In: Hayley Westenra
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New Zealandís newest diva-in-training, is ready for
"Iím a lot less nervous about today than I am
when I have to perform at a school assembly in front
of people I know," says the Kiwi cutie as she
walks onto the Hollywood set of American Dreams. Just
a few hours of costume, makeup, and vocal warm-ups
later sheíll portray a '60s café singer on
the season's second episode (Oct. 3, 8 p.m. EST on
NBC). She has transformed "Who Painted The Moon
Black?" from her contemporary classical debut,
Pure, into a more mellow folk song befitting the showís
a glimpse at what really goes on behind the scenes
of the show and see Hayley's transformation from modern
girl to 60s siren! Plus: Hear a few a cappella verses
of her song!
today is huge for me. Getting on American Dreams is
the first big thing Iíve done (in the U.S). I probably
feel less nervous because everyone is so nice on the
set. I've also been practicing a lot and am basically
playing me in '60s clothes."
maybe itís because the 17 year old has already wowed
the likes of President Bush and the Queen of England
with her pitch-perfect pop-meets-classical tracks.
"Cool people," according to Hayley, but
itís Orlando Bloom she really wishes would catch her
act. "Heís quite cute. I canít believe he was
in New Zealand for years making Lord of the Rings
and I never bumped into him."
truth, Haley was the one hiding out. She doesn't mess
around when it comes to practicing. At six years old,
Hayley discovered singing as her calling and charged
ahead without a shield to stardom. "I played
the Littlest Star in the school Christmas production
and was given a solo. I just kept at it, doing musicals,
voice training, learning to play violin and piano,
and eventually I got to make a record and travel to
all these places to sing. All of my dreams are now
her friends and family havenít let the success go
to Haley's head. "(My friends) donít treat me
any differently when I go home. We talk about normal
stuff like guys and clothes."
although she can afford a much nicer pair of jeans
now and "even shoes to go with them," the
job does have some drawbacks. "I get quite homesick.
I miss my cockatiel Zack. I have to take a lot of
scary rides with New York cab drivers and eat a lot
of gross airline food, like those overly salty pretzels.
We go from one hotel to another and I donít really
meet people my own age or have time for dating. But
itís worth sacrificing, and thereís time for all of
when Orlando is single again?
by (USA) subscription only