Celebrity Chat, with Stacey J Aswad

I recently had the opportunity to communicate with Stacey J Aswad.  If, for some strange reason, you don’t know the name, her picture should ring a bell.  Any Walt Disney World resort guest who has turned on their television during their stay, has likely seen her.  She has been “the face of Disney” since 2005, hosting the Top 7 Must Sees for five years before switching to Must Do Disney, which has been running since 2009.  Aside from working for the Disney company, Stacey is a voice-over actress, film actress, television personality, and four two years, the co-host of the VO Buzz Weekly, a show that features voice-over actors sharing stories, tips, insights and techniques about the business they’re in.
There are many more things that could be said about such a talented woman, but I’ll let you go to the source for her complete biography (at the end of this post).
(picture available on her website)
On with the questions!
When you were a child, did you ever think you might be where you are today?
I don’t know that I imagined I would be doing exactly what I am but I always knew that I would be performing in some form or fashion. It’s in my blood, I can’t not do it.
Did you ever go to Disneyland or Walt Disney World as a child?
No, I didn’t go to either until I landed the hosting gig at WDW.
Who influenced you the most as a student in high school or while attending Juilliard?
Outside of my incredibly supportive family, I was very fortunate to have amazing dance teachers in the professional ballet company I was in during high school and especially those I had at Juilliard. They all taught me so much about dance of course and also nurtured me as a performing artist and creative soul. They saw things in me that at the time I didn’t completely comprehend but now I realize they were spot on. I have mad respect and appreciation for great teachers!
Are you currently working on any Disney projects?
I am still the host of Walt Disney World’s Must Do Disney TV show. It is one of my favorite projects of my career.
Can you tell us a little bit about VO Buzz Weekly?
VO Buzz Weekly is created, produced and hosted by me and Chuck Duran, one of the voice over industry’s most respected demo producers. The show premiered in January 2012 and is being watched in more than 85 countries. We both work in the voice over world and wanted to “put a face to the voice” of all the super talented men and women who work in the industry, both in the spotlight and behind the scenes. As much as it’s a video podcast celebrating the voice over business, it’s also an entertaining, inspiring and informative show that uncovers behaviors and actions of successful people, which is universal whether or not you’re in this particular industry. It’s free to watch, 24/7 you just need to subscribe with an email and password at www.VOBuzzWeekly.com
Do people recognize you when you go out? Or at the parks?
Sometimes they do when I’m out, strangely when I’m at the grocery store and at auditions. When I’m at WDW, there is a whole crew around me so it’s pretty obvious.
Do you have a favorite movie?  Musical group?
I’m so bad at the “favorite” questions because I like lots of different movies and styles of music, it really just depends on my mood. At this moment these come to mind, classics like Mary Poppins, all the Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers movies (and movie musicals in general), Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Steel Magnolias. I really like rock music groups and 80’s music like Journey, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Heart. I like Bruno Mars, Adele and classical music and opera is awesome too!  I don’t watch horror or violent movies.
When you’re not shooting for Family Game Night, working with VO Buzz Weekly, etc, what do you do in your free time?
I run around a lot for work, so I really love being home with my animals and I’m a pretty great cook and baker too. I’m known for having friends over for a gourmet dinner and the attire is pajamas or something similar. Even though life gets busy, I really try be in nature everyday so I go for 3-4 miles hikes. I usually go just after sunrise when it’s still a little chilly outside. I like to workout with weights, do yoga and lots of stretching, knitting, reading, golf, writing in my journal and doing crafty stuff.
Do you still skate?
Unfortunately, I don’t compete in artistic roller skating right now, too busy but you never know, I could always take it up again down the road. I went out on a high note with my 5th win at Nationals and if I get the chance to skate for fun I always do some of my old tricks. I got to wear my skates at the Staples Center when I was the game host for the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks team for two seasons, that was a blast and a half!
Could you teach a 6’10” person to look graceful on a dance floor?
I have been told I could teach a brick to dance, not saying this person is a brick, but you get my drift. I guess that means I have some skills and lots of patience.
If you were a sandwich, what kind would it be?
I would say grilled cheese and tomato on rye with a little dijon mustard or an avocado, lettuce, tomato and cucumber on grainy wheat bread or baguette, always with some sort of fabulous mustard, sorry mayo.
Is there a question you’d absolutely love to answer that no one’s ever asked before?
A little Stacey trivia: I can touch my tongue to my nose and eat an entire watermelon myself. These things don’t usually happen at the same time! :-)))
(picture available on her website)
For more info about Stacey…
Personal website: www.staceyjaswad.com
Twitter: @staceyjaswad
Facebook public figure: StaceyJAswadHost
VO Buzz Weekly: www.vobuzzweekly.com/

Frozen: the Sing-A-Long

(image courtesy of Disney pictures)

   As you have probably heard, a new, sing-a-long version of Frozen has been released this weekend.  If you’re like me (maybe you don’t want to admit this out loud…), you may be thinking ‘this sounds really cool, but should I really go?’ or ‘They liked the movie when they saw it last month, but should I take my kids?’.  Well, I was able to chat with 20 year old Ashley Hawara (@disneylandlove), who just saw this movie yesterday.

   When talking about the atmosphere of the movie theater, Ashley had this to say: “There were mostly kids with parents, but there were also a lot of teenagers.  Everyone was loud, and I mean EVERYONE… It was amazing.  Parents joined too, which made me happy.  However, not only were they singing, they were reciting lines along with the characters.”

   In the sing-a-long version of the film, the lyrics to the songs are projected on the screen so that audience members can follow along, but Ashley made it sound like that might not have even been necessary.  She guessed that there were “many people who had seen the movie at least three times before this showing.”  Frozen’s soundtrack sales actually rose 7% this week, returning it to the number one spot on the billboards this week.  It has sold over 769,000 copies, and that number continues to rise.

   I asked Ashley if there were certain songs that were more or less popular, and she said that “the most popular song was Let It Go, but Do You Want To Build A Snowman was also a hit.”  She was impressed with the amount of people singing along during Kristoff’s song (Reindeer Are Better Than People), and said  that audience members were “not only singing, they were reciting lines along with the characters”.

   So how was the overall experience of attending the Frozen sing-a-long?  “It was a great experience.  I encourage everyone to go!”

You can follow Ashley on twitter: @disneylandlove

(image available here)

To purchase the original motion picture soundtrack (32 tracks) on Amazon, click HERE. $11.49 for mp3, $11.88 for a CD

To purchase the deluxe soundtrack (59 tracks, including outtakes, demos and Karaoke) on Amazon by clicking HERE. $18.99 for mp3, $14.88 for a CD AND the mp3 versions.