Introduce yourself! Who are you?
Hey there ladies! My name is Devony DiMattia and I am an actress/entrepreneur hailing from New Jersey. I graduated with highest honors and a B.A. in Integrative Arts (Theatre Focus) from Penn State University in 2015, fulfilling the role of Student Marshal/Valedictorian of my department. Since college, I have been working a ton of different jobs and loving the learning opportunity each has provided! Most recently, I’ve edited screenplays and novels for up and coming writers, been an account manager for Fortune 500 clients, acted, modeled, choreographed, bartended, written a short story and co-written a play, become the resident assistant technical director at an equity theatre, and helped found a fintech startup based in Manhattan. You’ll notice within my responses that I reference a lot of quotes, many of which are mantras I think about every day and aim to model myself after. I constantly live by the notion that “The past does not define you, your circumstances do not define you, you define you.” By adopting this mentality, I’ve been able to take on all of these different positions and not limit myself to just one identity!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
That would have to be a tie between:
“It ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can GET hit and keep moving forward.” –Rocky Balboa
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard!” –Coach Al (my dad)
Have you ever had anyone doubt you? How did that make you feel?
People doubt me constantly, every day. I doubt myself sometimes too. If you are striving for greatness (or anything even greatness adjacent), you will be subjected to a chorus of people throwing negativity and passive aggressive comments your way. You will hear those words echo in your head, long after the people who said them have forgotten. But, the most important thing to remember is that no one has ever achieved anything by remaining complacent. You need to step outside of that comfort zone you have and push past mediocrity to reach for something better. You need to try hard and you need to fail hard, and then you need to get back up and try again.
What message do you think every woman should hear?
“We are meant to grow so we have something to give.” –Tony Robbins
“Fate whispers to the warrior: 'You cannot withstand this storm.'
The warrior whispers back: 'I am the storm.'” -Unknown
Women are powerful forces, women are healers, women are warriors, but we are conditioned to do more for others than for ourselves. I think it’s important to keep in mind we need to make ourselves happy and healthy first, before we can reach our full capacity to give back! Personal growth and development is amazing because your own life changes in ways you never imagined it could, but it also provides you the opportunity to give more to others. You can’t help anyone if you are down, unhappy, or in a negative state. Rise up and be better not only for yourself, but for everyone else too. Trust me: they need you, the world needs you, and I need you!
What motivates you most?
My small, immediate family is my biggest motivator by far. I lost my father when I was 15 and he has been the voice inside my head keeping me going, even when I’ve felt like I had nothing left to give. My little sister is like a volcano, so much power swirling around that she explodes with sparingly; to absolutely annihilate whatever task stands in her way. My mother has been a constant source of strength despite incredibly difficult circumstances. She has maintained her genuine love and compassion for others and works harder than anyone I know to bring joy and make life easier for those she encounters. For them, I strive to be more. I strive to give more. I strive to be a leader worth following.
What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward?
I have a whole list of things to do each day, some of which get shuffled around depending on anything from my mood upon waking up to the weather! Ideally, I would be a machine and hit every goal every day, but we all know that to be an impossible feat. Realistically, I try to do some sort of workout, I study investment trends, I pull up Duolingo to keep my conversational Spanish on point, I write, and I read A LOT. I have always been a huge reader and love diving into everything from realistic fiction to fantasy to personal development books. Who remembers going to the Scholastic Book Fair in middle school?? Well, every time we would do one of those, our classroom would receive two huge boxes of books once the orders came in. One box would be exclusively for me, and the other box would be for everyone else in the class! Cheers to you Mom for supporting my early addiction to buying every book I got my hands on! In all seriousness, I cannot stress enough the impact that reading constantly has had on my growth and life in general.
What is something on your bucket list?
The biggest thing on my bucket list is actually a secret, until it happens that is! But, the second biggest thing on there is my dream to help run a non-profit organization and become a philanthropist.
What are your biggest passions?
Cliché as it may sound, my biggest passion is helping others. This mission is the only consistent thing I’ve been working towards since I was twelve years old. That was when I actually typed up psychologist “contracts” on our family computer because so many of my friends would come to me for advice or just wanting to talk things through. I had seen this enough on TV and in movies, so I thought I should draw up some “legally binding” confidentiality papers so they would feel more secure in talking to me! Looking back of course this was a silly plan, but I remember it as the moment I knew in my heart I had to do more to help people than I was already doing. Now don’t get me wrong, I love acting and performing and entertaining, but my goal has never been to use those skills to become rich and famous. I do hope to create a large enough platform for myself though to inspire change and give a voice to people that aren’t currently being heard in our society today. I love when strong women (and men) with power use it not to further their own position, but to create positive change for people that need it more. To quote Chris Gardner, “Strong people stand up for themselves. Stronger people stand up for others.”
More About Devony
Devony DiMattia is an actress/entrepreneur hailing from New Jersey. She graduated with highest honors and a B.A. in Integrative Arts (Theatre Focus) from Penn State University in 2015, fulfilling the role of Student Marshal/Valedictorian of her department.
Since college, Devony has been working a ton of different jobs and loving the learning opportunity each has provided!