Actress Allisyn Ashley Arm

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Allisyn Ashley Arm is best known for her role as Zora Lancaster on Disney Channel's hit sketch comedy, So Random! She portrays many well-loved sketch characters, such as Sally Jensen: Kid Lawyer, Janice (Janice's Back-up Singers), Tantrum Girl and Beauty (The Real Princess' of New Jersey). I was recently given the opportunity to interview this up and coming comedienne for Teen Ink.

Rachel- Tell us a little about yourself.

Allisyn Ashley Arm- Well, I’ve been acting for about 11 years, and I’m currently working on Disney’s So Random!

I love acting. I love writing and directing. I definitely love the movie business. I’m a very artsy person. I love doing a lot of artwork, too. I’m pretty quirky and a little bit introverted sometimes.

I have a very dark sense of humor! {laughs}

RH- How did you first become interested in acting?

AAA- My parents used to take me to see a lot of plays, and they saw that I loved the theater and I had an interest in it. So they started taking me to an acting class where one of the teachers asked to be my manager.

RH- What was the audition process for Sonny With a Chance like?

AAA- There was quite a few auditions for Sonny With a Chance. It got a little bit nerve-racking at some point, ‘cause you never knew which one was gonna be the last one. But I was pretty confident through the whole process and it was fun to finally figure out that I booked the role at the end.

RH- What was your reaction when you found out you got the role?

AAA- I was thrilled! Zora was my dream role! [She] just seemed like such a fun character and, of course, I love Disney and the Disney Channel, so it was great to come on to work on Sonny With a Chance.

I remember calling up all my friends and telling them that I booked the role!

RH- Zora, especially in the first season, spent a lot of time in the studio’s air ducts; what was it like filming in those?

AAA- That was awesome! They weren’t really a vent system; it was like a little cubby hole. I was always the kind of kid who loved forts and loved hiding in small spaces, and so that was awesome for me!

[The vent] had a little mat down so it was comfortable. I would always bring Sharpies up there, so in between takes, I would color all over the walls! I would draw little pictures and so it was like totally graffitied up there!

RH- What was your favorite character on Sonny?

AAA- My favorite character on Sonny…

Well, I loved the fun guest stars that we would have occasionally, like Murphy the security guard and, of course, Marshall, our producer.

Also, my friend, Billy Unger, who’s now working on Lab Rats! He guest-starred one week as Zora’s love interest.

RH- Is there a possibility that Marshall may be popping in sometime on So Random?

AAA- That would be awesome! You know, I love Michael [Kostroff]! He’s really cool! I would love for him to come back on So Random!

RH- What was your favorite part about working with Demi?

AAA- Demi was such a sweetheart! [For] the first season, we were both in the schoolroom together and we would do art together. She kinda had my same sense of dark humor. She thought I was hilarious! She’s such a creative person and it was awesome to bounce off of that.

RH- What was your reaction when you found out she was leaving?

AAA- Well, of course, we all had mixed emotions:

We were really upset that she was leaving because we all loved working with her. She’s such an amazingly talented person.

But we were also glad that Disney was letting us stick it out with the show and continue on with So Random. They had a lot of confidence in us.

We were happy for Demi that she was taking out some time for herself and getting healthy. But we, of course, will always miss her.

RH- Which plot do you prefer: the show-within-a-show with Sonny With a Chance, or the sketch comedy, So Random?

AAA- I love both! Both were such great experiences and I don’t think I can choose between [the two] because they were both such big parts of my life.

I’m definitely having a great time here on So Random! with the sketch comedy, ‘cause sketch comedy was always one of my favorite parts about Sonny With a Chance.

I miss the sarcophagus and some of my quirky hiding places, though!

RH- What’s the biggest difference between filming the two?

AAA- It’s a pretty big difference!

On Sonny With a Chance, you kinda knew everything about your character, you knew what you were going to be doing the next week; it was all pretty straightforward. Every week was pretty similar.

But now, on So Random, you get your script for the next week, and you could be a ninja, a bird, Katy Perry; you could be doing German accents, or British or Southern. You really don’t know what you’re doing! Every night, they’re changing the script until film day. They continuously [make] changes to the script and you’ve got to be prepared for anything! So, it’s a lot more of a challenge in that way.

RH- Who’s your favorite sketch character to play?

AAA- Ooh. That’s such a tough one! I love every, single one of my sketch characters!

But I might have to go with Tantrum Girl because she runs through walls all the time! Either [her] or my character, Janice, the nerdy one; she was a blast to play because they totally let me have fun with that one.

RH- Have you ever based a sketch character off of a real person?

AAA- Well, besides when we’re imitating celebrities (like how I did the Katy Perry one), I sometimes base [them] off of my favorite characters from different shows. Actually, specifically, Janice I kind of based her voice off of Chucky from Rugrats.

RH- If you could have anyone guest star on So Random, who would it be and why?

AAA- Ah, that’s kind of a difficult question! I would love anybody from SNL to come on our show because we’re kind of like a mini-version of SNL. I’d probably say, maybe, Tina Fey or I would also love Jim Carrey to be on our show! He’s definitely one of my inspirations! He was kind of my role model and he was the one that I based most of my Zora off of.

RH- Describe a typical day on set.

AAA- Like I said, everyday on So Random is different.

Basically, you come into your dressing room to find some wacky costume there. Then you go through hair and makeup, you’re puttin’ on wigs and everything. Then you go out there and you just try to make everybody laugh and be as funny as you can be. Some days you’ll be running through walls, some days you’ll be doing your own stunts. Then the live audience comes in and you just try your hardest to make them laugh. Then we have musical guests and it turns into like a party and a concert.

It’s always such a blast on set!

RH- What’s it like working with Sterling Knight?

AAA- Sterling’s great! He’s so funny! It’s awesome having him around. His sense of humor is great. And, of course, he’s always been kinda like one of my big brothers on set. I love all my cast mates!

RH- What’s the funniest, non-scripted thing that’s happened on set?

AAA- Ooh. {laughs} That’s really difficult! There’s so many non-scripted things going on on our set! The directors have really had fun with us this season! Sometimes, at the end of a scene, they don’t yell “cut;” they just let us keep on going.

But I think the funniest thing was Shayne Topp’s character, Mr. Goodman, he was throwing things through windows and then he skated out of the room on his wheelie shoes. Then he threw one of the things back through the window and that wasn’t scripted at all! We were all surprised when he started throwing more stuff.

RH- What can fans expect on upcoming episodes?

AAA- You can definitely expect more laughs and just more wacky and wild sketches!

RH- Are there any other projects that you’re currently working on?

AAA- Well, So Random is my main focus right now, but I’m also working on another Disney animated show called Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

RH- What advice do you have for aspiring actors?

AAA- A lot of kids come up to me and they ask, “How do I make a lot of money? How do I become famous?” And I say, “Well, that’s not really what acting’s all about. You gotta act because you love to entertain people, you love to be a goofball and you love to have fun!” So, that’s definitely where my heart is.

If you wanna be an actor, I’d definitely say get involved in local theater or school plays; anything you can put on a resume’ helps. And if you want it badly enough and that’s really where your heart is, then you’re definitely going to succeed.





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