Alyson Stoner sweetens the deal for benefit CDWritten by Casey Harper | | firstname.lastname@example.org
From movie sets to dance practices to recording studios, Alyson Stoner leads a busy life. She made time, however, to contribute her song “Sweet” to Toledo Free Press’ CD benefiting the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
“I’m honored to be a part of this project for Red Cross,” she said. “It’s the least I could do to help the victims of these recent tragic events. I hope it brings relief and belief back to the communities and country.”
Stoner has performed in commercials and music videos from a young age.
Now she entertains younger kids with her role as Isabella in Disney’s hit television show “Phineas and Ferb.”
She hit the big screen with roles in “Cheaper by the Dozen,” “Camp Rock,” “Step Up” and “Step Up 3D.” Despite all the her projects, Stoner’s mother LuAnne Hodges says Stoner manages to maintain a normal life.
“It’s not over the top where she can’t go to the mall,” Hodges said. “She still has a life and she’s a very grounded person. This is her own doing. It’s the way she wanted to conduct her life.”
Her donated track “Sweet” is available on her “Beat the System” album.
“‘Sweet’ is a selfless acknowledgment that I’m not in control and that my joy rests in something beyond myself,” Stoner said. “It’s honest, yet optimistic — an attitude we could all use.”
Stoner was 7 when she competed at the International Modeling and Talent Association convention in New York. After placing in several categories, she was encouraged to try auditioning in Los Angeles.
“For nine months, my mother and I commuted between Hollywood and Toledo,” Stoner said. “Eventually, my family decided to jump in with both feet and relocate.”
Stoner’s big break came when she got a part in Missy Elliott’s “Work it” music video. Stoner throws down hip hop dance moves throughout the video, holding her own among the older dancers.
“From there, Eminem called her and then Will Smith wanted her,” Hodges said. “And she was 8 or 9 years old. That led to her Disney shows where they may have her dancing on there.”
Stoner will appear in the films “The A-List” in 2013 and “Hoovey” in 2014. She’s also recording Nickelodeon’s “The Legend of Korra” while maintaining her work with “Phineas and Ferb.”
Stoner grew up listening to Karen Carpenter and Eva Cassidy, two artists who continue to influence her music.
“Some use art for expression, others for therapy,” she said. “I use art to explore and understand the world. I study music extensively only to arrive at the simplest, most direct way of saying something.”
Stoner said her main inspiration is humanity.
“People are fascinating,” she said. “We need each other. We change and grow.”
Through all the fame and success, Stoner hasn’t forgotten her Toledo roots and the memories she made here.
“I love and miss my family, the consistency and normalcy of the Toledo community, and the seasonal changes,” she said. “After hitting the baseball diamond, we’d drive to Mel-O-Creme and eat our favorite treats out of the back of our car. We’d catch lightning bugs in the field and spend time with each other.
“My goal is to grow in humility and compassion with each character I portray onscreen and every song I write. Every project is a lesson in not judging, but rather learning to love others.”