Recently, we had the honor of interview Hatching Pete’s and Make it or Break its, Josie Loren. We hope that you enjoy the interview.
R: Describe your self in five words.
J: Passionate, fun, Cuban, hardworking, dreamer
R: How did you get into acting? How old where you when you started?
J: I started acting when I was 5. I was in a private elementary school that participated in a large monologue competition every year with other private schools in our district. It was mandatory for each student to audition with a monologue. From those auditions, a team of 6-8 students were chosen to represent our grade and our principal trained us for months to compete in this big competition. I immediately fell in love with it and competed ever year. My first monologue ever was actually a little poem called “Kidnapped.”
R: If you could work with anyone in the world who would it be?
J: Sean Penn! He’s so amazing!
R: Tell us a little bit about your character, Kaylie Cruz, on “Make it or Break it.”
J: Kaylie Cruz is a stereotypical teenager in a complex and unique situation. She’s a normal 16 year old in that she likes going to the mall, to parties, and flirting with boyfriends. However, she can’t do these things because she is training for the Olympics and has a rigorous schedule that keeps her locked inside a gym. She battles with the desire to have a normal life and still be the National Champion. Kaylie also struggles with self-esteem. Even though she won Nationals, she still has yet to believe and accept it. In her mind, winning Nationals was a fluke that wasn’t really deserved. She still hasn’t come to own the title and truly believe in herself and her talent.
R: Are there any similarities between you two?
J: Kaylie and I are both people pleasers! We like to make everyone around us happy and sometimes forget about ourselves. Last 10 episodes Kaylie was trying to please Sasha, Carter, her dad, and her teammates when she suddenly got fed up and decided to go for the gold in Nationals for herself. I find myself in that position a lot. I am committed to so many different things that sometimes I spread myself out to thin in trying to follow through on all those commitments. Sometimes I have to step back like Kaylie did and reevaluate what makes me truly happy. We’re also both very giving and loyal to the point where it could be considered a fault. Sometimes we give too much of ourselves and end up getting hurt. Since we would never do anything to hurt a friend, we’re devastated when the tables turn on us.
R: What was the audition process like for “Make it or Break it?”
J: It was hell! I went in 7 times before I booked the role! They knew they wanted me, but just didn’t know for which role exactly. I literally read for every role! I originally went in for Payson, and after going through all the characters multiple times, Kaylie just stuck. The whole time I was thinking I really hope I get this part, or this was just a really cruel trick!
R: Did you ever take gymnastics? If so, did you ever compete?
J: I took gymnastics when I was younger, but was only really good at floor. I was pretty terrible at everything else and was deathly terrified of beam (I still am!), so I never competed. I loved floor though, so I became the main tumbler for a competitive cheerleading squad. We competed in regional, state, and national competitions. We were even on ESPN! So although I did not compete as a gymnast, I definitely know the pressure and stress that comes with competition.
R: Do you do any of your own stunts?
J: Nope. We have amazing stunt doubles that perform our stunts. The most I do is a run into a roundoff to start off whatever tumbling pass Kaylie might be doing at the time. Even if we actually knew how to do those tricks, they would never let us do them because they wouldn’t risk an injury. It could change the entire plot line! We do all the dancing though, so we’re constantly learning knew floor and beam routines. That’s fun!
R: What is a typical work day like for you?
J: On a typical workday I wake up anywhere between 4:30am and 7am. Once I get to work, I go straight to hair and makeup where I have my breakfast. After taking a trip to my trailer to put on my wardrobe, I head to set to start shooting. Depending on the scenes we have to shoot that day, I’ll get a workout in during the day. If we have scenes in the gym, that’s usually when I get to work out with the gymnasts on set. If we’re shooting in our homes and such, it’s harder to get to the on set gym. A typical workday lasts an average of 12 hours. They are filled with interviews, looping, wardrobe fittings, and of course…lots of time to hang out with my friends!
R: How do you prepare for a role?
J: It’s actually a pretty long process. When I first get a role I start simply by writing down everything the script has to say about that character. Usually these things are superficial, but every bit of information is important. The script also tells me the things my character wants. Every character has an objective, and figuring that out is one of the first things I do. After picking out every thing I can from the script, I usually answer theses 50 questions about my character that my acting teacher has given me. These questions get into details about the character’s behavior, ideas, history, and mannerisms. Once I’ve done that, I usually know the character pretty well and am ready to portray them.
R: We heard that you were attending UCLA. Is that true, and if so what are you majoring in? How hard is it to keep up with filming and your studies?
J: Yes, I have 7 classes left at UCLA to graduate. I can’t wait! I don’t go to school while we shoot MIOBI because I work about 12 hours a day, Monday through Friday, but I go back to school when we wrap. I don’t get much of a hiatus that’s for sure, but I actually kind of enjoy school in a strange way. My friends tell me I’m a nerd! I am a Mass Media Communications major and a Spanish minor. Up until I booked MIOBI I continued going to school while I was filming. That’s no easy task! I missed a lot of class because of work, so I would come home from a really long day of filming and have to scramble to get notes from classmates and study. I spent most of the time on set in my trailer reading my assignments from class and memorizing lines at the same time. While I was shooting 17 Again I was taking midterms at UCLA! It was practically impossible! I barely slept, which is probably why I ended up with bronchitis.
R: How do you and the other cast member get along?
J: I know it sounds cheesy, but those girls are some of my best friends. When I first auditioned for MIOBI and heard it had 4 female leads I was really skeptical of how that would work out, but we’re all so different that we somehow just click. We have so much fun on set that production spends practically the entire day asking us to be quiet. We can’t help it though! When you’re working with your friends, you can’t help but joke, laugh, and gossip the whole time!
R: What is it like to work with Candace Cameron Bure?
J: I freaked out when I heard that Candace was signed on to the show! I was obsessed with Full House when I was younger, so she was one of my idols. At first I was very nervous around her, but Candace is hands down one of the genuinely nicest people I have ever met. She is truly a wonderful person. I love having her on set!
R: How do you handle fame?
J: Umm…I just go about my life the same way I did before I started shooting MIOBI. If someone happens to stop me while I’m out to ask for an autograph, I address them and the continue doing whatever I happened to be doing at the time. I’ve made a lot of new friends, but I still have my friends from back home and from college. School also keeps me very grounded. I remember going to the Teen Choice Awards where we were completely mobbed by fans asking for autographs and pictures. They had to escort us to our limos because there were so many people. For a split second I almost thought I was cool. That quickly changed the next morning when I was sitting in my 8am class, my hair a mess and no makeup, trying to make sense of a lecture on Spanish linguistics like a normal UCLA student. It’s very humbling.
R: What is the nicest thing a fan has ever done for you?
J: One of my fans made an “I Love Josie Loren” fan club in her class. She had all the members write me letters and then made a scrapbook of all of them accompanied with pictures. It was the sweetest thing I’d ever seen, especially because she was so young! I melted when I saw it.
R: What is the best advice you have ever gotten and by who?
J: My parents have always told my brothers and sister and I “you reap what you sow.” I like it because it’s so simple. The more you put in to something, the more you get out of it. It’s a formula that works 99.9% of the time. Any time I’m working towards a new goal and I get frustrated with how to achieve it, I go back to the formula. The more effort, hard work, and passion I put into something, the greater my reward will be…guaranteed.
R: What advice would you give teenage girls these days?
J: It’s not easy being a teenager. During those years girls are going through a lot of changes and are feeling very insecure and vulnerable. I know because believe me, I’ve been there. Looking back I’d tell girls beyond anything else, to love themselves. I know sometimes it’s hard because you’re unhappy with your body or you might have acne or you just can’t seem to get that guy everyone likes. But if you love yourself, all of a sudden it doesn’t matter what other people think because you are happy with yourself. Also, if you love yourself for who you are, it will radiate through all the superficial appearances and people love others who are comfortable and confident in their own skin. And don’t worry, they call it the “awkward stage,” because that’s exactly what it is! It’s just a stage in your life, which everyone is going through by the way (you are not alone!), that you will live and learn from and then pass.
R: What do you do in your spare time?
J: If I’ve had a really busy schedule, sometimes I just like to watch a good movie or read. I also like to bake on lazy days like this, but I’m generally a very active person. I like bike riding, hiking, roller skating, playing beach volleyball, and working out! Growing up in Miami though, I have a serious appreciation for the beach. Nothing beats a great day at the beach with friends and family!
R: What singers and bands can be found on your mp3 player or ipod?
J: I’m actually a huge fan of country music! Rascall Flats, Carrie Underwood, Lady Antabellum, Tim McGraw. I love hip hop too…Jay-Z, Timbaland, Rihanna. Classics like U2, Michael Jackson, and Guns N’ Roses are always a must. And of course you’ll find John Mayer, Jason Mraz, and Jack Johnson in that mix too. I’m all over the place when it comes to music!
R: What is your favorite song to belt out in the car?
J: “If I Could Turn Back Time” by Cher
R: Tell us about your obsession to frozen yogurt. What is your favorite kind?
J: I just love it! I have the worst sweet tooth and frozen yogurt is a healthier alternative to an ice cream sundae. I also like the creamy texture better. My favorite kind is from my local frozen yogurt place. I get it split…half chocolate covered banana (sounds strange, but so good!) and half peanut butter. It’s amazing!
R: What is your favorite “Harry Potter” book and why?
J: The last one because I was crying for the last 300 pages of it!
R: What has been your best memory so far?
J: There are sooo many I can pick! One of the best ones was definitely seeing and holding my nephew for the first time. It’s a different kind of love that you feel almost instantaneously. I knew I wanted to be a huge part of his life, and even though I live 3,000 miles away, I have been. He’s so special to me.
R: Are there any charities that are close to your heart? If so, tell us about them.
J: Juntos, which is a charity that raises money for cancer and heart disease. Juntos was founded by my brother and a few of his friends in Miami, so I’ve always been attached to it. We also look for opportunities to help those in our community that have been afflicted by these illnesses. School on Wheels is another organization I’m involved in. This organization provides tutors for homeless children. The Los Angeles Children’s Hospital is another organization that I collaborate with on a regular basis.
R: What are five things people do not know about you?
J: I snort when I laugh. I put chips inside my sandwiches. My friends usually call me Jos, not Josie. Peanut butter and banana is my favorite sandwich (no chips in that one). I had a pet pig name Josephina when I was little.
R: What are your future goals?
J: I hope to move into features when I’m not shooting MIOBI and I want to do a lot more charity work.
R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses?
J: twitter: @josloren
R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?
J: To all my fans….thank you so much for making my job worthwhile. You guys make my day everyday with the messages I get on Twitter, with fan mail, and all the wonderful little gifts you send me. I appreciate your love and support more than you will ever know! Keep dreaming and reaching for the stars!
R: Josie, thank you for the interview. Have a great day.
And you recently went back to school, so how was it balancing both school and the show?
While I’m shooting the show, I’m not in school. I actually took my last final last Friday. I went back to school in January when we went on hiatus. I was still auditioning, and I did a did guest part on NCIS and on Castle, while I was in school. And recorded voice over work. So I was working, just not working on Make It Or Break It. And it’s hard. I wish I could say it was no big deal. But it’s so stressful. Being a full-time student at UCLA is already a job, and having to audition and work in addition to that, it’s too much. It’s a sacrifice. It was one of those things where I wanted to get my degree, and it was my last quarter. You’re not going to be able to go out with your friends as much, you’re not going to be able to do what you want to do. It’s a sacrifice and it’s hard. But it’s so worth it. It was really important for me to get my diploma. And now that I’ve taken my last final, it feels so good. You never know as an actress when you’ll work again. Unfortunately, that’s just the way it goes. But you’ll always have your diploma. They can’t take that away from you. But now it’s over, and now I can have fun and enjoy myself and still feel really, really accomplished.
JL: I had a blessed and beautiful childhood in Miami, Florida. My parents are still together and I am number 3 of 4 kids. We already had a full house, but our friends and family were always over. Our house was the “it” house to come to. It was where everyone gathered on holidays and where people came to throw their parties. To say that our house was loud and boisterous is an understatement. There was ALWAYS something going on. It was great and I wouldn’t change it for the world, but in the hustle and bustle of it all it was very easy to get lost. I soon learned how to get people’s attention by being funny or dramatic. It worked every time.I went to a private, Christian school until I was in 5th grade. The principal there was a huge advocate of the arts; so every year she would make every child learn a monologue. We would perform it for a panel that would then select a team of 5-7 students for each grade. She would spend the next month coaching each team in preparation for a monologue competition among Christian schools in South Florida. I was selected every year and always ranked in the top of the competition. After my first year, I knew I loved acting. I didn’t know I wanted to be an actor. I had no idea what that entailed or that it was even an option. I just knew I loved it. My principal, Ms. Patsy, always gave me extra attention because she truly believed that I had a gift. I came to love our sessions together where we would work together on these monologues and completely lose track of time. Often times, my teacher would have to come and pull me from her office because I had missed too much class. I owe Ms. Patsy everything. She saw something in me nobody else did and she cultivated my love for the arts.
In the fourth grade my principal recommended to my mother that I audition for the theatre department of an arts school. I auditioned, was selected, and left my private school. When it was time to go to middle school, I auditioned for another arts program and was again selected. As for high school, I attended New World School of the Arts and graduated from their musical theatre program. I have been in countless school plays and musicals as well as community theatre. My high school also had a musical theatre touring company, of which I was a member that performed throughout all of Florida. I made it into the musical theatre program at UCLA, but after 2 quarters, decided to switch to a major that allowed me to work as an actor outside of school.
There was a period of time where I wasn’t booking work, so I started to work as a caterer for UCLA. It was grueling! I think my back is still messed up from it. I booked Make It Or Break It while I was working there, so I gave my 2 weeks notice the minute I got the call. It was, however, a humbling experience. I recognized that a lot of people work those jobs their whole life and never get their “big break.” That’s their reality. It made me so grateful that I had the opportunity to make a living doing something that I love. How lucky was I? That experience also instilled a deep compassion and respect for honest, hard working people. I walked onto the Make It Or Break It set feeling truly blessed and I can honestly say that 4 years and many jobs later, I still feel the same way.
Now that Make It Or Break It is over I am in the process of getting that next job. Since I was on a drama where I played a 16-year old for the last four years I’d like to go the opposite direction and work on great sitcom or do an edgy indie that will separate me from my predominantly young audience. I’d love to be in a period piece and play one of the many roles that Keira Knightly plays, but I highly doubt I will ever get the chance. Hispanics don’t really fit in that period of history unfortunately.
I always try to look beyond simply booking the job. I take it out of myself and put it into a greater context that’s more powerful than just me. I feel this way because of an experience I had auditioning for a guest star role on a hit drama series playing the role of a sex trafficking victim. Before going in for the callback I did a lot of research on the topic and the countless women that have suffered because of this grotesque crime. I was shocked at the things I saw and the stories I read. I made the choice before going in to the audition that I would dedicate my performance to the victims of sex trafficking, so that their stories would be heard. I put aside the goal of booking the audition, and focused on bringing these women justice. I didn’t get the part, but I have never been more proud of a performance. I realized then that we must choose to have a greater purpose, one that lives outside of us.