Check out our interview with actress and singer Tara Macri. Tara starred in the KungFu Panda prequel, Secrets of the Scroll, as Young Tigress (Angelina Jolie plays Tigress). The prequel also features Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu and more.
In addition to her work as an actress, Tara’s song ‘Prettiest Girl in The Room’ recently broke the top 100 on Hot AC charts. Yahoo was the premier partner for ‘Prettiest Girl In The Room’s’ official music video. As of January 1, Footlocker is airing an interview with Tara and her acoustic performance of the song in 1,100 of their stores across the country.
Hi Tara please tell us a little about you?
I have always been a songwriter and singer. Even as a kid, I would hog the spotlight and perform for my parents and anyone who would listen. I am thankful that I have a patient and loving family.
I am really fortunate that I have been able to pursue a career as an artist and perform on Broadway, at the Hollywood Bowl and concert halls all over.
How did you get started acting?
I wanted to do it so badly that I begged my parents to let me get into it. They then took me to an agency in Toronto where I am from. I auditioned for them and they took me on even though they didn’t represent kids. My first role was in a movie called Under the Piano.
Did your family support your decision to become an actress?
They actually did! They saw how badly I wanted to become an actress when I was younger and knew that it was something that I really wanted to do. They always tell me funny stories from when I was about 1 or 2 years old. I would apparently run around the dining room table dancing, singing and making up my own song. I have a feeling that I drove them crazy because my grandpa would not let anyone leave the table until I had finished my set!
How do you prepare for a role?
It varies from role to role. I do a lot of research and have an amazing acting coach in New York, Bernadette Quigley, who I love to work with. I like to over prepare so, when rehearsals start, I know the role so well that I am able to just play with the rest of the cast and see what happens.
How was the experience to do the voice of Young Tigress in the KungFu Panda prequel, Secrets of the Scroll?
It was one of my favorite experiences ever!! I loved working with everyone at DreamWorks and the director Rodolphe Guenoden. My scenes were with Dustin Hoffman and Jack Black, but we all came in on different days so I did not get to meet them. It was such an honor to be part of such amazing project.
What has been your favorite part of working on this film?
I loved working on the DreamWorks lot and with the Kung Fu Panda team. It really was a dream come true. After I got the role, I remembered that I had written down goals and dreams of mine on a piece of paper years ago. One of them was to do animation at Dream Works! I still have that list.
Benedict Cumberbatch is my favorite actor. I just saw a taped live theatre version of him playing Hamlet. He was incredible. His role as Sherlock is my absolute favorite though. His character is so complex and his performance is witty. Benedict has a great voice and is super charming. I think I saw him once in a restaurant here in LA and I might have walked by and said “Hi Sherlock.” I don’t think he heard me.
What advice would you give to those who want to be in this business?
There are a lot of high highs and low lows, just like any other career, but I think if you can stay positive and level-headed through the highs and lows, that will help. In the end, if you love writing, performing and entertaining, you always have that to fulfill you.
Now about your music side, tell us about the success of your song ‘”Prettiest Girl in The Room”?
Thanks for asking! I am so excited about releasing this song!
The song is about thinking things are going your way and then they turn in the opposite direction. So what do you do? This song says it’s okay to be vulnerable and reach out to that person who has your back, whether it’s your boyfriend, girlfriend, sister, brother, mom or dad, and share your bad day with them. Having those people you can lean on doesn’t mean they will solve your problems, but it’s sure great to have those people in your life.
Who are some of your musical influences, and how would you describe your music?
I am a huge Kayne and Pink fan.
I am a huge fan of P!NK. I love how all of her songs are full of so much honesty. Her songs are autobiographical and tell a story of what is going on in her life. P!NK’s lyrics don’t always paint a rosy picture, but they do continuously display strength and perseverance to get through the tough times. I really love that message and, after I listen to one of her songs, I feel like, “Yeah. I feel like that sometimes, but P!NK just said it….confessed it…and she prevailed. If she can do it, then so can I!” It is a message that still drives me today!
I describe my music as fun, feisty and girl power. I usually describe it to people as not as soft as Colbie Caillat and not as hard as P!NK. I feel like I am somewhere in the middle.
What kind of music do you like? And don’t like?
Oh, wow, that is so hard! My list of music that I like is very, very long. I will break it down this way:
Living: Without a doubt, P!NK, Kanye and Eminem because of the way they string together lyrics. They are amazing and continuously blow my mind!
I just saw Beyoncé’s LA concert on TV the other day and would love to have shows like that. Everything about it was so entertaining. She sings, dances and connects with her audience while in 5-inch stilettos.
Passed on to the Great Beyond: The one…the only…Michael Jackson,
As for music I don’t like, I am not sure that there is anything I don’t like. It’s all so personal so, even if there is something I don’t connect with, I can still connect with the artist and what they are trying to conceive.
What is your next goal as a musician?
I love it all. I love writing new songs with other writers and producers. I love turning those into polished pieces of work in the studio. Most of all, I love hitting the road and singing those songs for people! It’s funny that all of these things are scary and take a lot of work, but are so rewording when you get to the finish line.
What are the 3 things you can’t live without?
• My iPhone
• Earl Grey Tea latter also known as a London Fog at Starbucks
• Hot Sauce and anything spicy
How’s your typical day?
I am an early riser and generally get up early to work out. This is always preceded or followed by a Starbucks London Fog run. Like everybody, there are a ton of emails to answer but I usually always do 1 hour of voice rehearsals. I sometimes rehearse with my band as well if we have a show or radio event coming up. I am always working on a song so I like to set some time aside for that. Every day is completely different because I am currently doing radio promotion for my new single and it has me all over on different time zones. Not on a typical day, but on weekends I love farmers markets. LA is so blessed with fresh organic produce.
Something people don’t know about you?
Not sure if this is important but I once ate 12 cobs of corn when I was age 10 at one sitting. Turns out that the world record is 46 in 10 min. Oh well…it doesn’t make me that strange after all!
Five years from now you will be….
Doing exactly what I am doing now! Okay, but I will be touring and working on my 4th album
Do you have any other hobbies?
I really love being active and have recently discovered this really cool app called ClassPass. It allows me to switch up and even try new classes. Right now my favorites are spin, yoga, boxing and dance. I have danced my whole life and this is a great way to be creative and have fun.
What do you think of the Social Media?
I think it’s such a great way to connect with people. What I love the most is that I can write a song and can connect with a fan that I have never met and learn about their story.
Where we can follow you?
Quote: Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. Winston Churchill
Favorite Book: A Prayer for Owen Meany
Sports Team: I have to say Arsenal because it’s my sister’s favorite team and I would get in trouble if I said any other team. The truth is that I don’t have one.
Restaurant/Bar: Terroni’s on 3rd Street
Drink: Red wine a Big Bold Cab
Favorite music: Grace Potter, Kanye
Travel destination: I have never been, but want to go, to Paris, the South of France and Italy.
TV Show: The Walking Dead! Who doesn’t love Darryl. Rick grows the best beard. I am still healing from the main characters they have killed off.
Photo Credit: Randi Lamey