Today we sat down with Emily Tosta, a multi-talented actress hailing from the Dominican Republic. She left her life in the Dominican to chase her dreams of becoming an actress in America. Emily let us in on her life before and after her big move, and what it took to become the actress she is today. Follow Emily on her journey from theater at 8 years old to her new role in “Party of Five.”

You got your start in musical theater. What is the day-to-day of preparing for a musical?

Starting out in musical theatre was a huge training for the rest of my career. Preparing for it required every day rehearsals for 8-9 hours, arduous singing, dancing and acting exercises. It was so much fun because I got to do what I love but it was definitely tough. Without a doubt, it was an incredible base for who I am now as an actor. 

How old were you in those first roles? Was it hard to keep up with the training at a young age?

I was around 8 years old when I started doing theatre in my country, Dominican Republic. Sometimes it was hard to keep up with the training at such a young age. My mom would pick me up from school, I would eat in the car on my way to rehearsals and I would do my homework in between any little break I had. It was a lot of work but I wouldn’t change it for anything! 

Growing up in the Dominican Republic, what do you think was the biggest difference between your childhood there versus growing up in the US? 

So many things! The language and culture are the main differences. Adapting to a new environment at that age with different school systems, well, actually, everything was very different. Dominican Republic has a small-town mentality if you live there, coming to US meant expanding and broadening my mentality and goals on all levels. 

What are some sacrifices that had to be made as you moved to the US?

Leaving all my family and friends behind and coming here to start a new life and chase the ‘American Dream’. Leaving my security and an established life in my country to come chase a dream. Coming here with no legal status to work and barely any money. In Dominican Republic I already had a name, offers, and opportunities; yet I decided to come to a country where I was just another little fish in a huge sea full of other fish trying to do the same thing I wanted to do.

Share with us one of your favorite memories from the US. How has it impacted who you are as a person? 

This might sound cliché but when I first landed in Los Angeles, not knowing anyone here, not knowing how things were going to turn out, my mom and I took a huge risk and we literally “hopped off the plane at LAX with a dream” LOL. It made us stronger, it gave us courage. I’ll never forget that moment.

What has been the most challenging role you’ve taken on so far? 

The most challenging role I’ve taken on so far is actually Lucia Acosta from Party Of Five, a lot of work comes with being the female lead of a show, and not just that but also telling such a timely, impactful and important story comes with a lot of responsibility. We always want to keep ourselves informed with what’s happening regarding immigration topics, we are constantly doing research to make sure we portray these characters in the best way possible and to make sure we can tell this story the way it deserves to be told. It takes a lot of effort and dedication from my part to do this role the right way and giving your all is always challenging.

Who is your favorite Disney character and why? 

Mulan and Pocahontas are my favorite Disney characters. Mulan gained the respect of everyone around her and proved to all of them that intellect, hard work and dedication determined her strength, not gender. And Pocahontas is so brave, care-free, strong and independent, she doesn’t need to be saved by anyone, she is the one that actually saves John Smith. 

What is one of the most important values you were taught at a young age? 

My mom is the most incredible human in the world, she’s my hero and thanks to her I am the woman I am today. She’s always taught me to respect and love myself and others. She’s always encouraged me to be kind and patient. To have unbreakable integrity, and to have courage. She taught me to be grateful always. My mom is the type of person that is always there for others, lending a helping hand, and never wishing anyone harm, not even those who have wronged her, and I am forever grateful for having her as a role model. 

Share with us upcoming projects! 

Party Of Five premieres on Freeform January 8th, 2020! My other show Mayans MC on FX got picked up for season 3! So hopefully I can share some dates with you guys soon!
“Party of Five” will premiere with a two-hour, back-to-back episodes on WEDNESDAY, JAN. 8 (9:00-11:00 p.m.EST) on Freeform. The first episode of “Party of Five” will also be available for a special pre-linear sneak peek on Hulu,, the Freeform App, and on demand beginning Wednesday, Jan. 1.

By Sonja Grunfeld

Photographer: Ryan West