Stefanie Van Aken at RockStarMomLV, and her daughter, Stella, had the opportunity to interview Ysa Penarejo who plays Toulane Thomas in the new American Girl Movie, McKenna Shoots for the Stars. If the little girl in your life is an American Girl doll fan, she is sure to love McKenna and Toulane prepare to compete in their life long dream of securing a spot on the competition gymnastic team. Parents are sure to love seeing their own favorite actors from their youth like Ian Ziering and USA Olympic medalist, Cathy Rigby, rock the big screen. Learn more about Ysa from Stefanie and Stella on RockStarMomLV.
RSMLV: In the movie, Toulane seems to struggle a bit between working hard as a gymnist and having a good time. As a hard working and aspiring actress, do you ever find your life a direct parallel to Toulane?
YP: Yes. I am very passionate about being an actress and a singer. I love what I do, and that’s who I want to be. But sometimes I am too hard on myself, and have to remind myself to just do my best and have fun with it.
RSMLV: In order to shoot for the stars, you must have goals. Are you a goal setter? Do you have any big goals?
YP: Yes! I’m going into the 7th grade, so I have to set goals to stay on track. My big goal is to become a famous actor just like Brad Pitt.
RSMLV: Working hard like that, you are bound to have a rough day every once in a while. What do you do to clear your mind after a long day and re-inspire yourself to keep going?
YP: When I have a rough day, I just think about my mom telling me to always do your best. I also like to go to my room, turn on Pandora and listen to jazz music. It relaxes me.
RSMLV: What advice would you give to the young girls who want to do exactly what you are doing?
YP: Always be prepared. Always do your best. Forget about the audition. Know that there is always work out there. And, never take it personally.
Smart girl! Stella got to run the fun side of the interview by asking Ysa the following:
What is your favorite color?
What is your favorite fashion style?
Ysa: I love the edgy, fun style of Willow Smith and Katy Perry.
Who are your favorite music artists?
Ysa: One Direction, Katy Perry, Big Time Rush, Beyonce and Justin Bieber
What is your favorite song?
Ysa: “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen
What is your favorite food?
Ysa: Mac-n-Cheese, Grilled Cheese…I don’t know, that’s a tough question; I like everything!
Do you ever get stage fright?
Ysa: Yes, I do. I’m always nervous that I’m going to mess up or forget something, but I close my eyes, take a deep breath and think, “there’s not really that many people out there,”. I try to remember not to be so hard on myself.
Who is your role model?
Ysa: Katy Perry
Do you have any American Girl dolls?
Ysa: Yes! I have 4: I have my Just Like Me doll, Julie, Ivy and McKenna.
Ysa was so sweet to allow Stella to ask her so many questions, and she was really engaging. Our final question to Ysa was about hearing her new single, “Like Not Love,” play on the radio. When it does, we wanted to know what she will do.
“When I hear my song play on the radio for the first time, I will scream! I will scream and jump up and down! I will be so amazed!”
Some Fun Facts about Ysa:
- Ysa has a brand new single out in iTunes right now called, ”Like Not Love“
- You can find her and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (ysapenarejo)
- She is also running a really great contest on her Facebook page for a signed McKenna Shoots for the Stars Blu-Ray/DVD pack and a free download of her new single “Like Not Love”. Just follow her on Twitter and tell Ysa how you achieve your goals or “Shoot for the Stars” on her Facebook wall to enter.
Be sure to catch the American Girl movie, McKenna Shoots for the Stars, tonight (July 14, 2012) on your local NBC station, 8/7 central. If you miss tonight’s show, the Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack is available at Wal-Mart and also on Pay Per View.
A special thank you to Ysa who graciously took the time to speak with Stella and answer all of her questions.