The problem that I face is being unknown, but considered known so I am formally introducing myself as the unknown, known Shay! I come from humble beginnings born the eleventh of thirteen children. Please, know that I have heard it all before so I know what you are thinking; “Did you have cable as a child,” or “Your parents really got it on!” Well, the truth is my parents are both from families of thirteen from the South raised in a Christian home where children were considered a blessing.
Today, children are not really considered a blessing because people lack understanding of love, devotion, and determination. I grew up in a family filled with love, devotion and for that I was determined, big family or not to succeed. I worked hard for my personal independence which was also a means of survival. I put myself through college. I earned by B.A. in English because I worked for it. Nothing, nothing was given to me and not because my parents could not afford it but because I wanted to display my devotion through determination. I worked in Corporate America for ten years before joining the “Brandy and Ray J: A Family Business” television show on VH1.
Contrary to what people may believe, I was asked to be on the show. It was not my decision meaning I did not call Brandy to ask to be a part of the show. I did not think it would be wise to mix business with friendship because Brandy and I are friends.
No, we didn’t just meet on the show; I was not simply selected as a cast member to be a part of the show, nor am I some flunky. I am accustomed to living a particular lifestyle. I had a career prior to the “Brandy and Ray J: A Family Business” television show. My career allowed me to live what I consider a stable lifestyle so joining the show was a bit frightening for me. I was afraid of the instability that came with the grind and hustle of the entertainment business as well as what I stated previously, destroying a friendship.
But, God works in mysterious ways, late last year my Grandmother became ill and I felt that I needed to be with my family which helped my decision. So, I relocated from New York to my native which is Los Angeles to be with my family and accepted the position as a cast member on the show.
The rest is pretty much history. History in the making for me on a personal level. I am in what I consider a transition stage but who would have ever thought, well not me. So, the judgment that is placed on me by people that watch the show is irrelevant. There is a huge misconception about what is portrayed on television in regards to personal opinions from the viewers.
People feel that they are entitled to label, say whatever, or ask whatever because I am now on television which is not true. When I speak of viewers, I am not only speaking about people that I do not know but also family, friends, fans and people that are not a fan of me because I am in what they consider the “lime light.” Honestly, I am learning to respond to accordingly to people by their reaction to me as a cast member.
I admit that it is a bit or rather feels a bit different being “recognized” these days. Don’t get me wrong, I am a very humble person and I am thankful for the opportunity that I have been afforded but it is very challenging facing the obstacles of reality television and leaving a life behind that was so comforting.