Kylie Jefferson is a rising star in the dance world. After growing up training at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy (yes, Debbie Allen from Grey's Anatomy), Jefferson has already notched major accomplishments, such as performing in the opening number of the 2020 Grammys and choreographing ScHoolboy Q and Travis Scott's "CHopstix" music video. But acting is a whole new venture for her. In fact, Kylie Jefferson originally didn't plan to audition for Netflix's Tiny Pretty Things. Luckily, she changed her mind.
Jefferson plays Neveah Stroyer in the new Netflix dance drama, but that wasn't always going to be the case. When she first got an email about auditions for Tiny Pretty Things, she wasn't sold on the idea. "I was like, 'I'm not really an actress,'" she tells Elite Daily. But as she kept seeing the opportunity (thanks in part to her friends, who kept sending it to her), she changed her mind. "I was like, 'Look, girl ... it's time for a new job. So, let's see what we can do.'"
But then came the hard part: actually auditioning. According to Jefferson, finding a dance studio to film her audition tape was a near-impossible task. "Everyone in Los Angeles was auditioning — every actress, every dancer," she says. "I was able to get a studio, I think at like 7:00 p.m. the night before the deadline [to submit my audition]."
Of course, Jefferson ended up landing the role of Neveah, who she was surprised to learn was actually the protagonist of the show. "I was not aware that Neveah was the main character," Jefferson explains. "In the email description for the audition, [all it said was that] she had to be able to dance, especially ballet, and that she would be on every episode."
With no professional acting experience beyond some extra work on Grey's Anatomy, Jefferson was slightly shook by the revelation that her dramatic skills would be front and center, but she took it in stride.
"I was like, 'All right, girl. Let's show up for this the best way you can,'" Jefferson recalls. "And that's all I can do, is my best."
On set, Jefferson worked with an acting coach to fine-tune her performance as Neveah. She also leaned on her co-stars, many of whom are acting veterans. "I was always taking a step back to just observe them, and constantly learning from them," she says. "Even if I was the one who lacked the most in the environment, everyone around me showed up always with such a fierce determination and execution that I felt supported in that learning."
Following Tiny Pretty Things' Season 1 debut on Dec. 14, Jefferson is hopeful to continue playing Neveah in a potential Tiny Pretty Things Season 2, which has not yet been confirmed. But beyond her Netflix show, she isn't quite sure where her acting career will go next.
At her heart, Jefferson is a dancer, so she's not putting all her eggs in the acting basket. "If I'm just meant to be Neveah, I'm okay with that," she says.
But she's not counting herself out, either. "I want to do everything that I'm welcome to do," she says. "I am doing my best to remain grounded and realistic about the fact that I am still a beginner actress ... but also just doing my best to stay ready for whatever's going to come my way, so that whatever blessings do come up, I can show up for them wholeheartedly and give it my all. And whether everyone else thinks I did a good job or not, I could say I did my best."
Tiny Pretty Things is on Netflix now.