ALLISYN ASHLEY ARM TAKES ON SONNY WITH A CHANCE! (By: Bessie Sorge) Young Allisyn Ashley Arm got her start in Hollywood by taking acting classes with Lynn Marx, participating in theatre productions and doing a bunch of student films. The first acting job she booked was for a Bounty commercial that never aired. “I remember how excited I was like when I booked my first commercial,” Allisyn recalls. The fact that her first commercial never aired didn’t stop this driven starlet from pursuing her dream, she immediately started landing guest starring roles on popular television series such as “Strong Medicine,” “Friends,” and “Judging Amy,” and in films like “Man of the House” and “King of California” with Twilight’s Ashley Greene.
So, what advice would Allisyn give to those wanting to break into the business? “If you’re looking for experience, you should do stuff like school plays and different theatre productions in your area,” Allisyn tells us about getting her start in Hollywood. “It gives you good experience.” Now at the tender age of thirteen and with twenty television and film credits already under her belt, Allisyn can be seen weekly on The Disney Channel starring in her very first television sitcom, “Sonny With A Chance.”
Allisyn took a break from a recent visit to Disneyland to talk to us about her role on The Disney Channel’s hit new television series “Sonny With A Chance,” which she stars opposite Demi Lovato.
What is your dream role?
My dream role would definitely be Zora. She’s definitely so quirky and a fun character to play. Her hair styles are great and her clothes are awesome. To play somebody that’s not yourself is really fun.
What was it about the script that originally drew you to the show to audition for it?
It was a cute show and I love how it was (written), like the skits and everything. I loved the idea of having like a sketch comedy show. I thought that was so cool because I love watching Saturday Night Live skits and stuff on YouTube.
You write your own skits too, right?
Yeah, I love writing my skits, and we film it with my friends and then we put them up on YouTube.
Did you meet the cast before the production began?
It was originally called Sketch Pad, and when I first booked the show I met everybody, and that was before Demi's career took off and everything. Everybody was just normal. It was really cool because after we did the pilot we waited about a year and a half before we actually did the first episode of "Sonny With A Chance." So many things in the script had changed and we all looked older; I was like three inches taller. It was really cool. It was almost like a big family reunion.
Were the cast characters the same names in the original?
No, actually instead of Sonny her name was Jenny.
What was Zora’s name?
Well, I was still Zora. What was cool is instead of the whole Chad Dylan Cooper thing, the show was actually called "Tawny and Friends," and Tawny was the main character of that show. Sonny was coming from Wisconsin to Hollywood to be a part of the show and Sterling, instead of playing Chad Dylan Cooper, he played this guy named Stuart, and he was on Tawny and Friends.
What is Demi Lovato like in person?
Demi is super sweet. She is so talented and so funny. I love working with her. I love working with all the cast members. Everybody is so nice. It’s like one big family. It’s like I have a whole bunch of big brothers and sisters.
You basically got to see her career evolve from the beginning.
Yeah, because after we did the pilot, her album came out and she did "Camp Rock" and everything. All of a sudden we started seeing her face on t-shirts, and then when we got back together it was awesome.
Tell us a little bit about your character, Zora, on the show. Zora is this quirky little character who lives in the vent system and she’s a very strange person, like you don’t meet everyday. It is so fun to play her because (of) the quirky little things that she comes up with. It's just such a fun character. Basically, when Sonny comes from Wisconsin to Hollywood to be a part of "So Random," Zora is one of the cast members of "So Random" who befriends Sonny.
Now your character has a lot of fun outfits on the show; do you have a favorite one that she’s worn on the show?
I love the outfits that we get to wear in the sketches; those are really cool. I love the bee costume, and there’s also that monkey costume from the Wizard of Oz which is really, really cool. It was really hot though. I can’t imagine how hot Doug was; he was sweating like crazy. But, I think my favorite, favorite costume from any of the sketches was the static-electro one, the super hero.
In what ways, if any, do you relate to Zora?
Well, I would have to say that when I’m with my friends and nobody’s around, I definitely act a lot like Zora; we both love rubber chickens, we both like hiding in strange places, we both love telling you jokes and putting on skits and everything. I just think she such a cool character to play and I’m a lot like her in a lot of ways.
The show is taped in front of a live audience, do you feel that helps enhance the acting; does it help bring the characters out?
Yeah, performing in front of a live audience gives us like this energy boost and we always get so pumped before we go on. It's so nice to have a big crowd of people who laugh at your jokes, because when you’re just filming without the live audience - there’s the writers and staff who have heard the jokes many times before - you don’t get as big of a laugh. So when you have the laughter of the audience, it reassures you that you’re actually funny.
Does anybody pull any pranks on set?
Oh, yeah, we have a lot of pranks on set. We have this one thing called Ortho and it’s this vampire pillow dummy that gets passed around. We hide it in each other’s dressing room, and after you get scared by him you sign him. After it went over to all of our dressing rooms we put him in the offices upstairs for the execs and everybody, and it even ended up in the writer’s bathroom at some point. It was really funny, and everybody signed it too.
Who is the ultimate prankster on set?
Well, I’m the one who created Ortho. I also have this clown mask that we use to scare each other behind the scenes. We’ve also got this thing going on where in the prop house set, all the cast members have a different color gumball and we all hide gumballs all over the prop house. If you’re watching an episode of "Sonny With A Chance," look in the prop house and you can find gumballs everywhere. If you see a blue gumball, that’s mine.
What color gumball is everyone?
I’m not exactly sure who is who, but I know that Doug’s gumballs are red and Tiffany’s are the pink ones. I’m pretty sure that it’s either the guy who plays Marshall or Brandon that has the white gumball. I’m blue.
What is the hangout spot on set?
Well, Doug's dressing room was turned over into gaming central. He had his Wii in there. We would always go in there and play Rock Band, Guitar Hero and everything. He had all these different games and stuff in there, and his wall is decorated with all these KungFu Panda posters. It was really cool in there.
If you want to learn more about Allisyn Ashley Arm then head on over to her official website. Tune in every week to the Disney Channel and catch Allisyn and Demi Lovato on “Sonny With A Chance.” Visit the official Disney Channel website to find out local listings for your area.
Comment by Anonymous on 2009-10-01 11:12:21 you rock
on 2009-12-29 07:54:41 she is so cute.
on 2010-04-07 02:36:54 shi is so cute and sweety i lik it
on 2010-01-06 18:55:58 I just wish I can Meet you
Comment by Anonymous on 2011-09-20 16:38:09 hi zorae and my best freind loves your show. me and her loves your charater
on 2011-09-20 16:40:11 me and my bff loves your show and your character.
Comment by Allisyn Fan on 2010-10-09 08:12:54 She is my favorite actor! she is so sweet and funny! I hope I can meet her
on 2011-07-04 14:37:19 Hi im kayla im 12 years old and i love your character in so random! and that would be so cool if i could meet you i would be so happy you are my favorite character in so random!
on 2010-12-21 06:35:27 She is so cute i wish i can go to America and meet her
love you Allisyn Ashley Arm
on 2011-07-17 13:56:27 hi im katherine im 12 and i think that ur awesome i like ur character on sonny with a chance expecially cuz shes just like me