Marjorie Yan

Asking out someone you like isn’t just a Prom matter, it’s one that people face every day. How do you avoid it? Well, when we got to hang with Prom’s Nicholas Braun, he gave ME tips on how to lessen your chances of getting rejected by that special someone you’ve had your eye on. He’s practically an expert! In the movie, Nicholas’ character has a hard time trying to ask a girl to Prom, find out what he had to say and read the review.


-Marjorie Yan

Thomas McDonell in "Prom"Thomas McDonell has a passion for many different aspects of art. He has a lead role in Disney’s Prom, where he plays a rebel who isn’t the least interested in Prom, but eventually finds out that there’s more to it than just balloons and streamers. Let ME introduce you to future heartthrob Thomas McDonell.
 
1. Thomas is an artist, actor and musician based in New York City. He grew up on the upper east side of Manhattan.

 
2. Played the younger version of Johnny Depp’s character, Barnabas Collins, in Tim Burton’s “Dark Shadows.”


3. His artwork has been exhibited internationally, and he has also curated several exhibitions, focusing primarily on the work of his peers.


4. McDonell studied in Shanghai during his last semester in college.


5. He had a small role in The Forbidden Kingdom while studying art in Shanghai with Jackie Chan and Jet Li.


6. In 2010, he played another small role in the limited release Twelve, which starred Kiefer Sutherland.


7. The lead singer in a four-piece rock-and-roll band called ‘Moon’ that released their first CD in June 2010.


8. Has a lead role in Disney’s Prom and also has the song “Time Stand,” on the Prom soundtrack.


9.   He likes to eat chocolate covered bacon.


10. Went to Prom when he was eighteen with his girlfriend at the time in Massachusetts.

-Marjorie Yan

Photo credit: Richard Foreman Jr. © Disney Enterprises, Inc.

De’Vaughn Nixon in Disney's "Prom"De’Vaughn Nixon plays the most popular senior in school in Disney’s upcoming film, Prom. He’s been acting since he was a young child, and now that he’s landed a pretty sweet role in a feature film, get to know more about Nixon from ME!

1. Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA


2. Had roles in Terminator 2: Judgment Day and The Bodyguard. Made special appearances on Disney’s Sonny With a Chance.


3. His father is former NBA player Norm Nixon and step-mother is dancer/choreographer Debbie Allen.


4. Loves to play video games. One of this favorite games is Call of Duty.


5. Alongside Prom co-star Kylie Bunbury, Nixon headed to the Georgia Aquarium to crash the Prom of Woodland High School. Kylie and De’Vaughn – who are a couple in the movie– were on hand to crown Woodland’s  Prom king and queen.


6. As a child, Nixon was playing basketball all the time, but also spent time acting on the side. At 23, he decided acting was what he wanted to do full-time.


7.  Did work on season two of The Hard Times of RJ Berger. Nixon had a cameo in an episode from season one and they brought him back for season two where he shot seven episodes


8. This year, Nixon took part in TOM’s shoes’ One Day Without shoes and went barefoot for a day at the event in Los Angeles.


9. Wore a Giorgio Armani tuxedo to Prom and took a stretch hummer with a jacuzzi to the event.


10. In high school, he was known as the flirt with a big smile type of guy.

-Marjorie Yan

Photo credit: Richard Foreman Jr. © Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Allstar Weekend sat down with ME when they made a stop in Anaheim, California on the GLMR KLLS tour. We got behind the scenes details on how the band got together and what crazy things they’re up to next!

When Allstar Weekend’s guitarist and vocalist Nathan Darmody,19, walked up to Michael Martinez’s, 21, front door, he was just looking for a drummer for his local band. Little did he know, within the next few years they— along with lead singer Zach Porter, 21, and bassist Cameron Quiseng, 20— would get signed to Hollywood Records, live their dream of touring the country and have a lead single for Disney’s new movie, Prom.

“We did it in a very traditional way. We started in the garage. I think the day that we all met together was at my house. It was the complete package,” Nathan said.

Before they became Allstar Weekend, Nathan was finishing up high scNathan saidhool while Cameron and Zach were starting college.

“Zach went to San Diego State University and lived in the dorms. Every weekend we hung out in the dorms. We started writing songs in Zach’s dorm before all of this happened.” Cameron said.

Ask Rebecca Black and she’ll tell you fame is around the corner with a good (or bad) YouTube video. But, the members of Allstar Weekend say they got signed and the opportunity to tour the country because of their hard work promoting themselves in person.

“We all grew up together in the same town in Poway, California.  We were all into music and we all started playing pool parties, battle of the bands at schools and clubs.” Zach said.

When the guys needed to get their name out there, their manager suggested they promote themselves outside of concerts and shows, Nathan said he thought the idea was crazy at first.

“Growing up, we all went to concerts and every time you walk out of a venue there are people handing out flyers. You are thinking to yourself, ‘I’d hate to be that guy.’” Cameron said.

Cameron saysThe guys promoted outside Jonas Brothers concerts in hopes of gaining a fan base through flyers and sample CDs.

“The trick was we dressed up like the Jonas Brothers. We wore ties and we looked like we were part of the show. People thought we were part of the show and we passed out flyers.” Zach said. “It was kind of weird. These girls would scream and chase us because they just thought we were an important band. They just went crazy.”

After promoting outside of different tours and movie premieres, a casting director got the guys to compete on Radio Disney’s competition, “Next Big Thing.”

“We ended up losing, but because of it we went from being just a band on MySpace playing local shows in town, to a band that had a song on the radio that kids all over the country could hear and then we got signed.” Cameron said.

Now that they’re becoming a household name, the guys continue to write their own music and perform shows for their fans. However, they do admit they still have to deal with haters and people who don’t support them as artists.

“You really only have to know one thing which is stay true to yourself. You’re going to have haters and people that don’t like you, but you just have to be you.” Cameron said.

Nathan said he thinks haters don’t really have a problem with you, but with themselves.

“They could be jealous of the opportunity and that you’re taking a risk, being courageous and doing your own thing,” he said. “We were very fortunate and all got really lucky to meet in high school and have something in common.  We’re very fortunate to write great songs and meet all these people in our lives.”

The guys are currently signed with to Hollywood Records (the same label as the Jonas Brothers!) and are currently on the Glamour Kills (GLMR KLLS) tour with headliner, The Ready Set. This summer, they’re opening for Selena Gomez, and will release a new album in June or July.

The new album will feature their current single, “Not Your Birthday,” which is also featured in Disney’s upcoming movie Prom. “People are really going to be surprised,” Zach said. “It has a very unique Allstar Weekend sound to it.”
-Marjorie Yan

 


Ever dreamed of a bunch of your favorite YouTube stars coming to your neighborhood?  Well, it’s happening! Greenhouse Entertainment and The Cloud Media got together and rounded up your favorite YouTube artists for a six-week  national tour called The DigiTour! Throughout April and May, your favorite artists like Dave Days, David Choi, Destorm, Ricky Ficarelli, Christina Grimmie,  The Gregory Brothers   (Hide yo’ kids!), Mystery Guitar Man and many more will stop by 27 cities and perform for you live (not behind a computer screen)! We caught up with drummer Ricky Ficarelli  and got the inside scoop on The DigiTour and the next beat in his career. 
 
 
 Ricky Ficarelli

ME: When did you realize you had a talent for playing the drums?
RF: My dad played drums when he was younger so there was alw
ays a drum set in my house. When I got into middle school I started doing band and got involved in the school programs. I thought to myself, well I have a drum set so I might as well use it.

ME: How did you get signed to The DigiTour?
RF: I started putting up YouTube videos about ten or eleven months ago. After I put up my second video, the co-producers of The DigiTour, Chris Rojas and Meridith Valiando signed me to their production company. I just kind of got thrown into this awesome circle of YouTube performers an
d I’m lucky enough to have gotten a spot on the tour and be a part of all of it.

ME: How has your life changed since you’ve started getting lots of viewers?
RF: My life has changed a lot. The first half of this year I was in normal high school and when all this crazy stuff started happening I relocated out to California. I’m doing an online school and running around town with all of these meetings and to different studios. My life has taken a really big turn, and I’m really blessed. I’ve been living in LA for a few weeks and I’ll be here up until the tour. After the tou
r my family is going to try and relocate out to LA.

ME: What’s it like transitioning to California from Florida?
RF: They’re both awesome, I think the only difference— well there [are] a lot of differences. It’s just that back home in Florida I have all of my friends and It’s just more chill and out here I’m running around and I’m busy. The weather is different and it’s a lot more dry out here. It’s two different feels. It’ll be nice to switch back in between and the DigiTour actually ends in Florida so when it ends I’ll be back home.

ME: What can the audience expect from your performance on the DigiTour? I know you posted a video about searching for band members to play along with you. How’s that coming along?
RF: As of right now we’re doing a band search. There [are] hundreds of awesome submissions so final decisions are being made. I’m also getting the privilege to play drums with the headliner on the tour, Dave Days. What I’m doing for my own performance and my opening act, all of that is coming down to the wire and all of the final decisions are being made.

ME: Your videos look awesome! Where are they recorded?
RF: Me and my dad turned my garage into a recording studio and we decked it out. Really it’s been a process since middle school. I’ve dabbled with recording softwares. Over the years I’ve been getting more equipment and I’ve been learning how to record. This year I started making videos and I have a few friends that went to high school for film and are continuing that in college.  I do all of the audio and they record. It’s a bunch of team work.

ME: Have you ever been faced with people putting you down?
RF: Yeah of course, being on YouTube people post on your videos and say whatever they want. Of course I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback but from time to time you get people that are, lack of a better word, haters. I just try to focus on the positive energy and just don’t focus on it. You just have to do what you’re passionate about and have fun and if you’re doing that, nothing can stop you.

ME: How do you decide which songs to cover?
RF: I get emails, tweets and Facebook messages and comments. I get tons of stuff. What I really try to do is try to play songs that get requested most often.

ME: Have you any worked with any bands or musicians?
RF:
A few months ago I put drums on Cymphonique’s record, Master P’s daughter. She has a show coming out on Nickelodeon later this year. As of right now I haven’t worked with any other artists.

ME: Which is the most difficult cover you’ve done?
RF: You mean skill-wise? I would say I spiced up my Ke$ha cover the most. It’s all about having fun, but I would say that one kind of has the most spiced up drumming in it.

ME: Do you have any other talents?
RF: My main passion is drums but I can play guitar, bass and I did band all throughout middle and what I went to of high school. I can play all of orchestral and classical and stuff like that. I’ve dabbled around with acting, but because of all this DigiTour stuff and music, I’ve put acting off to the side.

ME: Do you plan on going to college or is this what you want to pursue?
RF: Well right now I’m halfway through my junior year so after this year I have another year of school to go through. My plan is to keep my grades up  and see where music takes me and I’ll just have to see where I am a year from now and see if I want to go to college.

ME: Where you starstruck when you found out who you would be performing with on The DigiTour?
RF:
Yeah, I’m a big fan of YouTube so when I started getting involved in all of this, at first I was like, ‘Alright I used to watch these guys all the time, and now I’m hanging out with them.’ I’m pretty good friends with all of them now. Yesterday I did a video shoot with Dave Days for a couple of music videos. I’m very excited for the DigiTour, and it’s gonna an awesome time.

ME: What do you want to do in the long run? Join a band?
RF: I would say the ultimate goal is to one day find the right band that works and honestly I’m living out one of my dreams right now which is going on tour and playing drums. The ultimate goal would be to go on tour and find the right band and work on with music.

Check out Ricky’s cover of Ke$ha’s “We Are Who We Are” and tell ME what you think!
-Marjorie Yan


Photo Courtesy of The DigiTour

Skylar Grey

Although the name Skylar Grey may not sound too familiar (yet), she’s worked on tons of things that you probably have heard of. Skylar Grey is the stage name of Holly Brook Hafermann, a multi-instrumental singer, songwriter and record producer. Here are ten things you should know about this sure-fire star.
 
1. As a child growing up in Wisconsin, Grey performed professionally in a folk duo with her mother called Generations.
 
2. Skylar started her first band at the age of fifteen, and has worked with jazz musicians such as Jeff Eckles and Leo Sidran.
 
3. In 2006, Grey released her first album “Like Blood Like Honey” and toured as the opening act for artists like Daniel Powter, Teddy Geiger, and Duncan Sheik.
 
4. Machine Shop Recordings signed Skylar, and she performed on Fort Minor’s “Where’d You Go” under the name Holly Brook. After she released her debut album her contract was cut short when sales didn’t do so well.
 
5. Not only does she sing, but she writes music too! Grey has worked on numerous versions of Rihanna’s “Love The Way You Lie” with British hip-hop producer Alex da Kid.

 
6. Skylar is working on music with Kid and is signed to his production company, Wonderland Records.

7. You already know her voice! Skylar is also featured on Dr. Dre and Eminem’s  brand new cut, “I Need a Doctor,” Diddy Dirty Money’s “Coming Home” and Lupe Fiasco’s “Words I Never Said.”

8. One of Grey’s all-time favorite movies is “Brazil.”

9. Skylar sang the original demo version of “Love The Way You Lie” recorded.

10. Her writing contribution to Eminem and Rihanna’s “Love The Way You Lie”
  landed Skylar a Grammy nomination for “Song Of The Year” and “Best Rap Song.”
-Marjorie Yan


 

Arden Cho

 1. Born on August 16, most of Cho’s childhood was spent in Texas, and her late teenage years spent in Minnesota.

2. Arden is very talented! She has done cheerleading (8 years, including college), gymnastics (6 years), playing the piano (eight years) and cello (six years). Unbelievably amazing!

3. She attended the University of Illinois with and graduated with a B.A. in Psychology and also studied Theatrical Training.

4. In 2004, Arden Cho was named Miss Korea Chicago (1st place) and competed in the Miss Korea Pageant in Seoul, South Korea for the honor of representing South Korea in the Miss Universe Pageant.

5. She visited Africa in the summer of 2007 before her move to Los Angeles on a two-month Humanitarian trip to Kenya. How awesoME!

6. She was featured in the 2008 Spring Campaign for Alexander McQueen’s teen line McQ appearing in fashion magazines Vogue, Purple Fashion and Nylon.

7. Arden has done modeling for brands like Tokidoki, Reebok, Nike, McDonalds and Apple.

8. She is fluent in Korean.

9. Her music tastes include Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Kelly Clarkson, Michael Buble and Christina Aguilera. (Only to name a few). She sings, too! Check out her five best YouTube covers.

10. Some of the fun things she enjoys doing are ice skating, snow skiing, softball, rollerblading and horseback riding.

11. Even with all of the exposure and experience Arden has earned, she admits she still gets nervous, but that’s what she loves about it all, the rush and excitement.

Want more Arden Cho? Find out how she did in Agents of Secret Stuff, Starring Arden Cho and Ryan Higa!
—Marjorie Yan

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