Chit Chatting with “Wrecked” Actress Ally Maki

 

Written By Jill sheets

Ally Maki is not only a talented actress, but she is also a talented singer. She plays Jess on CBS’s show Wrecked. One of her first jobs she ever had was on the Disney TV show That’s So Raven. Read on and learn more about this amazing actress, five things people may not know about her, and where you can find her on social media.

R: Tell our readers a little bit about yourself and how you got your start acting.

A: I grew up in a small town near Seattle, Washington called Kirkland. I have always been in love with performing ever since I was young. I was kind of a shy girl, so performing was an outlet for me. I started out kind of doing a lot of musical theater, voiceovers, and tech work in my hometown. When I was 14, I ended up being scouted by a manger and I was supposed to go out to Los Angeles for a summer and try it out (auditioning and that kind of stuff). I ended up staying in LA and I have been out here ever since.

 

R: Tell us about Wrecked and your character Jess.

A: Wrecked is an awesome ensemble comedy on CBS every Tuesday night at 10:30. It is an amazing mix of horror, comedy, action, adventure…well, everything! I feel like it’s unlike anything people have seen. It really has something for everyone. My character Jess is fun, feisty, and a wear-her-head-on-her-shoulders kind of girl, but a little of a hopeless romantic and sometimes a big hot mess. She has been a relationship with Todd, played by Will Greenberg, for seven years. The first season was sort of her diving in and figuring out her relationship and what she wanted; now she is in this high-stake situation of being stranded on the island. The second season is really fun because now Jess and Todd have figured their groove out and so they are working more as a team this year. It has been really fun to play with that and there was a big wedding last week. That was really cool.

 

R: What was the audition process for the show?

A: The audition process was really easy in a sense, which is not normal at all. At the time I was attached to another show for a year and a half, but devastatingly it did not get picked up at the last minute. I read the script and was instantly hooked from the first page. The Shipley brothers have this amazingly fresh, modern take and this specific new sense of humor and I really wanted to be part of this project. I did not think they would go in an Asian-American direction because of where we were at in the industry. The casting director, Julie Aston (who I worked with before) asked me to come in because TBS and the producers wanted to be more diverse and were looking at anybody and everybody. They wanted people who are these roles and I was like “whatever,” so I went in and did my thing. A month later my agent called at about 10pm and said “You have to go to Puerto Rico tomorrow, you’ve booked Wreck.” It was a life changing moment for me.

 

R: What has been your favorite episode so far?

A: Oh my gosh, there are so many. I think there was an episode last week, ‘The Cleans versus The Dirties’, it was just so weird and wacky, with that out-of-the-box Wrecked kind of humor. We had so much fun filming–kind of a nightmare, but in the best way. We were on a boat, there was a food fight…it was to see the dichotomy of the cleans versus dirties and what you do when you could take a shower for the first time in months. It was really fun.

 

R: Do you have any upcoming projects you would like to talk about?

A: I do! There is an amazingly huge one that I cannot share yet and I cannot wait until I can. I am next delving into the world of writing and a developing project based on my family history–a passion project for me. It is all brand new and I am excited about it.

 

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

A: Five things! Number one, I am a total homebody. All my friends know that they can probably just find me on my couch, snacking and watching TV. Number two, I was in a really embarrassing all-girl band when I was 14 years old called the Valli Girls. Number three, the first job I ever did in L.A. was That’s So Raven. Number four, I am a little too obsessed with Snapchat filters. Number five, if I wasn’t an actress, I always dreamed of being a journalist. When I was younger, I was a writing intern for US Weekly for a bit.

 

R: Can people hear the music from the all-girl band?

A: HA! I am not going to tell you how but if you dig (I always tell people to please not Google it) it is out there. One of the most embarrassing days of my life was when they had curled my hair for a photo shoot and I looked like a poodle. I still will never live that day down, I went into the bathroom and cried because I thought I looked like a poodle and still have a fear of looking like one today.

 

R: Who has been your biggest influence and why?

A: Most definitely my mom and my grandmother, because they basically raised me. I am so lucky to be raised by amazingly strong women who supported me along my journey. Especially my grandmother, who was in a Japanese-American interment camp when she was sixteen years old, so her teen years were basically spent incarcerated in this camp. She has this strength unlike any woman I have ever met. She never let that define her in a sense. She was my number one advocate besides my mother, always encouraging me to chase my dreams.

 

R: It is not easy being a teenager. What advice would you give them in general?

A: Oh, gosh! The greatest thing I learned and would want to tell my fourteen year old self is to embrace the things that you think are weird about yourself. When you get older, those are going to be the most interesting and fantastic things. When I was younger, I just couldn’t understand why I looked different and couldn’t embrace the fact that I was Asian-American. Now I think it is so cool to be a little different and unique. I grew up with all big brothers and was the one girl without a sister. I felt so insecure about it. But now I love that I have brothers because I have that feisty, take charge of your own life kind of spirit that I learned from them.

 

R: Other that this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

A: You are really stumping me here. I might have to say this question only because I never been stumped so hard where I can’t come up with an answer. So you may have set a new record.

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites​, if so which ones and do you have an official website and/or YouTube?

A: Yes. I am on twitter @allymaki, instagram @allymaki and youtube.com/xoallymaki. I have not posted on YouTube in a while, but I do have some fun stuff up there.

 

R: It there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

A: I would say especially to the girls out there to keep pursuing those big dreams and live large. And also a big thank you to Relate Magazine!

 

R: Thank you so much. It was a honor and you have a great rest of the day.

A: Thank you and you too.

 

Chit Chatting with Actress Brooklyn Robinson

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Brooklyn Robinson is a nine-year-old up and coming actress, who already has one amazing resume. She has made guest appearances on the TV shows Modern Family and People Magazine Investigates, not to mention all of the other shows, along with numerous movies and shorts. She is one of the many talented young actresses that you should keep an eye on. Read on and learn more about this young actress, her upcoming projects, and what five things people may not know about her are. 

 

R: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into acting.

B: Well, I am nine years old and I love swimming and animals. I started acting when I was five years old in a Party City commercial in New York City. I moved to Los Angeles when I was six and have been working ever since!

 

R: Tell us about Pineapple and about your character.

B: Pineapple is a TV show about a coal mining town which threatens to close when something mysterious happens in the mine. My character is Shasta and I am the sheriff’s daughter. Shasta is a lot like myself in real life, as we both love our daddies and can be a bit sassy. Pineapple made its world premiere at Sundance this year.

 

R: You are also in Funny or Die: Big Shorties. Tell us about that and about your character.

B: I love working for Funny or Die. Big Shorties was a fun kid version of the Big Short. I play Marisa Tomei’s character in it.

 

R: Bloody Hands is being released this summer in theaters. Tell us about the movie and about your character Illiana.

B: My character is Illiana.  She is a very emotional character.  She is saved in the movie from being hit by a car.

 

R: You got to work with Orlando Brown on this movie. What was it like working with him?  

B: Working on Bloody Hands was a great experience and working with Orlando Brown was amazing. He is such a great actor and so much fun!

 

R: Can you tell us about any of your other upcoming projects?

B: Next up I’m traveling to NYC for the Tribeca premiere of Pineapple. I have two features that I just wrapped on Escape Room and Blood Runs Thick.

 

R: You got to go to the Sundance film festival. What was that like?

B: Sundance was an amazing experience! Pineapple actually premiered on my birthday at Sundance! It was so snowy and cold and so much fun! We don’t see that much snow in Los Angeles, so it was really pretty. Best of all, I got to see our Pineapple family again at the premiere. I also got to go snow tubing.

 

R: Which actors and actresses would you like to work with in the future?

B: I would love to work with Emma Watson (people always tell me that I look like her), Emily Blunt, and Betty White because she’s an animal lover like me!

 

R: What has been your favorite memory so far?

B: My favorite memory was on location in Coulterville, CA for Pineapple, when I got to hold a chicken in my scene. Another favorite memory was when I was awarded the Young Entertainers Award for leading actress in my film at Universal Studios.

 

R: What are some of your hobbies?

B: I love swimming, animals, going to the zoo, collecting Shopkins, pin trading, and all things Disney!

 

R: What are your future goals?

B: I want to be an amazing actress and a veterinarian.

 

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

B:  I have visited all 50 states.

I have taken an Amtrak train across the country.

I love bubbles! Blowing them and popping them.

I’m really good at tongue twisters.

I’m a Monkey Bar Master!

 

R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

B: They always ask me what is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me…no way am I going to relive that… and absolutely no way I’m going to tell about it!

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their address? Do you have an official website/and or YouTube page?

B: Follow me on Instagram!

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

B: Thank you for being there and inspiring me!

 

R: Brooklyn, thank you for the interview. Have a great day!

B: Thank you sooooo much!

 

Chit Chatting with Actress Nina Lu

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Recently I had the honor of interviewing Bunk’d actress, Nina Lu. This Los Angeles native began acting a few years ago. You can catch her on the TV movie An American Girl Story – Ivy & Julie 1976: A Happy Balance. Read on and learn more about that movie, who she would like to work with, and five things people may not know about her.

R: Tell us about yourself and how you got into acting.

N: It all started a few years back when a lady in the mall came up to me and my sister with a card. She said, “Do you wanna be an actress, sweetie?” and we both said yes. We started to attend an acting school called Barbizon, before getting an agent and a manager who gets me auditions for jobs.

 

R: Tell us about your show Bunk’d and about you character Tiffany.

N: I’m a series regular on the Disney show Bunk’d. It’s a spinoff of Jessie, which I used to love to watch when I was younger. The Ross kids go to a summer camp in Maine that their parents went to, and they end up meeting us!

 

R: What was the audition process like for the show?

N: Auditioning for the part was so much fun, I really felt like I was connected with this character, and when I got a callback I was extremely excited. I ended up getting the part, and basically fulfilled my dream.

 

R: Tell us about your TV movie, An American Girl Story – Ivy & Julie 1976: A Happy Balance and about your character.

N: Working on it was so much fun! I love, love, love the script, and my character. I play Ivy, who is a young Chinese American girl living in San Francisco in 1976. She has to make a tough decision when she finds out their gymnastics meet and her Chinese New Years family dinner is on the same day.

 

R:  If they were to make a movie out of your favorite book, which book would you pick? Which character would you play and who would play opposite you?

N: I would choose the book “Question of Miracles,” by Elana K. Arnold, who is my friend’s mom. I love it, and would love for it to be a movie! I would play Iris, the main character.

 

R: What actors and actresses would you love to work with in the future?

N: Well, I don’t know if you guys have watched this show, but I love Stranger Things and would basically die if I got to work with the kids on the show!

 

R: What are some of your future goals?

N: My future goals are pretty basic for now. I want to go to a good college and study literature and psychology, so I can become a writer and write scripts for shows!

 

R: It is not easy being a teenager. What advice would you give them in general?

N: This is my first year as a teenager, and I’m just gonna say it now: a lot of things are going to happen at once, so you should be brave and have courage, and just power through it.

 

R: Who is your biggest influence and why?

N: I think my biggest influences from my career so far are some of the people on set, like cast members, directors, crew members, and definitely the writers. I think they’ve been through it all, and since I’ve gotten more and more close with them, they’ve become like family.

 

R: I read that you like to sing. Do you have any plans on recording any music?

N: I do like to sing, but I’m nowhere near recording any music or writing any songs. I’m in my school’s choir, and I just started ukulele lessons.

 

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

N: Five things people might not know about me are:

  1. I used to be an ice skater. I was so close to being a figure skater, but I never made it that far.
  2. I never played violin before but I learned the basics for Bunk’d, since my character plays.
  3. I have a little gray cat. His name is Oswin, and he is one year old.
  4. I don’t like mint gum, only fruit gum.
  5. I love Pho!!

 

R: What has been your most “star-struck” moment? Who was it and what happened?

N: I guess my most star-struck moment was my first chemistry read, and Skai was there. I wanted to burst, but I also reminded myself that I needed to act professional and kept it in.

 

R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

N: The strangest question is actually a string of questions I got at an interview. They introduced themselves, and asked, “So what’s your favorite Disney movie?” I said the first thing that came to mind, “Lemonade Mouth!” They continued with “Would you like to sing the last song from the movie for us?” And in my head I heard a record scratching, and my brain just froze, thinking, “Uhhhhh…”

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites?  If so, which ones and what are their addresses?

N: I’m @ninalu on Instagram, @theninalu on Snapchat and Twitter, and Nina Lu on Facebook.

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

N: I would like to say thanks to all my fans for being there and supporting me! I love you all! And thanks for the interview.

 

R: Nina, thank you for the interview.  It was an honor.  Have a great day.

 

Photo credit: Doreen Stone

 

Meet 10-Year-Old Actress Alexa Nisenson

 

Who says you can’t start young? Alexa Nisenson made her feature film debut in Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life when she was only nine years old. Now, you’ll be seeing this talented young actress again in the upcoming comedy Fist Fight, starring Ice Cube and Charlie Day. The movie is set to release February 17, so don’t miss it!

 

R: Tell us a little about yourself.

A: OK, so I am ten years old, but getting closer to eleven (my birthday is in June, so not too far away!). I am an only child and live in LA with my parents and our dog. I am an actress, but I also love to sing and dance! I love hanging out with my friends, being with my family, and spending time at the beach. I know I am young, but I am a total beauty product junkie! I think from being in hair and make-up trailers a lot, I have learned to love beauty products, makeup, and fashion. I want to keep acting, and also one day direct and produce films.

 

R: How long have you been acting? When did you realize it was something you wanted to seriously pursue?

C: I think I have always known in some way that performing was something that was in my blood. People are surprised sometimes to learn that I was, and even still can be at times, a pretty shy person, but somehow, when I was singing or dancing or putting on shows for my family, I felt the most comfortable and happy, and definitely not shy! I didn’t first start auditioning for TV or film until I was eight years old, so it’s pretty new to me. I landed my first job when I was eight on a TV show called Constantine on NBC.

 

R: Tell us about your film debut Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life. 

C: Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life is a movie based on the best-selling book series written by the amazing James Patterson. Middle School is a family movie – it’s really something everyone can enjoy, appreciate, and relate to in some way. I play Georgia, the little sister of Rafe. Rafe is starting middle school. He is a pretty creative and artistic kid who sometimes finds himself in trouble with authority. In the movie, you learn about him and his family and why he struggles with these middle school years. It’s funny, but it’s also emotional – it really is an amazing movie. I worked with some of the most talented, kind, and loving actors in the business. Griffin Gluck and Thomas Barbusca as Rafe and Leo have become like big brothers to me. Lauren Graham plays the mom, Jules, and it was a dream come true working with her. She’s insanely talented and so sweet! Rob Riggle plays Bear and is honestly one of the nicest and funniest guys I have ever met.

 

R: Can you tell us about the movie Fist Fight?

C: Of course! Well, unlike Middle School, Fist Fight is not quite a family film! It is a rated R comedy starring Ice Cube, Charlie Day, Tracy Morgan, and Jillian Bell. I play Ally Campbell, the daughter of Charlie Day’s character. The movie is about two teachers who are very different and end up in an after-school fist fight to settle their differences after one of them gets fired at the hand of the other! It’s a hilarious movie, but it also has some really cool messages about schools, education, and how hard teachers of today have it. Ally, my character, is experiencing some bullying of her own and she and her dad both end up confronting their bullies and making peace!

 

R: What do you like to do besides acting?

C: I love to dance! I used to compete, but I don’t anymore because I chose to really focus on my acting. I loved competing, though, and I’ve had the chance to dance with some amazing dance studios. I also just started taking singing lessons — I love to sing and want to get better at that! I love fashion and makeup, and someday I want to design a line of clothing for girls!

 

R: Where can fans find you on social media?

C: Follow me on Instagram and Twitter. I don’t have Facebook or an official website yet, but hopefully one day soon! I am also on musical.ly at @alexanisenson.

 

R: Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?

C: Yes! Thank you for your support and interest in my journey. I see all your messages and likes and tweets and it means the world to me! I know there are so many amazing and talented people in this world and the fact that you choose to support and follow me is a dream come true. And if I could just say one thing in general – be kind! Kindness is cool and kindness can save a life. Everyone out there is doing their best to do good in this world, and it’s hard as kids growing up with social media, cyber-bullying, and competition everywhere you turn. So let’s raise each other up and offer support to the people around us, because it can really go a long way! Let’s be kind to ourselves and to each other because even though we are young, we have the power to bring positive change to the world!

 

Written by Anna Tallarico

Photo credits: Alexa Nisenson press

 

Chit Chatting with Singer Meredith Puckett

hatRecently, I had the honor of interviewing an amazing up and coming singer, Meredith Puckett.  This 13-year-old started singing at the young age of six, and recently performed at the show Super Kids, showing the world her incredible talent. Read on to learn more about her, her music, and five things people may not know about her.  

R: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got your start in the singing business.

M: I’m thirteen years old, I live in Paris, Texas, and I love cats! When I was six, I started singing and performing in small fair competitions. I eventually started performing at small events including weddings, benefits, and firework shows. At one particular wedding, a friend recorded me and posted it on Facebook, gaining over 20 million views. A producer saw my video, called us, and the next thing I knew we were flying to Nashville to meet him and my current manager.

 

R: How did your parents take it when you said that you wanted to be a singer?

M: They were very supportive and were almost as excited for me as I was.

 

R: What was it like being on Super Kids?

M: It was amazing! Words cannot explain how awesome it felt to be on that stage!

 

R: You have started to write music. Tell us about it and how you come up with the idea for your songs.

M: First, I start with a track of piano, guitar, etc. It only has to be written enough to make melodies. I figure out what topic will sound good with the style of music (it usually depends on what I’m feeling at the moment. If I’m in a really good mood it might be a happy, feel-good kind of song, but if I’m feeling emotional I might start with something that relates to my problems at the moment.), and then start writing a section. Then I add finishing touches to the track, record the demo, and I have a song!

 

R: Where can people get your music?

M: Right now they can check it out on my YouTube and Facebook pages, but hopefully it’ll be on iTunes and other places soon.

 

R: If you could open for any five singers or bands, who would they be and why?

M: Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, Adele, Alessia Cara, and Alicia Keys. These are the singers I most admire, and I love their music. I feel like my style is similar to theirs, and hopefully their fans would be able to relate to my music just like theirs.

merideth_grace_puckett2R: What are some of your favorite songs to belt out in the car or your room?

M: “Rise Up” by Andra Day, and “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston.

 

R: What are your future goals?

M: To continue my journey in the entertainment business, graduate high school as valedictorian, and to eventually become something in the medical field.

 

R: Who is the biggest influence in your life?

M: Probably my mom.

 

R: What has been your favorite memory so far?

M: Performing on Super Kids.

 

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

M: I am obsessed with pomegranates, I really like school, my favorite dessert is creme brûlée, I am a shopaholic, and I am a Christian.

 

R: It is not easy growing up these days. Do you have any advice?

M: Be yourself, no matter what. Don’t worry about what people say behind your back, because there is a reason they are behind you.

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, what are their addresses? What is the address of your YouTube page? Do you have an official website?

M: My Instagram and Twitter are meridethgrace11, my Facebook page is Merideth Grace, and my YouTube is Merideth Grace.

 

R: What is it like communicating with your fans? What is the nicest thing that they have said or done for you?

M: I love talking to my fans and hearing their thoughts on my music! The nicest thing that they have done is probably when they supported me and cheered me on when I decided to pursue my singing career.

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

M: Thank you all so much for everything that you do! You guys are the reason I am where I am today. I love every one of you!

 

R: Merideth, thank you for the interview. It was an honor. Have a great day.

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Picture credits: Mike Pont

Chit Chatting With Kalani Hilliker

hk-picture-1Recently I had the honor of interviewing Kalani Hilliker, a talented young dancer on the hit TV show Dance Moms. Read on to learn more about some of the shows she has danced on, Purple Pixies, and five things you many not know about her.

R: Tell us about yourself and how you got into the entertainment industry.

K: I’m a dancer from Arizona and I have been dancing since I was two.  When I was nine, my friends and I entered a dance competition for the Disney show called Make Your Mark, which we won. The prize was to appear on Shake It Up. From there, I booked Bunheads winter season. I then was on Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition, which eventually lead to Dance Moms thanks to the bond I built with Abby.

 

R: Some people have not heard of Lifetime series Dance Moms. Tell us a little bit about it.

K: Dance Moms is a show about our dance teacher Abby and our moms. We learn a new dance every week and compete at a competition every Saturday. To sum it all up, Abby is crazy, our moms fight, and we just want to dance.

 

R: Tell us about Abby Lee Dance Company’s Junior Elite Competition Team. How long have you been competing?

K: I have been competing since I was six years old in Arizona. I came to the ALDC three years ago and compete with Abby while I’m filming the show.

 

R: How long do you practice dance each day?

K: I usually start dance at 1 pm and end at 9:30 pm when I am home in Arizona, but when I’m filming we start filming at 1-4 pm, then we start classes at 4-9 pm at ALDCLA.

 

R: What was it like being on Shake It Up? Tell us how you got on the show.

K: It was really cool being on Shake It Up because it was one of the first jobs I got. It was extra special because I was with all my friends where we entered a contest and won!

 

R: You were on one season Bunheads. What was it like and is acting something you would like to do more of?

K: Being on Bunheads was a lot of fun. I got to dance and work with some of the teachers that inspire me so much and teach at conventions I attend. It was also amazing to work with Margarite Derricks! The fact that it was ballet made it pretty special. I definitely want to get into acting; it’s something that I have been working very hard on.

 

R: Tell us about your dancewear line for Purple Pixies.

K: My dancewear line with Purple Pixies is called the Kalani Collection. I love everything about this line. I design it all on my own and I even get to pick the fabrics! It’s super comfy and great to dance or work out in.  You can check it out at www.kalanicollection.com

hk-2

R: What are some of your favorite singers and bands you like to dance to?

K: I love to listen to every pop song there is on the radio. My faves would be “Work” by Rhianna, “Hands to Myself” by Selena Gomez, and “Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber.

 

R: What are your future goals?

K: My future goals are to get into acting, but also to continue dancing because it’s my passion and what got me to this point.

 

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

K:

  1. I have two little brothers named Jax and Jett.
  2. I’m from Arizona.
  3. When I was younger I played soccer, softball, and I ice skated.
  4. My favorite TV show is Grey’s Anatomy.
  5. I dance at ALDC when I film only. When I’m home, I dance at Club Dance.

R: It is not easy being a teenager. What advice would you give?

K:  Always be yourself, do what you love to do, and don’t be easily persuaded.

hk-3

R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

K: Is your Dance Mom really your mom?

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and do you have an official website and/or YouTube?

K: @23kalani for Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, and Kalani Hilliker for Facebook.

 

R: Do you have a place where people can write to you?

K:  kalanihdance@gmail.com

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Chit Chatting with Singer Brettyn Rose

brettyn-roseRecently I got to interview 15-year-old singer Brettyn Rose. This Canadian singer-songwriter started when she was only five years old, and now she is about to release her debut album. Read on to learn more about her, her new songs, and her plans for her (very bright) future.

 

R: Tell us about yourself and how you got into the music industry.

B: I am 15 years old and currently in ninth grade, which I do online.  I have loved music since I was little, starting with piano, then vocals and guitar. I also fool around on the ukulele a bit too! I got into the music industry when I meet multi-platinum producer Andrew Lane.

 

R: Tell us about your song “Everything’s Fine.”

B: This is a song to remind people not to let others bring you down. You have nothing to prove and you don’t need to change who you are for someone else–everything will be fine! I know it can be hard sometimes, but it’s something everybody has to remember.

 

R: I loved the video for this song. How did you come up with the idea for it? What was it like filming for it?

B: The concept was a group effort with my manager, the director Nayip Ramos, and myself. We wanted a laid back feel of hanging with your friends and just enjoying who each person is, and accepting them for that.

Filming was so fun. I met some incredible girls, with whom I am still friends with today. That’s one thing I love about this journey – the people I meet. We were on a rooftop in downtown LA, and the view was amazing. The cool little car I got to drive in was all pink and vintage, but super small when you tried to fit the director, the videographer, ALL their gear, and myself into it…squished for sure, but so much fun!

 

R: Do you have any up-and-coming plans to record an album or any more songs?

B: I sure do! I just finished recording the last few songs on my album (all originals) which we are releasing very soon. I have released two singles off this album already — one is “Through My Window” and the other is “Everything’s Fine.” I also have a few covers up on my YouTube as well.

 

R: I read that you write your own music. Is that true? If so, what is your writing process? Do you start with the words?

B: I write and co-write my own. On this album, there is a mix of co-writes with my manger, and some that I have written. My writing process stems from an idea or a line in my head and builds off of that; sometimes it comes more easily than others. I have had to walk away from a song and not touch it for awhile and then come back to it with fresh eyes and mind to look at it differently. I always have my guitar in hand when writing, because I play and write words at the same time. I have never just written the words or the music and then did the other — it is always done together.

 

R: Where can people get your music?

B: You can find them on ITunes, Google Play, and Amazon. All the links are on my website.

 

R: Who would you like to tour with?

B: I guess I would want someone in a similar genre that matches my audience. I think Shawn Mendes, Sabrina Carpenter, or Carly Rae Jepsen would be awesome. Honestly, anybody would be a great opportunity, as I feel I could learn off of anyone, and hopefully contribute to them as well.

 

R: Favorite song you like to belt out in your room?

B: “Hello” by Adele, and “Let It Go” from Frozen are always a favorite in my house. When I am by myself I like a little Ed Sheeran.

 

R: What are your future goals?

B: Musically, I want to continue to grow as a person and as an artist and develop my songwriting skills even more. I want to keep learning and make another album, as well as perform. I truly love being on stage singing. School wise, I want to graduate, and after that I don’t know what. Check in with me in a few years for an update.

 

R: It is not easy being a teenager. What advice would you give them in general?

B: You need to have someone that you can talk to, and people to share in your happiness and sadness. Life can be hard and judgmental and everybody needs somebody.  It doesn’t have to be family either, just someone who is your cheerleader, but who will also give you hug and tell you “Everything’s Fine.” Support is important. Everyone needs support.

 

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

B:

  1. I can’t wink. No seriously, either eye.
  2. I am homeschooled
  3. I love to snowmobile
  4. I am a great baker
  5. I belong to the Youth Singers of Calgary (a show choir)

 

R: Who has been your biggest influence so far?

B: Do I have to just pick one?

Life wise, I would say my mom, because she has been guiding me every step of the way and helping me make some of my music decisions. She always says “this is your gig” and lets me decide what I want and what feels right for me. In regards to music, I have so many wonderful teachers and mentors who push me to be better.  As an artist, I would have to say Ed Sheeran tops my list. His songwriting is what pulls me in. I love his songwriting (who doesn’t really…right?).

 

R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have been asked?

B: Actually I don’t think I have one.

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites? Which ones are they? Do you have an official website/YouTube?

B:

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Snapchat: brettyn_rose

My website is: brettynrose.com

And all my videos are on YouTube

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your readers?

B: I hope people enjoy my music. I just want my songs to make people feel something in that moment, or take note of what they are thinking when they hear a certain lyric and can relate it to them. We are all connected on different levels. It makes me happy to think that when you listen to my music, we share a moment.

 

R: Brettyn, thank you for the interview. Have a great day.

B: Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, and have a wonderful day!

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Chit Chatting with Actress Kara Royster

picture-1Recently, I had the honor of interviewing actress and rising star Kara Royster.  Read on about this 22-year-old and find out five things people may not know about her, the oddest question she has been asked, and all about her upcoming roles.

R: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into acting.

K: I have wanted to be an actress since I was five years old. Growing up in South Florida, I attended Bak Middle School of the Arts and Dreyfoos High School for the Arts, majoring in theater at both. Then when I was 15, my family decided it was time to move to Los Angeles, where I attended the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. The rest is history!

 

R: You play Yvonne in Pretty Little Liars. Tell us a little bit about the show and about your character.   

K: Pretty Little Liars is an amazing show on Freeform about four friends: Spencer, Hanna, Aria, and Emily. The girls are trying to navigate the dangers of an anonymous threat called “A” after the death of their friend Alison. The seventh season takes place after a five-year time jump. I play Yvonne, a politician’s daughter and the new girlfriend of Toby, who was once in a relationship with Spencer.

 

R: You are guest starting on “K.C. Undercover” with Zendaya.  Tell us about the show and about your character Abby.

K: “K.C. Undercover” is an action-packed show on Disney. It follows the adventures of a normal girl, K.C. Cooper, whose life changes when her parents, Craig and Kira, tell her she’s in a family of spies along with her younger siblings, Ernie and Judy. She must learn how to juggle her undercover missions with high school life, along with the help of her best friend Marisa. I play Abby Martin, K.C.’s long lost cousin. At first I appear to be just a sweet and sincere new member of the family, but it is later revealed that I am a spy for the other side along with my mother and father.

 

R: How did you find out about the role of Abby? What was the audition process like?

K: The audition process for Abby was a lot of fun because I had to play both the good and the bad side of Abby. It was almost like creating two completely different, polar opposite people, which was challenging but so much fun.

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R: What is it like working with Zendaya and the rest of the cast?

K: Zendaya and the entire cast and crew of “K.C. Undercover” are so incredible! We are truly a family and we have such a blast working together. They were so welcoming to me, and I couldn’t be more thankful. Watching Zendaya as a young person be the lead and the producer of the show is very inspiring.

 

R: Tell us about your up and coming movie Mono.

K: Mono is the hilarious coming-of-age story where all the “A Listers” of a high school contract mono. Three outcasts, Wyatt, J.P., and Ivan, hatch a plan to be the new head clique. I play Christina Madison, the mean-spirited “Queen Bee” of the school. I had so much fun filming this movie!

 

R: I read that you are in the TV movie Before You Say I Do. Is that true? If so, can you tell us a little bit about it?

K: Yes, I had a great time filming this as well! This movie looks at the love stories of multiple characters, who are all working together at a publishing company. I play Whitney, the unrequited love of Connor. With some coaching from his friend Hannah, who is played by Jasmin Savoy Brown (who happens to be on one of my favorite shows, “The Leftovers”), Connor is able to convince me to go on a date.

 

R: Regarding scripts, do you remember the whole script at one time or do they let you just memorize the part you will film that day?

K: I like to be very familiar with the whole script as soon as possible, and then focus on what I need to do for the day. Some parts are easier than others, so it all depends.

 

R: If you could remake any movie, what movie would it be? Who would you play?

K: I’d remake The Mask, because it’s such a hilarious movie! I would love to play the part of Tina, Cameron Diaz’s character.

 

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

K: 1. I’m a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. 2. I can solve a Rubik’s cube very quickly. 3. I’m obsessed with Alice In Wonderland. 4. I have two tattoos: One of the constellation of Libra behind my ear, and one on the back of my neck of Roman numeral III with a heart. 5. I am very afraid of clowns.

 

R: It’s not easy being a teenager. What advice would you give?

K: Just remember that you are not a finished product, you have to be open to growing and learning. Also, don’t be so hard on yourself–it will all work out.

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R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

K: Someone once asked me if I was a fan of Beyoncé and I thought that was just such a silly question. Of course I am! (laughs)

 

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites, and if so, which ones and what are their addresses?  Do you have an official website and/or YouTube page?Do you have a physical address if your fans want to send you mail?

K: I am @kararoyster on Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.

R: Kara, thank you for the interview. Have a great day.

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Picture credits: Wes Klain

Interview with Singer Amanda Jones

amanda1Recently I had the honor of interviewing singer-songwriter Amanda Jones. I came across this talented performer while looking for new music, and I fell in love with her song “Brand New Day.” Read on to learn more about her, who she would like to tour with, her upcoming gig opening up for Cimorelli, and five things people may not know about her.

 

 

R: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into music.

A: I’m a 21-year-old pop singer and songwriter from Portland, Oregon. I started writing poetry in first grade, and presenting my work at poetry readings. The movie Annie turned me from reading my poems to singing them. Now my family can’t get me to be quiet! My official start in the music industry was opening for the Disney band R5 for a tour date when I was 17. It was a great experience, which definitely opened doors for me!

 

R: Tell us about your EP.

A: It’s a 3 song EP, which kind of covers all the bases for songs I wanted to include: a heartbreak song, a song about loss, and an upbeat feel-good pop song.

 

R: Tell us about your song “Brand New Day.”

A: The song sends the message of when you feel like things aren’t working out for you, it’s a brand new day and things will turn around for the better!

 

R: Tell us about your song “Wait for Me Tonight.”

A: “Wait for Me Tonight” is a heartbreak song, and I think you can really feel the pain in the song and video. It’s about a relationship basically falling apart, and it’s something that a lot of people have been able to relate to so far.

 

R: What are some of your up and coming projects?

A: I’m shooting lots of new music videos this summer, and focusing on growing my content on YouTube. I’m also hoping to release a new song this fall and go on tour.

 

R: Where can people get your music?

A: My music is available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify–you name it, and you can probably find my songs there!

amanda2R: Who are some of the singers and/or bands that you have opened up for or toured with?  Who are five singers and bands that you would like to tour with?

A: Opening for Cimorelli this past October was an awesome experience. They are so nice and hold the same standards that I do, which was cool to see. We also have the same target audience, so it was a perfect fit for me to open the show. I’ve also loved opening for R5, Megan, Liz, and Joe Brooks, to name a few. I would love to do a full tour with Cimorelli someday, and Carly Rae Jepsen or Heffron Drive. Any of those would be incredible!

 

R: You were in Goldcrown Magazine.  What was that like?

A: It was a really cool feature, and I was so stoked about it! Megan Nicole was the cover star, and I was featured alongside her and Haley Reinhart from American Idol. It turned out really well and I’m excited by the response I’ve been receiving!

 

R: What are five of your favorite songs that you like to belt out in the car or bedroom?

A: “Chelsea” by the Summer Set, “Love Drunk” by Boys Like Girls, “Roman Holiday” by Halsey, “Right Girl” by The Maine, and “S.O.S.” by the Jonas Brothers.

 

R: What was the first band or singer that you saw in concert? Who do you want to see in concert?

A: The first concert I ever went to was the High School Musical live tour! I went through a really strong High School Musical phase, so that was one of the coolest experiences for me, even though I had to use binoculars to see the stage!

I’ve been to so many concerts, and even though I have seen them before, I would love to see the Jonas Brothers do a reunion tour someday.

 

R: Do you have any hobbies?

A: I’m big into makeup! I’m all about finding a new eyeshadow look or trying out a new contouring technique.

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R: What are five things people may not know about you?

A: I love thrifting and creating unique outfits, I take my vitamins every day, I am a terrible runner, I used to have a diet coke addiction (but I don’t drink soda at all now), and I am obsessed with lipstick.

 

R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

A: (laughs) I haven’t been asked too many crazy questions before, so this one wins!

 

R: What advice would you give girls these days?

A: Stay true to yourself, and love who you are. Flaws make us beautiful and I embrace mine everyday.

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses?  Do you have an official website and/or YouTube page? Is there a physical address that your fans can write to you?

A: I don’t have a mailing address yet, but here are all my socials and websites:

Twitter

Instagram

YouTube

Facebook

Official Website

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

A: Thank you so much for supporting me on my musical journey! I’m so thankful to have you guys by my side.

 

R: Amanda, thank you for the interview. Have a great day.

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Picture credits: Milan Cook

Interviewing Singer Bella Paige

kids-karaoke-competitionRecently, I had the honor of interviewing Bella Paige, a fourteen year old Australian singer who won the Kids Karaoke Competition when she was only nine. Read on to learn about her, her single “My Girls,” and five things people may not know about her.

R:  Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into singing.

B: I am a 14 year old singer from Melbourne, Australia. I started singing around the age of 3. I was inspired to sing by my older sister, Brigitte Chantel, who also sings. I am currently taking lessons with my coach and mentor, David Jaanz. From a very young age, I knew that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

 

R: You won a kid’s karaoke contest at the age of 9. What was that like and do you remember what song you sang?

B: Yes, I won the Kids Karaoke Competition. It was hosted by Mornings on Channel 9, with judges David Campbell, Sonia Kruger and Dicko. I sang “And I Am Telling You” which is featured in one of my favorite movies, Dream Girls. The song is sung by Jennifer Hudson, who plays Effie. It was such a cool experience being on national television for the very first time at such a young age. I was flown to Sydney and won two tickets to see Delta Goodrem live in concert.

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R: What was it like being on The Voice Kids?

B: My experience on the The Voice Kids Australia was one of the best and most amazing times of my life. I was the first kid to ever audition on the show. All four coaches turned their chairs for me at the Blind Audition and I had to make the difficult decision of choosing a coach, as they are all amazing artists. The coaches, Delta Goodrem, the Madden Brothers, and Mel B, were all very encouraging and gave me incredible comments. In the end, I chose Team Madden to take me through my journey on the show. Joel and Benji were extremely supportive and I am so grateful to have met and worked with them both. The whole journey was an amazing experience and I enjoyed every moment of it. Making it to the Grand Finale was a huge highlight for me – I was so excited to perform and be one of the last three standing. My time on The Voice Kids led to another incredible event for me, where I was chosen to represent Australia in Bulgaria for the first time ever in Junior Eurovision Song Contest history. I was blessed to have written, recorded, and released my very first single, “My Girls,” and perform it on a global stage.

 

R: Tell our readers about your song “My Girls.”

B: “My Girls” is an uplifting and empowering pop anthem that carries an inspiring message for young girls. It’s all about girl power, believing in yourself, and knowing that you are beautiful. No matter what ups and downs we go through, it is important to stay strong, support each other, dream big, and know you can achieve your goals and dreams.

 

R: Where can people get your music?

B: My single is available on iTunes worldwide. You can also access my music on all of my socials and keep up with my latest performances and videos.

junior-eurovision-song-contestR: What singers and bands do you listen to? What is your favorite song by each one?

B: I listen to so many artists and songs, but my favorite artists would have to be Beyoncé, Rihanna, Jessie J, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, Prince, and Michael Jackson. They are all AMAZING performers and people. My favorite songs from each artist are “Pretty Hurts,” “Love On The Brain,” “Who You Are,” “Bound To You,” “I Can’t Let Go,” “Purple Rain,” and “She’s Out Of My Life.”

R: If you could tour with anyone in the world, who would it be?

B: If I could tour with anyone in the world, it would be Beyoncé. I have seen her in concert many times and she truly is one of the best performers in the world. It would be a dream come true.

 

R:  Who has been your biggest influence?

B: My biggest influence is my family, who support and encourage me with all that I do. My older sister, Brigitte, is my biggest inspiration. She is also an amazing singer who I watched sing and perform on stage as a little girl. My brother Michael is another inspiration of mine, who plays in the Youth League for Melbourne City Football Club. They both come to every performance of mine, cheering me on from the crowd . My mum is the most amazing mum I could ever ask for. She encourages me to dream big, believe in myself, and reach for the stars. She drives and travels with me to my gigs and events, does my hair and makeup, and helps me with fashion. I love my family so much.

 

R: What are your future goals?

B: I want to continue with singing and music, touring in stadiums all around the world and releasing studio albums. Music is and always will be my number one passion in life and I don’t want to do anything else.

 

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

B: Five things that people may not know about me…

  1. I won two gold medals and a silver medal in a national Taekwondo tournament.
  2. I have a pet dog called Roxy and our birthdays are four days apart!
  3. My favorite card game is UNO.
  4. I do all styles of dance but my absolute favorite style is hip-hop.
  5. My favorite ice cream flavor is cookies and cream.

 

R:  It is not easy being a teen. What advice would you give them?

B: My advice would be to keep positive and always be true to YOU! Be strong, stay passionate about what you love, and follow your dreams, no matter how big!

 

R:  Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

B: I haven’t been asked many strange questions, but fans once asked me to autograph their arm and iPhone/iPad covers! I thought it was strange at the time but I also saw it as a compliment!

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites?  If so, which ones and what are their addresses?  Do you have an official website and/or a YouTube page?  What about a physical address where your fans can send you mail?

B: Yes I am! Please follow me on:

Facebook – Bella Paige Music

Instagram – bellapaigeofficial

Twitter – @bellapaigemusic

Snapchat – bellapaigemusic

YouTube – Bella Paige

iTunes – Bella Paige

Enquiries – bellapaigemusic@gmail.com

my-girlsR:  What is it like being able to interact with your fans? What is the nicest thing a fan has said or done for you?

B: It’s amazing to be able to interact with my fans all around the world through social media. It connects us in ways that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to. It’s so touching when fans express how much they love my music and singing, or when I find out I’ve inspired them to sing or follow their own dreams. I love reading all my messages and seeing all the incredible drawings that fans have taken the time to draw of me!

R:  Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

B: I would just like to say a HUGE thank you to all my fans for believing in me and following me on my journey. All your love and support means everything to me – I am even more inspired to write my own music and share it with you all. I am excited about writing songs and recording in the studio. Hopefully, one day I will be able to tour and visit many countries around the world and meet you all. I am forever grateful, honored and humbled by all my beautiful fans and loved ones.

 

R: Bella, thank you for the interview. Have a great day.

B: Thank you so much!

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Picture credits: Brigitte Chantel, Channel 9, Elena Volotova & Vladimir Dudakliev, Universal Music Australia