Disney Starlet Hayley Kiyoko on Keeping Grounded in Hollywood

Actress Hayley Kiyoko says her motto of "staying true" to herself has been key in keeping her humble as she gains more fame in Hollywood.

By Nalea J. Ko, Reporter
Published May 9, 2011

Many other 20-year-olds might have fled their family home for Hollywood after finding success in showbiz.

But Disney starlet Hayley Kiyoko says living in her family home, which is about 40 minutes away from the Hollywood bustle, has kept her grounded and humble.

Kiyoko, 20, was born to standup comedian Jamie Alcroft and Canadian figure skater and choreographer Sarah Kawahara. Having two creative parents, Kiyoko says she was "born to create."

At a young age, Kiyoko — who is of Japanese, English and Scottish descent — says she was a natural performer and would put on shows for her family.

Her first taste of success in the entertainment business came in 2009 when she landed her first major role as Velma Dinkley in the TV movie "Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins."

The star of the new musical Disney movie "Lemonade Mouth," started doing commercial work at the age of 13.

Her singing, dancing and guitar playing skills came in handy for her new role in "Lemonade Mouth" as guitarist Stella Yamada. The family movie premiered April 15 on the Disney Channel but will air again on May 11.

The Disney movie was not the first time Kiyoko showcased her musical chops. As a member of the all-girl music group "The Stunners," Kiyoko toured with Justin Bieber in 2010.
The Pacific Citizen spoke via telephone with the Disney star — who called while relaxing from her couch before heading out to her karate lessons — about her newfound success.
 
Pacific Citizen:
It looks like you've been busy promoting "Lemonade Mouth." I saw the recent YouTube video of the impromptu flash mob performance you organized at the Apple store in Los Angeles. Calif. to the song "Determinate."
Hayley Kiyoko: It was not planned at all. We brought in our own boom box. I got really nervous.

I'm like 'Chris [Brochu] turn down the music.'

P.C.: Were you really escorted out of the store?
Kiyoko: It was awesome because they didn't kick us out until the end. They weren't angry.

We didn't tell them that we were doing it. They were just kind of confused [laughs].

P.C.:
That seems like something your "Lemonade Mouth" character Stella Yamada, who is a rebel, would do.
Kiyoko: Oh, my God! I've never done anything like that.

P.C.: You have a very edgy look, but I understand your high school experience was very different from your character, Stella, who gets the idea while in detention to start a band with her fellow students.
Kiyoko: We have certain aspects that are similar, like the whole leadership thing.

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