Zendaya has a lot on her mind.
You can tell by her matter-of-fact way of speaking. She just wants to get on with it. You can also tell by how many irons she has in the fire and how many hats she wears to tend to that fire: producer, author, actor, singer and dancer.
She plans to add her fire to the North Texas heat when she performs at Six Flags Over Texas on Friday.
“We really try to identify who the best talent is and go after it,” says Jim Brothers, who is in charge of booking talent for shows at Six Flags. “Zendaya is our last booked concert for the summer.”
Those with children of a certain age certainly know Zendaya from the Disney Channel series Shake It Up, on which she played a dancer named Rocky, or as the voice of Fern and singer of one of the theme songs from the Disney Fairies movie franchise. Others might know her as runner-up on Dancing With the Stars from May 2013.
Most recently, Zendaya was involved in a brief media storm in which she bowed out of the Aaliyah biopic for Lifetime. She explained via Instagram videos that she was concerned about production and music issues, not widespread criticism of her being cast as the singer, who was just 22 when she died more than a decade ago.
Alexandra Shipp of Nickelodeon’s House of Anubis stepped into the role.
“Congratulations to the new woman playing Aaliyah. I only hope that she does not have to deal with half the hate that I had to deal with,” Zendaya said in one of the videos. “Remember we are all human beings trying to do what we love to do. Let’s practice motivation and love, not discrimination and hate.”
She’s performing Friday behind platinum single “Replay” off her self-titled 2013 debut CD. But she’s all over the place — in a good way: She’s repping her advice book, Between U and Me: How to Rock Your Tween Years With Style and Confidence; and she’s been announced as the face of Material Girl Madonna’s clothing line.
She will even be a producer of her own TV show on Disney Channel: K.C. Undercover.
“I’m very excited. I think it’s going to be a good time for me to put on a new hat and be as involved in the creative process of a TV show and figure out what it takes to make a TV show,” Zendaya says via telephone. “There are so many different components and decisions that have to be made. I think it’s important to get involved at a young age.”
None of it fazes her. It comes with the territory that she’s always wanted to claim. This is just her, at 17 years old, winning at a dream she’s had as long as she can remember.
“I couldn’t see myself doing anything else, even, from when I was really, really young,” she says. “I developed a passion for what I do now, and I just look for it and made it my life.”
So, it’s on to the next for Zendaya Coleman. She keeps her options open.
“Everything is in the planning process,” she says.
She doesn’t take any of it for granted — least of all her fans, many of whom rallied for her against the criticism.
“They’re priorities in my life because my fans — I like to call them Zswaggers — I like to consider us a big family,” she says. “It’s just good to know that people all over the world really care about you, support you, love you and want to see you succeed and do well. That’s just the most amazing thing to me.”Tags: actor, concert, movie, music, producer, singer, tv