Teen star Alyson Stoner currently lights up the big screen in the hit Step Up 3D. The 17-year-old and her mother LuAnne, are teaming up with Crest and Oral-B Pro-Health FOR ME collection to help promote good oral health for kids aged 8 and up. The mother-daughter duo opened up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about entering showbiz at an early age, the benefits of healthy living and what’s up next in Alyson’s up-and-coming career.
Questions for Alyson’s Mom, LuAnne:
CBS: Alyson started performing at the age of three. Was she showing talent at a young age?
LuAnne: “Both Alyson and my older daughter Correy began training in dance when they turned 3. Signs of strong stage presence in both were identified by outside influences who suggested we pursue bigger opportunities in the entertainment world. I do remember Alyson’s pre-3 school teacher calling me in to tell me about how she would dress up in their little class and stand on a wooden box and sing for the other kids. She used to carry around a little boombox at home too and now and then stop, put it down and start dancing.”
CBS: Did you encourage Alyson to pursue a career in the entertainment industry? Or would you say that Alyson had a passion to enter the business at a very young age?
LuAnne: “We did not encourage Alyson’s participation in the entertainment industry until we had given her the opportunity to try it out for several months by auditioning for various projects – acting, singing and dancing and expressing her strong desire to keep going. It was after she began booking projects that we talked more seriously about supporting this endeavor and also how it would impact the entire family should we choose to do so.
[Once] she showed the enthusiasm to pursue it herself, we did jump on-board and provided as much opportunity as you would to your son or daughter who play soccer and need to get to training camps and games. We always told her to keep up with her sports and friends and never feel like she had to stick with auditioning just because she had started it. But here we are – she’s still pursing her dreams and still playing sports (laughs).”
CBS: Are you worried about Alyson being in the entertainment industry? So many child stars face a dangerous path in their young adulthood. How are you encouraging Alyson to stay on the right path?
LuAnne: “I truly am one of the most fortunate parents with a child so focused and determined to follow the pure path in this industry. Yes it can be challenging to these child stars but it doesn’t have to be if you keep a normal schedule at home.
We have always encouraged good healthy habits, including oral care, good nutrition to keep up their stamina and have expressed to all of our kids that in anything thing you do, work hard. Focus on the work ethic so it carries through in anything you do whether it’s ultimately in the sports world, academic world or corporate world.”
CBS: What is your best advice for parents who want their children to enter the entertainment industry?
LuAnne: “The first thing anyone should do is check how it affects the entire family. Put everyone at the top of the list and see what the conditions will do to them each personally. In our case, my older daughter was a dancer and loved the idea of moving to LA where she could get more and more of that. My middle daughter played a lot of sports and in California some sports are year-round which was a positive for her.
Plus, check your financial situation because there’s more that goes out the door than comes in for a long time while auditioning, etc. And also so very important, are you doing it for the right reason; i.e., does your child have a passion for it? If not, stay home!”
CBS: What are some of the ways you and Alyson are encouraging kids and their parents to live a healthy and active lifestyle?
LuAnne: “As a mom, I know how important it is to build a strong and healthy foundation during these crucial adolescent years, which is why I make sure Alyson has the right tools from everything to her nutrition, fitness and even her oral health.
Not only is oral health an important piece of an overall healthy lifestyle, but it plays a role in self-esteem. For example, kids who experience oral hygiene problems may feel embarrassed or experience a lack of self confidence. That is why I strive to teach Alyson good oral health habits, so she can feel healthy and confident in her smile, and I’ve partnered with Crest & Oral-B Pro-Health FOR ME to help other families feel healthy and confident, too. Alyson has always been a proponent of healthy living since she was quite young so adding in the oral care just brings one more level of fitness to her life.”
Questions for Alyson:
CBS: You currently star in Camp Rock: The Final Jam and Step Up 3D and you starred in Cheaper By The Dozen. Also, you’ve been a backup dancer for Eminem, Missy Eliot, Outkast and Will Smith. Not to mention, you are currently promoting your own dance instructional/music video, The Alyson Stoner Project. Please tell us what it’s like to have such a busy career at the tender age of 16?
Alyson: “Thank you for the great introduction. It’s a blessing and privilege to be able to share my gift with the rest of the world. I aim to use whatever platform and position I’m given to inspire, ignite hope, and help others unlock their own potential.”
CBS: You began your career in dance at the age of three. At the age of six you took modeling classes. Do you feel like you’ve lost out on a ‘normal’ childhood since you’ve been working for so long?
Alyson: “I’m grateful to have a supportive family, who keeps me grounded, treats me as I am (the baby sister), and helps me find the balance of work life and rest. I attended regular schools up until high school. Although I won’t have a standard prom, I’m honored to say that my first slow dance was on a world tour with the Jonas Brothers.”
CBS: How are you safeguarding yourself from the ‘curse’ of child actors? Why do you think so many child stars lose their way?
Alyson: “I focus on remembering who I am and what I stand for each day. I lead a normal, quiet life, and treat my work as simply a great day at the office. My parents have raised me with patience and wisdom, and they always remind me that the most important thing is not to be famous or successful, but to make each moment significant. My gifts aren’t for me; they’re to serve and positively impact others.”
CBS: Do you go to regular school, or do you have a tutor? If you have a tutor, please let us know if you miss going to school with kids your age.
Alyson: “Education is a major priority. I’m forever a ‘student’ — I finished high school at fourteen, and graduated as valedictorian at sixteen. Now I surround myself with other materials so I can continue learning, though I’m no longer in a standard classroom environment.”
CBS: Tell us some of the ways you are encouraging kids to live a healthy and active lifestyle.
Alyson: “The best way to reach my peers is to ‘walk the walk’ myself. In order for us to be healthy and effective at school, at work, on-stage, or even just running to the grocery store, we need to make wise decisions and take proper care of ourselves.
A great place to start is with our oral health. Recently, I partnered with Crest & Oral-B, to engage, motivate and inspire other kids to take better care of their oral health, and learn strategies to live an overall healthier lifestyle. Even though my schedule can be busy at times, I always find time to take care of my teeth. With the new Crest & Oral-B Pro-Health FOR ME collection, I actually like using the products, which makes my mom really happy, too!”
CBS: What’s up next for you?
Alyson: “Step Up 3D recently hit theaters, and Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam airs on Disney Channel September 3rd. My new single, Make History, is playing on Radio Disney right now, and I’m performing it, as well as other songs, on tour with the Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato and cast of Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam.
Phineas and Ferb, an animated series on Disney Channel (I play Isabella), has been secured for a movie! And, lastly, my other music should be released in the near future. Keep an eye out! You can stay updated by following me on Twitter.”