Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ I have the honor of sharing an interview I recently did with two-time Grammy nominee Lisa Loeb! You may know Lisa from her platinum-selling hit #1 single ‘Stay (I Missed You), her various voice-over roles in shows such as ‘Spider-Man: The New Animated Series’, ‘Jake and the Never Land Pirates’, ‘Doc McStuffins’, etc., her eyewear line, or the various other projects that Lisa has had over the past two decades. In this interview we discuss Lisa’s music, eyewear line, her charitable foundation ‘Camp Lisa’, her musical influences, and so much more! Also please keep an eye out for Lisa’s singles ‘3,2,1 Let Go’, and ‘The Disappointing Pancake’, which will be released on vinyl via Blacktop Records on July 8th, 2016. You can also pick up the records at any of Lisa’s upcoming shows:
June 21 – Wolf Trap Theater-in-the-Woods, Virginia
June 22 – Sundown Music Series, Haddon Heights, NJ
July 10 – Oakville Children’s Festival, Ontario
July 11 – Stratford Masonic Concert Hall – Stratford, Ontario (SOLD OUT)
July 12 – Stratford Masonic Concert Hall – Stratford, Ontario
July 13 – Adelaide Hall – Toronto, Ontario
So now let’s get to the interview! Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
Celinda: First of all I would like to thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview. Personally I am such a huge fan of your music, and I know that my readers are excited to hear about all of your new projects. Since we are on the topic of music, what/who would you say originally sparked your interest in music? Also, which bands/artists have influenced your music that would surprise your fans?
Lisa: That’s such a huge question. There are so many musicians and performers who inspired me. My family, the music around me growing up, my friends’ taste in music, the music I was played at school and the music we sang and played at school, music I learned in piano and later guitar lessons, music on the radio. Wow, so much music all around me. I usually think of The Police as the band that made me want to play guitar in a band and write music. I also loved David Bowie’s dramatic singing, writing, storytelling, and all-around aura. I’m hugely influenced by Led Zeppelin, Olivia Newton John, The Cure, and soft pop from the 1970’s like Bread.
Celinda: I can definitely hear all of those influences in your music. So, how does it feel that Stay (I Missed You) is still such a recognizable and beloved song 22 years after its’ initial release?
Lisa: I love it. I think it’s incredible that people connect with me and my song so many years later. People really have sweet nostalgia as well as a current identification with the song. I think that’s why it’s still so powerful so many years later.
Celinda: Now let’s move on to the live action acting you’ve done on television and for films. Did you always want to foray into acting or was it something that you grew to love later in life?
Lisa: I always wanted to be actor, maybe even before I wanted to be a musician. I like the idea of being able to try on different characters and jobs and personalities. (That just sounded crazy.) I think it’s amazing to put yourself in another person’s shoes. I loved doing theater in school and college and always studied theater during the summers. I still use my acting training a lot during live performances and interpreting my own songs night after night. I still hope to spend more time training and doing more acting soon!
Celinda: That’s so exciting, I know I speak for all of your fans when I say we’re excited to see which acting projects you might take on in the future! Along with your live action acting, you’ve also voiced numerous characters on various videos games and television shows such as: ‘Spider-Man: The New Animated Series’, ‘Jake and the Never Land Pirates’, ‘Doc McStuffins’, etc., do you feel that your experience as a recording artist has helped you become more comfortable and confident as a voice actress?
Lisa: My acting experience coupled with recording music in the studio has really come together for voice acting. It’s a place I feel really comfortable and love the collaboration of working with producers, writers, directors, and engineers to come up with the right sound for the animated shows, commercials, and other voice work I do.
Celinda: I would like to take a moment to mention that I love your eyewear line; all of the pieces are gorgeous and very fashionable. Is there a story behind the creation of your eyewear line, or is it something you’ve always wanted to do?
Lisa: The eyewear line is a dream come true. I’m a huge fan of glasses and finding the perfect pair for myself! I think glasses can add so much to a person’s face and can help express how a person sees life and how they relate to others. I love that my eyewear line can help women look beautiful, stylish, flirty, classic, and confident. People look to me for that and now I can finally help people. Literally, fans and people who like my glasses and my look stop me on the street to talk about glasses. I thought it was time for me to get more involved. We have lots of tortoiseshell, pops of color, shapes and sizes for different faces and skin tones. I love when people tell me that they wear their glasses because I wear my glasses.
Celinda: All of the pieces are amazing; you definitely have a great eye for fashion. Moving on, I would like to firstly congratulate you for all of the accomplishments that your organization ‘The Camp Lisa Foundation’ has achieved; it is truly inspiring to see artists give back. What would you say has been the most rewarding part of ‘Camp Lisa’, and what do you hope the foundation will accomplish in the future?
Lisa: It’s amazingly rewarding knowing that kids are going to have a summer camp experience, helping them build their confidence and character as well as connecting them to summer fun. I hope the foundation can continue to send more kids to summer camp! Buying my Camp Lisa record, my “Wake Up!” Blend coffee from https://www.coffeefool.com/collections/charity-coffees and making direct donations to me through The Camp Lisa Foundation through www.LisaLoeb.com are great ways that you can help!
Celinda: Your foundation’s mission is truly beautiful and will definitely continue making a positive impact on numerous children. So I read on your website that you earned a degree in comparative literature from Brown University; did you always aspire to become an author? Also, what inspired you to write children’s books?
Lisa: I really should have studied theater, music, psychology- all areas that interested me the most, but at the time I felt I needed a liberal arts major, and that was it. I’ve always enjoyed interpretation, and meta-thinking, and overthinking, so it seemed like a good major. I think it’s important to spend quiet connected time with kids, away from the TV and the computers and phones. These illustrated books help a parent/caregiver/teacher do just that. These books are fun to explore and read and re-read. I made two kids’ books of lyrics, activities, and recipes for kids ‘Lisa Loeb’s Silly Sing-Along: The Disappointing Pancake and Other Zany Songs’ and ‘Lisa Loeb’s Songs for Movin’ & Shakin’: The Air Band Song and Other Toe-tapping Tunes’ and I think a lot of those songs would make really great board books one song at a time. I have a children’s book up my sleeve now too!
Celinda: That’s so interesting! I know we’re all super excited to read and hear this new book! Moving back to the topic of music for a second, your singles ‘3,2,1 Let Go’ and ‘The Disappointing Pancake’ will be released on 7inch vinyl on July 8th, 2016 in Canada via Blacktop Records. Personally I love the throwback feel of vinyl that you just can’t get with digital or even cd releases, but what inspired you to release these singles on vinyl?
Lisa: “3,2,1 Let Go!” is the kind of song you want to hear on vinyl, and since there’s only one song on each side, you really can focus on listening over and over to each song, since once you hear the songs, you’ll want to listen over and over. ; ) “The Disappointing Pancake” is one of my most popular songs, taken from both the ‘Camp Lisa’ record and the ‘Silly Sing-Along’ book, so I thought I’d highlight it here on this special release. Plus, even though it was originally written for kids, I think grownups enjoy hearing it- a story that’s different from your lost love song.
Celinda: Thank you again Lisa for taking the time to speak with me today, it was truly an honor. Lastly, is there anything you would like to say to your fans who are reading this interview?
Lisa: I can’t wait to come to Canada! It’s been really too long since I’ve been there. Yay! Yay for us. I can’t wait to see you!
Keep up with everything Lisa is doing:
Eyewear Line: http://www.lisaloebeyewear.com/
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ I am very excited to bring you an interview with voice actress Lara Jill Miller. You may know her best as ‘Kari’ on Digimon, ‘Clifford’ on Clifford’s Puppy Days, ‘Lambie’ on Doc McStuffins, and many other memorable roles. In this interview we talk about Lara’s career as a stage, on-camera, and voice actress, how she feels about reprising her Digimon Adventure Tri (let’s cross our fingers that the movies get a U.S. dub!), what to look out for from her next, and so much more! So now let’s get to the part that y’all came here for…the interview. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
Celinda: Hi Lara, first of all I want to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do this interview.
Lara: Thank you for asking me, Celinda.
Celinda: So I want to begin by asking you about your role as Amaryllis in the Broadway production of The Music Man, which starred Dick Van Dyke. What was it like to work with such an iconic actor at such an early stage in your career, and how do you think this experience shaped you as an entertainer?
Lara: Dick Van Dyke was amazing. So funny, so talented. I was so thrilled to meet him at my audition for the show, I couldn’t believe I was actually meeting the guy from CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG and MARY POPPINS! I was really little when I met him and I remember shaking his hand and seeing his really long feet in white sneakers, and then looking all the way up to his head, WAYYY up there.
Touring in the show, and then performing on Broadway was a spectacular experience overall. Traveling all over the US for the first time was really exciting. I love performing live and had a lot of experience in the years prior at a local dinner theatre in my hometown. Dancing and singing is a great joy of mine, and that made me realize I was born to do this.
Celinda: That sounds like such a cool experience! So, you’re widely known for your role as Samantha on the 6 seasons of the television show Gimme A Break. When the show ended Samantha was beginning her new life as a college student, and you also later earned a college degree yourself, so there was a very cool life imitating art aspect there. Were there any other similarities between you and Samantha, and how do you think growing up on the set of a sitcom shaped you as a person?
Lara: Well, I’m the youngest of 3 daughters, so there’s that. And I was pretty much a tomboy, but I certainly didn’t wear overalls like my character Samantha, NOR play with WORMS! I loved Nell as much as Samantha did. And well, when I got my braces off and got my hair cut, so did my character on TV!
Growing up on a set really made me – well – grow up. I learned a lot about responsibility, being professional, a great work ethic. And also I became a better performer over the years, comic timing and such. I also learned that when you’re a celebrity, people treat you differently, but that it can all change in an instant, so one should never take anything for granted. I loved and appreciated all the years on the show. Unlike many child stars, I really loved my life and came out unscathed, no drugs, no alcohol, nothing. My parents were wonderful and supportive and not pushy. I learned a lot about ‘show business’ – both parts: the show AND the business!
Celinda: Wow that is such a profound answer, and so true, many people forget about the business part of the industry. Well, a lot of your fans (myself included) might know you best from your role as Kari on Digimon. When it was announced that Digimon was coming back to continue the story of the 8 original characters, the internet went into a frenzy. How does it feel to have fans still get really excited about a project you did 15 years ago?
Lara: Love hearing from you and all the fans! Digimon was my first animated gig. Lots of great memories. And well, yah! It feels GREAT to hear that people love the project and love Kari. If the show comes back to the US for a US dub, I’d love to be the grown up Kari.
Celinda: I think I can speak for all of your fans when I say that we would love to hear you voice adult Kari. So, another voice-over role that a lot of fans know you from is Clifford’s Puppy Days, how did this experience differ from your experiences working on Anime?
Lara: Anime is dubbed after the fact. Clifford’s Puppy Days (and some of my other shows like Juniper Lee, Wubbzy, Curious George, SciGirls, Hugglemonsters, Doc, etc…oh, and also the new Nick show I’m working on…) are original animation. We record first and then they draw the character TO US… We CREATE the roles. And for most of these shows, we record together as a cast. That’s fun.
Celinda: That does sound really fun. One of the many shows that you’re working on at the moment is Doc McStuffins on Disney Junior. This show has been widely praised for it’s educational aspects, how does it feel to know that shows you’ve worked on such as Doc McStuffins and SciGirls are influencing your audience to become more interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects?
Lara: I’m so honored and thrilled to be a part of these shows. Doc McStuffins is changing the world! Really! What a concept to be a part of such a big thing, right? I love playing Lambie. And Izzie on SciGirls – what a brilliant show! I hope that with both shows, we make a difference!
Celinda: I’m sure both shows will have a huge positive influence on your audience. So what are some of the major differences between preparing for a recording session for a voice-over project, versus an on-camera job?
Lara: Make-up…or lack thereof! And wardrobe. Although sometimes I like picking out cute outfits to record in… although they must be quiet clothes. You know, mic-worthy.
The thing with animation, we don’t have to memorize lines, but I do read the scripts, and prepare ad libs, etc, ahead of time. Also each week for Doc and Hugglemonsters we have to learn songs, harmonies. There’s a lot of preparation for that.
Celinda: Wow, I never would have thought about a lot of that, particularly the mic-worthy clothes. Lastly are there any upcoming projects that your fans should look out for, and is there anything that you would like to say to any of your fans who are reading this interview?
Lara: Oh yah! There’s a new Nickelodeon show! And… that’s about all I’m allowed to say right now! Go to my FB Page and/or follow me on Twitter for updates. I’m not THAT active on those social media pages, but I’m trying! And I love hearing from fans! The nice ones (which I’m SURE the ones reading this are!) And well, thanks for reading this. I feel very lucky that I get to do what I love to do and that so many people love what I do, too. Thank you for that.
Celinda: Thank you again for taking the time to speak with me Lara.
Lara: Thank YOU Celinda! And thanks again to all your readers for reading this!
Keep up with everything Lara is doing:
Facebook: Lara Jill Miller
Check out these clips to see a couple of the AWESOME characters Lara has voiced! (you can check out more clips on Lara’s official website, which is linked above):
‘Kari’ – Digimon (You can hear Lara’s voice beginning at 0:04)
‘Lambie’ – Doc McStuffins (You can hear Lara’s voice beginning at 1:04)