Theresa Baker is a single mother who noticed her daughter Mariya’s talent and passion for acting, dancing, and singing. She watched her daughter blossom and knew what was needed to do to make Mariya’s dreams come into reality. Theresa followed her instincts and took action by relocating to California to position Mariya for success. She took a “leap of faith” and allowed God to guide her through her new journey. Since their move, Theresa and Mariya experienced some hardships but refused to give up. Their determination landed Mariya at a reputable agency and made The Debbie Allen Dance Academy. Woman’s Essence Magazine (For & About Powerful Women) is honored to have Theresa Baker a woman of strength to interview with us.
WEmag What motivated you to make that move to California with Mariya?
TB Because of GOD’s plan & Mariya’s drive & determination. Normally, kids her age have a short attention span and have no interest in a career at such an early age. It became obvious that others recognized my daughter’s talents. She began to be the headliner of fashion shows, the face of television commercials, and had a lot of support from our local community. Through my family, my support system and the love of her nanny I decided to take a leap of FAITH. She mastered her art in Arkansas and I knew that I needed to change her surroundings in order to take her to the next level.
WEmag How did you and Mariya adjust to living in California?
TB It was a life altering change for the both of us. I totally uprooted my daughter and myself from everything that we loved and where I was very well established in my career. Within a short amount of time living in L.A, I have been robbed, mugged and in a car accident. Faced with all of those obstacles and keeping true to GOD’s plan. I continued to keep us lifted in prayer by dedicating time to find a true church home and finding time to meditate and do yoga. Through all of the trials we are still determined to make L.A. our new home.
WEmag What obstacles as a single mother did you have to overcome to start making your daughter’s dreams come true?
TB I sold everything I own, gave up my career and moved to Los Angeles. We arrived to L.A. with the clothes on our back, a little money, a vision, a dream and a whole lot of faith. Knowing nothing about the city or Los Angeles, I had no job, no family, only my FAITH and a dream. But through my FAITH in GOD he has continued to be my strength, my protector and my tour guide through an unbelievable & amazing journey.
WEmag At what age did Mariya share with you she wanted to get into acting, singing, and dancing?
TB Since the age of two, Mariya has been fascinated with fashion, often playing dress up and having make-up sessions. Using the hallway as her runway and a pencil for a microphone, Mariya seemed destined for show business.
WEmag What advise can you give other single mothers who are supporting their child’s dreams?
TB My advice to other single mothers would be to put GOD first, follow your heart, and make good sound judgments.
I remember someone saying to me. Are you crazy? I can’t believe you are moving to California, the cost of living is expensive and you have no family there. My response was I may have very little money but I have a whole lot of FAITH. I may not have any friends or family there but I have one friend that will never leave my side and that is my GOD the only friend I need.