Naya auditioned for American Idol but didn't make it.
When Naya was 17 she loved The Simple Life and all she wanted to do was be like Paris Hilton. She convinced her dad to let her get a little dog like Paris, whom she named Cali.
When she was in high school, Naya worked as a greeter at Abercrombie and also as a telemarketer.
Naya is left handed.
Naya's brother plays college football and she and her family get together to watch.
Naya has become very good friends with Glee co-star Heather Morris.
Naya, along with her Glee costars, was nominated for "Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series" at the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.
If she was not an actress, Naya would be a writer.
Naya, along with her Glee co-stars, won a 2009 Screen Actors Guild Award for "Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series."
In 1992, Naya was nominated for a Young Actress Awards in the category of Exceptional Performance by a Young Actress Under Ten for her role in The Royal Family.
Naya's first acting job was in a K-mart commercial when she was 10 months old.
Naya hopes to make films one day and has written several screen plays.
Naya's favorite TV shows are Nip/Tuck, Grey's Anatomy and House.
Naya's favorite actors are Kate Hudson, Halle Berry and Johnny Depp.
Naya is bi-racial being half Puerto Rican, a quarter German and a quarter African American.
Naya's favorite designers are Betsey Johnson, Michael Kors, Heatherette, Diane Von Furstenburg, and Calvin Klein
Naya: (on her name) I don't know what culture it's from, but my mom saw it in on an episode of Fantasy Island. I have never seen the show, but I hear it's hysterical. She saw some water goddess who came out of the water, and her name was Naya, and she was like, 'I love that name.' She had a parrot and she named her parrot Naya, before she had me.
Naya: (on her personal style) Day to day I run around in moccasins, thermals and jeans. Super comfy is my style all around. I am definitely a jeans and t-shirt girl. I don't wear heels unless I have to.
Naya:(On volunteering for the Foothills of Aids Project) I was stoked because I haven't ever really had to start participating in charity events or giving back to the community. I feel like that is really important to do because I feel like I am so blessed with my job and my life right now that I would love to take time to bowl for a cause. I hope to raise money to help some other people that are in a really tough situation.
Naya:(On watching comedic legend Redd Foxx die while guest starring on his show) It was really weird because I was, like, five and a half, and I got rushed upstairs and I didn't know what was going on. And now, looking back on it, I'm like, that's freaky. I watched a legend die. Everyone thought he was joking. And then they were like, Oh, snap! He's for real. It was kind of like the universe answering what he'd been putting out forever.
Naya: (On how she prepared for her role in Glee) I draw from a lot of life experiences when ever I play any role. I kind of put that into everything. Since I am playing a high school student, I go back. I definitely wasn't popular in high school so I can look and draw from all of the girls that would be closest to Santana (if she were a real person). I also watched a bunch of high school movies and old shows liked Mean Girls to really get in the zone and feel like a b*tchy Sophomore.
Naya: My voice is kind of like Aaliyah-esque, with a little bit more range. Normally, I sing pop, R&B-type stuff.
Naya: My passion for music is one of my greatest loves. I don't think I would be able to live without music in my life. I listen to absolutely everything and sing all the time. I love to write because it's such a release. It's very therapeutic when I sing and it makes me feel like I'm escaping for a while. I started singing when I was three. My favorite things to perform for my family was Paula Abdul and Michael Jackson's leave me alone. I had a little kid piano that my dad would play notes on while I made up lyrics and sang along. I love how different songs can make you feel different things and take you to different memories in your life. I still currently record things in the studio and write in my free time. I would love to release my own album someday and work with some of the artists that I admire most. I can die happy when that happens haha. I just love performing all together, and music is just one of the outlets that I use.
Naya: I would have to say that my favorite role was Family Matters. Even though I was really young, I loved my character. I played little Ritchie's girlfriend in a couple of episodes and had a blast doing it. My mom was my manager and acting coach at the time and helped me do some really cute things in my scenes. My character was only supposed to do one episode but they brought me back for a lot more. I even developed my first little crush on the kid who played Richie. We became childhood friends while filming the show and had a great time on set. Out of all of the things I've done Family Matters, seems to be the one that people remember most which I think is hilarious. The funniest part about that role is that I was actually crying after the audition because I thought I had blown it. But I guess it just goes to show that you never really know whats coming for you!
Naya: I didn't do anything in high school. My mom made me join choir for a couple of weeks freshman year but I didn't like it so I quit. All I did was go out for auditions and try to get jobs.
Naya:(On why she acts) Basically, the thing that appeals to me most is that I feel like it's something that I'm really good at and really talented in. When you're just good at something, it feels good to be good at it, and do it for a living. Also, the fact that I have so much fun when I'm actually working that it doesn't even feel like work. It's truly like heaven on Earth.
Naya:(Her advice for aspiring actors) If this is something your really want to do, you have to focus soley on it. It's a hard job to get a foothold in because you have to get a part time job to at least make ends meet while you go through the process. But don't give up. If you really want it, just stick with it. I've wanted to give up more times than I can count. Don't get jaded. Stay excited and really work on your craft.
Naya: I can relate to girls with self esteem issues because growing up in this industry there is the side of you that is obsessed with perfection. You want to please everyone because if you don't, you won't get the job. There is always someone prettier, smarter, or a better actor that you. You start to nit-pick everything. That perfectionism kicks in and it can take over your life if you let it. You have to get comfortable with yourself. Then, if you get the job, it is an added bonus.
Naya:My parents did a really good job of keeping my life normal. I went to public school my whole life and had friends. But I was also pulled out of school a lot to go to auditions and to work from time to time. I had to deal with the childhood jealousy that comes from people who wish they could do what I do. But that's all part of it.
Naya: My mom actually had moved [to Los Angeles] to pursue modeling, and so when she had me then, at 21, she just decided that I should go ahead and try my hand at it. I actually had the same commercial agent that she did when I was 8 months, 9 months old. So I've been doing it ever since than and I just grew to love it.
Naya: (On her character in Glee) I come in as one of the popular cheerleaders. Santana is a competitive cheerleader at the school. She's part of a cheerleading squad called The Cheerios. She's really your typical high school cheerleader, for the most part. She's really mean and loves boys. She's really witty so I love playing her.