We met actress Laura Marano Who stars as Ally on the Disney TV show "Austin & Ally," when she visited the Disney offices in Manhattan recently.
What is your favorite part of "Austin & Ally"?
Just hanging out with everyone in the cast and the crew, the producers, our writers, the Disney execs that come. Everybody is like super fun. We have instruments on our sets. So we play instruments and hang out with everybody.
What is your favorite sport?
Soccer. I am a soccer fan. Who plays soccer? So I play soccer. I'm not that good, but I play it, and I love it. My dad's really good, though.
In real life, do you really have stage fright?
I actually don't have stage fright in real life. I definitely get nervous sometimes. Everybody gets nervous, and [I'm] too old to get nervous. There have been times where, have you ever been up to do a presentation in school, and you're shaking, your heart is beating? I've kind of gotten used to it and realize it's OK to be nervous, feel those emotions. Yeah, my hands are shaking, I'm going to rock it. That's cool. Just go for it.
Are you and Austin really that close?
Ross [Lynch, who plays Austin] and I, we literally hang out 24/7 because he goes to school and I go to school. But 24/7, everybody else in the cast -- the whole cast -- is really close, and the whole crew is really close. We were going to watch movies, we had three movies up, and we didn't even finish the first movie. It was because we talked so much.
Do you watch yourself on TV?
Yes, I do. Because I feel sometimes, people get like when they see themselves on TV, 'Oh, I don't want to watch myself.' But what you have to realize is you can't just make it about yourself; you're not just watching yourself, you're watching everybody's hard work come together because we have the lights crew who like put light on our faces, which is really important -- then you wouldn't be able to see us. And then we have the camera crew that is equally important.
What kind of chores do you do at home?
Here's the deal. I do, but I don't get paid for it. I don't get an allowance or anything.
How do you like being on TV?
It's definitely fun. But again, it's a lot of work. We work super hard, and I actually also go to regular school, too. So when I'm not memorizing lines, I'm doing homework. It's really fun, and everyone in the crew and cast are awesome. So that makes it really fun.
Are you and your fellow actors friends on the outside?
Oh, yeah, definitely. We hang out all the time. It's pretty ridiculous. We're really good friends.
How old are you on the show, and how old are you in real life?
I think I'm actually playing my age. I think I'm supposed to be 16 on the show. I don't think there's a specific age. I'm going to assume it's 16, and I'm 16 in real life. And Ross is 16 in real life, too.
What was your first acting job?
I got my first commercial when I was 5, maybe 6. It was a JC Penney commercial. I was 5 or 6; I was the most hyper kid you ever met. I don't even want to talk about it. If I meet people from the JC Penney commercial, it's probably going to be really embarrassing. I was just so hyper. A kid pretended to be my brother in the commercial; afterward, he was scared of me. He was a lot older than me.
How do you like your part on the show?
I think Ally and I are so similar. I think Ally might be cooler than me, to be honest. Ally works in a music store, and that's really awesome. Obviously I don't have stage fright, she does. But I'm so awkward. I don't think you understand I'm really, really awkward, and Ally's pretty awkward. We're both goody-two-shoes. I need teachers and people who are charged to like me, and I need to follow rules, and if I don't, I feel not good. So I always try to follow rules and different things. I like to think I'm a better dancer than Ally, because Ally needs help in that department.
How long do you rehearse for each episode?
Mondays we have a table read. We have the script and perform in front of the network. And then the network makes their notes and usually the notes will kind of take over, so the script might maybe changed. Tuesdays we don't really do that much practicing. . . . Ross and I go to school or something. Tuesday we have a different script. It's the same script, but like different. So then we rehearse and we have to finish the whole thing so we could do it in front of the executive producers. So the executive producers make their notes and then on Wednesday again kind of a different script. We rehearse the changes and we do it in front of the network, then they make their notes and then Thursday it's kind of a different script. That's when we shoot. It's like similar enough where we kind of remember the staging and everything, but sometimes things get completely changed so we have to completely reblock them again, which is crazy. And then things will happen like when we had the kangaroo episode, so don't tell the kangaroo this, he kind of needs to work on his acting skills, doesn't hit his marks and that could be really difficult. The episode was super fun to shoot, but it took, one of the scenes literally took three hours. It was crazy. But then Thursdays are our pre-shoot days and then Friday we shoot in front of a live audience and then we have the weekend, and we sleep and I do homework.