutely in love with her style. We both have a modern twist on traditional looks. I love that the writers didn’t go with the typical story of the new girlfriend being mean and catty to the former girlfriend. I am not confrontational and would have handled the “Spoby” [Spencer Hastings and Toby Cavanaugh relationship] drama very similarly. However I don’t know if I am as sleek as Yvonne, the daughter of a politician.” She laughs: “Although I’ve been described as polished, I can tend to be a little silly.”

It is clear that there are immutable similarities in her character Yvonne and her reality. She modestly explains that: “My biggest motivation in life is my relationship with my family. My drive to succeed comes from my love of what I do. I truly think I am doing what I am meant to do. Since this is my main passion in life I strive to constantly be improving, always looking for new opportunities to step outside of my comfort zone and reach a new level in my art. My family are the ones who are there for me when I get low, they make me believe I can do anything. My Mum and Dad moved out to LA because of their belief in my talent and I am grateful for their sacrifice everyday. My Mum is my momager, my sister my coach and my Dad is the cheerleader. I have reached the level I have because of their love and support, so I do it for them.”

Her tight-knit family unit is seemingly important to Royster, as she describes how she came to travel parts of the world with them: “My love for travelling came from my family, they are always ready for an adventure. It was because of my Dad’s long career in baseball that we have been able to visit him in places ranging from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Busan, South Korea. The love for travelling doesn’t stop with my immediate family, my grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins on my mother’s side have visited so many amazing places. We have even all piled into a big red van and explored Ireland together! My cousin Chelsea, also attended Middlesex University in London. Honestly my favourite place to visit was London. I was almost hit taking pictures on Abbey Road. I am very thankful to have a family with such wanderlust.”

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Not only does Royster work in front of the camera’s, she also balances her undoubtedly busy schedule around working as a makeup artist. “With things being (thankfully) so crazy I haven’t had the time to do full shoots or anything, but when I get the chance I will help out my friends when they are doing headshots. They appreciate having me there, not only as a friend to do their makeup and hair, but someone who will jump in to fix their shirt or tell them when something isn’t working. I think my favourite thing I’ve worked on was the “Butterflies” music video I did for Sammi Sanchez. It was her first music video, and one of my first times doing makeup for a shoot, so we were both eager and excited.”

As social media has become such an important part of our current popular culture, it is particularly intriguing to understand how a famous figure feels about this constant need to absorb new information. Royster excitably explains: “I love interacting with everyone. I appreciate how passionate the fans are for the shows and movies I am in. It gives me the inspiration to do more with every episode and opportunity that comes along. I’m constantly taking behind the scenes pictures as I love sharing my experience with the fans and looking back on the great memories.”

With all this talk of multiple career paths, travel and a love for her fans, it is evident that Kara Royster appreciates all the opportunities that are being thrown her way: “I plan on working very hard and am confident that this year will bring more opportunities in my career, perhaps a pilot or movies. This year will be about continuing to grow and to love what I do, surrounded by the amazing people in my life, in a city that I treasure, what more can I ask for.”

Follow Kara Royster on Instagram: @kararoyster