by Joi Bass
One thing that is beautiful about the world we live in is we were created for a special purpose. Many people at a young age know what they are passionate about and make it their mission to achieve it. There is a quote from realtor Grace Lichtenstein that says, “Work for a cause, not for applause. Live life to express not to impress. Don’t strive to make your presence noticed, just make your absence felt. Feel the legacy, not just money.” When I saw this quote, it made me think of one person: Alyssa Nogales.
Alyssa was born and raised in Pasco, Washington. Her hometown, unlike Seattle, is small and desert-like. Most people think that a small town with less than 100,000 people is very conservative and traditional. However that wasn’t the case for Alyssa’s town. It is Pasco where Alyssa developed her love for creative arts. “Even though I grew up in a small town, I was fortunate to grow up in an area where creative arts was encouraged.” Alyssa said Pasco is a diverse community and she had no trouble finding resources to help jumpstart her love for the arts.
Alyssa’s resume extends from acting, to dancing and modeling. At a very young age, she always knew that she had a love for performing. “I remember being 4-years-old and performing in so many church plays, I just felt like a completely different person when I was on stage.” Alyssa considers herself an introvert, however, when she performs on stage she completely transforms and her shyness and anxiety is gone.
After her first church performance, Alyssa got this exhilarating feeling, and ever since the age of 4, she’s been craving more. When it came to her acting career, Alyssa grabbed at every opportunity to be on stage. Unfortunately, she had to take a break from the acting scene when she pursued her college degree.
“It was hard for me when I left acting. We live in a society where you’re told that in order to be successful you have to graduate from college and work some type of corporate job.” In spite of graduating from college, and now working full time for her family’s real estate company, Alyssa realized that her love for acting never went away.
While continuing to do acting on the side, she also discovered a new passion: modeling. Before she launched her modeling career in 2018, Alyssa began doing small photo shoots with her sister and then moved on to bigger solo projects that allowed her to travel.
Eventually, Alyssa’s hard work paid off. She has appeared in various runways. One of those appearances was for RAW Artist Spokane. Alyssa has also appeared in several magazines including Dreamy Magazine, New Face Fashion Magazine and Taylored Living Magazine.
A turning point in Alyssa’s career was when she was nominated for Tri-Cities Creatives’ Model of the Year in 2018 and 2019. Alyssa said that she believes she is truly fortunate to be able to be in a career that she is truly passionate about. “This is something I truly love and I want to be able to use my platform to inspire other young women to pursue their dreams, regardless of what they may be.”
Of course, models go on various photoshoots and Alyssa and I discussed which shoot was her absolute favorite. April was Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and Alyssa was given the opportunity to be featured in a powerful sexual assault awareness campaign. “This cause is something that is near and dear to my heart and I am very blessed to be able to be featured in an ad with other young women who feel the same way about the cause.” Alyssa said that being featured in campaigns that have powerful messages is her favorite part of the job.
One of my favorite parts of the conversation with Alyssa was the dialogue we had about the importance of breaking the standards in the modeling industry. Shows like America’s Next Top Model and Project Runway show how cutthroat the modeling and fashion industry can truly be. However, Alyssa continues to break those barriers. Standing at 5’3 inches tall, Alyssa continues to show young women who aspire to be in the modeling industry that regardless of their height- they can make their mark.
“I believe the industry is continuing to make the strides to break the stigmas that have been so prevalent.” Alyssa said that she is proud that the industry is becoming more diverse with their models. Models who are shorter, plus size and who come from other ethnic backgrounds are given the opportunity to shine.
While being a model comes with its perks, Alyssa believes that it is important to build your legacy in not only this business but in all other industries. Alyssa’s final message to young women who are aspiring a career in the creative arts is to stay true to who you are. “I want women to be proud of who they are, no matter their size, height or ethnic background. I want them to own their uniqueness and showcase it to the world.”
You can follow Alyssa on Instagram @the.lyssamarie