Naiia Lajoie is an entertainer based in Los Angeles, California. Born in the city of Montreal and raised in the countryside of Ottawa, Canada, her parents fostered her artistic inclinations from a young age. From the time she was three, she was enrolled in art classes, ballet lessons, and Majorettes (baton twirling). As a preteen, her family relocated to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where she became First Soprano of the choir, Captain of the Spirit Squad, and the female lead in her school's theater production during senior year.
Naiia was born to a seamstress/aesthetician mother and a software engineer father. She has a younger sister who is a dancer. She is of Filipino, Syrian, and French Canadian ancestry. She attended Bishop's University initially as a voice major, and graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts, Drama Honors and Minor in Film Studies. In her senior year she booked her first modeling job. It was a Molson Export calendar shoot which took her to Cuba in 2007.
Naiia made her television debut as Jen in Spike TV's Blue Mountain State (2010). From there she steadily worked on sets including Tarsem Singh's Immortals (2011) and the first three seasons of SyFy's Being Human (2011-2013). She simultaneously pursued her modeling career, walking in Montreal's Festival Mode & Design and being featured in Montreal HOME Magazine.
In 2011, Naiia began recording with House music artist BIG BASS following her lead role in their music video "Everybody Noze". In 2012, they released the music video for their single "2Nite". That year, she also started writing for IM Image Magazine. In 2013, Naiia relocated to Los Angeles, California to focus on the pursuit of acting further.
In 2014, Naiia played Mary in the short film The Lost Dutchman. In 2016, it was accepted into the Cannes Film Festival. It was the first of three short films starring Naiia as the lead to be accepted into the Cannes Court Métrage. The others were Midnight (2017), and the extended music video "The Feeling" by The Vaticants (2018). Naiia has appeared in several narrative music videos, including Mary J. Blige’s "Whole Damn Year" and Wale featuring Usher's "The Matrimony".
In 2015, Naiia booked two network TV shows: Lifetime's My Crazy Ex and Discovery ID's Cry Wolfe. She returned to Lifetime in the TV movie Delivering Christmas (2017). In 2018, she portrayed Dutch criminal Thea Moear in Netflix's Drug Lords. That same year she appeared in Netflix's Silencer opposite MMA fighter Chuck Liddell, and the short Me, Myself, & Them alongside R&B singer Tank.
In 2017, Naiia was cast as the lead in the western Widow (2019). The film has since been nominated in several categories across the international film festival circuit. It won numerous accolades, including Naiia's Best Actress award during The Wild Bunch Film Festival. With the entertainment industry currently on hold due to the CoVid-19 pandemic, Naiia is continuing to study her craft by enrolling in online courses at Anthony Meindl's Actor Workshop as well as the Howard Fine Acting Studio.
In 2015, Naiia was hired by a casting agency as an Automotive Product Specialist. She began touring nationally and internationally: from Alaska and her native land of Canada during Toyota's Ever Better Expedition, to Japan's Mount Fuji Speedway for the Toyota World Convention. She continued to work as a tech host until the Coronavirus halted all travel in 2020.
Naiia is an award-winning journalist and member of the LA Press Club. In 2018, she joined the writing staff of Manila Up! International Magazine. Her column is called "Glass Half-Fil", which chronicles inspirational stories from the perspective of a half-Filipina. In 2019, Naiia was nominated for Best Columnist during the 61st Southern California Journalism Awards. She was one of three nominees out of 1700 applicants. She lost to fellow nominee and Hollywood Reporter writer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Naiia went on to win 2019 Outstanding International Journalist during the Gawad Amerika Awards. She writes for Manila Up! Magazine's sister publication, EXQUISITE International Magazine, in a column called "My So-Cal'd Life".
In 2015, Naiia participated in the Miss West Coast Pageant as a Ms. West Coast contestant, placing 4th Runner-up. In 2019, she represented Mrs. Philippines in the Regency International Pageant. She won the title of "Most Beautiful Filipina" during the Woman Of Worth Awards. In 2018, Naiia was approached by Sheroes Entertainment to work as a children's entertainer. She began working as a professional mermaid and transitioned into an underwater stunt performer.
Naiia began dating IATSE Local 728 Set Lighting Technician Daniel Claybourne in 2014. They married in 2017 in Los Angeles, California.
An avid water baby, Naiia is an American Red Cross certified Lifeguard, a PADI Open Water SCUBA Diver, and PADI Freediver I. Her maximum breath hold time is 3 minutes and 23 seconds. She and her husband enjoy surfing. Both NHL fans, Naiia roots for the Montreal Canadiens while he supports the LA Kings.
Naiia participates in beach cleanups supporting several organizations, including Heal The Bay and Surfrider. She also volunteers for a cat rescue called Beach City Kitties and donates to the charity Operation Blankets of Love. She is a regular blood donor for the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.