From television ads to pageant stage

Christina Liu, Staff Writer

Since she started dancing ballet at three years old, Diamond Bar High School sophomore Ariel Cardona has found herself in the spotlight.

By the age of 6, Cardona was acting and singing in commercials, and by 8 years old, she began to competing in pageants.

“I stumbled into a lot of the things I do, none of these were planned, it was just coincidences and I’m grateful for them,” Cardona said.

Although Cardona did not originally view acting as a potential path, she was spotted by a talent scout on the streets of Los Angeles, and from there began acting in various national commercials for companies such as Verizon.

On stage, Cardona played Bashful in “A Snow White Christmas,” working with Neil Patrick Harris, who played the Mirror. Cardona also worked alongside the members of Big Time Rush, for the episode “Big Time Jobs.”

“[During filming] I got to trash the set and that was pretty much my role, so the fact that I got to tepee everything; that was definitely a highlight of my life,” Cardona said.

Cardona has also competed in beauty pageants, such as the pre-teen Miss America pageant and International Junior Miss. In this, Cardona participated in formal wear, modeling, talent and interview. She placed first in the talent category by singing the “Hallelujah” and finished in the top 15 overall.

“That was a really cool experience because I was able to meet a lot of people from all over.” Cardona said. Making friends has been one of the most rewarding parts of her journey.

“I think there’s always a little bit of pressure, but as long as it’s healthy I don’t believe in getting over competitive…I believe in maintaining kindness and humility in anything I do.”

Despite being involved in all these different roles, Cardona is most passionate about her musical career.

Cardona has co-written two songs, “Better Days” and “I Won’t Look Back” with her cousin, John Avila, bassist for the 1980s band Oingo Boingo.

“My heart goes to music definitely, because I’ve been playing around with the idea of writing music ever since I was little and it has developed into a full blown passion for me,” Cardona said.

Cardona is still uncertain if she plans to continue the arts professionally, but has plans of entering college to become a pediatrician.

“I really want to continue with acting and singing to see where they take me and I definitely have plans for college, but school and academics come first.”