We had the good fortune of connecting with Kia Sofia Borst and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kia Sofia, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I think taking risks plays a huge part in having success. I have always been one to take a lot of risks, it’s just part of my personality. If I look back on my life and my career, the moments that stand out the most are the ones where I persevered through uncertainty. A little bit of uncertainty keeps you on your feet. It makes you think outside the box. It challenges your problem solving skills and it pushes you out of your comfort zone. All the unplanned experiences are chances to grow as an individual. And those who have traveled a lot know that you can only plan so much before life takes over. That is part of the risk you take when traveling.
I think it is good to have goals, plans and ideas but I also believe you need to recognize when life has a better path carved out for you and you can learn from the mistakes you make. If you are ready to risk “comfort” you are more likely to succeed because you are ready to give up what you already know in order to fight for something new and unknown.
I always dreamed of living in California to pursue my acting career. I took a huge risk moving here during Covid. I needed to remind myself of all the other times I had taken big risks and how they all turned into beautiful life experiences. Those experiences gave me the courage to take this one.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As a little girl I discovered the art of entertainment. I remember being 4 and having this larger than life personality that commanded attention. I loved making people laugh. I loved creating funny characters. I loved the limelight. And I knew that I was made for the stage.
When I was seven I started acting with a youth theater group and soon thereafter found a passion for figure skating. The two went hand in hand and my skills in acting and figure skating blossomed together. At skating competitions I often got compliments on my performance from the judges and the parents. So naturally, a career with a touring ice show was in the cards. Little did I know that Disney On Ice had started incorporating live hosts in their ice shows. It was the perfect job for me. Combining my theater skills with my passion for figure skating.
But my career journey started in 2016. I had just graduated with a BFA in Theatre Performance from Concordia University in Montreal. All I knew was that I wanted to perform. So I set out for New York with just a backpack and very little savings. After graduating I had sent my resume and audition tape to Disney On Ice not knowing what would come of it. I spent 6 months discovering my love and my frustration for New York when I auditioned for Marvel Live Universe (a live show also owned by FELD Entertainment). It was then that FELD Entertainment got back to me with a proposal to host a Disney On Ice show in French. I had learned French in high school because my mom was from Montreal and I had performed in some small projects in French but nothing to this extent! It was a challenge and a blessing and my mother was very proud that my professional career had taken off in no other place than Montreal. My journey had come full circle.
FELD Entertainment then asked me to host Monster Jam in Belgium using my language skills in English, Dutch and French.
I spent two beautiful years touring and performing as a professional live host and figure skater with Disney On Ice when the novel Corona-virus pandemic put all live entertainment to a halt.
Instead of looking at what I could not do in this situation, I started focusing on what I could do. My sister, Zena-Rae, is an artist and content creator so we started creating content on social media. I invested time and energy in branding and marketing. And slowly the itch for film acting and this dream to live in California came back to me. After a year of quarantine in The Netherlands it was the perfect time to reassess my life and see where I wanted it to go. So, here I am.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This is exactly how I ended up falling in love with San Diego. I was visiting my friend Havilah, she is a San Diego based influencer and she showed me the real San Diego. She took me to the secret swing down by La Jolla cove. We went to Balboa park for a beautiful stroll in nature. I discovered all the beautiful beaches here: Carlsbad, Solana Beach and the boardwalk along Pacific Beach. I love starting my morning with a sunrise rollerblade on the boardwalk.
I’m also obsessed with Mexican food so my favourite place to get a burrito is Harry’s Taco Club. There are so many great rooftop bars here in San Diego, but my favourite by far is Firehouse in PB. And any chance to catch the sun setting over the beach is a moment well spent. I absolutely love being on the beach at night, with a casual bonfire going and just stargazing. The skies here are breathtaking. Another good viewpoint is The San Diego Skyline on Coronado Island at night.
As for fun activities to do, Quartyard has an amazing Roller Disco set up on Taco Tuesdays. Highly recommend checking that out! UTC mall has a beautiful indoor ice rink for those who enjoy cooling off on a hot summers day. You can definitely find me there every week practicing my jumps and spins. But on a really hot, sunny day I love playing some beach volleyball around Mission Bay. Life’s A Beach Camps San Diego offers volleyball clinics so you get to play and work on your technique with people who are passionate for beach volley. To finish it all off with a bang, I absolutely wouldn’t miss a Church of Music event. They are a weekly service experience where love is faith, music is religion and dancing is their practice. Stunning locations and dope beats guaranteed!
I can’t think of a better place on earth.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are many, many people all around the world that I am thankful for supporting me on my journey. But there is one person in particular who deserves most of the credit; My mother.
From a young age she inspired me to chase my dreams, to travel the world and to believe that I would accomplish anything I put my mind to. She believed in the law of attraction and the power of the Universe and was a huge role model for me. And her network and community played a big part in my upbringing.
My mother passed away just two years ago and it was the hardest period in my life. After she died, the grief continued to snowball. I lost my mother, went through a break-up, lost my job as a performer with Disney On Ice, Covid-19 spread and the whole world went into quarantine and lock down.
Needless to say, it has been a hard year for everyone. And I would like to take a moment here to highlight the importance of breaking the taboo of death and grief. There is no “right” way to mourn the death of a loved one. However, after hibernating and healing, I found the strength to continue living my life through the inspiration she instilled in me and many others. Her community still gives me great support in my grieving process and they continue to send me anecdotes of how she – to this day – still inspires them in their lives. I hope to fill those shoes and pass the torch of inspiration to others as well.
Linkedin: Kia Sofia Borst