A Hollywood Do-Gooder Who Knows the Importance of Giving Back
Laura Marano stars in one of Disney Channel’s most popular shows, Austin & Ally. This Los Angeles born-and-raised sweetheart is as down-to-earth as it gets. She will openly admit she’s a total nerd, loves corny jokes, is very clumsy and “quirky”, and is passionate about helping others. Just like her character “Ally,” Laura is someone we can all relate to because she’s very approachable and likeable. And as you’ll see, Laura loves being a do-gooder; she’s an amazing role model for girls.
- An Excerpt from Laura Marano’s Exclusive Interview with BYOU Magazine:
Tell us about your character “Ally” and how you got a lead role in one of Disney Channel’s top shows?
Laura: I auditioned for a bunch of Disney things over the years but always got more movie or TV projects. My friends didn’t believe I was really an actress because I was in movies that were like psychological thrillers and nothing kids could really watch. But in 5th grade, I became one of the original fifth graders on Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? My friends could then see I was actually an actress! When I read the script for Ally, my mom and I thought, “This is literally me!” She’s so similar to me: I’m a songwriter (I’ve been writing songs for as long as I can remember), I play the piano, and I love music is much as she does. I also love school and am an avid rule follower. I’m even extremely quirky and sometimes clumsy like Ally. The only thing that wasn’t me is she’s kind of a shy person—but that’s where the acting comes in! I had never felt so right for a role before and really, really wanted it. I practiced my lines so much. At the screen test, Ross and Raini were there reading for their characters, too, and it turned out there were two girls reading for the role of Ally. I waited the longest two days of my life, but when I found out I got the part, I was so happy! And now three years later, I’m even happier. It’s been such an amazing experience. I love music and acting, and I get to do both on a show! What makes it even better is I’m so happy to be working with the people I’m working with. We all clicked from the first week and have become like family.
It’s obviously a perfect fit for you! But if you weren’t an actress/singer, what would you do?
Laura: I would be a teacher. Both my parents are teachers and I’ve always admired teachers. I love the idea of helping others find ways to learn. I would teach literature, I love it so much. Or history. Quite honestly, I love all the subjects. I’m such a nerd!
Nerds rock! What makes you a nerd?
Laura: The fact that I love to bring up school every few seconds. I think because I’m a professional entertainer it’s made me love school more and made me more of a nerd. I go to regular school when I’m not on set, and when I’m there I want to spend as much time as possible listening to the teacher and doing my school work. I love learning. Not everyone has the opportunity to learn in this world, unfortunately, and I think it’s something we should embrace when given the opportunity. It’s really cool to learn! I also love really obnoxiously pun-y jokes. They are the funniest things ever in the entire universe. I laugh so hard when people do a play on words. It’s absolutely hilarious!
You’ll be graduating from high school soon. Do you have plans to go on to college?
Laura: Yes, 100%. It’s an experience I want to have. I think I’ll study political science because I find it super interesting. When I was younger, I wanted to be a politician. I’m not sure if I want to do that now, but I think it would help me with the philanthropic work I do that’s become such a big part of my life. So much of the charity and humanitarian work goes to different countries, and studying political science will give me a lot of knowledge about how different governments work. I think the more knowledge you have, the better you can do all these things.
Doing charity work is very important to you, which is the reason we love having you as our cover story for our “Do-Gooder” issue. Please share with our readers some of the charity work you’ve been involved with.
Laura: Charity work has become an important part of my life and I want to do as much of it as I possibly can. This past year, I was the 2013 Trick-or-Treat For UNICEF Ambassador and continue to work with them now. UNICEF is an incredible organization that helps less fortunate kids in other countries who don’t have things like running water or enough food. I’m also involved with a really cool campaign with the Humane Society called Meatless Mondays, encouraging people to go one day a week without meat. Not only is it healthy, but being an avid supporter of helping animals and our environment, I love that fact that is saves millions of animals and helps our environment in a big way. If everyone in the U.S. participated in Meatless Mondays, the pollution emitted by factory farms would be reduced as much as the equivalent of 500,000 less cars on the road! I’ve also worked with Global Green to bring awareness about the environment, the Book-By-Book Campaign to provide books to low-income kids in their homes and schools, and the TJ Martell Foundation to help raise money for cancer and leukemia research. I volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club near my home to help kids with homework (although having me there can be more of a distraction!). I try to help out as much as possible. I’ve found out that once you start helping, it opens the space to want to do more. There are so many places in the world that need us and it feels really good to help.
Laura Marano’s “How To Be A Do-Gooder” Tips:
- Take ten minutes to look online and find a cause that is meaningful to you.
- Find ways to volunteer for the organization (if it’s not a charity that requires physical work, you can start putting on fundraisers).
- Grab a friend to join you! You will have loads of fun, get to know your friend more, and feel great helping out!
- Bring awareness to your cause! Use social media or just talk in person about it!
Laura Marano News
Laura is quickly making the transition from actor to singer! The former Austin & Ally star, already has a couple singles that are gaining momentum. Her newest single, La La, was written and recorded in 4 hours! When writing and recording the song Laura wanted a song that said something and is “happy and fun.” She shares with Fuse, “It’s so much better to love yourself, than let other people’s criticisms tear you down.” We couldn’t agree with you more, Laura!
Laura’s new album will be released later this year! She’s keep the name of the album, and other featured artists a secret for now, but keep an eye out for the big debut soon!
Digital (PDF) versions of Laura’s issue are available for $2.99 (Order a digital copy here!) Download Laura’s issue when you install the free BYOU Magazine app available on iTunes, Android, & Amazon!
Want more EXCLUSIVE stuff from our featured celebs? Visit our CELEBRITY PAGE!