Be Strikingly Different

Laura Marano: “It’s my journey, and I have to do things my way.”

It’s known and obvious that there are two sides to a door, but at the end of “the day there’s only one door. So, when we see things that appear as complete opposites, we are actually seeing two extremes of the same thing. What’s interesting about the Law of Duality, we may see two things such as life and death, hot or cold, love or hate.

As people, we also fall in line with the Law of Duality. In this case, let’s take a look at the multi-faceted and ever so talented actress and singer; Laura Marano.

Photography by Josh Williams

Laura was born in Los Angeles, California to a college professor and a former actress. At the age of five, Laura began expressing her love for acting along with her sister Vanessa, but this came as a concern for Laura’s mother, Ellen who only wanted to make sure her daughters didn’t have to deal with the tough and cruel entertainment industry.

Eventually, Laura’s mother set up a meeting with the strictest agent at Abrams Talent Agency with the intentions that they’d be rejected and discouraged from ever acting again. The results were complete opposite and the agent loved not only Laura but also her sister, as well.

This kick started Marano’s career which eventually led her to being cast as Ally in the Disney Channel original series Austin & Ally but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Laura’s story goes back even further.

Photography by Josh Williams

Laura landed her first real acting gig at the of five! This pushed her in the right direction where she was had was able to work on multiple productions such as Ghost Whisperer, Joan of Arcadia and later being cast as a series regular on Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

In 2011, Laura got her big break and was cast in the Disney Channel’s original series Austin & Ally where she played ‘Ally Dawson’ alongside co-stars Ross Lynch, Raini Rodriguez and Calum Worthy. The series continued until airing it’s finally episode in 2016.

Since saying good bye to the series, Laura has taken on a number of film projects including Netflix’s The Perfect Date with co-stars Noah Cemtineo and Camila Mendes.

In 2016, Laura kickstarted her music career with her single ‘Boombox’ which has garnered over 65 million views to date.

Photography by Josh Williams

Taking a look at the present, Laura is now focusing on her current single “Honest With You” which is out now. Take a look at the full interview with Laura Marano below!

What is your earliest memory that shows your passion for music. I was always writing songs and singing them to people. Like, it was pretty obnoxious/annoying, but I just couldn’t stop. When I would write a song, I would completely memorize it —to the point that there are some songs I still remember. The earliest song I can recollect is a song that had this chorus lyric: “You’re the one who said bye (bye), I’m the one who said why (why). You’re the one who said bye (bye), and now you’re saying why (why, why).” I was 4 or 5 when I wrote that banger.

Tell me about your single “Honest With You” and how it relates to your life? I wrote “Honest With You” when I was just starting to fall in love with someone again, but I had just gotten out of relationship, and I was still reeling from the feelings that come with a breakup, especially since it was my first. I had a really beautiful first relationship, and things just didn’t work out. Nothing super dramatic happened, and yet, it still hurt so much and brought so much pain in my life.

So when I started falling for someone again, I was really scared to truly put myself out there and be vulnerable with that person. The thing was, though, I had come to a certain point where I knew the only thing left to do was be honest about how I felt. I drew from all of those feelings, and wrote “Honest With You.”

You have over 200 million streams across all streaming platforms. That’s incredible! Looking back at all of your past work, what do you think is that one thing that stood you apart from the rest? Well, I’m not sure I can say this thing has stood me apart from the rest, but I’m not afraid of failure. Now, that didn’t come super naturally to me, but I’ve really started to embrace my journey wholeheartedly and welcome the mistakes and missteps that come along the way. I definitely grew up as the kid who tried to do everything right and put so much pressure on myself to be perfect. I mean, if I got a bad grade on a test, it felt like the world was ending.

That mindset can be really hindering, especially in a business that constantly defines success for you and can make you think if you don’t live up to that definition,  putting your art out there isn’t worth it. I learned that I needed to just constantly put out music and do what felt right for me, instead of falling into the trap of not releasing music out of fear that it would fail. Because it’s always worth it to me.

What’s your philosophy in life? We all have our own path that has different obstacles and rewards along the way. We’re not supposed to walk along someone else’s path, though we can use it for guidance. It’s never been easier to compare yourself to someone else, and there are definitely people that I look at who inspire me, but I’m not supposed to have the same path as anyone else. It’s my journey, and I have to do things my way.

Photography by Josh Williams

What’s one bit of advice from a co-star that you always remember? Well, it’s not an exact bit of advice, but when I was working with Bob De Niro (I still can’t believe I call him Bob), I was so starstruck and definitely was too scared to ask him questions about anything. Then, when we were doing press, he was asked about if he gave any of the younger actors any advice, and he said something to the effect of “Not really, but of course if anyone had asked, I would have answered any questions they had,” and I knew by how he said it that he truly meant that. I realized in that moment how I totally got in my own way of asking one of the greatest actors of all time any questions because of my own assumptions and insecurities. Now, I always try to push myself to not be scared of asking any questions to anybody. 

What’s next for you? I’m releasing another song in May, and have a bit more music for my fans in June, all in the You Era universe. Then, I’m going into a little bit of a hiatus to work on some more new music!

The definition of Contrast is ‘to be strikingly different.’ In what ways are you strikingly different? Oh man, I don’t know. I mean, I’m kind of eighty years old. I still use a flip phone…but I’m not sure that’s something to totally brag about…

Editor-in-Chief, Contrast.