It’s our pleasure to introduce RACHAEL MARKARIAN as our #FEMMEFEATUREFRIDAY this week. She is a dear friend of ours, and an all-around incredible woman. Rachael is a talented actress, dancer, performer, model, and entrepreneur who always leaves such a positive and lasting impression on everyone she meets and works with. She is no doubt a bright light wherever she goes!

Rachael has had plenty of work experience and success in the entertainment industry. She's shared the stage Rihanna, Katy Perry, Beyoncé, Cher, and Kanye West just to name a few. She has over 30 film and TV credits including GLEE, TRUE BLOOD, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, CSI, and CRIMINAL MINDS, as well. As if she wasn’t busy enough, Rachael is also the founder and director of THE DANCER’S EGDE, an elite and unique dance experience that inspires, empowers, and educates tomorrow’s dancers through artistry and creative leadership. What an amazing woman!

Not only are we inspired by Rachael Markarian’s incredible success, but we are simply in love with what she stands for. This woman is all about self-worth and self-love! She embodies true confidence in her own unique way, and she believes we all deserve exactly what we wish and hope for. What an incredible example she is for our YGTGirls. Thank you Rachael for kindly opening up to us, and for giving us such great advice on both personal and professional growth. You GOT THIS.

Artwork by Chloe Bruderer (@chloeheartsart)

Artwork by Chloe Bruderer (@chloeheartsart)

What do you think has been the most important asset that's helped you thrive in your amazing career?

The most important assets that’ve helped me thrive in my career are PASSION for what I do, and BELIEF within myself. I’m extremely passionate about my craft and the things I pursue in and around that creative world. My work as an Actress & Dancer/Teacher is what lights me up, it gets me excited to get out of bed in the morning and fulfills part of my purpose in life. I honestly couldn’t imagine pursuing or putting energy towards anything that didn’t challenge, inspire or excite me. So for me, passion and the pure love for what I do has played a huge part in my longevity and journey. Same goes for the belief within myself. Since the day I decided I wanted to be a Professional Dancer—I was in my early teens—not one thing or person or experience was going to sway that decision. There were plenty of people that told me to ‘be smart and have a back-up plan’ but then I thought, if I have a back-up plan then I’m gonna need it because I’ve already got one foot out the door. Honestly, the idea of thriving in my profession NOT being a reality for me, never even crossed my mind. I had 100% faith in myself and knew that because I declared it, then it was going to happen for me, regardless of any circumstance that came my way. At the end of the day, life is about enrollment, we’re either enrolling someone into something or out of it...I want to play the game of life where I’m enrolling people into my vision, and that takes unwavering faith and belief in yourself. If it doesn’t start with you, who’s it going to start with?

Not only do you value growing in your career, but you really value personal development as well. We know you are always reading new books and taking time to try new classes, etc. Can you tell us about why this is important to you and how you feel that it helps you in your career and in life?

Personal Development & Emotional Intelligence work is something that has played a big part in my life. It wasn’t until the last 5yrs that I started to explore it on a deeper level. It’s so interesting and keeps me wanting to learn and constantly develop. We don’t know what we don’t know, so until new ideas and ways of thinking and being are introduced to us and we really implement them into our daily lives, we don’t know what’s out there, therefore we miss out on diving deeper into who we are. I have to say, I don’t read as often as I should, however I’m currently reading You Are A BADASS, and I HIGHLY recommend it....everything you need to know about it is in the title. However, when it comes to classes, seminars and workshops I’m usually pretty open and like to explore those. Maybe it’s because it feels a bit more hands on and confrontational to me, to actually be in there and ‘do the work’ beyond reading a book, if that makes sense? Meditation has been helpful for me as well, it’s allowed me to work through some hard times in the past and gets my mind centered and grounded. As an artist I sometimes feel like my mind is a computer with 25 browsers/windows open all at once, meditating helps me clear my mind, and breathe. Being active is a huge one for me too. I workout everyday like its my therapy. The way I look at it, if I’m demanding so much of myself on a daily basis and exporting so much energy both mentally and physically, then I need to be sure I take care of my spirit and soul, first and foremost. Working out is the best self-care I could give my mind & body.

What do you consider the greatest challenge females face and what do you believe we can do to overcome that?

I think there are so many different challenges out there that speak to women of all different ages and backgrounds, but the first thing that comes to mind that I think is pretty universal and relatable is the conversation of Self-Worth & Self-Love. So much is influenced via social media, film, TV, news, etc. it’s enough to make your head spin, and if you don’t have a solid grasp on yourself and LOVE YOURSELF, your head will actually spin :) I think a lot of our challenges start within ourselves and stem from a lack of self worth, we question ourselves, doubt our actions, etc. Trust me, it’s a constant thing I remind myself of, because I too can be very hard on myself. I think it’s important to love end accept yourself first, then surround yourself with likeminded people. People who inspire you and keep you on a positive path. Find someone to hold you accountable, and be accountable for someone else....when you have that other person to lean on and also looks up to you, you have no choice but to rise up. Also, finding a mentor, teacher or coach to work with is another great place to start as well. Bottomline, surround yourself with people that make you a better human being.

What does female empowerment mean to you?

Women are so powerful, sometimes I’m in awe of the amazing things we’re capable of. It’s incredible to see what women around the world are doing, who they are, what they stand for, and the impact they’re making. For me, to be empowered is to rise up, to answer that fire inside yourself, to not be a victim of your circumstances, to move forward in your truth, to unapologetically own your voice, and to empower and influence others to do the same. Part of that is seeing the beauty and possibility in others before they can see it within themselves.

What’s your definition of a YGTGirl?

The phrase YGTG makes me think of POWER. The idea that anything you desire is completely achievable if you set your mind to it, believe in yourself and declare that YOU GOT IT! Anyone who handles their circumstances with grace and determination, who lives their life with purpose, who gives just as much as they receive (if not more), who inspires and empowers others along the way, and lives a life others would be proud of, that’s a YGTGirl :)