She wanted to do it, but suddenly the fear of failure began to rear its ugly head.
So even though Victoria Aaliyah Goins was already a seasoned performer by the time she graduated from high school, she looked around for a backup plan to express her creativity — just in case.
Originally from Houston, Texas, Goins moved to Southern California when she was in the seventh grade in order to pursue acting.
“My Mom and I were interested in scouting for an agent for me, so the move to California seemed only natural,” Goins explains. “And it was. I did commercials and stayed out there until I graduated from high school.”
Over the years, Goins appeared in several national commercials, and has appeared as a singer/performer on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show,” America’s Got Talent and The Voice.
But by the end of high school, the young performer was beginning to feel burned out and decided to go on to college. After studying her choices she decided to move to Philadelphia to attend Temple University.
Why Philly? “Originally I had wanted to study musical theater but soon changed my mind. I was then indecisive but Temple was the one University that I had applied to that had all of the elements of stereotypical college life – the football team, the large campus.
“Also,” she continues, “I wanted to leave Los Angeles because I was tired out by the industry so I wanted to move cross-country in an effort to get away from it all. Also, I knew if I wanted to re-enter the profession someday I’d have to go to New York and Philly was very close.”
Her major at Temple was strategic communications with a concentration in public relations. “I thought to myself maybe I’d go on to representing people or managing people rather than performing myself,” Goins volunteers.
“But soon I felt the fear of failing in performing started to pale in comparison to the guilt of not doing it. So one day I decided to audition for a play at school and got a part. The next step was taking an acting class and it just went on from there.”
She’s appeared in “The Murder in the Red Barn,” “The Color Purple,” “For Colored Girls” and more.
Today, Goins is appearing as Nina in Azuka Theater’s ”Sunset Baby,” running through Nov. 24 at the Louis Bluver Theatre at the Drake.
“I enjoy everything I do, but in my mind there always had to be a backup plan,” she says. “I do still think of moving to New York someday, so it’s that backup plan again. I’m trying to get my bearings before I just hop on a train and head to New York.”
In the meantime, aside from performing, Goins is also an emerging director, as well as expressing a passion for teaching. She has taught drama and led workshops on the subject at various schools and churches throughout the area.
“Teaching, for me, is where I enjoy myself the most,” she concludes “in L.A. I was always in class and found joy in learning. Because that is the basis of the craft. So teaching is fun for me because that’s where actors get to play and help develop others.”