So what's Lucas Grabeel's favorite memory from all the
"High School Musical" craziness? Was it when the soundtrack for this
super-popular Disney Channel Original Movie became the best-selling album in
the United States
for all of 2006? Or when the cast of this TV movie traveled the globe and then
performed live in front of tens of thousands of people as part of the
"High School Musical: The Concert" tour?
"I have to admit that that concert tour was completely
nuts," Grabeel revealed during a recent phone interview. "I mean, in
May of 2007, we were booked to appear in Brazil's
Estádio do Morumbi. Which is this sports stadium that seats 75,000 people. And
every seat was filled. So we had 75,000 people in a stadium screaming at us and
most of these kids didn't even speak English. I mean, that's Beatles level
craziness. And to be onstage and have that many people screaming at you, have
all that noise & energy coming at you, it's just ... indescribable."
Lucas Grabeel posted this picture of himself and Vanessa Hudgens onstage during one of the stops on the "High School Musical: The Concert" tour.Please note the huge audience filled with HSM fans directly behind them.
So was that Lucas enjoyed most about playing Ryan Evans in
those two "High School Musical" TV movies and their
theatrically-released sequel? Oddly enough, no.
"My favorite part of being associated with that
franchise is when someone comes up to me now one-on-one and then tells me about
how High School Musical made a real difference in their life. How that TV movie
inspired them to try singing or dancing, or how my character in those movies
taught them that it was okay to be a different. That they should learn to
embrace that difference," Lucas continued. "I just love that
something that I did -- this silly TV movie with a couple of kids singing &
dancing -- could have that sort of positive impact in people's lives."
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
Mind you, Grabeel hopes that the show that he's working on
now for Disney Junior -- "Sheriff Callie's Wild West" -- will have a
similar sort of impact on a much younger audience. The first western for
preschoolers, this new animated series is aiming to use the "Cowpoke
Code" as a way to teach kids age 2-7 about fairness, honesty, hospitality,
cooperation and hard work.
And speaking of hard work, Lucas admits that it did take him
a while to get a handle on Peck, the character that he's voicing for an
Lucas Grabeel in the recording booth as he gets ready to voice Peck for Disney Junior's new animated series," Sheriff Callie's Wild West."Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
"Yeah, it was very challenging at first. I mean, when
you voice a character on an animated series like this, it's not enough to just
know how your character sounds when he or she talking. You also have to know
how your character sounds when they're singing or yelling, how they sound when they're
scared," Grabeel explained. "So in the beginning, there's a lot of
experimentation. As you & the guys in the recording booth feel your way
along. Try and get a full picture of how
your character sounds."
"In my case, I was lucky though. All of my recording
session were with Jessica DiCicco, who's a real veteran of this industry. She's
been doing character voice work for years. So she kind of helped me along. Gave
me confidence in what I was doing, told me what I was doing with Peck was
good," Lucas continued. "And I was getting the same sort of feedback
from the guys in the recording booth. So -- in the end -- I think what it's
really all about when it comes to doing voice work. You have to have confidence
in yourself. You have to go into that recording booth and really commit."
(L to R) Constance Marie, Katie Leclerc, Vanessa Marano, Lea Thompson, D.W. Moffett and Lucas Grabeel on ABC Family's "Switched at Birth." CopyrightDisney / ABC Television Group. All rights reserved
And Grabeel tries to bring that exact same level of effort
& commitment to everything that he does these days. Whether it's the Toby
Kennish character Lucas portrays on ABC Family's hit series "Switched at
Birth" or "135n8," his new music video which debuted on
Billboard.com late last week.
"What can I tell you? I'm a guy who likes to keep
busy," Lucas smiled. "When I'm not working on one kind of project, I
want to be working on another one. Keeping as many irons in the fire as I
Toby the cactus, Sherrif Callie and Peck the woodpecker on Disney Junior's"Sheriff Callie's Wild West." Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.All rights reserved
Though -- that said -- it's looking quite likely that
Grabeel's new "Sheriff Callie" gig
may keep him plenty busy in the weeks & months ahead. Since this
Disney / ABC Television Group series previewed back on December 13th and then
officially debuted on Disney Junior back on January 20th, "Sheriff
Callie's Wild West" -- thanks to the multiple episodes which have aired
online or been screened through mobile devices -- has already amassed over 23
million views on the popular WATCH Disney Junior app.
Mind you, those obviously aren't "High School
Musical" level numbers. But even so, they're strong enough to suggest that
Disney Junior has another hit on its hand. More to the point, that Lucas
Grabeel may be playing Peck, Sherrif Callie's trusty woodpecker deputy for many
years yet to come.