Raven-Symoné became the newest co-host of "The View" Wednesday, after not working at all for a few years.
That time, which she calls her "early retirement," was crucial for this new chapter to be possible, she said.
"Those three years took off every single piece of dead skin that had been growing on me that I had not been able to shed because I was still in the public view," she told ABC News Wednesday. "From [ages] 3 to 25 [I worked]. I said, 'That's a lot of gunk on top of me.' Purged it: Sat in my house, went to school, traveled, fell in love. Just did what I needed to do. And now I'm able to be myself, and not a brand that was concocted to sell something. Now I'm who I want to be in the public eye."
The former child star, now 29, is back to working full-time, and not just at "The View." She recently appeared in TV shows including "Black-ish" and "Empire," has begun producing various projects, and is taking online classes at the Academy of Art University.
"One of the reasons I said yes to 'The View' is because the filming schedule is the best job anyone in the industry could ever have," she explained. "I work from 8 or 9 until, what? 12ish? 12:45pm at the latest, and that's on a one-show day. After that, when I start my next semester, I'm going to do my school and homework. Meetings in L.A., that's a Facetime call. Quick. And I have wonderful people out there to help me facilitate any producer credits that I'm going to be working on now."
The entertainer, who admitted her only immediate celebration plans involved a glass of champagne with the "View" crew and a much-needed nap, is also going to have to start the process of relocating to New York City. Since she was little, Raven-Symoné has lived on the West Coast, but now that her position at "The View" is official, she said she'll phone her real estate agent in the next few days.
"I'm looking for a loft because I'm a painter and I want a lot of space," she said. "I want to be able to get paint on my ground and the people not to get mad at me. I need space and windows and light for painting, so mostly when I go home, I'll go back to my other life."