Julio Martinez's TeleVISION
The folks at Disney/ABC Television recently hosted their annual “Group Summer Press Junket,” spotlighting the network talents that are making their way through the vast panorama of daytime and nighttime programming. On hand are such varied talents as The Jonas Brothers (Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam), Nestor Carbonell (Lost), Ian Gomez (Cougar Town), Virginia Madsen (Scoundrels), the lovely quartet of Lucy Hale, Ashley Benson, Trojan Bellisario, Shay Mitchell (Pretty Little Liars) and more. Among this comely group are two Latina actors/singers who are enjoying a diversity of opportunities to display their considerable individual talents.
Adrianna León, who is of Puerto Rican, Ecuadorian Spanish and Canadian descent, is enjoying a bit of déjà vu, returning this month to ABC’s daytime drama, General Hospital, in the role of Brook Lynn Ashton, a role she originally created in 2004. “Brook’s back,” Leon giggles. “Actually I’m recurring for now and if I do well, I can stay. But this Brook is far different than the original one I played. In 2004, Brook was a wild, rebellious teenage punk rock singer. Well, she’s changed. I will have to discover how different she has become, because I won’t really know until I get my scripts. With every script I discover a new layer to my character. The producers don’t tell you anything in advance.”
Leon, who is related to the former Vice Mayor of Puerto Rico, and lived as a child in Ecuador, believes it is good to acquire a lot of skills, just in case acting doesn’t work out. “I am a culinary school graduate (working on an English-Spanish cookbook with her grandmother) and a certified personal fitness trainer. I compose songs and record them. I love to run for exercise and love to travel for fun. In fact, I could spend all my time discovering new places and be totally happy.”
Although she loves to learn new disciplines, Leon certainly has had enough performance affirmation since she launched her musical career in 2002, writing and recording songs, alongside Rick Krizman for General Hospital, before joining the cast in 2004. In 2003, León formed the band, Caught Crimson, with the help of vocalist Murray Yates. Leon has enjoyed stints on other daytime series, such as The Young and the Restless, but is totally happy to be back on General Hospital, as well as working on a new crossover album. “I am doing songs in Spanish, English and Spanglish,” she affirms. “I am even singing a bit on General Hospital. I few weeks ago, they wrote me into a scene where I sing at a karaoke bar. I’ve been told I will be doing that again. In my spare time, I cook and look at travel brochures.”
Demi Lovato (Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam, Sonny With a Chance, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Grey’s Anatomy, Friends For Change) is so busy, she’s not sure which ABC show she is promoting. “I am particularly happy to have guest starred in one of the final episodes of this season’s Grey’s Anatomy, playing someone who was thought to be schizophrenic,” she says. “It was so emotionally demanding. I am proud they felt I could do it. I worked very hard. I even resereached various aspects schizophrenic behavior. I love doing comedies and musicals but it felt so personally gratifying to do a drama.”
Dallas, Texas-born Lovato, who is of Mexican, Italian, and Irish ancestry, began her career at age seven on the PBS children's television series, Barney & Friends as Angela, appearing in seasons seven and eight alongside long time friend, Selena Gomez. Now, at age seventeen, she is an established teenage icon, having starred in the 2008 Disney Channel film, Camp Rock, playing Mitchie Torres, a fourteen-year-old girl with hopes of becoming a singer. The movie garnered 8.9 million viewers. She provided vocals on four of the songs featured on the Camp Rock soundtrack, including, "This Is Me," featuring Joe Jonas.
“A lot of wonderful things have happened for me since then,” Lovato affirms. “Last year I co-starred with my pal, Selena Gomez, in the Disney movie, Princess Protection Program. We had a ball. Also, last year, I did the Disney Channel series, Sonny With a Chance, playing a newcomer to a live comedy show. I am so gratified we got picked up for a second season, which began this March.” Also in March, Lovato was one of the many stars featured in a PSA for Voto Latino in order to promote the organization's "Be Counted" campaign for the 2010 U.S. Census.
“I am also working on a music project, which I am hoping to launch in conjunction with the premiere of Camp Rock 2, says Lovato . “We shot Rock 2 last September, and it is premiering as a Disney Channel original movie on September 3, 2010. I hope everyone likes the movie and my music. I also hope to keep getting great roles that make me stretch