New Victoria Justice Interview!" It’s kind of dream come true that on my show “Victorious,”

Nickelodeon star Victoria Justice recently spoke to the Times Free Press about her life and career (including being a role model)  in connection with an upcoming personal appearance at the Times Free Press Kids Expo at the Chattanooga Convention center.

Q: At what point would you say you first felt successful? When did you feel you had “made it”?

A: I was definitely first discovered by [TV producer] Dan Schneider when I was 12 years old. That was when I was first introduced into the Nickelodeon family. Playing Lola on “Zoey 101″ was probably my biggest introduction to this audience and gave me a great opportunity.

Q: You are working on your first solo album and have your first feature film coming up in October. Does it feel like your career has shifted into a higher gear?

A: Definitely. I’m being given incredible opportunities, but at the same time, I think it’s because I’ve been working so hard for so many years. [Laughs.] I think a lot of people see what I do … and it all looks so fun and glamorous and easy; but in reality, I work super hard. For example, last year, from Jan. 1 to Dec. 21, I only had six days off.

A: It takes a lot of focus, and I have to sacrifice a lot, but at the end of the day, it’s worth it to me. My parents used to say that “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.” I feel like I’ve been preparing for this for a while now.

Q: Growing up, was it your dream to be a singer or an actress? Or something else?

A: I loved both. Although my acting career is the thing that jump-started me and was the thing that jumped off first, music has always been a huge passion of mine. It’s kind of dream come true that on my show “Victorious,” I’m able to be an actress and play comedy … but also have music.

Q: Next February, you’re turning 20 years old. Is that something you’ve been thinking about lately? Do you think you’ll have a crisis about no longer being a teenager?

A: [Laughs.] No, I think it’ll just be another birthday, you know? I think 20 will be an exciting year — new adventures, new challenges, new experiences. I’m leaving behind the teenage years and moving into another chapter. Read more>>