How She Got There: Janel Parrish, “Pretty Little Liars” Actress

Name: Janel Parrish
Age: 24
Job Title and Description: Actress. Playing make believe for a living.
Website: www.janelparrish.com
Twitter Handle: @jmeilanixo

What does your current job entail? Is there such a thing as a typical day?
Janel Parrish:
My job is never typical, but that's what I love about it! I get to be a different person each time I work. My current job is playing "Mona" on Pretty Little Liars (a.k.a. Rosewood’s resident nut job)!

What is the best part of your job?
JP:
Waking up each day knowing I'm going to work to do what I love!

How difficult is it to prepare yourself to play such a dark role (a.k.a. Mona)?
JP:
It's such a fun challenge. Mona is the first dark role I've ever played. It keeps the job exciting each day.

You’re a recording artist, television star and have even dabbled in theater! How are you able to balance it all?
JP:
Just by knowing it’s everything I've ever wanted to do. I wouldn't be happy doing anything else.

What is one thing about working on Pretty Little Liars that would surprise our readers?
JP:
Our cast members are all very goofy! It's a dark show, but a very light and fun set.

What is one thing you wish you knew about your industry when you first started out that you know now?
JP:
How competitive it can be—it really thickens your skin.

What words of wisdom do you find most valuable?
JP:
My father said, "If you don't believe in yourself, nobody will. If you believe in yourself, everyone will."

What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?
JP:
Thinking that losing a job meant you're not good enough. You just have to realize there could be many reasons why you don't get a job and move forward.

Who is one person who changed your professional life for the better?
JP:
Bill Kravitz. Not only is he a great manager, but a great friend and mentor as well!

Pretty Little Liars is very suspenseful show with a lot of twists and turns. Do you find it difficult to keep the plot under wraps? 
JP:
Luckily, we don't get a lot of spoilers! The writers like to keep things under wraps from us as well. But when we do hear news, it is sometimes hard to keep it in since it’s always something shocking and amazing!

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
JP:
Hopefully successful in all areas I pursue: film, television and music

What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations?
JP:
Know what you want to do more than anything in life. And then do it.

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