[TV & MUSIC] Lalaine from Lizzie McGuire
Birthday: June 3, 1987
Currently Resides: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Internationally known as the charismatic and outspoken teen "Miranda
Sanchez" on the hit Disney Channel series, LIZZIE MCGUIRE, the
actress/singer-songwriter/dancer, simply known as LALAINE, is paving
her way to superstardom.
Recently named one of Teen People's "20 Teens Who Will Change The
World," Lalaine has been carving a reputation in the entertainment
world for more than six years, and although she is still only 16,
she has accomplished more than most twice her age.
Lalaine got the performing "bug" at the early age of two. Inspired
by her older sister, Cristina, who became a professional singer and
landed a lead in Ms. Saigon in 1996, Lalaine was determined to
follow in her sibling's footsteps. Says Lalaine, "I wanted the
attention that she was getting from the family, and I looked up to
her - so I would begin to sing at family parties. I had no shame, I
liked it when everyone's eyes were on me!" She adds, "My sister knew
I wanted to take singing lessons, and offered to pay for them. She
has truly been my #1 idol."
Lalaine scored quickly on her first audition, when she was chosen
for Tom Petty's music video for his single, "Walls". "Tom was so
cool, he was hilarious," says Lalaine. She adds, "he made up a song
for me 'Lalaine, Lalaine from Spain in the Rain' what a great first
Several months later, Lalaine auditioned and landed a role onstage
for the Broadway production of Les Miserables playing the part
of "Little Cosette." At the time, she was only 10.
Touring nationwide for almost a year with Les Miserables, Lalaine
spent most of her time with three other child actors in the play and
they had opportunities to experience things that most kids their age
aren't exposed to - which included creating their own charity
events. "Every night we had a show, but we loved to squeeze in time
for charity work," says Lalaine. "We would visit sick kids in
hospitals in each city -- and even created a book of poems that we
wrote. We sold it to the cast, crew and their families, and then
donated the money from it to children's hospitals in the area."
These philanthropic acts would eventually inspire Lalaine to
continue her charity work through to the present.
When Lalaine decided to take a break from Les Miserables on the
road, she quickly landed a role in the Disney movie, Annie, playing
a part of one of the key orphans. "It was a blast. I got to work
with Kathy Bates, Audra McDonald from Ragtime, and the original
Annie from Broadway, Andrea McArdle. What a learning experience."
After Annie, Lalaine appeared in a string of national commercials
for Barbie, Burger King, Quaker Oats and even Microsoft, to name a
few. It was during this time, that she played Elizabeth Pena's
daughter in the NBC television movie, Borderline.
Then came Lizzie McGuire.
"Disney was having a hard time finding someone for the part of
Lizzie's best friend, 'Miranda Sanchez', so when I went in for the
part, everyone else had already been in place," says Lalaine. "I
went in for what I thought was a call-back, as we were all doing a
table reading, and then thought 'wow, this is weird I think I
actually have the part right now!'" She did.
Lalaine's role as Miranda on the series has given her "cult status"
in the teen world. She receives thousands of fan letters a week, and
is known as one of the role models of her generation. Her official
website www.lalaine.net currently averages 5,000,000 hits per month,
and she is recognized by kids and teens everywhere she goes. "I even
have adult fans! One time this couple came up to me and told me they
loved the show, and what a great influence the Lizzie McGuire show
was on kids these days," recalls Lalaine. "Turns out, they didn't
even have any children themselves!"
Acting had now taken on a huge role in Lalaine's career, filming
shows five days a week for Disney, but her true love of singing was
finally coming to the forefront. She performed a song on an episode
of the show, and the producers then offered her to record the title
track for the Disney Channel original movie You Wish, in which she
had a starring role. Thus began Lalaine's recording career. "You
Wish" became a huge hit on Radio Disney, and was in rotation for
more than six months.
Radio Disney then asked her to headline a tour, which gave her the
chance to perform live for her fans. "It was great because I'd see a
lot of the same people travel from show to show, and they did it,
simply because they were such huge fans."
Lalaine then appeared at Toopalooza, the kid version of Lalapalooza,
in which she performed with such teen pop stars as Mandy Moore,
Aaron Carter, Jessica Simpson and Nick Cannon, among others.
And teen stars aren't the only ones Lalaine "hob nobs" with - she
has performed with Meatloaf, golfed with Dennis Quaid and Bill
Murray, and even Ronald McDonald at the Ronald McDonald camp, that
is. Because Lalaine is such a huge supporter of charity events, she
has been able to work with these Hollywood superstars. However,
Lalaine also participates in her own charity work strictly on her
"I visit hospitals all the time - spontaneously. Not for a 'Disney
Day', not as 'Miranda Sanchez', just as myself," says Lalaine. "I
like to show up at hospitals and visit sick kids without them
knowing I'm coming, so that it's a special surprise." She
adds, "They get so excited, and even get up out of bed. I'm probably
making them feel good, but they also make me feel good."
Lalaine's reputation for helping others has also translated into
health and kids. The California youth program, Power Play, has asked
Lalaine to be their current spokesperson (Shaquille O'Neal was their
previous spokesperson), which encourages kids to eat five fruits and
vegetables each day, and get active for 60 minutes a day. Arnold
Schwarzenegger was originally chosen for the current campaign, but
could not participate when he decided to campaign for governor, so
Power Play quickly jumped on securing Lalaine, someone who could
relate directly to their audience. An active teen herself (she plays
basketball, football, ice-skating, skiing, golfing, horseback
riding, swimming, bowling, and of course dances), Lalaine can be
seen and heard on Power Play's television and radio PSAs for the
next two years, in both English and Spanish.
So what is Lalaine up to next? Aside from Power Play, appearing on
the LIZZIE MCGUIRE SHOW for the next two years and recently guest-
starring on two episodes of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER?
Lalaine is embarking on a recording career. Her second single, "If
You Wanna Rock", was featured in the new Disney Channel film, Pixel
Perfect, and is also on the soundtrack, in stores nationwide. She is
currently in the studio recording songs for her debut album, and is
working with the best of the best - Billy Burnette (Fleetwood Mac),
Robin Lerner (Faith Hill, This Kiss), Tommy Lee James (Brooks &
Dunn, Reba McIntire), Meredith Brooks, and Brian Rollins (Enrique
Iglesias and Britney Spears). Recording in Nashville, Los Angeles
and even in London, Lalaine's upcoming CD will be released later
Lalaine is one accomplished teen, and really sees herself as a
person who believes in pursuing dreams - hers being that one day she
will be successful enough - "rich and famous" as she terms it - to
be like her heroes Bono and Angelina Jolie, who utilize their
celebrity status for charity work.
Right now, Lalaine is leveraging her celebrity status to send a
positive message to teens her age: "Whatever you want to do, go for
it," says Lalaine. She adds, "What's going to stop you? Only
yourself. If you have a dream, and you're having fun, that's the key
thing. But if you're not having fun, what's the point?"
The point is Lalaine is having fun and she's having a lot of it.