Laura Marano of Austin & Ally is gearing up to celebrate her first solo performance on her hit Disney show -- after years of letting Ross Lynch take the spotlight! We chatted up the charming starlet about everything from singing solo to songwriting to, well, falling down a lot. Check it out -- and be sure to catch Laura's solo performance this Sunday, June 23, at 8 PM on the Disney Channel!
Are you as introverted as your character Ally is in real life?
I'm definitely more outgoing than Ally! But I definitely the same amount of awkwardness. But I think what's so great about Ally is that she has this awesome character arc, she started the first season super shy, and now she has her first solo performance, and she's just growing and coming into her own. She's learning and becoming who she is.
Have you had any super awkward moments on set?
Everyday! That's my life! I think that's why we're all just so close -- we know each other so well, the wonderful cast and crew I work with know the awkwardness I deal with. They call me "Grace" on set because that's ironic -- I'm always falling down or knocking into things. I'm not graceful at all! When we were working on the Jessie crossover, I was super clumsy, even more than usual. On one of the first days we were working together, we were filming a scene in the Jessie movie theater, I was sitting in the chair and Ally was supposed to be scared -- so I pulled my legs up like I was scared, and I made the chair flip over! And instead of helping me up, they all laughed. I'm not proud of this! I picture Ally just as clumsy as I am. Ally herself -- her personality and her qurikiness haven't changed, but she's become more confident.
You're prepping for your first solo performance ever on Austin & Ally. Were you nervous to sing without Ross Lynch?
A little bit of both. A reason for my nervousness is not just because it's my first performance, but I also had the opportunity to co-write the song, so I'm nervous about people loving it!
Have you dabbled in songwriting?
I've been writing since I was five or six. IT's crazy because Ally's a songwriter, I'm a songwriter -- what's happening? I'm pretty stoked!
Does having the rest of the cast around make you more or less nervous when you perform?
I'd be less nervous because you have three amazing people with you, but when I was doing the [solo] song, it was so awesome because the cast were so supportive and the whole crew was really supportive -- I felt like I was performing in front of my family. And you know, 100 other extras who I didn't know, but still!
How did you prepare for your solo performance?
I've been taking vocal lessons for quite a while now, but I've been powering through them to really make the recording sound great. That week I did dance -- we had a choreographer to help me feel out the stage. His name's Chris Scott, he's so sweet it's ridiculous! He's really embodying his inner teenage girl when he was showing me what to do, which was hilarious. It was a little nervewracking because I don't consider myself a dancer! But I felt really comfortable onstage when I was done.
Will you sing more solos in the future?
I don't wanna give anything away but maybe later in the season you may see another one. Maybe! That might happen in the future!
How do you deal with stage fright?
I definitely don't have the kind of stage fright that Ally had, but I think as a performer, you always get nervous. I think it actually makes the performance better. We do lots of takes, and I'm always like, "One more take! One more take!" I have so much fun with it.
How about when you're singing solo in front of a crowd?
When I'm singing in front of an audience, when I was little, I'd never look at the audience, I'd just look towards the exit sign, or in the corner -- I'd never actually make eye contact with people because that made me more nervous. But sometimes it does help you make a connection to look someone in the eyes.
And one more, Laura! Do you have a go-to song that you sing in the shower?
I have so many, it changes all the time! But "Hit Me Baby One More Time" is my jam!