Heading over to the Disney Channel Studios here in Spain for over 20 TV and Magazine interviews, today is going to be a looooong day. I will check back with you guys later tonight.—Facebook, March 28, 2010
What are the odds......Today I graduated from high school and got my diploma!!!!! I also filmed my graduation ceremony in the upcoming movie Monte Carlo. So in a weird way I was able to experience an official graduation, LOL. How is everyone doing? What are your plans for the summer? Miss you all and I will update again soon.—Facebook, May 10, 2010
One bright Saturday afternoon last July, in a field in Old Westbury, New York, Selena Gomez was tossing around a Frisbee, dressed in a pink-striped T-shirt, a floppy knit cap, and jeggings (translation for anyone over 18: leggings that look like jeans). Behind her a gaggle of girls holding clusters of balloons were laughing and dancing, while nearby, her stepfather, Brian Teefey, and one of her CAA agents, Christian Carino, were throwing a ball back and forth. It was precisely the kind of leisurely summer day you might expect a teenage girl to be having—were that girl not Selena Gomez, one of the most bankable brands on the planet. The scene in question was, in fact, just another workday for Gomez, who was shooting a commercial for Kmart that was meant to evoke—what else?—a day in the life of Selena Gomez. Her Dream Out Loud by Selena Gomez clothing line was due to hit 1,308 Kmart stores in August, and while a wind machine gave her chestnut mane that freshly blown-in-the-breeze look, she was flinging the Frisbee not to a friend but to an off-camera assistant.
Gomez is a multiplatform Disney phenom whose Google Calendar rivals that of a presidential candidate, though hers is still overseen by her mom and manager—her “momager,” in Disney-speak—Mandy Teefey. As a momager myself, albeit of a nonfamous nine-year-old, I make it a point to meet my daughter’s friends. And as it happens, her virtual BFF is Gomez. The two have never met in person, but they’ve spent untold hours together just about everywhere else: online, at the multiplex, on iTunes, at the store, and—all too regularly, I sheepishly admit—on Wizards of Waverly Place, the hit Disney Channel show that propelled Gomez to the pinnacle of teen stardom.
Disney has famously spawned the careers of many child performers, from Annette Funicello to Britney Spears. Long ago, teen stars reached out to their fans via the TV show, movie, or concert they headlined, or through interviews with mainstream media and fanzines. But thanks to Disney’s synergistic multiplatforming—its ability to move young talent across all distribution channels—Gomez and her Disney cohorts are now movie, music, and TV stars simultaneously.