My name is Amber Barnes and I’m from North Carolina but some know me as Astara which is my nickname. I grew up in the country so I’m more like a country girl. Currently I am a medical student at Barton College trying to get my B.S.N. so I can afford my dreams. When I was younger I had a rough life growing up. I’ve always been the one who got picked on in school and didn’t have any friends; however, that did not stop anything. I knew I was destined for greatness. I started modeling when I was 17 years old. Although I’ve had my own insecurities about myself, I’ve learned to adjust to not caring about what people think. I personally think being a model is tough. You got to have a certain look or look some type of way to really make it big! I just had my dreams and faith. In all I’ve walked in 20 different runway shows including a recent one with Cynthia Bailey. I’ve also met other celebrities while doing fashion shows like Jim Jones and Paris Moore from Dance Moms and other artists. I love doing runway shows because I’m able to strut my stuff on the runway and show off the accessories and clothes the designers create. My favorite designers is Rip_Designs and Venny.

I love walking for them because their clothes are made out of simple things like trash bags, tissues, and things around the house that one would never thought could be made into an outfit. Anyways, I work 3 different jobs. One of my jobs, I work as a teacher assistant, which enables me to help students and teachers. I’m a social butterfly so this job suits me well. I love meeting new people and don’t like sitting idol. Another job I work at is at UNC Nash. I’m currently an intern working in the front ER department. I love working there because I love the rush of things while helping people. I think that me being who I am, people understands that my personality is very outgoing and I am a very genuine person who a big heart.

I wear my heart on my sleeves, which is a good thing and a bad thing especially being a very giving person. My 3rd job is at a local clinic working as a medical administrator. Each of my jobs plays an important role in my life. While balancing three jobs, I’m also modeling and acting. I started acting 2 years ago and already have 13 credits under my name. I realized acting was more of a passion then modeling because I can be myself and mold myself into different people while on the big screen. Acting is a full time job also so I have to be careful to avoid burning myself out because I do have other priorities as well. I started doing small roles then I moved to doing commercials, web series, and then independent films. I’ve been on Hulu, Amazon Prime, Tubi, TV One and other T.V. streams. Acting comes natural to me. I would like to see myself on Netflix in the future or in theaters. Next year, I plan on attending New York Film Academy or more acting schools so I can become a professional actress, then I want to sign with an agency in Atlanta. Atlanta, Georgia is the place to be especially if you want to make it. It’s a lot of opportunities out there and in New York. These two cities I want to network in the most. Speaking of Atlanta, this is where I met my current boyfriend (Antonio Johnson aka ONIT) at. He was on 60 days in and became well known from the show. It hit atleast 3.5 million views on YouTube from the A&E channel.

Right now he’s a rapper. Me and him are currently working on music together and hoping to drop it as soon as possible. I’ve been singing for 5 years on and off. I like to sing because it’s soothing and keeps me calm. It’s like you can escape from reality into your own thoughts. I did a few musicals and vocal classes to help strengthen my vocals and also I did chorus for 4 years in high school. It’s good to have other talents to do or work on to keep you busy. I like to stay busy to keep from falling off. My biggest fear is falling off and not reaching my dreams. I have big dreams and plans for the future. I just want to be successful.

My beautiful daughter, Autumn Bell is my motivation. She’s 8 years old. I call her Auti for short. She’s a very smart girl and I want what’s best for her. I want her to be better than I was and to see that if you work hard and keep grinding you can achieve anything your heart desires. I had her at 21. Being a single parent at that time was tough for me. I didn’t have help so I reached out to close friends for help. It wasn’t an easy journey. I didn’t even think I would ever go back to college but my Aunt Leatta Spruill and my cousin Adara Spruill pushed me to not give up. I cried for days and hours because I was lost and confused but I didn’t want to look weak in front of my daughter. I didn’t want her to see her Mommy cry. I wanted her to see Mommy pushing. It’s okay to cry sometimes but to me it was a sign of weakness. My daughter sees the best in me even when I don’t see the best in me at times and I love her for that. She’s my rock, my heart, and everything in me. That’s why I do the things I do. I want her to never have to worry about anything

There’s a few people I want to give thanks to. They names is Alicia Johnson, Katrina Bell Mosley, Shanetta Alston, Roshay Anthony (Bestie) from Tarboro, Robbin Hedgepeth (Aunt), Jamark Barnes (cousin), Rhema and Nick Hedgepeth (cousins), Leatta Spruill and Adara Spruill from Killeen, Texas, Money (JyJy), my fans and God!! God is the number one leading light in my life. It’s been times I felt like giving up but couldn’t give up because of circumstances. I have faith that God will show me the right path. Without my fans and the support of my family, I wouldn’t of made it this far. My cousin Adara Spruill is my inspiration because she struggled and moved to Texas and became very successful. She has a nice house, a perfect family and owns a hair shop. I love seeing push themselves out of the darkness.

I love seeing people become successful overnight. I have no brother or Dad so it was struggle not to have a male figure in your life. My brother (Quintin Barnes) was thrown out of a speeding car and died on impact and my Dad (Willie Arrington) died in his sleep. Without these two male figures in my life it was tough on me and still is. At this point Im just working and trying to finish college so I can move on and focus on other things. I like to travel and do a lot of shopping which helps time go back and I love going to events and writing poems on my spare time. If I’m not writing poems, I’m writing songs. If I’m not writing songs, I doing other things. My life is a busy and steadily moving.

Written by

Chris Collins is an American multimedia journalist from Los Angelas, California

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