Ashley Fink, also known as New Directions addition Lauren Zizes, has answered your questions in this exclusive GleeFan.com Q&A! She talks about her inspirations, how she got to be on Glee, her favorite music, and her advice for girls who are struggling with their self-esteem. Enjoy!
Q: “I was wondering who are your inspirations? What made you want to become an actor?” – Erika (24, Los Angeles, CA)
A: I have so many inspirations! A huge escape from the angst of youth, for me, was television. I’ve always admired funny women… Roseanne, Kathy Griffin, Amy Sedaris, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders… I’ve consistently been inspired by the power of comedy! Seth Green, John Candy, Bill Murray, any and all of the cast of Friends. Also any movie Tim Burton, Stanley Kubrick or Christopher Guest ever made has inspired me.
I believe I knew I wanted to be an actor when I was 3 years old. I hung sheets up, pretended they were stage curtains, laced up my tap shoes and put on endless shows for my poor parents… I was no fool however, I charged them admission.
Q: “If you had to choose to be any Disney character, who would you be?” – Eleanor O. (19, Melbourne, Australia)
A: Mrs. Potts because I’d love to sing, “Beauty and the Beast.” Also I love me some Angela Lansbury… and Colfer could be my Chip! Or I’d be Mufasa… because… duh… He’s Mufasa.
Q: “Lady Gaga and Ke$ha are hanging from a cliff and you can only save one. Who do you save?” – Rachel S. (19, Philadelphia, PA)
A: Ha! I’d save Gaga because I wouldn’t want her fashions to get disheveled… And I’m assuming the amount of glitter Ke$ha has on will break the impact of her fall.
Q: “What was the audition process for Glee like for you?” – Dani H. (24)
A: Crazy! Robert Ulrich who cast Glee is just a doll. I was very lucky in the fact that he kept bringing me in the office to read for different characters on the show, and I remember the day I read for Lauren. It was a Saturday (which is unusual but they needed to cast the roll asap), I was running late because there was mad traffic… I hadn’t had my daily coffee… Made it there just in time and I went in that room and just… I don’t know how to describe it… Sometimes things just click.
Q: “How did you react when you found out you were going to have a song to yourself?” – Jamilia S-W. (18, Atlanta, GA)
A: I think with a squeal followed by a jump kick… Yeah… there was definitely a high kick in there somewhere. I was thrilled! Mr. Ryan Murphy (who I’m obsessed with) told me before I actually read it in the script. And, “I Know What Boys Like” is such a fun 80’s anthem. Totally a Zizes jam.
Q: “If you can pick any song for Lauren to sing to Puck, what would you choose?” – Nicole B.
A: Haha… Any song?! The world is my oyster in this scenario! I may have to pick a few! Okay–
“Head Over Feet” (the acoustic version) by Alanis Morissette
“The Only One” by Melissa Etheridge
“One and Only” by Adele
and last but not least, I’d love to duet “Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard with the Puckerman. That would be boss!
Q: “If you were stuck on a deserted island, which 3 people would you want to be stuck with?” – Kimberly S. (13, Ottawa, Canada)
A: Colfer because god knows I can’t live without my boo, my mom because she has the power to make any terrible situation not seem so bad, and the Genie from Aladdin because he could provide things like food, water and cable TV.
Q: “Do you consider yourself a nerd? And, if so, what sorts of nerdy things do you love?” – Alison T. (21, Albuquerque, NM)
A: Ha! If the cats not out of the bag already I’ll confirm it, I. Am. A. Nerd. I eat, sleep and breath anything Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Wars or mustaches. I am looking at my shelf of action figures as I type… We have all of the Ninja Turtles in front of their New York postcard backdrop, some Smurfs, Jack Skellington, Seth Green (yes, he has an action figure from Austin Powers, check it out), the Wicked Witch of the West, some Fraggles that I got in a happy meal. Also you should know I bring a zombie finger puppet named, “Harold” everywhere. He even came to the Golden Globes.
Q: “What do you sing in the shower?” – Maddy H. (14, Sydney, NSW, Australia)
A: Oh man… “I Would Do Anything For Love” by Meatloaf, “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler, “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astly, anything from the Wicked or Rent catalogue… This list goes on and on, just ask my neighbors.
Q: “Do you have a favorite charitable organization or one you feel most passionate about?” – LaDonna M. (27, Tacoma, WA)
A: Yes! I love the folks over at the Trevor Project, they are just incredible and are truly changing lives. www.thetrevorproject.org
Also the Alzheimer’s Association is near and dear to my heart, one of my best friend’s father recently passed away and he was unfortunately afflicted with Alzheimer’s. Seeing someone go through that is life changing. www.alz.org
The NOH8 campaign is also great and the funds they raise go to promoting and raising awareness for Marriage Equality and anti-discrimination around the world! www.noh8campaign.com
Q: “What activities did you participate in while in high school, and what is the one activity that you didn’t participate in that you now wish you had?” – Carrie S. (31, Van Alstyne, TX)
A: High School activities… Does trash talking and going to the record store count? Hahah… No, in all seriousness I went to a performing arts school and it took up literally all of my life. Rehearsals on nights and weekends, then musical theatre camp in summer. There was not much I didn’t participate in… I was a little Rachel Berry in that regard.
Q: “If you could pick any song for Lauren Zizes to sing on the show, what would it be?” – Kelly
A: “I’m Every Woman” – Chaka Khan
“Out Tonight” – Rent
“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” – Cyndi Lauper
Or an original song entitled, “Come Correct”–hahah, as in, “You best come correct.”
Q: “Where would you most like to travel?” – Jaime H. (26, Rochester, MN)
A: Anywhere and everywhere! I have never been to Europe, and I have always wanted to! Luckily I’m going to get to see some of Europe this summer on tour with Glee Live! Also I’d love to spend some time in Narnia or FernGully.
Q: “What is the song that you can’t help but dance/sing to when it comes on the radio or shuffle?” – Rose B. (19, Cottonwood, AZ)
Oh, wow… Too many to list! “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix A Lot for sure or… “You’ve got the Right Stuff” by New Kids on the Block. I HAVE to do the choreography every time I hear that song. No lie.
Q: “What advice do you have for girls who are struggling with their self esteem?” – Dani H. (24)
A: Hold your head up, and smile. Everyone has insecurities. Everyone! That girl you stared at all through high school because you wanted to be and look just like her? She had problems with self esteem too! The key is not to let self doubt and insecurities stop you from going after what you want, and being yourself. Stereotypes are silly and are not as prevalent as they appear to be. No one is perfect even though most people would like to be! So screw it! Just find the strength to be yourself and rock it.
Q: “Alright, super important question. Would you rather be a ninja, a pirate or a cowboy?” – Sophia P. (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
A: Ninja. Straight up.