We had the good fortune of connecting with Iliyana Apostolova and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Iliyana, what matters most to you?
The principle that matters most to me is staying true to who you are and being honest with others, but most importantly yourself. I’ve learned and seen that when you live for other people’s approval and praise, you begin to lose yourself and focus on becoming what you think others want you to be. Then you find yourself surrounded by people who don’t really know the real you. Nothing takes more energy out of you, like living for approval and constantly suppressing who you really are because you’re afraid of what others will think. I strive to be myself in every situation, I’m not afraid to talk about what bothers me, what hurts me, my dreams and my fears. It makes me feel free and I know that the people I’m surrounded with love me for me.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Acting has been my passion since I was a toddler. I loved imitating and impersonating anything I see on TV. But comedy holds a special place in my heart. I’ve always enjoyed making people laugh. Knowing I’m responsible for the smile on someone’s face made me feel rewarded and accomplished. I attended the Las Vegas Academy of Performing Arts (2009-2012) where I majored in Theatre, but it wasn’t until last year that I started pursuing film acting professionally. I realized that nothing makes me happier. Lucky for me, quarantine happened shortly after. The boredom led me to try this TikTok app everyone was talking about. I made a profile with no intentions of going viral, I just wanted to make comedic skits to send to friends and family during the depressing lockdown. Within a week my videos went viral and I reached 1.5 million followers. I started getting recognized when I go out. I became overwhelmed with the positive feedback I was getting from thousands of people, telling me I need to be on TV, I need my own comedy show, I’m an incredible actress etc., People would tell me I helped them get through this tough time, and anytime they needed a laugh they go on my page. It reminded me of why I’m passionate about what I do. My current acting manager also noticed me on TikTok, along with Dr. Phil & Anjelah Johnson. This experience taught me that there is nothing better than being myself. I simply did what I love, with no intention of getting recognition or making money, but just to make other people smile and the rest followed.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Assuming the world is back to normal, if my best friend came to visit I’d have to take her to the Burger Lounge. That chicken sandwich is out of this world. We would definitely have a beach day in Malibu and probably catch the sunset there. Sunsets are my weakness. We would visit the Griffith Observatory and enjoy the city view. Maybe some shopping at the Grove and definitely stop by Bar Verde at Nordstrom for a drink and some tacos. Yum! I usually get 3-4 orders of their tacos, they’re to die for. Then go to the Highlight Room for more drinks and city views. We definitely need to have a day for Universal Studios, and you best believe we’re going on that mummy ride at least 15 times.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
One person that made a huge difference in my decision to purse an acting career is Dimiter Marinov, actor, mentor and acting coach. I always knew that entertainment was my passion but I needed that extra push. I met Dimiter and took his acting class. I noticed that he is honest, direct and not there to waste your time and money if he doesn’t believe in you. He called me after the class with feedback and told me that he sees something really special and that I’m a natural. His encouragement, guidance and support pushed me to commit to my dreams. Through him, I met my agent and made wonderful connections that have helped me along the way.

Website: https://www.tiktok.com/@_iliyana
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iliybby/
Youtube: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ME3eJSaW7CU

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.