Tehya Rose & Maya Jade Frank13 Wishes by @theyasistersVenice Beach, CAStory & Photos by Lauri LevenfeldStyling by Giuliana Crescentini
Makeup & Hair by Irmina Martinez Loeffler
1. Who are you? What were you like as a child?
T: That’s a pretty tough first question! I am a singer-songwriter, a writer and a dancer and I love anything creative, so I think I’ve always had a pretty good sense of who I am and what I want to be like as a person. As a child I was just a younger version of myself with blonder hair and a lot more bossy, but I’ve always been very passionate about everything I do. I’ve had my uniform of jeans and a t-shirt since I was a kid too, so very little has changed!
M: Yep! She was the bossiest older sister! I’ve always been the one in the family to make everyone smile and see the positive side of any situation. My number one motto since I was young has been carpe diem: seize the day. I had many creative outlets from taking my giant dress-up box and creating fun characters to designing and sewing an evening gown I actually wore to the 100th show of EVITA cast party.
2. What are you most passionate about and how do you pursue your passions?
M: I love performing on a stage or on set and becoming someone I’d never be off-screen. The best part of acting is the ability to teach different messages; Mary Poppins really motivates the audience to believe that if you try your hardest “anything can happen if you let it” and Bizaardvark is doing an awesome job of teaching kids everywhere to never change who you are despite what people may think of you.
T: I’m most passionate about telling stories, that’s really the connective thread through everything that I do. Our world has become flooded with social media and immediate stories, so I feel like sometimes we lose the beauty of stepping back for a second and seeing the bigger picture. The beauty of the full story and the compilation of moments. Getting to relive them through music, acting, dance and writing is the most amazing feeling.
I pursue what I’m passionate about by taking and creating opportunities that comes my way or that I work to create. I really believe that as a young person we shouldn’t close any doors before you’ve explored them. I’ve done things way beyond my comfort zone, and they’ve all made me a better person.
| 3. What does it mean to have a sister and to be one?
M: I think being a sister is being each other’s number 1 [super]fan ;) . Being a sister is the definition of awesome-sauce! I don’t know what I’d do without Tehya. I know no matter what, I can come to her with anything, anytime, anywhere. Also, unlike a friend…sisters can’t just stop speaking to each other because we live with one another. So even in our smallest of fights, we have to get over them and see things from the other person’s perspective.
T: A sibling means a built-in best friend with lower lows and higher highs. It also means you get to be a cheerleader and have double the excitement when something good happens! To me, Maya means that I will always have someone to love and be there for. We depend upon each other and work with each other a lot, so we’ve learned our individual strengths and use them to our advantage as a team.
4. Name a song that best describes you two and your sisterhood.
M & T: “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis!!
T: Not only, because we were jamming out to it during the photoshoot, but, because they’re both rad musicians who love to tell stories and use their platform for good like we both try to do. I also have a vivid memory of Maya and I at one of their concerts. It was their first show at Madison Square Garden before they became really well known musicians, and Maya literally stood up on the chair beside me and sang all the lyrics to every. single. song. It was absolutely incredible, a night that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
M: It was AMAZING. When Thrift Shop came on, the lyrics were projected onto the screen and I was like “I don’t need those”. I jumped onto my chair and you guys all looked at me and thought I was insane. But I think this song describes us because it’s about being free, ridiculous, and okay with being different.
T: Also we know the theme song for “Green Acres” backwards and forwards… but that’s another story…
5. What is 13 Wishes? How was it conceived & where do you hope the organization goes? M: We started it right after Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, as we tried unsuccessfully to help in the recovery efforts, because we were just kids no one would let us volunteer. Working in the industry our entire lives (myself on Broadway and Tehya at Lincoln Center) and raised to believe that actions speak louder than words, we knew that the best impact we could make was if we used our knowledge of the arts, for good.
T: We created ①③ Wishes as a base for people with a true desire to help others and use their passions to give back. When we saw the devastation caused by the hurricane – down the street and only a few miles from our apartment – it opened our eyes to how budgets in school systems work: unfortunately, a lot of the time when devastation hits and not enough resources are set aside, the arts programs are the first to be cut and the money is redirected towards recovery efforts. ①③ Wishes is really about giving opportunities for kids by kids in any capacity.
M: We use different methods to raise the money, we have done bracelet selling, signed pointe shoe auctions, a cabaret (with lots of super talented kids) and now are teaming up with The Project for Girls to work together for good!
T: Giving back is always best when you’re passionate about the project so it is instilled in you for the rest of your life and becomes second nature. If you’ve got an idea for a project check us out on 13 wishes and reach out to us with your ideas! We are always psyched about new projects!
6. Who are your biggest role models?
T: My parents, because even though we didn’t turn out to be soccer or tennis players, they stick with us, cheer us on, and help us find the most incredible opportunities. Seriously, if it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be doing the things that we love everyday, so thanks Momma and Dad. Also, our Granny because her strength, persistence, and grace makes for a pretty great role model. And, can I say Maya, too, because she teaches me everyday that life is meant to be laughed alongside, and she was definitely put on this planet to make people smile.
M: My number one role model has always been my sister because she pushes me to be the best version of myself. Honestly, I don’t know how she does it…wake up and commit herself to the future instead of dwelling on the past. We’ve been through a lot together and she is by far the bravest person I’ve ever met. Besides my family (because Tehya stole my people!), Emma Watson. She is an incredible actress and isn’t afraid of pushing boundaries. Over the years she has broke out of her
Hermione stereotype and has become a leader for generations out there by becoming a UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador, so, she’s amazing.
7. Tell us about your current projects.
M: I hope you’re all watching Bizaardvark season 2!! Tehya and I are working on a new blog that we are super excited to share. My most current project is finishing high school and enjoying the rest of my summer with my friends and my dog, Thurman!
T: I’m writing for a couple of blogs, you can check them out on tehyarose.com and I’m also working on a book and more music. Maya and I are working together on an exciting project, if you follow @theyasisters it gives you a glimpse into our lives, and we are definitely about to make the magical, craziness of our lives a lot more accessible very soon, so I’m super stoked to launch that! I really love working with this girlie.
8. What does TPFG mean to you? What does it mean to empower girls?
M: When you are reading an article on TPFG you become inspired and really believe that you can make an impact in the world. All of the girls Lauri focuses on are girls who do what they love and give back. They take what they believe in and their passions and find ways to share them with the world. By sharing stories of who we are, what we do, and what we’ve overcome, it helps motivate all of us to put our passions to use!
T: I was taught my whole life that my sister and I could do anything. It was never a girl-versus-boy thing growing up, my parents instilled in us at a young age that if we worked hard enough, really practiced, were passionate about something, and happened to be lucky, we could do anything we dreamed of doing. I always dreamed of becoming a Navy Seal, but I guess that’s not the road life has taken me on thus far…you never know…
TPFG means we get to hear girls’ stories, we get to be inspired by rad chicks that have conquered the world and taken it on with their awesomeness (that’s a Maya word)! Empowering girls is raising them not just to believe that they can do anything, but to show and teach them that they can and they will, and then let them. It’s to get us to a point that it is no longer a boy-versus-girl conversation, it’s just a conversation between intelligent, creative, beautiful human beings. TPFG does just that by letting our imaginations run wild on all the wonderful things that we CAN and WILL do when we grow up. Trust me, I’m still very much a kid at nineteen, I never stop learning.
9. What are your fave west coast things to do?
T: Go to the beach. Go to the beach. Go to the beach. Eat French fries. Make music. Go to the beach. Write. Jump in the ocean. I’m so serious. When I have any downtime, I’m outside. And, when I don’t have downtime and need to be reading, writing, or on my computer, if it can be done remotely, I’m definitely outside. That’s the best part about living in a place where eighty percent of the time you can be outside and comfy pretty much year round. Also, Maya and I are obsessed with the French Fries at a little seafood place in Malibu. It’s a serious addiction.
M: So far we have discovered truffle fries, fresh french fries and curly fries, and we sneak eat them in Tehya’s car on the drive home! I’m also really into photography and I love finding cool new places throughout Los Angeles to photograph. Also, I’m obsessed with Disneyland. You can never not be happy eating Mickey Mouse ice-cream and standing in endless lines in 100 degree weather!
10. Where do you see yourself in five years?
T: You know, it’s so funny because I used to get asked this question a lot, and I used to answer with “Singing at The Troubadour” or “writing music with Carole King, Regina Spektor, and Mat Kearney” or “in med school”. I think I’m learning now, more than ever, that it doesn’t so much matter what I am doing, as much as if what I’m doing is making me happy. That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to do all those crazy things , it just isn’t all that I dream about anymore.
Yes, I would love to still be making music, working with my sister, writing, dancing, and making a difference, but you never know what life has coming for you, and you never know what it may throw your way. So, now that you’re asking me that question at this very moment,
I’m going to say that I see myself loving people (and our dog Thurman of course), challenged by whatever I am doing, grateful for what I’ve done and the experiences I’ve had, and excited for the incredible things that lie ahead. I don’t know what they are, but I’m sure they’re going to be wonderfully interesting and challenging. So… as Barney Stinson would say [in one of my favorite television shows, “How I Met Your Mother”] “Challenge accepted”! Right now I’m a bit busy living my life at the moment, so 2022, I’ll see ya in 5 years.
M: In five years I hope to have traveled to different parts of the world to be exposed to new cultures and traditions. I do want to go to college and continue to learn and be challenged in my studies. But most of all I hope I have continued luck being an actress, performing and entertaining audiences and inspiring people everywhere through creativity.
M & T: If you want to reach out to us we try to get back to as many DMs as possible, so definitely send us over a message through Instagram, www.instagram.com/mayajadefrank/ and www.instagram.com/tehyarose/. Let’s keep this conversation going, and definitely stay tuned for the launch of The Ya Sisters! xo, maya and tehya.
OUR SOCIAL MEDIA:
Maya – @mayajadefrank and mayajadefrank.com
Tehya – @tehyarose and tehyarose.com
Together – @theyasisters and 13wishes.net