This year, Ellarose Kaylor has appeared in the recent US release of Next Level as Josie Parker and featured on their cast recording with the songs The Stage is Mine, What we Do and Dance it Off, and is now working with Andrew Lane for her own future album. Along with acting, Ellarose is part of the Preliminary Synchronised Ice Skating Team who became US Champions in 2018, and has been rehearsing for her upcoming performances with The Lion King on Ice. Catching up with Ellarose, she talks to us about filming Next Level as Josie, working on her debut album and her ice skating career.
Can you tell us about filming Next Level and being part of the cast?
It was so much fun to film Next Level, we had the best cast ever! All of the cast became like one big family! I was the littlest one but everyone was so sweet to me and included me in everything so that made me so happy. We shot for thirteen days in Santa Monica in one location and so it was really like a real performing arts camp because we got to act, sing and dance while making the movie! We also had fun on set when not shooting by playing pranks on each other, laughing a lot, eating Otter Pops and playing lots of UNO!
Who is your character Josie Parker?
Josie is the youngest of the all the kids that attend Next Level Academy, and when she first arrived, some of girls were mean to her, but then she met a friend Kelly (played by Lauren Orlando) and even though Kelly was older, they became close friends and supported each other throughout the film. Josie is sassy and very driven (kind of like me). Once she overcame her insecurities she felt like she could do anything! I loved playing the role of Josie, she was really inspiring.
What were the auditions like and how did it feel reading the script for the first time?
The script was really good. I was excited to make my character come to life. Once I read it, I was just hoping the director would like me for the role and she did, so I was so happy!
Did you have any events for the film release and what was it like seeing the finished production?
We had an amazing World Premiere in Los Angeles with over 700 people and all my friends, family and people from the industry came! We then had a big party after the Premiere and that was really fun! I loved the flash mob dance that happened at the after party! Then, the next day, we went to Radio Disney and then jumped on a plane to Toronto where we did a screening there for Lauren Orlando’s friends, family and a bunch of fans! I had never been to Canada before and we all had so much fun travelling together! Then, from Toronto, we flew to NY to the New York Premiere! That was super cool! I love New York! It was really nice to meet so many people at all of our stops. The next day we stayed in NY and did a lot of press interviews. One of my favourite moments was on our time off, I went to Central Park with Emily Skinner. That park is so beautiful and Emily is so extra sweet!
How was it recording the soundtrack with the songs The Stage is Mine, What we Do and Dance it Off?
When I found out I had to sing in the film, I was a little nervous because I had never sung before. I thought that maybe my character was nervous too because she was not a “professional singer”, she was just at the camp to help her learn! Realising that, took the pressure off me, that the song did not have to be perfect! I loved working with Andrew Lane, he really helped me so much with the songs. Then when I got to perform them in the film, I felt much more confident.
Dance it Off, I recorded outside of the film with my best friend Reese Herron. We wanted to do a song together and then Andrew just put the song in the movie – so that was exciting!!!
What do you enjoy about releasing music and can you tell us about working with Andrew Lane on your upcoming album?
Andrew Lane is the best because he really takes his time and helps me with my voice. He also is fun to work with and always in a good mood and super sweet to me always! Right now, we are writing some new songs and working with some very cool songwriters!
How long have you been working on the album and what can you say about it?
We just started to work new songs because when I recorded the songs for Next Level I was a year younger, and now that I am nine, my voice has changed a lot. This album, to me, is going to be, hopefully, something that everyone likes and when you listen to it, it will make you happy inside!
Do you have a favourite music artist and what films/TV shows do you enjoy watching?
I love the band Why Don’t We, Shawn Mendes, Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift! Movies… Next Level! Also, Descendants. I don’t really watch TV, I watch YouTube — I love to watch Ellen and then funny people on YouTube.
What is the YouTube show The Dab Off and how is it being involved?
It was a fun project to be a part of! Jamie Grace is really cool and she directed it and starred in it!
When did you start ice skating and can you tell us about your recent competitions?
I started ice skating almost three years ago. At my competitions, I usually do one technical program and one character program. I love to skate the character programs the most because I get to act and skate. This last US competition, I skated my Madeline program for the last time and I was happy to finish strong with first place. Before that, I did the Trolley Song by Judy Garland – an old one but classic! My technical program is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I have not placed first with that one yet (only second and forth), so I am working really hard to get that one better. I love to go to competitions because I love to perform in front of judges and my family and friends! Now a lot of my friends I am skating against, but that is okay, we all support each other. Some days you have a good stake and other days you do not!
You are part of the Preliminary Synchronised Ice Skating Team, how long have you been with them and how does it feel being US Champions?
I have been on the team two years. We just started the new season so this will be year three. It was crazy when we found out we got first at Nationals last year. It was a funny story… they first announced us as sixth place and our entire team was so sad. BUT then they realised they made a calculation mistake and we actually had gotten FIRST PLACE! They changed our ribbons from purple to blue and gave us first place trophy! It was a rollercoaster of emotion, we all went from being bumped to so happy! I felt bad for the team that thought they got first.
Are you involved with any charity work or do you have plans to be?
YES! It is so important to me. Anytime I can do something to help children or animals, I do! I love supporting the Mattel/UCAL Children’s Hospital and I love to bring toys to kids that do not have anything. I want to do something to help our oceans too. I live at the beach and I will go with my mom and pick up trash but we really need to figure out how we can clean up our oceans and our earth!
Where does your love of acting and performing come from?
It is just inside of me. Once I did it for the first time, I was hooked and knew I wanted to keep going!
Are you currently filming any projects you can tell us about and what plans do you have leading into the new year?
I just finished filming an episode of Schooled for ABC. I also am now in the theatre ice show, The Lion King on Ice. I have been in rehearsal a lot for it! I can’t wait until we start to perform!
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