NW Ohio native Alyson Stoner flexes ‘girl power’Written by Kristen Criswell | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Actress, singer and dancer Alyson Stoner is encouraging young girls to give back this holiday season and throughout the year.
The Holland, Ohio, native makes an appearance in a web series episode, “Girl Power,” that discusses the importance of getting involved and making a difference. The episode, which is part of BeingGirl.com’s show “Talk It Out,” went online Dec. 13.
“I think there is always an opportunity to get involved,” Stoner told Toledo Free Press in a phone interview. “There’s always a need somewhere, in small ways or large. When you’re blessed to have two working hands and feet … you have them so you can serve others.”
Stoner, who is passionate in her faith, encourages girls to be the light in their community that sparks others to get involved. Individuals can help in women’s shelters or soup kitchens, or they can explore other ways of giving back, Stoner said.
“It’s important to not feel age is a hindrance,” Stoner said. “Build a vision and create an action plan and work toward goals each and every day.”
Stoner always carries a box of food in her car in case she comes across someone who is homeless so she can give them something to eat, she said. Additionally, Stoner and her mom just completed gift baskets of toiletries to pass out for the holidays.
“My perspective of the world is I have a glass that’s half full. I’m very grateful and privileged to be in the position I’m in and be used in God’s plan to help others,” she said.
Although she is only 17 years old, Stoner finds herself being a role model for many young girls around the country.
This year Stoner participated in Disney’s “The Magic of Healthy Living” campaign, appearing in public service announcements with other Disney Channel stars and First Lady Michelle Obama.
“When Disney asked me to participate in the campaign, I was both honored and excited. Learning the balance and freedom that accompanies proper self-care is crucial for our well-being but with media pressures and cultural perspectives, sometimes we get lost in achieving a certain “healthy” appearance instead of true physical, mental and emotional wellness. I hope this campaign helps educate my generation as well as enlightens them on the truth that health isn’t defined by one size; we each have individual needs and a unique body to respect and fuel properly. First Lady Michelle was genuine, engaging and clearly passionate about the message behind The Magic of Healthy Living. It was a joy and privilege to join forces with her.”In addition to Disney’s healthy living cause, Stoner has her own cause she promotes — self-respect among young girls. Growing up, Stoner dealt with her own issues with self-image and self-respect, so the cause is important to her, she said. “I speak to encourage and empower girls to celebrate who we are. Each woman is a treasure and a gem. We each have something unique.”
Stoner has been involved with the entertainment industry for many years, appearing in everything from Missy Elliot music videos as a dancer to a recurring role on “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.”
Stoner’s favorite project was “Step Up 3D” because it posed new challenges, she said. It was cool, too, to see each scene played back instantly in 3-D, Stoner said.
Stoner also enjoyed her time on the “Cheaper by the Dozen” set because there were so many other kids, she said. During that project Stoner had the chance to learn from Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt as well.
Stoner just wrapped up a worldwide tour with the Jonas Brothers and cast of “Camp Rock 2,” which was a lot of fun, she said.
“Touring is a unique lifestyle; traveling overnight on the plane, then performing three hours a night with high adrenaline,” she said. “Each performance has many highs and lows, but I’m thankful for each. I learned so much about performing.”
Stoner also enjoyed traveling and performing in different states and countries because she got to see performances through their eyes, she said.
Currently, Stoner lends her voice to the recurring character Isabella on the show “Phineas and Ferb.” Stoner said working in an animated role she gets to surrender all her inhibitions and act wacky, often jumping around the studio.
“It’s so neat to tell a story through your voice. On camera many actors try to tell a story without speaking. [For ‘Phineas and Ferb’] there’s only a microphone to capture what you share,” she said.
Stoner said she enjoys watching the shows after they’re completed to see how all the components came together.
“I’m one small minuscule detail of the show. I love to see the animators work. They make magic with their hands each and every day,” she said.
In the future, Stoner is looking forward to developing a music career and securing her own sound, she said. Although she is currently singing for a targeted audience, Stoner said she’d explore any genre from folk and soul to pop.
For more about Stoner, visit her official website at www.alysonstoner.com.