Tuesday, October 18, 2011

First News Interviews Nickelodeon And "Victorious" Stars Victoria Justice And Ariana Grande

From First News, the award-winning newspaper for kids:
First News interviews Nickelodeon's Victoria Justice

This year has been very busy for Victoria Justice, so when we got a chance to catch up with her, First News had lots of questions ready…

You sing, dance and act, but are you similar in any other ways to your character in Victorious?

Yes, she is very loyal to the friends she has and has made. She would do anything to help them out in mostly any situation. I’m kind of like that too. I feel like I am a very loyal friend and very trustworthy, so I think we’re very similar in that respect.

The show is very musical – did you have any professional training?

No, when I first moved to Los Angeles, I moved there from Hollywood in Florida, which is where I am from. I was enrolled in this performing arts middle school and it’s a pretty prestigious school here as they only accept a small amount of the people who audition. I was very lucky to be accepted and I had dancing, acting and singing every day for an hour, so I got a lot of experience and training there.

Which do you prefer?

It’s such a hard question because I really love something about each. I love acting, I really love being able to play different characters and there’s something really gratifying about being in a scene and absolutely knowing you’ve given it your all. But singing and performing is really exciting and it’s kind of new to me as well because I haven’t been doing it all that long.

Do you remember your first public performance?

I’ve done small performances ever since I was little. I took tap classes and ballet classes, and was in a little theatre programme too when I was younger. So I was always in dance recitals and things, and I love it!

Would you like to release an album in the future?

Yes, 100%. I have a record deal with Sony alongside my show, so after the first season of filming I got to write with a bunch of amazing producers. I wrote over 20 songs and absolutely fell in love with songwriting. I was a little nervous to do it at first, but as soon as I started doing it and spent hours and hours in the studio every day, I just fell in love with it and time would fly by.

Are you nervous about performing on your own?

I am a little nervous because I’ve never really done anything like that by myself, but I am also really excited. I think it’s going to be an amazing experience and I think I am probably going to get really addicted to it and want to do it all the time.

Are any of the songs going on the show?

Yes, one of the songs I wrote last summer is in one of the episodes. We just filmed it and I do a performance to it in the rain. It’s going to be a really cool episode. It was really exciting, I was really proud of the song and I liked it, so when they listened to it and said they wanted to put it in the show I was really excited.

What is it like being a part of Victorious?

It’s just a really fun environment. I love comedy, I love getting to do little bits of physical comedy and stuff. We have to do some crazy stuff on the show and wear weird costumes in weird situations and that is so much fun.

Is there one scene you’ve filmed that has been your favourite?

There has been a lot of stuff. One episode we had to dress in a different food costume. That was pretty funny. It’s always different from being out in the rain in freezing cold weather to getting very messy. I had to wear a zombie mask for an entire episode once, which was interesting. There’s always new stuff, which makes it exciting every week.

Do you like getting dressed up for big awards ceremonies?

Oh yes! I mean, I love getting to pick out an outfit and doing that whole thing. I can’t wait to pick out a dress and get my hair and make-up done. It’s going to be really fun this year, I can’t wait for it.

What else is happening for you this year?

We just wrapped season two so I’m going to get a bit of a break, although I’m not sure how long for. I really want to start doing films this year. I’ll also be working on music a lot so I’ll be writing music, recording tracks and working hard on the Victorious soundtrack to make sure that goes well. Then after that it will be focusing on my solo stuff.

iParty is available to watch on Nickelodeon on Friday 7 October at 6pm

First News interviews Victorious star Ariana Grande

This week, for the very first time, the cast from the hit show iCarly meets the cast from the all-singing and all-dancing Victorious for a one-off TV special. We caught up with Victorious star Ariana Grande to find out more about iParty with Victorious.

Tell us a bit about iParty with Victorious!

Well, it is very exciting because of both the iCarly and Victorious cast coming together but, also, because it was a really fun time. We had to shoot it in a period of three weeks and it was really fun. I loved the iCarly kids before. I was already really good friends with Jeannette and Miranda and I love Jerry Trainor so much. So, just getting to spend all that time together in a big group was amazing. It was the most fun I’ve had in my whole life.

What was it like blending the two Nick shows?

It wasn’t difficult blending the shows. It was difficult paying attention to anything! Everyone was so funny. I had never worked with Jerry Trainor before and just watching him work was so much fun. I was, like, how are they doing it? How are they possibly staying in character? He is, actually, the funniest person I have ever encountered in my entire life.

What is Cat’s role in the show?

Cat has lost her voice in the show, kind of like I have today, although hers is a bit more severe. She has vocal nodules in the show and she uses a head band with a speaker on it to talk and an iPhone app to say everything she wants to say. It’s pretty funny. It was certainly a very different way to act.

You’ve played Cat since Victorious started – how has she changed?

In season two, which you guys have now, she is a little bit different but I still think Cat is always the same at heart. I think the beautiful thing about Cat is she doesn’t judge anyone and she is not afraid of being judged. She’s just very optimistic and childlike and I love playing that. I love playing her because I get to feel free. It’s like my escape playing her.

What elements of yourself do you put into Cat?

Whenever I am at the Nickelodeon studios I am pretty much always Cat. I always try to stay in the realm of Cat. I usually try to honour that I’m kind of outgoing and fun and whenever I am about to play Cat or film anything I try to act like her, but a little bit like myself as well.

What advice would you give to kids who want to be an actor?

I would say to not be discouraged by any of the bad feedback you may get from casting directors or anyone. There are such silly reasons why you won’t get cast for roles. I mean, if you audition for something and don’t get the part, the worst thing you could do is take it personally or give up on yourself. There was a role I went for that was a cartoon and they said the character needs to have a voice like Christina Aguilera and has red hair and is funny and silly, and I didn’t get it because I was too short or something silly like that. Often it’s the most ridiculous thing in the world and you can’t take it too seriously. That’s the best thing I have learned. I used to get a little upset and take it personally, but you just can’t.

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