On this episode of Let’s Be Real, host Sammy Jaye sits down with her friend Laura Marano, an actress, producer, and singer who’s been acting since she was five years old. Her first gig was a JC Penney commercial, she tells Sammy, but since then she’s been in Disney Channel’s Austin & Ally, starred in The Perfect Date on Netflix, and produced and starred in the drama Saving Zoe. She also recently released an EP of her original music, titled Me, and between all that, when she can find the time, she’s pursuing a degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Law. Sammy talks with her about her career, her biggest inspirations, her favorite rom-coms, pink hair, MySpace, flip phones, and much more.
Since she’s a child star, her career has already spanned over a decade, but “I also feel like I’m just getting started, because I’m only in my twenties,” she says. Sammy asks her about Austin & Ally, and she remembers the nail-biting anxiety of the audition process and all the fun they had filming the pilot. She says when the show was picked up, her mother came to her biology class “with a balloon and a milkshake” to give her the good news. She was in school while they shot the show, so “it was hectic and a lot, but so worth it,” she says. Old habits die hard: while she was filming The Perfect Date, she was enrolled in her college courses; her teachers had to FaceTime her into class. It’s just part-time, though, so “I’m not going to graduate until I’m, like, 37 years old,” she laughs.
Her recent project Saving Zoe, which Laura produced with her mother and her sister, deals with an incredibly serious and sensitive topic: sex trafficking. Laura felt compelled to do the story because 75% of victims are trafficked online, “which is incredibly scary, and nobody is talking about it.” It was originally a book that took place mostly on MySpace, “which is kind of funny now,” she allows, so they had to adapt some aspects. Sammy says she admires Laura for managing her own career and doing so much with it, from movies to music to producing. What advice does she have for others? “Don’t be scared to take risks...Take big leaps and fall on your face, because that’s part of life,” she says. “Failure is integral to success.”
Hear more about Laura’s career, why she still carries a flip phone (“Fans are very annoyed by it,” she admits), what’s in store for her follow-up EP, and more on this episode of Let’s Be Real.
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