The Campus Celebrity for this week is a sophomore from Harlem, New York, Priscilla Diaz (Iinstagram @Misspriscillastar), also known as P-Star.
10 minutes late, she briskly walks into Slayter with a beanie and scarf on, wearing a large coat and her backpack in hand. She unwraps her scarf from her neck as she walks towards me, takes off her jacket and hat and sets it down on the table. She’s all smiles as she apologizes for being late and runs to grab a coffee. She sits down, still smiling, waiting for me to begin our interview. Paying attention to detail, watching her as she spoke, all it took was one conversation. I knew she was real. I knew she had a story.
P-Star writes her own music and has been writing and rapping since she was 9 years old. She was great at rapping because she had to be in order to take care of her family. Rapping about life’s struggles as a young girl, growing up without a mother, P-Star was the real deal. She has seen the best of both worlds having previously been signed to UBO Records, opening for artists like Raven Simone and JoJo and acting in the 2009 television show, The Electric Company. It won numerous Emmy Awards and Best Children’s Television Show gaining much success. P-Star has also performed in Mexico in front of thousands of fans and is most known for her 2009 documentary, P-Star Rising, which gained tons of recognition. P-Star Rising has also won many awards such as Best Documentary Film and the Crystal Heart Award at the 2009 Heartland Film Festival and was nominated for the Golden Eye Best International Documentary Film Award at the 2009 Zurich Film Festival. All of this success comes with a price to pay and the documentary shows P-Stars struggle trying to make it in the entertainment industry and trying to simply put food on the table.
“I think that I am very fortunate to have been able to get a glimpse of the life of struggle and the life of glamour. I do not regret the choices that I have made in the past. I just have a better understanding of what I could and could not handle or at least what I should have done before furthering my career as far as music goes. Coming to Denison and getting my education is invaluable. Everything happens for a reason. I have a purpose for being here. That’s what keeps me humble. I know my goals and I’m just going to keep pushing, keep moving forward”, said P-Star.
P-Star was a 7th grader reading at a 3rd grade level. Her single father raised her and her sister and at one point had to live in shelter. Who knew the struggling 9 year-old-girl would have come this far? As a student at Denison, far away from home, a varsity cheerleader and a member of the Executive Board for the BSU, she is unstoppable. She is a double major pursing her B.A. in Theater and Education. When she is not busy with BSU meetings, studying or cheering on the sideline, she enjoys ice skating, hanging out with friends and writing.
“I am very passionate about the arts, performing, theatre and most importantly, writing. It’s what I love to do and it’s been apart of my life since I can remember”, P-Star said.
P-Star is an extremely humble and caring person. She has a very fun, outgoing attitude and a love for living life to the fullest. She loves getting ready to go out in her best outfit and being “The Showstopper” at the party.
“My fashion style is pretty chill but I am very strict with my “going out” clothes. When I go out, I’m trying to show out, “ said P-Star laughing.
She has a very strong sense of self and is also very passionate about empowering women.
“If I could be anyone in the world it would be Wonder Woman. She means something! She’s powerful, strong, beautiful and just empowering. She’s more than just a character. ”, P-Star said.
Being a role model for the younger generation is a huge influence for P-Star. Coming from a low-income family in Harlem, New York and witnessing young people struggle, P-Star just wants to see the young people succeed, to see the world and know that there is so much out there.
“Seeing younger people striving to do better and make something of themselves is enough influence for me. This might sound backwards but I look up to them. I see them wanting to do better and that makes me work so much harder. I want to be a role model for young people; to be able to say, “I did it, I made it and so can you”, said P-Star.
P-Star loves to motivate and inspire others and she wanted to end her interview with a few words.
“Follow your dreams. Follow your passions. Go with your heart”. –P-Star
Check out the P-Star Documentary here: http://www.cultureunplugged.com/documentary/watch-online/play/8960/P-STAR-RISING