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December 13, 2012

Kiara Muhammad is the Voice of 'Doc McStuffins'
The 13-year-old on Getting the Part and Teaching Lessons to Kids

By Amy and Nancy Harrington, Pop Culture Passionistas

Disney Junior's show "Doc McStuffins" is a hit with the pre-school set. The animated program teaches kids about health issues through the eyes of the 6-year-old title character who runs a backyard clinic for her stuffed animals. Kiara Muhammad, 13, is the voice of Dottie "Doc" McStuffins. In a recent exclusive interview she discussed getting the part and what she hope kids will learn from the show.

Kiara Muhammad Began Acting at Age Seven
Muhammad started her acting career in New York City at age seven, but moved to Los Angeles, so she could pursue TV work. She quickly landed parts on "Hannah Montana" and the Disney Channel Movie "Den Brother." She only had gone on a few voice over auditions when she was offered the leading role of Doc McStuffins. The young actress stated, "This is my first time doing voice over so I was shocked, but I was really proud of myself, too."

Doc McStuffins Teaches Kids Every Day Basic Health
Doc McStuffins heals her patients of conditions like "Pricklethorns" (an inflatable toy poked by a rose bush) and "No-vroom-vroom-a-tosis" (a race car that has lost his pep). Muhammad hopes young viewers will get a lot of lessons from the show. "I think they learn pretty much everything possible to learn - brush your teeth, wash your hands, don't spread germs. All the basic things to learn when you're around five."
In last week's episode "Chilly Gets Chilly" kids learn about being prepared for cold weather. The actress explained what happened to the stuffed snowman, Chilly. "Well Chilly gets chilly because he goes out in the snow and he doesn't have anything warm on like a jacket. He thinks he's a real snowman but he's a stuffed one. So he goes out and he doesn't wear anything warm, like a hat and a jacket, so he gets cold. So then we have to bring him inside to get warm and I give him a check-up."

Doc McStuffins Features Big Name Stars
In another episode "Through the Reading Glasses" Doc helps find some reading glasses for a stuffed owl. "A.N.T Farm's China Anne McClain guest starred as Doc's cousin Tisha. China Anne McClain also sings the "Doc" theme song. Although Muhammad is part of the Disney family she admitted to not having a lot of ties to the other young actors at this point.

"Well I don't go to many events. I'm kind of busy because with 'Doc' and I have homework because I'm public schooled… So when I do go to an event I see some familiar faces. I've tested on shows with a lot of them and I've seen them around at events."

But it's not just other Disney stars that make appearances on "Doc McStuffins." past guest stars have included Ty Burrell, Nolan Gould, Dennis Farina, Jim Belushi and Camryn Manheim.
Tune in to "Doc McStuffins" on weekday mornings at 10 a.m. EST/9 a.m. Central on Disney Junior.

Screen Picks
December 13, 2012
Interview: Kiara Muhammad of ‘Doc McStuffins

The following interview was originally posted on the Pop Culture Passionistas blog.
Kiara Muhammad voices the title character on the Disney Junior show Doc McStuffins. The 13-year-old, who has been acting since she was seven, plays the little girl who wants to grow up to be a doctor, so she’s practicing stuffed animal medicine in her backyard clinic. Only she can see the animals come to life and describe their ailments like “Pricklethorns” and “No-vroom-vroom-a-tosis.” We spoke with Kiara in an exclusive interview and found out how she got the role, what she has learned from playing Doc and what she’s most passionate about.

On Moving from Boston to Los Angeles
“I’m originally from the Boston area, Dorchester. At an early age my parents saw I was very theatrical. So we first moved to New York to do more theater and commercials and modeling but then I told them I wanted to do more TV so we moved to L.A.”

On Getting the Part on ‘Doc McStuffins’
“My agent submitted me for some voice over auditions. I was just getting started, it was literally one of my first voice over auditions. So I just auditioned and I got a call back and I was like, ‘Okay, cool.’ And then I then I booked it and I was like, ‘Wow!’ This is my first time doing voice over so I was kind of shocked but I was really proud of myself, too.”

On What She Wanted to Be Growing Up
“I was really into fashion and shoes and bags and stuff. Originally I think I wanted to be a fashion designer. But then as I got a little older I wanted to entertain people so I wanted to act.”

On Having a Singing Career
“We’re not doing the album anymore, but I sing on the show. I want to be in choir but I can’t because I have other obligations like Doc and auditions and stuff. So I like singing in the shower.”

On What She’s Most Passionate About
“I’m most passionate about acting obviously. But I’m really passionate about how bullying is out of control right now. And how I really despise bullying because there’s no reason for it. No one is less than another person.”

On Advice for Kids Being Bullied
“Don’t let them bring you down. If you just think about it, there’s no reason for them to be doing it. So if you just think about that, there’s no reason for you to be down. Because they’re just using it as an excuse to make themselves feel better, when really they’re lesser than you.”

On Which Pop Culture Icon She’d Be for One Day
“I have to say Michael Jackson. Because he’s the King of Pop… and pop culture, too. I like to sing so I’d want to see how being a professional singer is rather than being a professional actress. So I could see the differences and similarities in that.”

Watch Doc McStuffins on weekday mornings at 10 a.m. EST/9 a.m. Central on Disney Junior.
August 7, 2012

Kiara Muhammad is your typical 13-year-old girl. She loves playing tennis and hanging out with her friends. She recently graduated the 8th grade and would freak out if she got the chance to meet Jaden Smith or Taylor Lautner.

There's just one small detail separating her from her peers: She's the voice of the lead character on Disney Jr.'s Doc McStuffins, a show about
a young African-American girl who wants to become a doctor. She spends her time healing her stuffed animals and teaching them healthy habits. The show has been a success, with a viewership of close to 918,000 children, ages 2 to 5.

Kiara recently spoke with ESSENCE about voicing an animated character, why she thinks the show is a success and about the overwhelming support that Doc McStuffins has received from both children and adults alike.

ESSENCE: Are there any similarities between you and Doc McStuffins?
Kiara Muhammad: I think we both strive for what we want. I really want to be an actress, so I took acting classes and I study my script before I go into the audition. In every episode, she always strives to help the toy and she always gets it done.

ESSENCE: You've also done some acting and commercials. Are you ever recognized in public?
Kiara: Yeah, it's weird because it has happened at school. They know me, but then, they'll be like, "Were you on a commercial?" Once a guy at school asked for an autograph.

ESSENCE: So what do your friends think of you being Doc McStuffins?
Kiara: They think it's really cute because they always make me do the voice, and they're like, "Awww, I watched the show this morning before coming to school!" They just think it's a cute show, and they're happy for me.

ESSENCE: The show is a huge success among children. What's it like being an idol for that age group?
Kiara: I just think it's really great that they look up to Doc. The thing that's special about the show is that it has those healthy messages, like, "Don't stay in the sun too long; you'll get dehydrated." "Always drink water and wash your hands so you don't spread germs." So I think that's really why it's getting this extra attention, because it has that healthy message, but it's also a fun show to watch.

ESSENCE: The show has also gotten a big response from African-American doctors. What do you think of that?
Kiara: I think that's awesome because they all were once little African-American girls who wanted to be doctors. These doctors are starting this kind of movement that are saying, "We are Doc McStuffins. Thank you so much for doing the show because we were in that place not so long ago." And now, there's a show that a lot of girls can look up to. They can do that.

Doc McStuffins, which airs weekdays on Disney Jr., has been renewed for a second season.

Pop Star Interview- Den Brother- Disney Channel Original Movie

Kiara has upcoming appearances in editorials with the following media outlets: Popstar, Tiger Beat, BOP, Girls' Life and Pixie as well as the popular kids internet site She was also featured on an episode of ABC 4 (Good Things Utah). We will post links to footage and editorials as they become available.

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