My Memories of My Friend Mia Amber Davis-Yard, By Sharon Quinn
I can remember the very first time I saw Mia Amber Davis-Yard, it was at a Plus Academy™ open house in the East Village I believe. I am fuzzy on the exact date but I DO remember my reaction to her clearly to this day…..
She quietly walked through the doors of that studio in all of her 6ft plus height and size 22/24 curvaceous glory and I immediately elbowed P.A. CEO/Director Gwen DeVoe in the rib cage and whispered to her “WHO in the HECK is THAT? She is ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!!! Without waiting for an answer I sidled over to her, got right in her face (in my usual Runway Diva style) and stuck my hand out with a big ol’ smile and said:
“Sooooooooo….WHO are YOU?”
I could see that she was stunned at the boldness of my approach for a few seconds but she quickly regained her composure, smiled shyly and told me her name was Mia. I told her my name and how absolutely beautiful I thought she was then I laughed and said to her
“Girrrrrrllll…..You GOTTA loosen up!!”
We were friends from that moment on.
I remember pulling her to the side and telling her on that very same day, “Mama, if you can just get yourself down to a size 18, the fashion industry is gonna go CRAZY over you! It took her a moment to do it but once she got focused on getting down to a size where an agency would take notice, my girl was on FIRE!!! NOTHING could distract her from the goal she set for herself.
As our friendship blossomed we learned that we had a ton of stuff in common, we both had big feet (size 12 to be exact) and an intense love for shoes, out mother’s shared the same first name, we both loved sneaking in the background of people’s photos and throwing up deuces, we both loved old school hip hop and musicals, we both loved to laugh and often found the most simplest of things in life to be some of the funniest and we had a mutual love for all things COLORFUL just to name a few.
From that day on Mia jumped right into the swing of things, we worked together in TONS of local shows, often sharing a laugh or two between ourselves right on stage or on a bus on the road. I watched her bloom in her career like a proud big sister. She’d already had a taste of fame early on from her scene stealing performance in the now classic “Road Trip” film and to her credit; she remained level headed all the while. She was always willing to chat with a fan or take a photo.
She came to me often for advice with various things in fashion and I was always willing to meet her both because I knew she had “IT” and I wanted to see her succeed and because I simply loved being around her. I can remember many a time having a cocktail (well I had a cocktail…lol…Mia had her usual Cranberry Juice on the rocks) and chatting after a gig and I would just sit across from her and just stare at her freshly washed face (Mia ALWAYS removed her makeup after a show) and then interrupt her – “MY GOD, IT SIMPLY MAKES NO SENSE FOR ANYONE TO BE THIS BEAUTIFUL!!”! And she would just laugh and say thank you and move right back into whatever we were chatting about. It (her beauty and all the attention it brought her) just didn’t faze her at all. And that was one of the many reasons that I loved her so much. It was Mia who coined the phrase that I now paste at the bottom of my emails “Unity in the Plus Community”. I thought it was a brilliant line then and even more so now.
As the events we worked got bigger and I moved into that phase of womanhood where my hormones raged and my temper would flare at the mere thought of someone shortchanging or insulting me or one of the plus girls on a set, Mia would appear and whisper in my ear
“Quinn!! Be Nice. DON’T Curse Diddy out!!”
“Quinn!!! “It’s Zac Posen – Ask him why he won’t make his clothes in plus sizes….you won’t like what he has to say but DON’T CURSE HIM OUT!!!”
I got a big kick out of making her laugh and I always had some sort of joke ready whenever I knew we’d be together. I became her protector (in my head..lol) and was ready to pounce on ANYONE who tried to make a mockery of her and what she stood for (Oooh…Janice Dickinson – YOU JUST DON’T KNOW HOW CLOSE YOU CAME…)
When I had to have reconstructive surgery on my foot and could no longer wear the beautiful high-heeled shoes I had collected over my lifetime – She was the first person I called. She came to my house and left with bags full of boxes of shoes. When she had bags and bags of clothing that she wanted to give away – she knew I was going through a hard time financially and she called me and drove by with BAGS of clothing for me. When I had to take a break from my work and my career to take care of my two dying fathers – Mia would often call just to check up on me to make sure I was getting along all right. That’s just the sort of person she was. She walked in the light everyday AND she shared that light with others around her.
Once she found out that I sang, she and her fiancé (at the time) Mike (who I realized upon meeting him that he was one of my favorite comedians as well!) supported me whenever they could and if she couldn’t get there physically, she would always call, email or text me to wish me good luck. I was very surprised and very moved when she called me and asked me to sing at her wedding to her future husband, Comedian Mike Yard. After my rehearsal with her cousin Marcus (who played the piano) she took me out to lunch and bought me THE BEST CHICKEN SALAD SANDWICH I have EVER had in my life! (I kid you not!) She was strong in her love for her husband, mom and her family and strong in her faith as well and it was an absolute honor for me to participate in her special day. I don’t know if I ever told her that.
When I got the call about her passing, I thought it was a joke – and said as much on the phone. When I realized it was true I just sat in my living room and cried my eyes out. And then I got angry. I simply could not wrap my head around The Creator taking away one of the good ones. Not when there were so many others who could be moved expeditiously right to the front of that line. And to be honest, I still can’t wrap my head around it now. I am no longer angry because I HAVE to believe this is all in the Creator’s plan but I attend events now and I catch myself looking up to see if she’s coming up the street to meet me or waiting to hear her call out my name to keep me from letting someone have it!
Simply put she was my friend and I loved her fiercely and I will deeply miss her presence in my life. But my plan is to honor her memory the only way I know how and that’s by LETTING MY LIGHT SHINE EVERY DAY.
My heart goes out to her husband, her mother and her family. I will continue to pray for your strength during this most difficult time.
IF you all TRULY loved Mia (as I have read on many of your pages) than this should be a very easy thing for you to do to honor her memory – it doesn’t have to be a huge gesture – Be it a smile, a simple good morning/afternoon/evening or a random compliment to a total stranger – You never know the effects a simple gesture can have on someone’s day, week or how it can change the course of someone’s life. If you can’t do it for yourself – PLEASE do it for Mia…..
I think she’d appreciate it – and smile.
LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE EVERY DAY!
I love and miss you my friend.