Starbound Entertainment Group and IMTA Alumni Alyson Stoner made an appearance in her hometown of Toledo, Ohio this weekend. You guys may recognize her from movies such as “Camp Rock”, “Step Up 3D”, and “Cheaper By The Dozen”. While in town, Alyson was asked to do the traditional “bun signing” at Tony Packo's, afterwards we had a chance to sit down with her for a short interview.
When we arrived at Tony Packo’s, we were able to speak to Tony Packo Jr., he gave us a brief history of the “bun signing” as well as the restaurant. Many celebrities such as Burt Reynolds, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and five Presidents have signed buns there. An interesting fact we learned was that the Tony Packo’s hot dog sauce has been on a shuttle in outer space. Their sauce is literally out of this world!
The “bun signing” was private and took place in a banquet room, where only Alyson's family and close friends were able to watch this honored tradition. When Alyson signed the bun, she added this message, “Let me know when you are hiring, work is slow in LA”. Alyson’s great sense of humor came out during the signing and it was easy to see why she was such a hit when she attended IMTA with us in 2000. Afterwards, she had time to sit down and speak with everyone.
This is where we got to ask her the following questions:
SB-EG - How does it feel knowing you have a signed bun on display at Tony Packo’s?
A.S. - I feel honored because I was informed that 5 former presidents have signed buns. Also, my mother used to travel here for lunch and she would gaze up at the different people that had signed the buns. I don’t think I am as cool as Zsa Zsa Gabor, but it is neat that my mother gets to see her daughter up on the wall.
SB-EG – We are about to go to IMTA in July. What was your favorite part of IMTA when you attended?
A.S. - Oh man… well I jumped on the bed a lot. I remember my witch doctor dance competition, in which I cut plastic bows and leaves and put them in my hair. I was missing my two front teeth. I looked like a monkey or a leopard, so I had the jungle theme going. The jeans competition was great, and I think just meeting the other young kids and not being ultra competitive and enjoying it.
SB-EG – Could you give the models & talent going with us to IMTA a piece of advice?
A.S. – Stay present in the moment and grounded in your body, feel and think through everything because there is a lot to experience and it can be overwhelming. Stay in the resilience mode, where you are not too anxious or down playing your anxiety too much that you are losing your charm. Find the balance and make the most of it and don’t look at the awards ceremony as the be all, end all. I know this a lot more than one piece of advice but learn to take feedback and receive criticism constructively, whether or not it was given constructively. Be open minded on how you can use your gift in the future, outside of just a competition like this. It doesn’t have to be just in the industry, you can open a dance studio if you are a dancer. I think just be creative with your gift.
SB-EG – What has been your favorite experience so far in your career?
A.S. – My favorite experience was touring for 6 months in the U.S. and South America. We did 34 cities in the U.S. and 14 cities in South America. It was with the Disney Channel’s Camp Rock cast, the Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato and a few other cast members. We performed at the River Plate Stadium in Argentina, the night after Paul McCartney’s band played. We got to meet his band in the elevator of the hotel; it was really cool! Then we played the next night and sold out, 65,000 people, just as many tickets as Paul McCartney’s band. It was a high every night and an adrenaline rush!
SB-EG – Do you have anything coming up that your fans should be looking out for?
A.S. – I am in two animated series right now “Phineas and Ferb” on the Disney Channel and “Young Justice” on cartoon network. I have a couple upcoming tours this summer. They will be in Southern California if you are in the area. I am actually enrolled in college, which takes up a lot of time. I love learning I am a big nerd.
SB-EG - Thank you for sitting down with us, it was really good seeing you, it has been way to long.
A.S. – You are welcome and yes it is so good to see everyone!