Rising teen sensation Molly Jackson discusses her role on Disney's Andi Mack and, shopping for the perfect outfit
Rising teen sensation Molly Jackson discusses her role on Disney's Andi Mack and, shopping for the perfect outfit. Also, Molly talks about getting an education while continuing her career in Hollywood.
Congratulations on your recurring role in Disney's popular hit show "Andi Mack" where you play Iris, a very sweet and, cheerful girl who has a crush on Cyrus. I personally found the relationship between Iris and Cyrus very intriguing in development of the overall arch of the series. Can you tell us about your audition process for Iris, and describe your character
It was a quicker process than most. I had a same day audition, and found out I booked it several days later. There wasn't even a callback. I flew out to film within the week. Iris is sweet and likable. She loves to look for the best in people.
At just 15 years old you've accomplished a ton of ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement) work on some of Hollywood's biggest franchises including Finding Dory, Thor: The Dark World, and, most recently The Fate of the Furious. What exactly does ADR work on a feature film entail, and can you explain to our audience the process that takes place in the studio?
It usually takes 1-2 days to record. You can either be in the studio for 5 minutes for 10 hours. You are sometimes by yourself, but sometimes with a "loop group". They have you fill in lines, laughs, screams, and background dialogue. It is always a lot of fun.
One of the many things I found fascinating about your life is how seriously you take your education. You skipped the 5th Grade and passed the California High School Proficiency Exam while still working full time in the industry. How do you balance your school work with acting, and if a young teenager asked you about getting an education while acting what would you tell them
It is a hard balance, especially being in the 11th grade now. I tend to fall behind frequently, but I always catch up. I've managed to get straight A's all through high school (we'll see how long that lasts), but it has taken a ton of work. During the school year I don't get much free time/social time. I get to work with my friends though, so that fills in for the social time. A couple years ago I would have told them that school is the most important thing, but my views have shifted.
I definitely still believe in some type of education, but it doesn't have to be traditional. It can be community college, summer classes, or even just traveling. If you know that acting is what you want to do for the rest of your life, then why spend hours upon hours in school, when you could be mastering new skills that are relevant to your career. I plan on finishing high school, because I only need a few more credits, but I don't think I would retake this route. I also plan on still going to college, but not for acting. If I wanted to only be an actress the rest of my life I would probably not spend the money on college.
I'm sure auditions keep you pretty busy, but when you’re not on-set can you tell us what you like to do for fun?
I work out every chance I get. I'm pretty obsessed with fitness. I also love to travel, and do volunteer work. If I don't have time to leave the house I either read or watch "The Vampire Diaries".
You were born in born in Wurzburg, Germany to an American military family, but raised in Texas, and made your first television guest star appearance at the age of nine, playing the role of Little Stephanie in Nickelodeon's Victorious. How did you get starting acting at such a young age and, how involved is your mom in your career?
I started at a youth theater in El Paso, TX. I signed up for a summer camp, and just never stopped. I entered acting on my own free will, fortunately no one forced it on me. My mom is very involved not in coaching me or running my social medias, but managing my schedule and getting me places. I am thankful she doesn't live through my career; she lets this be my thing.
You also play Brianna another recurring character in Nickelodeon's hilarious sitcom "You also play Brianna, another recurring character in Nickelodeon's hilarious sitcom "Ricky, Dicky, Nicky, and Dawn" who runs with the cool fashion obsessed group at Edgewood Middle School. Our readers would be interested to learn what you do to prepare for an audition, and if we're to go shopping with Molly, what kind of clothes would you pick-out?
To prepare, I always memorize my lines and try to create individualized thoughts for each character. After I have that down, I practice the acting 4-5 times. I highly believe in not over-practicing, I feel like it throws me off. If they were to go shopping with me for an audition I would pick out solid color tops, non-ripped jeans, and a pair of converse. If they were to go shopping with me for everyday clothes it would look a little different. I would probably pick up some ripped skinny jeans, dark-toned fancier tops, heels, and a cute accent jacket.
You're also a proud vegan primarily for your love of animals and the added health benefits the vegan lifestyle provides. How many pets do you have, and how has becoming vegan changed your life?
I have 5 rescue dogs and 1 bearded dragon. I have so much more energy, and a lot of health problems that I previously had went away. It has made a huge impact on my health, and I keep seeing new benefits every day.
Watch Molly on the latest season of Andi Mack.
Also check-out Molly on Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn.
Follow Molly Jackson on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Breakout actress Natalie Sharp talks about her new comedy series Hit the Road, and working with Seinfeld's Jason Alexander. Also Natalie tell us about earning her B.A. from Loyola Marymount University.
Congratulations on the new comedy series "Hit the Road" for Audience Network which follows a chaotically dysfunctional family of would-be rock/pop stars traverse the country while in search of fame and fortune. Can you describe your character of Ria Swallow?
Ria is the sexy, sassy, bad-attitude, rebellious daughter. She knows what she wants, and she is determined to get it. Definitely not the best role model for her younger siblings… but at least she’s confident! She’s growing up and coming into her own, and with that… would do literally anything to get off of the crammed tour bus, and get as far away from her family as possible! She has the dreams of being a pop singer, following the paths of Christina Aguilera and Avril Lavigne!
The new comedy series also stars comic icon Jason Alexander from the 90's smash "Seinfeld" which, ran for 9 seasons. What's it like working with Jason, and do you have funny stories about working with him?
Working with Jason has been the ultimate dream experience. I have learned so much just by watching him! It is so fun to be able to play his troublesome, difficult daughter. I constantly get to challenge him, contradict him, throw him shade, and out-wit him! I remember it was pouring rain one day, and we were all crammed into this tent waiting for the crew to set up for the weather, and Jason started reciting riddle, after riddle. We all got so into it, it got pretty heated! He is also borderline a magician… who knew?!
You recently completed a feature film "Live Like Line" starring (Helen Hunt and William Hurt) which, is about the tragic death of star volleyball player Caroline "Line". The group of school girls must band together to win the state championship. What can you tell us about your character Mack?
Mack is the main hitter on the team. She is the true athlete, hoping to go pro. She is tough, and competitive and is one heck of a volleyball player (yes, I am tooting my own horn because the volleyball you see Mack playing, is actually played by me)! I have been playing volleyball all my life and so I was so excited to be a part of this project! What was also very cool about it, was that we were able to talk to the girls we portray in the film, and hear their story, and what they went through. Live Like Line is a very inspiring, important, film showcasing badass female athletes, and I am excited for the world to see it!
What advice would you give someone looking to break into acting?
If you love it, keep doing it. Trust yourself, and the never stop learning!
You were born and raised in Vancouver, BC and, started actually singing at the age of just six years old. How did you get your start in the singing and, when did you know you wanted to be an actress?
I am pretty sure I pointed to the screen (watching the Lizzie McGuire movie) and announced to my mom that I wanted to do that, ACT! But then HER interpretation of it was to put me into singing lessons (which I definitely needed because I was SO SHOW. Had the WORST stage fright!) As I got comfortable on stage, I transitioned to musical theatre, then theatre, which inevitably lead to TV and film!
Who are some of your favorite actors or actresses that you look up to?
Jake Gyllenhall, Jennifer Lawrence, Mila Kunis and Shailene Woodley!
You're currently finishing your BA in drama and a business degree at Loyola Marymount University which, must be tough while acting. How do you juggle finishing a business degree while being on set?
The workload can be overwhelming and stressful, but I have learned to go with the flow. I know what my priorities are, and so do my professors. I am very lucky to go to a school that tries to accommodate your professional life and education. After all, that’s what they want! They want you to go out and audition, and take those opportunities! Timing has definitely been on my side. Both Live Like Line and Hit The Road filmed over the summer, so luckily I didn’t have to miss any school!
What do you love the most, singing, dancing, or acting?
It is a toss up between singing and acting. With singing I feel more ‘free,’ but acting is much more of a challenge, which is why I love it and continue to work at it. I am constantly trying to push myself and see what I can do. Its exciting.
Watch "Hit the Road" only on the Audience network.
Break-out Nickelodeon star Alex Hook dishes about her new series I Am Frankie, and filming on hectic 12 hour days
Break-out 15 year old actress Alex Hook dishes about her starring role on Nickelodeon's new series I Am Frankie, and filming on hectic 12 hour days. Also Alex gives us advice for up-coming teen actors.
Congratulations on your new Nickelodeon series "I Am Frankie" that debuted this past September 11th which, is about a teenage android attempting to pass herself off as a normal school girl. Can you take us through your audition process for Frankie Gaines, and do you remember what you were doing when you got the role?
The audition process took about 3 months, end of August to beginning of November. I first auditioned with a self tape that contained two different versions of the script. This gave the casting directors an idea of multiple ways that Frankie can be portrayed. I then got a callback a few weeks later with a new set of lines to be read. Once these were sent in and watched, I was asked to fly down to Miami for what they call a producers session in early November. This was my final audition for the character so I knew I had to give it my all.
I remember leaving pretty confident as I was the last one called into the room, all that was left, was to wait. I got the call on a Friday at the end of school. I was in the hall with my best friend and while I was on the phone with a huge smile on my face, she knew what I was about to say. We both freaked out and I have to admit, we cried haha:) that has to be one of the best moments of my life!
I was quite interested to learn the series "I Am Frankie" is actually the first global series to be produced at the new Viacom International Studio in Miami, Florida. What does a typical day on-set look like, and can you describe the character of Frankie Gaines?
Yes it is very exciting for both the IAF cast and Viacom, we were stoked to be the first one! A typical day on set is pretty hectic haha. My day starts early, around 7am and finishes 12 hours later, 7pm. In those 12 hours, I film, eat and “go to school” (basically just a small room in the building with a desk and chairs). But our daily schedules were very organized, I knew where I had to be at exactly what time, of course with some help from my talent coordinators. They brought me to and from the set making stops at my dressing room, wardrobe and hair and makeup.
All in all, there’s no time for resting, I was always on the move. Frankie Gaines is a teen android who must keep her secret. Yet this whole “secret keeping” is new to someone who was just created recently by her mom. Frankie is very literal and takes all of the high school slang very seriously. It takes some time to learn, but that’s what she’s all about. Frankie learns something new everyday, wether it’s about her crush cole, or best friend Dayton. Frankie is definitely quite the character, yet slowly but surely she learns to be a typical teenager, just with a little secret.
I think our readers would be very interested to learn that you're actually Canadian having been born in Toronto and, first booking commercials with The Family Channel. How did you first get started acting, and were your parents very active in the early stages of your career?
I was born in Toronto in 2001 and lived 6 years of my life there. When I moved to Kingston, this made auditioning a little more difficult because of the distance from the big city, 2 and a half hours. Because of this long drive, my parents had to be very active in my career. I can’t thank them enough, especially my mom who was the designated “acting mom” haha. My mom was the one who introduced me to the industry when I first moved to Kingston. I signed up with a theatre group that did plays, but I soon realized that I wanted to pursue more of a film and television style.
My mom took me to and from each and every one of my auditions, yet some were self tape making things a little easier. But because of my whole family’s commitment and effort put into all that I do, getting the part is always a huge accomplishment for all of us. Even a small commercial is totally worth the long drives, and multiple rejections. To this day, my parents are still extremely supportive with what I do and love that I get to live my dream.
I'm interested to learn more about your co-stars Carson Rowland and, Kyson Facer who both play Frankie's love interests in "I Am Frankie." Can you tell us some more about their characters and, do you guys hang-out offset?
Kyson’s character Andrew is the bad boy of the show. He’s more rebellious and outgoing, yet he develops feelings for Frankie that create conflict between him and Cole. Cole Reyes on the other hand just wants to impress Frankie. He’s more of the good boy and fun loving. Frankie has a little bit of butterflies when it comes to Cole but Andrew also gives her this feeling of connection. Kyson and Carson play these boys very well and we’re just as close on set as we are off. The whole cast loved to hangout, wether it’s going downtown, out for dinner, or shopping, we’re always having a good time. Kyson, Carson and I always have a blast and still to this day keep in touch over social media. Even though we live in different countries, we always make sure to check up on each other and see how things are doing:)
You've been doing a lot of promotion for "I Am Frankie" since the series premiered on Nickelodeon. At just 15 years old how do balance school with your acting responsibilities?
While I was on set, school was made easy since we had tutors available and a classroom in the building. Although I still have to do some press and travel to advertise for the show, I would only ever miss a couple days at a time. This makes it easy to stay on top of my work as I will bring some homework with me. Whenever I am free, I can read my book, do some math, or whatever else is asked of me. As much as we all dread school, is has to be done, but Nickelodeon luckily makes it easy for me to stay on top of things.
What advice would you give teens looking to break into acting?
Acting is an industry that takes a lot of commitment, and anyone looking to pursue it has to be willing to put in the time and effort. Although it may be a lot of work, it is one of the most rewarding jobs you could probably have. The experience on set is incredible, along with the opportunity to meet wonderful people that could end up being some of your best friends. Yet all of this doesn’t happen overnight, it all takes time and of course an open mind.
You have to be willing to take some courses and get in some practice before auditioning for big roles. Of course, you will never get them all, but that’s not something that should be taken personally. An actor could be rejected simply because of their height or other uncontrollable factors. All you can do is keep your head up and get ready for the next one. I can assure you that with a little bit of effort, a positive attitude, and maybe some luck, you can accomplish pretty much anything.
I'm sure the filming schedule for "I Am Frankie", keeps you pretty busy so when your not on-set can you tell us what you like to do for fun?
Yes filming always kept me on my toes. But when I’m not on set I love to go out with friends or family, and either hangout downtown, or go to the movies, or get food etc. I’m also pretty athletic as I love to play sports like hockey, soccer and volleyball. Not only do I enjoy team sports, but whenever I go to my family cottage in the summer, I always have an amazing time. We go tubing, water skiing, swimming, knee boarding, wake boarding, hiking and much, much more.
Hanging out at the cottage with family is never a boring time that’s for sure. But sometimes, I just need to chill at home and relax. If I’ve been on my feet all day or have been busy with sports, i will never turn down a day designated to sitting on the couch and watching tv. Then again, who would ever turn that down haha.
Watch full episodes of I Am Frankie on Nickelodeon.com
Follow Alex Hook on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Actress extraordinaire Laura Vandervoort talks about auditioning for Smallville, and her first comic-con experience
Actress extraordinaire Laura Vandervoort talks about auditioning for cult sci-fi hit Smallville and, her first San Diego Comic-Con experience. Also, Laura discusses Canadian actor Gordon Pinsent, giving her advice during acting classes.
You grew-up in Canada first getting your start in TV commercials, and before landing your first role in the 90's hit "Goosebumps", and later on the Nickelodeon series “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” Can you tell us how you got started acting, and at what point did you realize I want to make this a career?
I started acting at the age of 13. It At that point, it was merely out of curiosity. I was somewhat quiet growing up and perhaps it was a way for me to express my emotions. I began doing background work on Canadian TV series as a child and eventually started doing commercials. I took scene study classes and worked with coaches, but nothing could have prepared me more than just being on a set. You learn so much just by experiencing it- crew members' jobs, the pace of television vs. film, the hours. I wouldn’t say there was an exact moment when I decided on making it my career. I just enjoyed the work, challenging myself and learning as I went along.
At age 19 you attended "York University" studying Psychology and English, while taking acting classes to build-up about your craft, and keep auditioning for more roles. Do you have a favorite memory from taking acting classes, and did you have an acting coach, or mentor who gave you any career advice?
I attended York as a backup plan (laughs). Fortunately as acting continued, I realized how I could use what I was learning at York in my auditions and roles. Gordon Pinsent is a well known Canadian actor who also happened to be my grandmother's cousin. I reached out to him as a child when I first started acting. He and I wrote letters and he often gave me advice about this business and encouraged me. I remember on one of my first jobs (Goosebumps), he came to set. He’s always been like a mentor.
In the first weeks of your life you contracted meningitis, which, is a very serious condition that, affects both the brain and spinal cord. The doctors actually told your parents you wouldn't live I'm wondering how that experience effect your life, and what would you say to a family who, might be going threw the same life changing ordeal?
I was obviously rather young so I don’t remember the ordeal, but my parents tell me it was scary and overwhelming. There was a chance I would be deaf. I was paralyzed all down the left side of my body, but my mom says I had some serious fight in me and that’s how I overcame it.... along with some incredible doctors at North York General.
I suppose that fight still exists. I’m competitive and I don’t like letting people down. I try to accomplish as much as I can with my time here. Growing up, the meningitis affected how I perceived things. I had a learning disability and I was a visual learner. I had to memorize text books and rewrite them. I was a straight ‘A’ student however, I just got there in a different manner. So in a way, that has benefitted me with memorization techniques. I definitely felt a need to prove people wrong in school. That fight continued growing up and continues to this day.
You're most well known for playing Kara Kent on "Smallville" the Kryptonian cousin of Clark Kent who, was trapped on Krypton by Brainiac after traveling threw time. Also at the time you joined the cast of "Smallville" in season 7 the series was a huge hit on the WB network. Can you remember your audition for "Smallville", and how did you feel after you got the role of Kara?
I do. I did a self-tape for the show. It must have been over a month, and I had heard nothing. I finally got a phone call that they wanted me to fly to LA to do a screen test and I had never done one before. It all sounded so terrifying, not to mention they wanted me there tomorrow and I was up North in Canada at my cottage. We quickly packed up and drove home. I got on a plane the next morning and immediately went into the screen test upon landing. I recall three other girls in the waiting room. We signed the paperwork and one by one went in to audition for producers. I was nervous but excited. After it was all said and done they asked me to stay and a day later I had the job!
You were listed in Maxim Magazine's 100 Top hottest women two years in a row, and have hundred of thousands fans around the world. At Comic-Con conventions fans of "Smallville" have come-up to you crying just letting you know how much "Smallville" effected their life. When you're at conventions like San Dingo Comic-Con how dose it feel when the fans express their love to you? Do you have a favorite fan story?
It’s always so incredible and overwhelming. Sci-fi fans really are the best. I love hearing how the show(s) have impacted them. I remember my very first San Diego Comic Con experience as Supergirl. A gentleman came up to the table and had a tattoo of my face on his leg. I remember saying something like, “Wow! That’s my face permanently on your leg! Does your mom know?! Why would you do that!? But wow, thank you!”
Congratulations you have a new horror thriller coming-out on October 28th "Jigsaw" directed by Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig where, you play the character of Anna. Can you tell us what kind of character you play, and how much of your own stunts did you do in "Jigsaw"?
I can’t say much. I was thrilled to be a part of the “Saw” franchise! You first meet Anna in the traps and she’s a character we hope the audience roots for. Anna seems to be in denial as to why she belongs there. It was a physically and emotionally draining movie but in the best possible way. Every scene was high stakes. We all did a fair number of stunts and the cast was fantastic.
Lastly you're very much involved in different charities including "PETA", "Humane Society International", and "Elton John AIDS Foundation". At We Blab Entertainment we're much in support of celebrities giving back to causes that effect our society. Can you tell us which cause your most passionate about, and what can someone do what wants to get more involved?
I’ve worked with World Vision Canada as an Ambassador for a while now. I’ve sponsored children through the organization for over ten years. Sponsoring a child through an organization such as World Vision is a start, along with encouraging others to do the same or just finding a local shelter or organization with which you can donate your time or items. I am working with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation now as well, and promoting awareness and hoping to raise funds in the month of October for breast cancer awareness month. I have set up a donation page at https://give.bcrf.org/fundraise?fcid=1145244. I just feel that love and compassion, especially in this day and age, are so important.
Watch Laura on classic episodes of Smallville now streaming on Hulu.
Don't miss Jigsaw in theaters October 27th.
Young superstar talent Aubrey Anderson-Emmons chats exclusively about life on set of Modern Family. Also Aubrey talks about working meeting Robin Williams at the type of Jimmy Kimmel Live, and playing the diverse role of Lilly Tucker-Pritchett.
At We Blab Entertainment Magazine our favorite show is "Modern Family" because, of the humor and wit between the different characters especially with Lily. Can you take us threw your audition process for landing the role of Lily Tucker-Pritchett , and how did you feel after you got the role?
Actually, I was only four years old when I auditioned for Modern Family, and I don't even remember it! I asked my mom and she said I was pretty excited. It took three auditions for me to get the part.
"Modern Family" has become a huge phenomenon since it first debuted back on September 23, 2009 having won 21 Emmy awards. What was your experience like attending the Emmys?
It's pretty cool but it's a really long day. We bring tons of snacks with us even though we're not supposed to eat in the theater! This year, I was eating a piece of candy and my tooth fell right before it started.
Currently you're working on a full time network show while keeping up your school work. How do you juggle school with your acting responsibilities?
There is a school teacher on the set so I do school there on days that I work. On days that I don't work, I go to a regular school. It's different, definitely, but I'm kind of used to it now.
On the show "Modern Family" the character of Lilly Tucker-Pritchett was adopted by two dads, Mitchell and Cameron. What dose a typical day on-set look like?
We get there early in the morning. I usually get dressed, get hair and make up done, then I usually go to school. When it's time to rehearse my scene, they call me on stage and we do the rehearsal. The sound department puts on my microphone and sometimes I go back to school or sometimes just wait and shoot the scene. There's always lots of food. Sometimes we are on location so every day is a little different.
You have increased cultural diversity awareness as an Asian American playing a trans-racial adoptee of gay parents. Did you full understand the importance of your role at such a young age, and did your parents talk with you about the subject lines?
I don't know if I knew back then, but I know now. A lot has changed on tv since then. We are friends with the kids from Fresh Off The Boat and Albert Tsai who was on Dr Ken. There is a lot more diversity on tv now but I think Modern Family was really important for helping that happen.
You're also very involved with multiple charities including St. Jude's Hospital, California Covenant House Youth Shelter, and Let Them Play Sports Organization. What can you tell us about some of the non-profit work you do?
I like being able to help people, especially when I can help other kids and animals. That is very special to me. We care about dog rescue so much that we have two rescue dogs!
Back in 2013 along with your cast members Sarah Hyland, Ariel Winter, Nolan Gould, and Rico Rodriguez you met Robin Williams back stage at "Jimmy Kimmel Live." What do you remember about your appearance, and meeting Robin at Jimmy Kimmel?
I didn't know who he was at first but, later I figured out some of the stuff he was in and my mom told me he was the voice of the Genie in Aladdin. I've seen lots of his movies now, but I was only six or seven then so I don't remember it very well.
Everyone has their favorite characters on "Modern Family" from Hayley, Alex, Luke, and Manny which, has brought so many quotable lines. Can you tell us what's it like working with Sarah Hyland, Ariel Winter, Nolan Gould, and Rico Rodriguez?
I actually don't work with them very often because the different families usually shoot at different times and I'm the only kid in my family. Also, the big kids are all like adults now and going to college. We have Jeremy on the show now, who plays Joe, and he is a lot of fun to hang out with. I love when we get to work together! He's really cute and funny.
School of Rock's Lance Lim talks about hit Nickelodeon TV series, and filming Independence Day: Resurgence
School of Rock's Lance Lim talks exclusively about his hit Nickelodeon TV series, and filming Independence Day: Resurgence. Also Lance shares details about the animated feature film Duck Duck Goose.
Congratulations on playing Zack on the Emmy nominated series "School of Rock!" So exciting! Tell us what some of your favorite on set experiences have been on the show for the past two seasons and the upcoming third season.
Gosh! This is such a hard question to answer! We have countless memories on set that were too good. I think one of my favorites would be whenever we all get on a stunt pad and just lay down and talk. It usually happens in between scenes but it's just the most layed back feeling.
You play the lead guitarist and get to perform on the show! Do you play other instruments? Did you do anything special to prepare for the role and what are some of the similarities and differences between you and Zack?
I picked up the drums recently and love it! I watched the original movie for research purposes but nothing in particular for the role. The funny thing about me and Zack is that we're so different which is what makes playing him all the more fun! The only similarity I can find is our love for guitar.
What was the audition process for the role of Zack and what is a typical day on the set of "School of Rock?"
It was about a 3-month process. I went in originally and then the casting office changed and I had to go in again, and then chemistry reads and a network test. A typical day would be arriving on set heading to hair and make-up, then go to school, go on set and start shooting!
You were in the hit blockbuster "Independence Day: Resurgence." Is there more pressure being in a sequel to such an iconic film? The films bring a sense of optimism for the future in a very Sci-fi way. Do you think it would take an alien invasion to unite our current world?
I think there's always a feeling of pressure to any sequel, but the first Independence Day was one of the most iconic alien movies so, yes but I think it turned out great! I think an alien invasion would definitely unite our world, but hopefully it doesn't take an invasion to do that.
Not only do you play guitar on "School of Rock" but you also play and sing covers such as "Treat You Better" by Shawn Mendes, "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" by Frankie Valli, and "Like I'm Gonna Lose You" by Megan Trainor and John Legend! Are you writing your own songs and possibly working on an album? If so, what is your creative process for creating your songs?
I actually am working on some solo music so stay tuned! I think for me, I tend to write my music best at night when I'm in my feels.
The animated film "Duck Duck Goose" is to be released in April of 2018 and it stars you alongside Zendaya and many other A-listers. Can you tell us a little bit about the film and your character, 'Chao'?
This film is about a goose who loses his flock during migration, and ends up finding these two ducklings who also lost their flocks, and end up building an unusual bond with each other and end up becoming a family. Chao is one of the two main ducklings, he's the younger brother of Chi (played by Zendaya) and he's this small fat duckling, who happens to always be hungry and happy. He's basically just a cute little fur ball.
The next season of "School of Rock" and "Duck Duck Goose" are both set to be released in 2018. What projects should we expect to see you in next? Do you have any dream roles you'd love to play? Any dream musical collaborations?
Well, besides Duck Duck Goose, I am coming out in an indie film, called The Crossing. Yes, I say this all the time but I would love to play a serial killer. To be able to do something with John Mayer would be amazing. He's my music idol.
Watch full episodes of School of Rock on Nick.com
Follow Lance on Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on Youtube.
Rising teen Michael Campion dishes about Netflix's hit Fuller House, and filming in front of a live audience
Rising teen star Michael Campion dishes exclusively to We Blab Entertainment about Netflix's hit series Fuller House, and filming in front of a live studio audience. Also, Michael talks about studying martial arts.
Congratulations on the upcoming Season 3 premiere of “Fuller House” on September 22! How has your character, Jackson Fuller, grown over the course of the 3 seasons and can you tell us a little bit of what to expect from the families this upcoming season?
Jackson was younger and a little lost at the beginning of season one and now that he is getting older, he has learned a lot more life lessons and it has helped him mature. He has become more responsible too. I think the writers do a good job with my character because they write him like a real everyday teenager going through life and facing realistic everyday situations and learning experiences.
In season three you can look forward to seeing more of the family and original cast from Full House. The fans tend to love it when some of the old familiar faces show up. As far as for the families, Kimmy and Fernando will not disappoint with their crazy and hilarious antics this next season . There is also a lot of edge of your seat drama with the Matt, CJ & Steve triangle.
Full House started in 1987 and still has millions of devoted fans. How have the creators kept the spirit of the original series despite the changes of the times? What are some of the recurring themes and elements that have stayed in the show over the course of 30 years?
The writers have kept the essence of family and friendship which were constant themes in the original series and continue today. There is usually a situation where conflict occurs and then after misunderstandings and confusion, the characters work together and solve the conflict and stand together. The writing team really realizes the responsibility that they have to keep the shows themes consistent and positive. They work hard writing a family show where the themes and storylines appeal to a broad audience of both Full House and Fuller House fans.
Jackson Fuller is D.J. Tanner-Fuller’s mischievous teenage son. What have some of your favorite episodes been and why? What’s the craziest things you’ve had to do as this young troublemaker?
Jackson is not really as mischievous like he was in season one. Now going into season three he is just more of a typical teenage "goof ball". He also does not intentionally set out to be a trouble maker. It is his goof ball decisions and lack of thinking things through completely that somehow end up making trouble for him. In the end he always learns another valuable life lesson.
My favorite season was when Joey came over to babysit. We got to play with nerf guns, water guns, toilet paper guns and the whole episode was a total out of control blast. I also liked the season two Halloween episode. The director owns one of the largest collection of horror film props in Hollywood so he brought a ton of cool things to decorate the set. The craziest thing I probably had to do as Jackson was in this same episode when Jackson had to wear a silly and embarrassing bear costume. It was ridiculous and silly and a lot of fun at the same time.
You got to shoot an episode of Fuller House in Japan! What are some of the best memories from that trip and what is it like getting to film this show in a foreign country?
The best memories about working in Japan is hands down the fans. The Japanese people as a whole are the most polite and kind people I have ever met. We would go into our hotel lobby and the fans were always waiting for us. They would bring me little gifts and hand written notes and they were so polite and respectful about taking photos and asking for autographs.
Shooting in Japan was so fascinating and educational. Everywhere you looked and went, you were learning something new and different about a totally different culture. Nothing looked familiar and it was a great experience to see a whole new culture and way of life. I would go back in a heartbeat.
You and your co-stars, Soni Bringas and Elias Harger, go out and dance for the live studio audience of Fuller House. What is some of the greatest differences between filming in front of an audience and filming on a private set? Does it make it the job harder? How does the production keep some of the show’s spoilers under wraps?
When you film on a private set, you only have the crew and other cast members present. When you film in front of a live audience, there are a ton of more people present and they laugh out loud and clap and you get an instant reaction from them regarding what you are doing. I find it easier working with a live audience because their energy gives me more energy and it makes mw have to be "on" and helps me deliver a better performance.
The production team takes the cell phones from the audience before they enter the studio in order to avoid anyone recording anything. Also, they encourage the live audience to not tell outsiders too much about the storyline because it will spoil the experience when they eventually watch the show on Netflix.
You avidly study sword work, martial arts, and study being a magician. Tell us a bit about your training in those skills. Do you see those skills finding their way into Fuller House or other future projects?
I have taken extensive classes in stage combat. This is something many actors do and it comes in handy on action films and period pieces. I also take Krav Maga, a form of martial arts. When I am home in Orlando I take it with my dad and when I am working in Los Angeles I take it there by myself. The magic thing is something I have always enjoyed and studied. I started studying it when I was about 8 at a place called The Magic Dove where you go to actually learn about and study the craft of magic.
I hope to be able to use all of these skills on Fuller House some day and on other acting projects. As an actor, I think it is important to learn as many skills as you can because they can only help you in the future for making you skilled at things that may come in handy.
You worked on films such as Robo-Dog and Christmas Trade before working on Fuller House. As an actor, what are some of the greatest differences of working on a television series rather than a feature film? Do you have a preference between TV and film and if so, why?
When you work on a film, you have a starting date and a finishing date. You get to know people and then at the end you have to say good-bye. It is not long term. On a television series, if you are lucky to have a long run, you develop deep and lasting friendships. Your cast and crew become more like family. You also get to develop your character over a very long time ao that you really know this character inside and out.
I guess I prefer television because it is long term and it is more secure. You don't have to worry all the time about getting that next job because you come back week after week. As an actor, job stability is a blessing and I don't take that for granted.
What projects should we watch out for you in the future? What is a dream role you’d love to play or an acting challenge you’d love to take on?
You can see me as a celebrity contestant on the Nickelodeon competition series Paradise Run. I competed for a charity organization called Race to Erase MS. This is a cause that is near and dear to my heart ever since my older sister was diagnosed with MS. Not only did I get to raise awareness about a serious and important disease, I got a free trip to Hawaii and it was an absolute blast.
I don't know if I have a dream role but I would love to keep working with great actors and it would be amazing if one day I could work in a film with Johnny Depp. I think he is one of the best actors in film today. I would also love to eventually be in action films. I think action films are exciting, challenging and that to me would be incredible!
Watch the season 3 premiere of Fuller House September 22 only on Netflix.
Follow Michael on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Heartthrob Graham Patrick Martin discuses Major Crimes, and working with young Jennifer Lawrence on The Bill Engvall Show
Heartthrob Graham Patrick Martin discuses hit show "Major Crimes", and working with a young Jennifer Lawrence on "The Bill Engvall Show" which launched her career. Also Graham talks about attending French Woods Summer Camp.
One of my favorite TV shows currently is "Major Crimes" where you play the character of Rusty Beck a once-homeless teenager of illegitimate teenage parents struggling to make ends. The character actually got started on "The Closer" before moving on to "Major Crimes". Can you take us through your audition process and tell us what you have learned from playing Rusty?
I'm glad you like the show! Major Crimes came into my life in such a surprising way. I woke up to a phone call from my manager saying that I had three hours to prepare an audition for a one episode guest star on the series finale of "The Closer." I scrambled to work on the audition in the limited amount of time that I had, and somehow ended up booking it. Halfway through shooting the episode, James Duff – the show's creator – approached me and asked if I would like to join the spinoff. He's since told me that he had no intention of continuing the Rusty story line, but things just sort of fit. I got lucky.
You played Trent Pearson on my favorite sitcom from high school "The Bill Engvall Show" alongside actress Jennifer Lawrence that, catapulted her to fame. The cast had such a natural on-screen chemistry for example in "Let It Go" when Bryan struggles to accept his first B on a science test and Lauren uses it to her advantage to tease her little brother. What was in like working with Jennifer Lawrence at that early stage, and did you think she would become the most in demand actress in Hollywood?
Wow, I haven't thought about that episode in ages. What a blast from the past! It's no surprise to me that Jen has become the powerhouse that she is. Its been a while since I worked with her. But during those three years I was taken aback by her strength and commitment to her craft at such a young age. She also comes from a fantastic family. I love seeing good things happen to good people.
You grew-up in New York City attending LaGuardia High School and French Woods Summer Camp with your sister and brothers which, is where you first become interested in acting. The first musical you were actually cast in was "The King and I" at summer camp where I understand originally you didn't attend for the acting. Do you have any favorite memories from French Woods, and what did you learn from your experiences that helped you become a professional actor?
French Woods played a huge part in shaping who I am as a person. It's a tremendous summer camp that serves as a playground for young artists to discover and explore their artistic abilities. During those summers, I would do three musicals in three months, I learned to fly the trapeze, performed in magic shows, and sang in an 80s themed cabaret troupe. I wish that every kid could have some form of this artistic exploration like I did. It helped me to break out of my "trying to fit in" tendencies and allowed me to feel comfortable being an individual, which was a beautiful thing for an insecure kid like myself to have.
In 2014 you stared in the independent film "Somewhere Slow" which, is about Anna Thompson played by Jessalyn Gilsig who sells beauty products to doctors but, her company lets her go when her performance is not up to par. Can you tell us what it was like filming "Somewhere Slow, and playing the character of Travis who was going threw his own emotional problems?
Somewhere Slow was probably the most fun I have ever had working on a project. We shot in Rhode Island, which is one of my favorite places in the world. The film had a smaller budget, so I stayed in the house we shot in along with Jessalyn and the film's director, Jeremy O'Keefe. It was a bit of a rebirth for me as an actor. Prior to the film, I had only really worked on multi-camera sitcoms-despite wanting badly to break into dramatic work. Jeremy and Jessalyn took a chance with me-and I am so grateful that they did, because it ended up being a wonderful experience, and the movie turned out great.
The character of Trent Pearson from "The Bill Engvall Show" was the not bright teenager but, what you brought to the show was a comic performance that to ushered in a new era for teenagers in sitcoms to embrace that the fact there not super bright. Do you remember what a typical day on set was like, and looking back on the show what do you think the legacy of "The Bill Engvall Show" will become?
Well inevitably, the legacy of the show is that it was Jennifer's first gig- and that's pretty damn cool. But it was also one of the last true family sitcoms. I mean sure you have all of those hilarious single-cam shows like Modern Family. But Engvall was the last of that 90's-style feel good family sitcom. It never got too big when it was airing, but people still come up to me to this very day and tell me that they love the show because they randomly came across it on youtube and couldn't stop watching.
In 2013 You just starred in the Lifetime movie "The Anna Nicole Story," depicting the tragic life of model Anna Nicole Smith from small town dancer to Playboy centerfold, to her marriage to a billionaire, and her death in 2007 where, you play the late Anna Nicole Smith's late son Daniel. Do you have any favorite memories from filming the TV movie?
I just loved the creative team that was behind that film. Adam Goldberg is a tremendous actor and I loved my scenes with him. The director was Mary Harron, who directed American Psycho, and she was badass. It was interesting working on a true story that most people watched unfold really not too long ago. I had only known about it from the headlines that I saw at the time-so diving into the humanity of a sensationalized tabloid story was compelling for me.
A few years back you where an Honorary Celebrity Co-Chair for the Louisiana SPCA's Howling Success Gala, which, is an organization that helps animals in need. Can you tell us more about the organization, and what other charities are you currently involved in these days?
I have two favorite charities that I work with. First is the Sunshine Kids. They are the official Charity of Major Crimes. I love this group because they provide super fun life experiences for kids with cancer who are undergoing treatment. The other organization that I work with is Covenant House California, which is a shelter for homeless youth in Los Angeles. I am directing a PSA for CHC that will be out in October.
I wanted to revisit "Major Crimes" because, the character of Rusty is a queer youth and seeing LBGT themes on television is still a taboo subject with some of the most daring shows being "Modern Family", and even Will and Grace. What do you hope your character Rusty will do for the LBGT community, and how far do you think Television has to go with highlighting gay issues?
I actually think TV has come a long way, especially these past 5 years. Rusty and Major Crimes don't get a lot of credit or attention for the gay storylines, and I kind of like it that way. I like it because its not considered abnormal. It's just another show with a storyline about someone who happens to be gay. Though I understand the importance of the revolutionary shows that "pushed the boundaries" by having gay storylines, I am proud to be on a show where its not that big of a deal. Its just...normal. And I think that is what the future should be like. Where gay characters aren't celebrated or given a special gold star, because at the end of the day, gay is normal...and that's pretty cool.
Watch the season six premiere Major Crimes October, 31st on TNT network.
Follow Graham on Instagram, and Twitter,.
Disney's Adam McArthur talks Star Vs. The Forces of Evil, and voicing Lee-Char in hit series Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Disney's Adam McArthur talks about playing Marco Diaz in Star Vs. The Forces of Evil, and voicing Lee-Char in the hit series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Also Adam dishes about his expertise in Kung Fu.
You grew up in San Francisco, got your degree in film production and were in improv groups in LA. How did you transition from improv to scripted roles?
I've actually been doing both in tandem for many years! Improv teaches you to trust your instincts, and really listen. Any great acting teacher will tell you how important those qualities are in scripted work as well. I've never thought of them as separate kinds of acting or performing, but rather different sides of the same coin that can make me a more well-rounded actor. I'm thankful for all of my training! It really allows me to have fun, feel the freedom in the moment to trust myself and what I'm able to bring to different roles.
You play Marco Diaz on the hit Disney XD show "Star vs. The Forces of Evil." Marco is the quirky, almost Charlie Brown like best friend of Star and her companion on her adventures. What has the process been like in creating this fun teenage character?
Oh man, it's been an insanely fun process. Marco and I have so much in common that it's comical at times. I like to say that he and I "just get each other. I pull from a lot of my own personal experiences with this guy. Through the guidance of Daron Nefcy, the creator of the show, and Kelly Ward, as well as all the other amazing directors and creatives involved behind the scenes, the creative process has been very collaborative.
You also voice Lee-Char in the hit series "Star Wars: The Clone Wars." You have done live action roles such as 'Casey' in "The Coin," starring Christopher Lloyd. What are some of the greatest differences and similarities you find in playing live action characters and voiceover characters?
I think the differences lie in the nuances of the different styles of acting. For an on-camera role, there is a whole different type of technique you use when acting for the camera. Same goes for VO. Mic placement, how loud you are, what your body is doing. It's all very different between the two styles. There are definitely some similarities though! Knowing your character and making strong choices are helpful no matter what style of acting you're doing. The good thing is, both are so much fun! It's like exercising different parts of my brain.
You recently attended San Diego Comic-Con and D23 Expo for "Star vs. The Forces of Evil." What have been some of the greatest experiences you've had at these, and other events?
The best part about any convention is the time I get to spend with the fans. We have so many amazingly sweet, talented, funny and weird fans of this show! (Haha. You weird ones know who you are.) There's no greater feeling than meeting people, and hearing how you've impacted their lives by doing what you love. That will never get old, and I am forever grateful to be where I'm at.
You created your own short film "Showdown at High Noon" back in 2013. What are some things you learned about creating your own content, and do you plan on directing/producing more in the future?
Showdown at High Noon is actually a credit someone else put on my IMDB, and I have no idea what the heck it is lol. So if IMDB is reading this, please take that off! (Side note: I am currently working on a project that I'm writing and acting in called The Adam & Brian Show. I'm working on it with my good buddy who is a puppeteer with the Henson Company. It follows two best friends, one who happens to be a puppet, on a pretty wild journey through their pretty mundane lives. Keep an eye out for it!)
You also specialize in Kung Fu. You have won numerous tournaments, and have been the subject of several PBS documentaries. How do the principles you have learned in Kung Fu seep into your career as an actor/filmmaker?
Great question! I think the greatest lesson I learned from the martial arts is the ability to cope in the uncomfortable. As you can imagine, there's a lot of pain both physically and mentally during martial arts training. My teacher taught me to never give up, even when things got difficult. He also said that sometimes in order to be comfortable, you had to be uncomfortable for a while first. It's so similar to acting. Sometimes things are difficult. You might have a bad performance, a creative block or lose out on a big role. But you can't let it get you down. You just have to keep pushing through, and come out stronger on the other side. So that's what I do! It keeps me pretty happy most of the time.
You sometimes lend your voice to video games such as the mysterious Joker in Final Fantasy Type-0. How is it different playing a video game character, rather than an animated character?
The great thing about animation is I get to see a full script, and often times get to record with other actors. On Puss in Boots, we record in a big room together where everyone is playing off each. Video games are quite the opposite! Every single video game I've worked on, I've had zero idea what game it was until much later (sometimes years!). Because games take so long to make, their stories are kept under wraps so tightly that even the actors don't know what they're working on. I'll typically get a page with just my lines, and I don't record with anyone else. From there, the director gives me vague context and we give it a go! It's wild and a lot of the time feels very spontaneous, exciting! They're both a lot of fun to work on!
Can you tell us about what you are currently working on?
I'm currently focused on recording the upcoming season of Star Vs. The Forces of Evil, which I'm super excited about! You can also hear my voice all over Disney XD, as well as in the new Far Cry 5 coming out early next year. There are a few other things coming soon, but I can't talk about those yet. So stay tuned!
Teen sensation Joshua Rush dishes on Disney Channel series Andi Mack,and streaming CNN news twenty-four-seven
Teen sensation Joshua Rush dishes on the popular Disney Channel series Andi Mack, taking us threw a typical day on set for his character of Cyrus Goodman, and streaming CNN news twenty-four-seven.
Congratulations on a leading role in the Disney Channel series "Andi Mack" as Cyrus, one of Andi's BFF! How did you get started acting? Tell us about your acting path that led to playing Cyrus.
Thanks! My mom got me started in the business. At a very young age she set me up with an acting coach in Houston, which is where I lived at the start of my career. Eventually my acting coach told us we should try out Los Angeles, and that was all my mom needed to hear! She had us move to LA for 3 months (I was 6 or 7 years old) and eventually we called her and said "We're not coming home!"
Cyrus is quirky, not athletic and a little bit awkward, but he has a sense of humor that can make just about anyone laugh. What are some of your similarities and differences to the character?
I think Cyrus and I are similar in a lot of ways. Our awkwardness, sense of humor, and general weirdness are definitely similarities. I think something amazing about Terri Minsky is that she's not only an amazing writer, but an amazing observer too! We (the cast) would just be talking around her, and she would just sit and listen. A week or two later, one of our sentences would appear in the script! I'm still waiting for my writer's credits!
Andi Mack" is a coming-of-age show about not only the usual young teen issues, but deals with family drama. Do any fans reach to you out about issues they face, both with family and peer relationships, and how do you respond to those questions?
I've certainly gotten some fans who ask me for some help with their issues and, when I respond, I try to make it as clear as I can that I'm not really a great person to be asking for advice on these things! I try to give them a personal anecdote from my own life and explain how my solution to the problem worked and how it didn't, and what I'd do differently. When I'm at a loss, I get advice from my Dad, who is a psychotherapist!
You played the younger version of Zachary Quinto's character in "Heroes" and younger version of Zachary Levi's 'Chuck' in "Chuck." Did you have to research your older counterparts' characters beforehand, and did you get to rehearse your characters with them? Tell us some special memories of working on these shows.
I don't have as many memories from those shows as I used to because when I worked on "Chuck" and "Heroes" I was only 7 and 8! It's been almost 9 years since I worked on them! I do know that when my episode of "Criminal Minds" came out, I wasn't even allowed to watch my scenes, because my parents thought I was too young. Eventually I watched "Chuck" (I think around age 10) and saw my episodes; I really liked them! But researching the part at that age wasn't much of an option.
You can be heard in hit shows such as "Family Guy" and "The Cleveland Show" and, on the big screen, fans may recognize your voice in movies such as "Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas" and "Mr. Peabody & Sherman". You voice 'Jeremy' on Disney's "Star Vs The Forces of Evil", and 'Toby' on Netflix's "The Adventures of Puss in Boots". Have you done special training for voiceover and what are some of the differences between on-camera roles and voiceover?
I've worked one-on-one with David Kaufman, who coaches me, and has starred in roles like Danny Phantom (basically my childhood!). I think the biggest difference is the time. Working on voice over we can record an episode in 5 hours (for a 45 minute episode, with every character on-mic) while on "Andi Mack", it takes us a week to record a 21 minute episode! We work 9.5 hours per day with an hour for lunch and 10 minute breaks every hour on "Andi Mack", and on "The Lion Guard" — other than the first episode (Return of the Roar, a 45 minute TV movie with a few songs) — I've never taken longer than 2 hours, with a snack break of 5 minutes in the middle. It's a major parallel!
You've had some starring roles in some big budget productions such as "Parental Guidance" alongside Billy Crystal, Bette Midler and Marisa Tomei, and "Break Point" alongside Jeremy Sisto and David Walton. What films, television or VO projects should we be watching for you in next?
I'm focusing on my three shows in the Disney family ("Andi Mack", "The Lion Guard", "Star vs. the Forces of Evil") right now, as well as finishing up the final season of my Dreamworks/Netflix show ("Adventures of Puss in Boots")
I read that you a passion for cars and could name the make and model of many styles of cars at just 2 ½ years old and were featured on the news. What are some of your other hobbies and interests outside of acting, and how do you balance school, friends and family with your successful career? Do you have any charities you are passionate about?
My biggest hobby right now is reading the news! I read and listen to the news about 3 hours per day. I carry bluetooth earbuds where I have CNN streaming 24/7. I read the Atlantic, New York Times, Washington Post, and a few others daily, and I watch cable news probably an unhealthy amount. It's not easy to balance my school, friends, and family, but something really important to me is a strong calendar. Every minute of my day from 6 am to midnight is scheduled out, and I try to give every part of my life as much time as I can, even if it means combining time with friends with work time. For example, Sofia and I work together on lines almost every night but at the same time we play poker and pool. We have to keep it fun!
What advice would you give our readers that are interested in pursuing a career in the entertainment industry?
It's hard but having the right people behind you makes it easier. Get an agent or manager and a coach who is behind you, and who will really help you put the right foot forwards. And always remember this: out of 100 auditions, sometimes you will only book one role. So don't get discouraged if you don't get a callback!
Starlet Hayley Orrantia opens up about typical day on-set of The Goldbergs, her journey on The X-Factor, and writing lyrics
By: Daniel Hoyos | PHOTOS COURTESY TJ Manou
- Los Angeles, California
Starlet Hayley Orrantia talks exclusively with We Blab Entertainment Magazine about a typical work day on-set of The Goldbergs, and her journey on The X-Factor. Hayley also opens up about how she personally writes lyrics for her music.
Congratulations on the huge phenomenon of "The Goldbergs" on ABC, which, was recently renewed for seasons 5 & 6. Having grown up in the late 80's culture "The Goldbergs" reminded me of my own family with the fashion, and attitude. Can you take us threw your audition process for Erica Goldberg?
I actually was the first person they saw for the role of Erica! I received the audition from my agent while I was driving into California with my dad for pilot season back in February of 2013. As soon as we arrived I put myself on tape for it and soon after received a callback. The Goldbergs was also my first screen test ever so I definitely got lucky. The best part of this story is that I have heard that it came down to me and one other girl.
They originally went with her until an intern in the back of the screen test room fought for me. She apparently made a compilation of my personal YouTube videos where I was being my goofy self and the producers decided to take a chance on me despite my limited resume. I have been so grateful to work on such an amazing show for four years now and hopefully many to come!
You grew-up in Highland Village, Texas singing at the age of just nine years old R&B, and pop music which, eventually lead to writing with songwriter Jamie Houston from the (High School Musical series). How did you get started in the music business, and what made you decided moving to Los Angeles was your next step to stardom?
Music has always been a first love for me. It all started when a family friend heard me singing in the car along to the radio and suggested I take it more seriously. Over the next few years I performed all across the DFW metroplex and made incredible connections through my music school. Eventually those connections led me to Jamie.
Jamie introduced me to a bunch of labels in NYC and LA where they suggested I get some sort of "platform" to further my music career, like a television show. That is ultimately how I ended up acting and booked The Goldbergs. I happened to move to Los Angeles around the same time I booked the show. I really feel like it has all been fate the way it has worked out in my life.
The first time I personally became aware of your name was on the first season of "The X Factor", and I remember thinking Hayley is going to be a big star. Your appearance on The Which, eventually led to you be eliminated during the fifth week, but I'm sure it was a one of kind experience. What was your personal experience like being on the "The X Factor", and what did you learn from being on the show?
My journey on The X Factor is one I hope to write about someday. To sum it up, however, it was a whirlwind of emotion and excitement. I met some lifelong friends on that show and I learned so much about the way the industry works, good and bad. I learned that, as an artist, you cannot allow other people to dictate what kind of music speaks to you.
There will be countless people fighting to push you in one direction and while there are times they could be right about it, you have to follow your instincts because your journey to find your sound will come in time. It's been almost six years since my time on The X Factor, but i can still vividly remember my experience and treatment on the show. It shaped me into the artist I am today in so many ways.
On "The Goldbergs" set in yhe 1980's you play Erica Goldberg the older sister of Berry, and Adam whom is extremely popular, fashion crazy, mostly cares about boys, and loves to torture her brothers. What dose a typical day on-set look like, and how has your character evolved over the years?
A typical day on set requires about a 5:30 AM wake up call to be on set for an hour and a half of hair and makeup. After quickly shoveling breakfast and coffee in my face and memorizing my lines for the next scene, it's on to set where we put the scene on it's feet. We do one rehearsal before the crew sets up lighting and then we film that scene anywhere from 45 minutes to 4 hours, depending on the scene. Our work hours and be anywhere from 5 hours to 12 hours in one day. It's kind of crazy schedule, but in the end it's all so worth it! Erica has evolved in so many ways over the last four years. Erica is actually based on creator & producer, Adam F Goldberg's, older brother, Eric. Because of the age gap between the real life brothers and the fact he didn't have an older sister,
Adam didn't have as many stories to start the show off involving Erica. I am actually thankful for that because I believe it gave the writers a lot of freedom when writing about Erica. She's always been headstrong, wise and the-middle-man of the family, much like Eric Goldberg. However, the writers have since added her musical ability once they saw my interest in wanting to do both. I believe it has really worked in the favor of the show & definitely for my career to be able to do both music and acting. Now that Erica is headed to college and chasing her dreams, the writers have a whole new playground to work with on the show.
In 2011 you started in the independent comedy "Cooper and the Castle Hills Gang", where you played Penny the mean sassy older sister of Cooper who, comes-up with a devious plan to foil her little brother's quest to find a family heirloom. Do you have any memories filming in Lewisville, Texas and what do you hope kids who just discover the movie take away?
I think working on Cooper and the Castle Hills Gang was a perfect transition for me into the acting world, especially since it was filmed in my hometown. I was actually a junior in high school during filming which was difficult for my schedule, but I learned so much. It was such a well produced movie and everyone involved was so incredibly kind that I could not have asked for a better first experience.
I hope that when people watch it, it can be an enjoyable family friendly movie that brings them together. I hope they can appreciate all the time and love put into that project and also the features that the movie highlighted about Castle Hills. Overall it was a fun and educational experience that I will never forget.
One of my favorite episodes of "The Goldbergs" is Kara-te where Erica sings Pat Benatar's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" at the high school Holiday Talent Show. Can you tell us how the producers first let your character start singing on the show, and are you self-tough on the guitar?
I had a conversation with the producers one day asking that if they ever had an opportunity for me to sing on the show that I would be more an ecstatic. Luckily for me they gave me a shot with that first talent show episode. It went over so well that they continued to write Erica's musical interest into the show. Fun fact: I don't know how to play guitar! They hired a teacher to help me, but I REALLY struggled with it and even begged the producers to stop writing it in unless I could play piano. I guess I've made it look real enough that everyone thinks I can play. However, this summer I spent some time working with an amazing coach and I now can accompany myself a little better. We'll see if those skills are tested this next season!
You have an amazing singing voice, and your singles "Love Sick", and "Silence You" have a very indie country sound that you don't hear in most modern country songs. Can you give us some insight into how you go about writing lyrics? Are your lyrics based off personal experiences?
Lyrics to me are one of the most important elements of a song. A lot of people, I notice, just breeze by the lyrics and only tune in to the melody or production of a song, but I am so different. I love hearing the real story of the songwriter or artist played out in their song and the cleverness of a good line. My goal is to have someone listen to my song and be speechless with emotion because it truly hits home for them in a way that no one can explain. I know that when I go through something difficult in my life and I hear that experience reflected back at me in a beautifully written song, I feel more understood than having a discussion about it in person with someone.
All of my songs are based on a personal experience of mine. Even if I it's something I am not going through at that moment, I can tap back into that feeling or relate it to a time in my life when I did feel that way. I think that's where music and acting cross for me. It's very important to me to make sure that every line of my song is true to my personal experience. I believe this is what makes a song more relatable than anything else. If you share your truth honestly, it will resonate better with other people.
Since 2007 you have serviced as the ambassador for Texas Music Project, which raises awareness and funds for music education in public schools. What can you tell us about the non-profit, and how important is keeping music education in our schools?
When I started working with Texas Music Project, I couldn't yet appreciate the reality it would play in my own life. Music has always been important to me and while I am lucky enough to have been able to do it outside of school, not everyone can. During my time on The X Factor, I was a senior in high school and was forced to quit & take online homeschool courses to finish my education. Many states, including Texas, have a policy that does not allow the amount of absent days required to further a career in entertainment, despite your grades. Around the same time, my high school cancelled all future Musical Theatre programs due to minor complaints and issues. I was devastated that the next 4,000 kids to walk through that school would not have the opportunity that I did to appreciate the value of music & theatre classes. It has been my ultimate goal to change this policy and allow every child the same opportunity as I had whether it's a class for one year of high school or the beginning of a long lasting career. Many people view a career in entertainment as risky and short lived. However, from my experience, I know there are many levels to this industry, more than just being in front of a camera or behind a mic. I hope one day in the near future I can work with statewide school boards to discuss a change in policy.
The Goldbergs returns with season 5 this fall on the ABC network.
American actress Masiela Lusha discusses George Lopez Show, playing Gemini in Sharknado series, and non-profit Uncommon Good
By: Daniel Hoyos | PHOTOS COURTESY Raul Roa
- Los Angeles, California
American actress Masiela Lusha opens up about the groundbreaking sitcom The George Lopez Show, and playing Gemini in the hugely successful Sharknado series. Also Masiela talks about her non-profit Uncommon Good helping families rewrite their stories.
Congratulations on the success of "Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens", and the sequel "Sharknado 5" which, premieres August 6th on SyFy. The Sharknado series of films has become a huge phenomenon, having personally seen memes based off your character Gemini. Can you tell us about the audition process for the role of Gemini, and how difficult was it doing your own stunts in Sharknado?
Sharknado felt like a whirlwind from virtually out of nowhere! Within 48 hours of my scheduled flight to Florence, Italy, I received an offer. I read the script and absolutely needed to portray the role of Gemini. Her fierceness and compassion was perfectly fleshed out, and I said yes. Within 48 hours of my acceptance I found myself on set, meeting everyone for the first time.
Filming my own stunts was what motivated me accept Sharknado as well. Gemini was fearless and it felt like such a fulfilling outlet. My favorite stunt would have to be leaping off the Stratosphere Hotel in Vegas at 4am. Leading up to this particular stunt, our director, Anthony, and our producers insisted I wouldn't be able to follow through. Of course, when someone says that something can't be done, I feel compelled to prove them wrong.
You recently stared in the Lifetime movie "Forgotten Evil" which, is about a woman with amnesia who tries to restart her life until the past comes back to haunt her. The character you play is the multi person role of Renee, Jane Doe, and Veronica, who has amnesia, and can't remember things. Was it a challenge to play three different roles in one film, and what kind of working relationship have you built with director Anthony C. Ferrante?
Anthony and I worked together on Sharknado a few months prior when he offered me the opportunity of Renee. I adored working with Anthony in Sharknado because he had quite a fluid way of filming scenes, sometimes rewriting scenes on the day of shooting. With Sharkando, as actors we simply didn't know what to expect day to day, and it was quite alright because the end product was rewarding. With Anthony, I felt safe, and I considered him an actor's director. I didn't second guess his vision, and I was always pleasantly surprised with the outcome.
While I've worked on heavy genres in the past, I loved Renee because she essentially evolved with the audience. She began to piece her world at the same pace as the viewer began understanding her circumstances, so essentially she lived on the same plane of understanding. There was no backstory to draw from, essentially nothing she was privy to that the audience would need to eventually catch up on. Anthony asked that I play various firsts in the film: the first taste of a strawberry, the first moment of spotting a person that Renee would eventually love, the first kiss, and the first betrayal. The audience lived through these moments with Renee and that made me feel more connected with my craft.
As actors, we are taught to draft a little backstory diary on our characters, outlining subsitions, and explain the hidden machinations of every physiological twist. With Renee, and for the first time in my career, I was forbidden from exploring this tactic. I simply needed to live moment to moment with her. It was exhilarating.
Having grown-up with "The George Lopez" I felt the similarities between The Lopez family, and my own family. My favorite episode was when Carmen convinced Max he was adopted with the classic line "I'm not supposed to tell you this, but you're adopted! And when you turn 16, your head will explode just like your real mom's said!" Can you take us threw your audition process for Carmen Lopez, and what can you tell us about working with George Lopez?
What made the George Lopez show magical is the authenticity injected by the producers and our incredibly dedicated staff of writers. This authenticity is what feels most rewarding to actors, in my opinion, because it breathes life to our craft. We then act for a reason, and that reason is to elevate, reflect, and by doing this, essentially heal. We act for the audience, not at the audience. And we absolutely have the writers to thank for this honor and privilege.
The George Lopez show was my first sitcom audition, my first Network test, and my first major offer. And I believe these series of first could have helped my performance of Carmen. During the audition, I didn't have any exceptions, I was even jarred at the bursts of laughter in the middle of my audition. I always assumed an actor's stage was sacred, but this laughter fueled me forward, and felt more natural than other more quiet and respectful audition experiences. I then realized that sitcom was my home, that one space of reassurance and direct validation of healing I needed to witness realtime.
I do believe having no expectations and preconceived notions about this particular audition process and even the Hispanic family is what inspired an offer from the producers. I didn't impose an accent, a style of delivery, a preference of clothes. Carmen was written with such contradictory and complex characteristics that I remember thinking, "ok, they clearly just want a real girl, contradictions and all! I'll be me then."
That was it! The series of auditions and tests felt easy, natural, and for the first time in my early career, I felt that this was where I needed to be. I simply glowed auditioning for Carmen because I loved her so much even before the offer. She was an amalgamation of nearly every friend I had known and adored in school, and the most authentic pieces of me.
Over the years "The George Lopez Show", has become a cult sitcom that raised the bar for latinos in television. The many fans we're very excited when the cast reunited after 10 years on "The Lopez Show" George's new semi-autobiographical sitcom that airs on TV Land. What was like reuniting with the cast after 10 years, and can you tell us exactly why Carmen was written out of series after season 5?
I feel Carmen had such a diverse trajectory in her storyline, they took her through so many growing pains, that at some point she needed to find herself, settle into an understanding of who she was, and go to college. She learned too much over the five years not to grow up and move on. I learned so much through Carmen and was pleased to see her finally settled. It was rewarding as an actor to take her through her journey.
Reuniting with George and Constance felt easy and natural, like the original sitcom days. Within minutes of our tableread, we found our rhythm again. This surprised me as we hadn't seen each other in years. For me, it must have been nearly a decade!
One of the many things that I personally loved about "The George Lopez Show", that made it stand-out from other sitcoms was the fact it wasn't afraid to address serious issues. The episode where Camren told her parents she was pregnant so she could move into her boyfriends house, had a very serious tone. How did you tackle the more serious issues, and looking back on the show what was your proudest moment?
I agree with you that this was truly one of the most fulfilling aspects of the sitcom. The producers weren't afraid to let the characters scream, cry, feel genuine heartbreak, and simply live. Often times our endings weren't tied with a perfect bow and that's what kept the show timeless. It was real life.
There were moments when my direction for Carmen was to laugh, and in the middle of filming the scene, I would tear up instead because that simply made more sense to me in her situation, or even vice versa because George was hilarious, and angry or not as his daughter, I couldn't help but laugh. How often do we find ourselves stifling a laugh when we're angry with someone, despite our own attempt to be serious and dignified? That's life.
You're also a published author with the book "The Living Air" which, is about exceptional book of poems. Can you tell us what's your inspiration behind writing the book?
The Living Air is my most diverse collection of poetry. For the first time in my writing career, I wrote a few poems in German, and translated each back to English. I would say the translation (even of my own poems) feels by far the most complex and time consuming. Figures of speech that feel natural in one language feel forced or unintelligible in another! What to do?
For the first time in my career, I also translated poems by Saint Theresa, herself an Albanian. This translation felt like acting to me. To truly understand her meditations and the correct English interpretation, I needed to read a few books on her biography, and dive into her personal letters to friends and confidants. I needed to understand the depth of her yearning and insecurities to find its meaning in English.
I think a lot of people would be interested to learn your not actually Latino but, born in Tirana, Albania before your family left as refugees to Budapest, Hungary, and Vienna, Austria. Can you tell us how you got started acting, and got discovered?
That's right! The first quarter of my life lacked consistency and comfort. While I never felt deprived of a normal childhood, as it was the only childhood I knew, I did feel a sense of how truly big the world can be, the wide spectrum of people, dreams, dreads, and desires. This realization made me love people, and absorb their world in a very sensitive and intuitive way. I was able to follow the nuances of individuals, as it meant survival for me, and I was able to utilize this in acting later in life. And this is why I simply adore acting, it provides an outlet for every human experience, and validates it. Every heartache can be manifested into a reward in acting, every injury, a fulfilling journey. It's nice to have that outlet to rewrite one's experiences in a healing way.
I began acting at 12 in Macomb, Michigan. An agent from Los Angeles was combing the Midwest for fresh faces. Of the 600 or so aspiring talents at the open call, I was one of the three he asked to return with him to Los Angeles. While I did not know a single person in LA, I was fortunate to start with an agent.
You're new project "Uncommon Good" is a non profit charity that helps mentor youth to attend college, eat healthy, and combat health care issues. Tell us about your role in "Uncommon good", and what you would like to see for the future?
I feel my experience as a refugee galvanizes my passion for humanitarian work. I simply to need to support any way that I can. This automatic drive feels as natural and obvious as breathing. Perhaps I feel I was given too much in my youth, had witnessed a palpable human need on the receiving end, had lived through kindness and compassion from perfect strangers, that it is absolutely unimaginable not to relive this experience in a healing way.
Uncommon Good helps families rewrite their stories. They can re-interpret their expectations of what they were taught through our mentorship program. For example, our students from unfortunate circumstances have a 41.5% chance of graduating high school. Less than half! We find these students, help define their dreams, and mentor them through scholarships and college acceptances. We have a perfect 100% success rate in sending our students to college. Yes, 100%. We help them find the courage to define new expectations for the future, and all the golden possibilities that their society couldn't articulate let alone dream up.
Sharknado 5: Global Swarming premieres August 6th at 8/7c on the SYFY network.
Glee cast member Noah Guthrie talks playing Roderick Meeks on hit tv series, and releasing first album Among the Wildest Things
By: Rachelle Henry | PHOTOS COURTESY Brayden Heath
- Los Angeles, California
Glee cast member Noah Guthrie talks about playing Roderick Meeks on Fox's hit tv show, and releasing his first album "Among the Wildest Things". Also Noah tell us about masking a large following on Youtube in High School with his original song covers.
I’ve watched several of your covers, including one with more than 25 million views, “Sexy and I Know It,” by LMFAO. Your version is amazing and I’m listening to your cover of “Skyfall” right now. Love it! How did you get started in music and how did it unfold to bring you to your pivotal role as Roderick Meeks on FOX’s hit TV show, Glee?
Thanks! I have been around music from an early age. In a family of studio singers, it's hard not to catch the bug. When I got my first guitar I fell in love with songwriting and it became the main way I express myself. During my last two years of high school, I started posting cover songs on Youtube and quickly received a lot of unexpected attention. People would comment and tell me that they liked what they heard and how I twisted songs around to make them my own. I decided to keep posting videos as a way to get my name out there while I worked on my own album of original music.
In 2013 I released my first album called Among The Wildest Things and started touring all over. After a couple of years of working the road, writing songs, and putting more content online I got a phone call from the Glee casting directors. They said they were looking for a certain kind of person to fill a role for the last season of Glee. Actually, they said that they needed a shy, chubby guy with a very soulful voice. haha. I happen to meet that criteria quite well so I sent in a self-tape audition and next thing I knew I was flying out to Hollywood to shoot the last season of Glee. Everything cool that has happened so far in my career has kind of fallen out of the sky. When that happens I work hard and try to run as far as I can with it.
It’s been said that Glee isn’t popular just for the music, although we all know the music is incredible. Part of its popularity is that it brings up real teenage issues and makes the misfits feel like they could belong. Do your fans approach you about issues and challenges they face, and can you share with us some of your techniques for making a difference for those reaching out to you?
I think one of the most meaningful and rewarding parts of being on Glee was hearing from the audience. People from all over would write in and tell me that they really identified with Roderick or with his struggles to fit in and that has always touched me. The best thing I can hear from a fan is that they relate to the character and that it has helped them with their own struggles. I was not the most popular kid in high school and was definitely the butt of many fat jokes so I understand how hard it can be. I think one of the most important things to do is to let those fans know that you hear them and you understand. The impact that this show had on its fans amazes me and I'm so grateful that I got to be a part of it in any way.
When I got on Glee I got a peek into the TV world and see how things are done and its truly incredible to watch. The time, money, and crew it takes to shoot one episode is amazing! Each week would vary on how much we had to learn. Sometimes it was just one song and dance, other times it was five. In my opinion it wasn't the rehearsals that were so hard but the actual taping of the performance.
Once you start recording a dance number it takes forever. You just keep doing the same thing over and over while cameras move around to capture different angles. In between each take you have to catch your breath (or maybe that was just me) and make sure your wardrobe is still intact. Then you get reset and go again. After about the 10th take it gets a little tiring haha.
You’ve performed on NBC's, Today Show, Tonight Show with Jay Leno, as well as two performances on ABC's, Dancing With The Stars. Do you ever get nervous or star struck when performing live on TV?
I don't usually get very nervous. I've been so lucky that all of the shows I have been on are comprised of some really great people. Everyone is very inviting and have always tried to make me feel comfortable. This is not to say that I NEVER get nervous, but if I am it is usually if I feel underprepared for something. I'm also not the best with surprises so sometimes that can throw me off. For the most part I just try to stay focused but loose and have fun with it.
You’ve opened for Ed Sheeran, Neon Trees, Selena Gomez and many other talents. Do you go on tour with them for entire tours or for single shows? Tell us about one or more of your most memorable experiences while opening the show.
All of those opening slots have been for single shows. I think one of the most memorable experiences was actually when I was opening for Matt Nathanson out in Sonoma California. It was in the most beautiful concert hall I've ever seen on the campus of Sonoma State University. One of the stage hands had told me that the week before the show, Alison Krauss had opened the venue and I have always adored Alison Krauss. Anyway, where she stood on that stage was still marked on the floor and I got to stand in that spot and play my songs for a full house that night and just breathe in the Magic.
You released your first album, Among The Wildest Things, in August 2013. What was the inspiration for the album and what did you learn with the release of that album that has prepared you for the release of your second album?
The first album was really just the first snapshot of me as an artist. I wanted to put that album out on the heels of the Sexy and I Know It viral video so that I could capitalize on the new fans that I was gaining and let them know that I write original music too. I think the first album process taught me that things rarely go as planned with recording. Some songs change and take longer to complete than others. Some get thrown out entirely. The whole process taught me to be open minded and let things flow naturally. You can't force a song to be something that its not.
What advice would you give to other aspiring performers that might help them on their journey?
The main advice I would give you is to be patient. This is something that I try to tell my self often. If music is the business you want to be in then you need to know that it takes time. Time to get better at your craft. Time to figure out who you are as an artist. Time to assemble the right team to help you reach your goals. No matter what social media may lead you to believe, over night success doesn't happen. If you are true to your self and true to your craft you will find a place for your music.
Japanese American actress Ally Maki dishes on TBS's Wrecked, Dear White People, and breaking racial stereotypes
By: Rachelle Henry | PHOTOS COURTESY Ryan West
- Los Angeles, California
Japanese American actress Ally Maki dishes on TBS's "Wrecked", satirical series "Dear White People" and breaking racial stereotypes in Hollywood. Also Ally tell us about how Mosquitos nearly bit her alive.
Congratulations on TBS's "Wrecked" being renewed for a second season. What is it like getting to film in Fiji, and can you take us through your audition process for the role of Jess?
Filming in Fiji was absolutely incredible. The people there are so friendly. Every single person you pass gives a huge smile and welcomes you with a "Bula!" I loved being away from the rat race of LA for a bit and completely getting immersed in work and the culture there. The cast really bonded on a whole new level in that way. Doing a Kava ceremony in the home of a Fijian local was definitely a highlight! I am so grateful to this show for providing me with these epic and life changing experiences.
Jess Kato is a fun; feisty, hopeless romantic and the plane crash survivors have to adapt to life without the usual comforts like WIFI, or indoor plumbing. Have you learned any survival skills that would help you if ever found yourself on a remote island?
Absolutely. I've become a connoisseur of mosquito bug products. I probably should open a reviewer site on it. Mosquitos destroy me so I really had to find ways to keep them away. First season, I had almost 250 scars on my legs from bites and had to do 12 rounds of laser scar removal when I got home! It was terrible. I have it all down now. Mosquito pants, every type of spray, bracelets, candles, the whole works.
You've been in quite a few comedic TV series. Do you find comedic roles or dramatic roles more challenging, and why?
I love comedy so much. There's a little more ease for me with it, I think because growing up with all brother's you really had to learn that snark. Brother's really give you that tough skin in that way. Comedy was also the way I was able to express myself. I've always been very shy, almost to the point where I didn't really speak much growing up, so playing big, bold characters was my comfort zone.
It felt like it wasn't really me so no one could shame me for the crazy or weird choices I would make. Dramatic roles are more challenging because you have to completely strip down every wall and insecurity to bring truth to the role. The audience has to be able to trust that you're giving them the most authentic emotional experience.
Would you consider doing a biopic in your grandparents honor about the time they spend in internment camps?
Absolutely. I'm in the very beginning stages, but it's in the works.
You are breaking racial stereotypes with by getting a leading Asian female in the "Wrecked" series. What do you bring to your character/role to help change the stereotypical radical standards?
I'm fourth generation Japanese American, so my experiences and what I bring to every character are truly American. My parents were born here, my grandparents were born here. I have no stereotypes to bring because I am no different than the girl who grew up in a suburb of Kansas or an Indian American girl living in the Bronx. I think the more we can portray all different types of people in the media as just people and really humanize our experiences, the more progress we are going to make in this country.
You're a part of the satirical comedy-drama series, "Dear White People." It's been called revolutionary. Tell us about your character, Ikumi what she experiences, and how the show deals with current issues in 2017?
I am so completely honored to be a part of this groundbreaking and revolutionary show. Filming the show itself was somewhat of a life changing experience for me because of it's real and very emotional subject matter. When we filmed the party scene in Episode 5, the whole cast and crew had to take a break to deal with the weight of it all because it felt so real. You felt Reggie's struggle in every way. Everyone was crying and holding hands. It was a really beautiful thing to see everyone united in that way. I spoke to one of the wardrobe women who said that she fears everyday for her son to drive to school. It's heartbreaking. Ikumi is awesome because she's bringing that Asian American presence. She's really trying to find her identity with the group. Being Asian American in this country is sometimes hard because we don't have that strong community and cultural identity that most other groups have.
We don't have those things that define us as truly Asian American. So I think that's Ikumi's struggle. Finding that identity. It's fantastic that Justin Simien (the creator) thought to shed light on how Asian Americans feel in all of this. What we go through. I hope that Season 2 will show more on the racism and discrimination we go through as always being the butt of the joke. I think it's often overlooked because it's overshadowed with laughter. I remember when I was young, kids would pull their eyes back to look slanted and yell "Ching Chong China" and everyone would burst out laughing. I laughed along because I didn't know what else to do. I knew it was wrong but wasn't old enough yet to stand up for myself or my people. Asian Americans are not a joke and I think it's time we start fighting back in that respect.
What advice would you give young people that might be considering pursuing acting?
Do it for the love of the art. Find that thing that gives you that spark. The thing that even if you didn't make any money doing it, it would still fill your heart in ways nothing else could. Find it and then go for it 110%.
Season 2 of Wracked aires Tuesday nights on TBS at 10:00pm.
Follow Ally Maki on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Notlim Taylor talks new NBC sitcom Marlon, prayer sessions before tapings, and working with Kevin Hart
By: Daniel Hoyos | PHOTOS COURTESY #twaintaylor
- Los Angeles, California
Fresh faced teenager Notlim Taylor talks about getting casting in the new NBC sitcom "Marlon", having prayer sessions before tapings, and working with superstar comic Kevin Hart. Also Notlim gives us advice for break-out into show business.
Congratulations on booking the role of Marley Wayne in NBC’s new sitcom “Marlon” which will premiere August 16th, 2017. Can you take us throw the audition process for Marley Wayne, and how did you feel when you got the role?
Thank you! When my dad told me I got the role, I didn't believe him? Then my agent called to congratulate me, I couldn't believe it. I was shocked, happy, and confused. I didn't understand what I did to deserve what God has blessed me with. I was thankful at the same time though. I'm so blessed and so thankful to be apart of such an amazing show with amazing people.
One of my favorite actors is the hilarious Marlon Wayans from the “Wayans Bros”, and “In Living Color” whose new sitcom is named after him. What’s it like having Marlon play your dad, and did he give you any career advice?
Where do I start!? Marlon is crazy but professional and he reminds me a little too much of my own dad. He makes the set a comfortable environment for everyone to work in. He is a great multitasker by the way, he advises me while collaborating plus checking the rollback plus cracking jokes and delivering his lines.
At the age of 4-years old you started doing local still photography, and just a few years later got the attention of Disney. Can you tell us how you got started in the business, and how your mom picked the name Notlim?
My father (Milton "Twain"Taylor) is an actor, my brother and I would watch him act and rehearse all the time. Then we started practicing commercials in the mirror at bath time that we'd seen on television, our dad decided to take a chance and let us audition for our first commercial which ended up being our first job. My name is MILTON backwards, my parents were expecting a boy so when they saw me they decided to just switch the name around.
What advice would you give a young actor who might be asking their parents to pursue a career in acting?
You have to be willing to put in a lot of hard work, you must stay focused, and you have to be patient. The business is tough, sometimes you'll get tired of auditions ruining your weekend or changing your family plans because you have to study but don't look at the constant auditions as annoying, look at them as opportunities.
In the upcoming series "Marlon" you play older sister Marley Wayne, with divorced parents, who are trying rising two kids. Can you tell us some details about your character, and how much you can you relate to Marlon?
Marley is a 14 year old book worm and a 4.0 student in her private school. She is extremely educated, mature, and she juggles a lot of responsibility between dealing with the divorce of her parents while helping to raise her little brother Zack and school work. She respects and loves both of her parents unconditionally. No matter how immature or over protective Marlon might act towards different challenges in her life, she is always going to be daddy's little girl.
I loved your performance in Kevin Hart's "The Real Husbands of Hollywood" where you played his adopted daughter Lola. I'm interested to hear any stories about working on-set with Kevin Hart?
It was amazing being able to work with Kevin, his jokes always went over my head. I remember one day on set Kevin complimenting my work in front of me and my dad. He said that my performance was great, he loved that I was exercising good comedic timing, and that I was gonna go somewhere. I thought that was so big coming from Kevin.
Just like your character in "Marlon" I heard you're a real bookworm in school, with a 4.0 GPA. How do balance school with your acting responsibilities?
When I was in public school, I would always make sure my homework was completed before anything else even before I studied my lines for an audition. Now that I'm homeschooled (for the first time) I get to move at my own pace. I make sure I stay ahead that way when I have to work I have nothing to distract me.
We have a lot of teenagers who would be interested to learn more about auditioning for network roles. Can you tell us what you do to prepare for an audition?
The entire cast have a group prayer before each show, praying lifts any fears or doubts that I maybe having, I love the audience, I can just feel the positive energy in the room. The audience is your added support or your cheering squad. My advice to those reading is to relax and have fun. You already got the job! You will really enjoy it.
Follow Notlim on Instagram, and Twitter.
NBC's Marlon premieres Wednesday August 16th, 2017 at 9/8C.