Chit Chatting with Actress Isabella Alexander

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Many of you may have seen actress Isabella Alexander on the show Fresh off the Boat. Her character, Alison, is the girlfriend of Eddie, played by Hudson Yang. Read on and find out more about her, her character Alison and five things people may not know about her. Also, be on the lookout for her upcoming projects! You won’t want to miss them.

 

R: Tell our readers a little bit about yourself and how you got your start in acting.

I: I am 14 years old, and I am pretty much a normal teenager who happens to get to work on television shows and in commercials. My start in acting came from what I thought was a devastating setback. I have always loved any type of performing arts, but I used to concentrate on competitive dancing. A few years ago, I had a really bad injury that put me in a full length leg cast. My inability to dance led me to focus on acting, and I found out that I loved it more than anything.

 

R: Tell us about your show Fresh Off the Boat and your character, Alison.

I: Fresh Off the Boat is a very funny comedy (on ABC) about a Taiwanese family who comes to live in Orlando in the 1990s. I play the girlfriend of the eldest son, Eddie. Alison is a smart, sweet student, but she bonds with Eddie through their love of rap music. She can even play “Ain’t Nothin but a G Thang” on the piccolo!

 

R: What was the audition process for the show?

I: It was a very quick audition process for the role. I think I had one audition and boom, the role was mine! It usually doesn’t happen that fast.

 

R: What is it like working with the cast and what has been your favorite memory so far?

I: The cast has become like my family and working with them is so much fun! Some days I shoot with the characters in Eddie’s family, and other days the story is more about school and Eddie’s posse of friends. I have also learned so much as an actress from Randall Park and Constance Wu, who play his parents.

I have lots of great memories, but the episode about the Janet Jackson concert was my favorite. I got to dress up like Janet Jackson from her Rhythm Nation tour and work with some of her backup dancers.

 

R: You also played May in Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street. Tell us about the show and your character.

I: Gortimer Gibbons is a great show about two best friends who live on Normal Street, expect Normal Street has something a little magical going on. May is a fun character because she is a bubbly cheerleader who gets into funny situations with the other characters.

 

R: Do you have any other upcoming projects?

I: There are a couple of projects in the works, but like most things in Hollywood, I can’t say much just yet.

 

R: How do you balance school and your career?

I: I make sure that every day I count my many blessings and remind myself that in difficult and stressful times, I am a very, very fortunate girl. I try to stay very organized and prioritize my time. It isn’t always easy, and sometimes I have to give up time with friends or certain activities, but it is totally worth it!

 

R: I read that you sing. Do you have any plans in the future or near future to record music?

I: I love to both sing and dance, and would love to record music if ever given the chance, but right now I am focusing mostly on my acting projects.

 

R: Who has been your biggest influence?

I: In acting, Jennifer Garner and Angelina Jolie. They both are terrific actors but are also known for “giving back.” I think that is really important. In life, my brother is my biggest influence. He is a little older, and the complete opposite of me, but I love him so much.

 

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

I:

1) I love dogs!

2) I love “old” musicians and almost all types of music

3) I would love to have my own clothing line

4) I really like science and hope to someday be a neurosurgeon

5) I love to travel and hope to study abroad for a year during college

 

R: It is not easy being a teenager. What advice would you give them?

I: Accept yourself and all of your flaws, and accept them in others as well. Once I did, I became happier than ever before. Also, jealousy will get you nowhere. Be happy for the success of others. There is room for everyone.

 

R: Tell us about some of the charities that are close to your heart.

I: There are so many great charities and I feel it’s important for teens to get involved and give back. Read Across America is an organization that promotes reading for children. This organization has impacted me greatly because all kids should have books and be encouraged to read. I also support Wounded Warrior Project, because I feel we should honor and help those veterans who were injured protecting our freedom.

 

R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

I: “Do you and Hudson date in real life?’

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses? Do you have an official site and/or YouTube page?

I: Of course, I love keeping in touch with my fans!

Instagram: @isabellaalexander

Twitter/Musical.ly: @itsisabellaalexander

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

I: I really do love and appreciate my fans so much. They remind me every day how lucky I am!

 

R: Isabella, thank you for the interview. Have a great day.

I: It was so much fun talking to Relate!

 

Picture credit: Fresh off the Boat ABC, Sarah Dunlap

 

Christina Grimmie Steps it Up in The Matchbreaker

 

Written by Jill Sheets

 

When Ethan, played by Wesley Elder, gets fired from his job, he is offered money by the parents of a girl whose boyfriend they do not approve of. They hire Ethan to break the young couple up, and soon, by word of mouth more parents who don’t approve of their child’s relationships contact him to break them up. Things get a little sticky when he falls in love with a client, Emily, played by the late singer Christina Grimmie. How is he going to keep his secret job away from the girl that he is falling for? What will happen if she finds out?

The cover was the first thing that I noticed about the movie. I kept flipping through films on Netflix, and as I kept coming across The Matchbreaker cover, I kept thinking, “that looks like Christina Grimmie!” But I kept telling myself that there was no way that it was her.  As I continued to flip through the movies, however, I finally decided to look and see what the film information was and who was in the movie. I was excited to see that it was her and I could not wait to watch it. So at first, I watched the movie because of her, but I am glad that I did because it was a great film. Christina Grimmie delivered an excellent performance not only when she sang, but when she was acting. This movie was well done and will keep your interest from the start. The acting from the entire cast was fantastic, along with the writing for the film. I do not usually laugh out loud when it comes to funny movies, but with The Matchbreaker, I did. Even if you are not a Christina Grimmie fan, you will love this touching romantic comedy.

 

Meet 25-year-old Award Winning Actress, Writer, and Director Castille Landon

“Diversify your interests, study anything and everything, and most importantly, never compare yourself to anyone else. There will always be someone more intelligent, more talented, more beautiful, more connected, etc., but that doesn’t mean there’s not a place for you at the table. You are enough; it’s a matter of working hard for yourself, striving to become the best version of yourself, and believing that you have something that is worthy of contributing.”

25-year-old actress, screenwriter, and film director Castille Landon is making history and paving the way for young women who are pursuing their dreams and careers. Born in Florida, she moved to Los Angeles when she was fifteen to pursue a career in acting. She graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in English, and is currently a student at Oxford, working on her creative writing major as the only screenwriter accepted into the class. “I think it helps as a filmmaker to be exposed to as many subjects as possible so as to create work that more broadly reflects humanity. I’d rather tell the stories of humans (especially women) throughout time, or be inspired by big ideas in science and medicine or great minds than become insular and just tell stories I relate to personally, or make films about filmmakers or writers,” said Landon, when asked why she decided to pursue a college education instead of only going straight to a career in the film industry.

She has appeared in numerous television shows and films such as Criminal Minds, Wind Walkers, Land of Leopold, and Among Ravens, and played a major supporting role in the comedy Sex Ed opposite Haley Joel Osment and Glen Powell. Now she writes, produces, and directs films such as Apple of My Eye, starring Burt Reynolds and Amy Smart, and I Believe in Unicorns, which premiered at SXSW and was screened in more than 40 film festivals worldwide. Her latest film, Albion: The Enchanted Stallion, was just released on Pay Per View on April 2, and will be available on DVD at Walmart on May 2.

The story follows a thirteen-year-old girl, tasked with the responsibility of caring for her disabled father, who is transported by a magical black stallion to the mystical world of Albion, where she discovers that she is the key to saving an entire race of people. It stars Oscar-nominee John Cleese (Monty Python), Jennifer Morrison (Once Upon A Time), and Debra Messing (Will and Grace). “The film was a blast to direct,” said Landon. “I couldn’t have asked for a better group of actors. Everyone really nailed their characters, and [the cast] and I became very close during the whole shooting process.” The film earned a 93% audience approval rating when it was previewed at the Bentonville Film Festival, and received both the IFP Director’s Lab Selection award and Grand Jury Award for Best Feature Film at the Equus Film Festival in New York.

In her free time, Castille enjoys hot power yoga, horseback riding, and reading. She is also a very strong supporter of women in film, gender equality, inclusion of girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields, and de-stigmatizing mental illness. This is what she had to say on the subject:

“Gender equality is something that needs to happen, and that I’m constantly shocked to see is not even close to our present conditions. As far as STEM fields, I think it’s important to empower girls through school and teach them that their contributions in those fields can be great. I personally really struggle with understanding detailed science and math, but I’m obsessed with learning about them in the general sense. I love learning about neurology, epigenetics, and cognitive and behavioral psychology— how the brain works, why we do what we do, etc. Perhaps my brain really doesn’t grasp on to the intricacies of it, but it could also be that if I had been encouraged to study those subjects as a younger person, I might have been able to train my brain to function in those fields. Too often, young girls are told that they are meant to be studying subjects in the humanities, that we’re the ‘emotional’ gender, and so we turn the logical, mathematical sides of our brains off. Do we really lack those talents, or are they muscles that we weren’t encouraged to strengthen and have atrophied without use? Geena Davis’s Institute is doing great work and putting forth the idea that young people need to see themselves reflected on screen, so we, as creatives, need to show women doing these things to inspire the younger generation to pursue them.

“All of that being said, de-stigmatizing mental illness and promoting mental wellness is one of my greatest passions in life. There’s a long history of mental illness in my family, particularly in the women, up the maternal line for several generations. I was raised to understand that and so it didn’t even occur to me that discussing one’s struggles in that area was taboo until fairly recently. It dawned on me that many people turned to suicide not only because they were struggling with mental illness, but because they felt too ashamed of their condition to speak up and get help. That’s unacceptable. No one would be ashamed to say they had asthma so they needed to take a break from exercise. Society doesn’t judge those who get cancer. Why do we not regard mental illness in the same manner? It’s really nonsensical to me. And furthermore, positive psychology should be taught alongside any other subject. We should promote positive thinking instead of perpetuating the culture of fear and anger that the media seems intent on spreading.”

You can learn more about Geena Davis’s Institute here: https://seejane.org/
Also, check out the trailer for Albion: The Enchanted Stallion, like the Facebook page, and go follow Castille on Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date on her upcoming projects!
By Anna Tallarico

Chit Chatting with Actress Jillian Shea Spaeder

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Recently, I was blessed to be able to interview up-and-coming star Jillian Shea Spaeder. Read on as she talks about the TV shows she has been in, her love of singing, and where you can find her on social media.

 

R: Tell our readers a little bit about yourself and how you got into acting. 

J: When I was in elementary school, I had some small roles in concerts and musicals. That’s how I caught the bug! I started with a private acting coach in fifth grade, and that holiday season I was cast in my first equity theater production. I was the only child in a cast of twelve. The following summer, I met my manager while in a performing arts competition in Hollywood. She was teaching a seminar the day before the competition began and told my mom after the seminar that she wanted me to come see her. I went to her office and did a cold read, and she offered to represent me. Because we live on the East Coast, we weren’t sure about living in California, so she encouraged us to come out for pilot season to test the waters. We came for two months, and at the very end of the trip, I had my first audition for Walk the Prank.

 

R: Tell us about your show Walk the Prank and about your character Bailey.

J: Walk the Prank is about four kids who have a popular online hidden camera show. The characters pull the pranks on real-life people, though, which gives the show a unique blend of reality and scripted comedy. Bailey is the only female of the foursome, and she’s the techie who uploads all of the videos onto the group’s channel. She is sassy, sarcastic, and one of the guys, but she’s also like every other girl fawning over the cute new guy.

 

R: What was the audition process like? Where were you when you found out you got the part?

J: The audition for Walk the Prank came up just as we were getting ready to leave California to return home to Philadelphia. We actually had the audition three hours before our flight was set to leave. The casting director told me she was sending me in to see producers the next day, so we canceled our flight. After I saw producers the following day, my manager called to say I would test for the role but it would be another two weeks or so. We stayed in California, and about three weeks later we had chemistry reads. Four girls read for the role of Bailey, and that evening I learned that it was down to another girl and me. We flew home and waited another month before the call finally came. The producers called while we were out to dinner with friends, saying the role was mine, and that we would be shooting the pilot just a few days later. I was jumping up and down with excitement!


R: What is your favorite part of the show?

J: On Walk the Prank, I not only play the role of Bailey, but I get to play all the roles Bailey plays when pranking. I have so much fun with all the different characters, especially when I get to be scary. I’ve always wanted to be in a horror film, so this gives me a little taste of that.

 

R: Do you have any upcoming projects that we can look forward to?

J: We are in the middle of shooting our second season of Walk the Prank, but I hope to do some movie auditions in the spring. I’d love to get into some films.

 

R: If they were to make your favorite book into a movie, what book and what part would you like to play?

J: I would love to play the main girl in one of the stories in A Tale Dark and Grimm. I love that series of books!

 

R: What advice would you give someone who wants to be an actress?

J: Being an actor is a lot harder than it looks! It’s easy to see someone on TV and say, “I could do that,” but actors work very hard. For teens like me, we work nine and a half hours a day and also have to do school during that time (and finish at night if we fall behind). We sometimes have school on Saturdays, as well. Private coaching and acting classes are important, too.

 

R: I read that you sing. Is that true? If so, do you have any plans on release an album?

J: I love to sing. I have been singing my whole life, even with my parents’ band at age nine. I started playing guitar and ukulele the past year, so now I’ve been practicing to improve them and work on some new cover tunes for my YouTube channel. I wrote and recorded my first original song in the studio this past summer, and I hope to release an album at some point.

 

R: Tell us about Children International.

J: Children International is a non-profit organization where you can sponsor impoverished children, sending in a small monthly amount that provides them with medical care, educational needs, or anything else to help them improve their quality of life. We learned about the organization from my aunt, who has sponsored many kids through the organization. My parents then began sponsoring three children when I was little (to match my brother, sister, and me). As a teen, my sister Emma ran a neighborhood camp for five years and donated twenty percent of her profits to CI, which made an impression on me. I hope to follow in her footsteps in some way. A few years ago, my aunt, mom, sister, and I had the opportunity to visit Ecuador to spend the day with two of our sponsored kids and learn more about the wonderful work CI is doing in that and other underprivileged areas of the world. It was truly a humbling experience.

R: It is not easy growing up these days. What advice would you give teenagers in general?

J: Be kind, be generous, and be a friend to someone who needs it. People who bully or say mean things probably do that because they don’t feel good about themselves. Don’t let them bring you down with them!

 

R: What is it like to communicate with your fans? What is the nicest thing a fan has said or done for you?

J: I love communicating with my fans, especially on Live.ly, where they can post their questions and I can answer them live. I’m not sure if this is one of the nicest things a fan ever said to me, but it was definitely memorable. She said she was being bullied and had become very depressed, but when she watched me on Walk the Prank, she felt like something clicked, and she decided to get into acting. She says she has gotten a few leads in school shows and is much more confident about herself now.

 

R: What are your future goals?

J: In the near future, I hope to be shooting a third (and even fourth!) season of Walk the Prank, appear in a film or two, and release an album!

 

R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

J: Someone actually asked if I was the girl from Stranger Things (Millie Bobby Brown)!

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses? Do you have an official website and/or YouTube page?

J:  My official website is jilliansheaspaeder.com and my social media links are:

Instagram:          @JillianSheaSpaeder

Twitter:               @JillianSpaeder

Facebook:           Jillian Shea Spaeder

Snapchat:           Jillbean1982

Musical.ly:         Jillian.Spaeder

Live.ly:                Jillian.Spaeder

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

J: Yes…pranks a lot for watching the show!

 

R: Jillian, thank you for the interview. Have a great day.

J: Thank YOU!

 

Photo credits: Ryan West Photo

Chit Chatting with Actress Grace Kaufman

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Recently, I had the honor of interviewing multi-talented actress Grace Kaufman. She plays Kate on the TV show Man with a Plan, a  popular CBS comedy about a contractor who starts spending more time with his crazy kids, who he has to wrangle all by himself while his wife is at work. Read on to learn more about Grace, her love of singing, what people may not know about her, and why she loves to act.

R: Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into acting.

G: I’ve always had a vibrant passion for acting. Both of my parents are actors, so I guess you could say it runs in the family! I used to put on plays as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz for my friends and family. I started in my mom’s acting classes when I was two years old, and began auditioning when I was six. I landed my first role playing Tootie in a production of Meet Me in St. Louis at the Carpenter Center in Long Beach. From there, it began!

 

R: Tell us about your show Man with A Plan and about your character Kate.

G: Man With A Plan is about a family in which our mom, Andi (Liza Schneider), goes back to work after staying home for thirteen years raising my younger siblings and I. Now, our dad (Matt LeBlanc) must really step up to the plate and become our “warden.” The show focuses around our crazy adventures and shenanigans. My character Kate is a blast to play because she has a little sass and rebelliousness in her, but she loves her family too, which is where I feel I can relate to her.

 

R: What was the audition process like? Where were you when you found out you got the part?

G: I received the audition script from my agents, and instantly fell in love with the character Kate. I went in and auditioned, then got a callback. When I came in for the callback, I got to read with Matt for the first time. I was so excited to meet him and even more excited to get to read the scene with him. I found out I got the part as I was getting picked up from school. I hopped into my mom’s car, and she filmed me as she told me the news. I was absolutely over the moon!

 

R: What is it like working with Kali Rocha and Matt LeBlanc? Have they given you any advice so far?

G: They are awesome, and I have learned so much from both Kali and Matt. It is an honor to get to work with such talented actors. Matt has given me lots of good advice, specifically in comedic timing, and that the funniest moments are always the most honest and real moments. I love watching both of them perform. They are brilliant, and have really helped me grow in my work.

 

R: What is a normal taping day for you?

G: Well, I normally get to set around noon, and we rehearse/camera block for a few hours. Then, after I go to set school, I go to get my hair and makeup done and get some food. After eating dinner, I change into my wardrobe and head down to the hair and makeup trailer again to do a speedy run-through of our lines with the rest of the cast. Then we go out and tape the show for the live audience.


R: Tell us about your film Sister and about your character.

G: Sister is a film that revolves around a family and their dark troubles. I play Nikki, a girl who suffers from ADHD, who is adopted into the Presser family. She struggles to cope with her new life, living with her older adopted brother Billy and fitting into a new environment. In the end, however, she realizes that she loves her brother and that family is everything.

 

R: What do you love most about acting?

G: I love that when I am acting, I forget about everything else happening in the world. I just get to live in the moment as someone that is not Grace Kaufman. As an actress I get to explore other people and different lives through the roles I play. It is one of the most magical and magnificent feelings in the world.

 

R: Not only do you act, but you sing and dance. Do you have any plans are releasing any music?

G: I love singing so much, and I think it would be amazing to get to release music. I have been writing some songs, and I can’t wait to see what happens!

 

R: Who has been your biggest influence in your life and why?

G: My mom and dad have been the biggest influences in my life. They love me and are always there for me in everything I do. They also push me to constantly try my hardest. I would not be where I am today without them.

 

R: Are there any charities or causes that are close to your heart? If so, which ones?

G: I strongly support the Autoimmune Disease Awareness charity. Every year there is a walk to help raise money and awareness for the disease and cause. I know many people, including my mom, who struggle with some form of the disease. It is wonderful to help out with this cause.

 

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

G:

1. I have two dogs and a kitten.

2. I play piano.

3. I could eat pizza all day every day.

4. I flew to Hawaii alone for the first time this summer to visit my friend.

5. I have a little brother.


R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

G: “If you were a tree, what tree would you be?”

 

R: What advice would you give teenagers these days?

G: Being a teenager myself, I totally know that it can be annoying and mess with your confidence. Believe me, I struggle with my self-esteem all the time. I just want you all to know that it will be all right. I think it is very important to surround yourself with people who constantly support you and what you love. Believe in yourself and never be afraid to follow your heart. They always know the way in achieving your greatest hopes and dreams.

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses? Do you have an official website and/or YouTube page?

G: You can find me on all social media at: @imgracekaufman (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook). I am planning to make a YouTube, so stay tuned!

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

G: Thank you for all of the constant support and love I receive! I am so grateful to have such dedicated and awesome fans. I love you all so much, and would not be where I am today without you guys.

 

 

Photo credits: RYAN WEST PHOTO

 

Chit Chatting with Actor Karan Brar

 

Recently, I had the privilege of interviewing actor Karan Brar. A lot of you may know him from the Disney Channel show Jessie. Karan is now on a new Disney show called Bunk’d. Read about him, his new series, and what he looks for in a girlfriend.  

 

R: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into acting.

K: I grew up in Seattle, WA and started taking acting classes when I was seven. I immediately fell in love with it, so I kept taking classes. Around the time I was nine, I started booking some commercials and around ten I booked Diary Of a Wimpy Kid. At twelve, I booked Jessie. Now I’m here!

 

R: You played Ravi Ross on Jessie. What was it like working with Debby Ryan and the rest of the cast?

K: Working with Debby and the rest of the cast was great! The whole four years I spent on Jessie I learned a lot–not only from the cast, but also from the crew. That whole experience really shaped the person and the actor I am today.

 

R: You are now starring in Bunk’d. Tell our readers a little bit about the show.

K: Bunk’d is a spinoff show of Jessie with a story that centers around the Ross kids going to Camp Kikiwaka, the camp where their parents met. It is a really fun show to watch and be on because we get to take our characters and expand on them with a new environment.

 

R: What is a normal filming day like for you?

K: Normally I get a call time around 10am-ish. I go through wardrobe, hair, and makeup, then I head down to set and begin to shoot the show. Throughout the day (whenever I get the chance) I head up to school, which is on set, and do some work. After a few more hours of filming, I’ll wrap and head home.

 

R: When you are filming, do you have to memorize the whole script or do they just have you remember one part of it at a time?

K: For sitcoms, it’s a bit of both. Our scripts change about three times in the week before we shoot, so instead of fully memorizing it word for word, we just familiarize ourselves with it. That way when we receive changes, it isn’t that difficult for us to adjust.

 

R: What is your favorite part of acting?

K: The ability to be in someone else’s shoes, even if it’s just for a few moments.

 

R: Do you currently have a girlfriend? What do you look for in one?

K: No, I don’t currently have a girlfriend. I’m kind of just focusing on work at the moment. However, I do like a girl that is smart, kind, and fun to be around.

 

R: You are Indian American. What are some of the stereotypes that you have had to deal with? How do you deal with those stereotypes?

K: Since I’m Indian American, I’m usually given the stereotype of being the scrawny, nerdy kid with an accent. This is present in both my acting and personal life. Sure, it’s annoying that people think that I can only fit that mold, but instead of looking at it in a negative way I try my best to look at it with excitement. I look forward to being able to prove these people wrong and show them that I’m more than just a stereotype in their head.

 

R: Tell us about The School Fund and Thirst Project.

K: The School Fund and the Thirst Project are both awesome organizations that I’m currently working with. The School Fund focuses on helping students in third world countries collect funding so they may be able to have access to an education. The Thirst Project also aids third world countries by helping them get access to clean drinking water by building wells.

 

R: What are your future goals?

K: I want to switch gears and focus a bit more on drama, then go back to movies. I haven’t done a movie in a while, so I think it would be fun to switch things up.

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses? What about an official website?

K: Right now I’m on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat.

Twitter: @thekaranbrar

Instagram: @thekaranbrar

Facebook: Karan Brar

Snapchat: brar_karan

Website: www.karanbrar.com

 

R: Is there a place where your fans can send you mail?

K: Yeah, they can send it to the address below.

 

Karan Brar c/o Disney Channel

3800 W Alameda Ave.

Burbank, CA 91505

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

K: Thank you guys for the interview. For my fans, thank you so much for the support these past few years. It means a lot to me.

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Chit Chatting with Actress Madisyn Shipman

Written by Jill Sheets

Recently I had the honor of interviewing talented actress and singer Madisyn Shipman. This 13-year old from North Carolina plays Kenzie on her new show “Game Shakers.” Read on to learn more about her, her new show, five things people may not know about her, and more.

madisyn shipman

R:  Tell our readers a little bit about yourself and how you got your start in acting.

M: First, I’m an animal, sushi, music, and people lover, in no specific order. I have a big family and I love it (even if I never get any privacy)! I have been acting since I was 6 years old. We moved to NYC and I booked a Broadway show. Being on Nickelodeon was always a childhood dream of mine, and I’m so grateful that I am literally living my dream right now!

 

R:  Tell us about your show “Game Shakers” and about your character Kenzie Bell.

M: “Game Shakers” is about two girls, Babe and Kenzie, who create a game for their science project that is an overnight sensation. They become business partners with Double G (played by Nickelodeon veteran Kel Mitchell) and create a gaming empire. Throughout the episodes we create different games that you guys at home can download from the App Store and play along. I play Kenzie Bell. She is a smart girl who loves to code. She’s the brains behind the operation. I personally feel that Kenzie and I are pretty similar. She’s a little bit of a nerd but hey, so am I! We all have to embrace our inner dork!

 

R:  What was the audition process like and how do you prepare yourself for auditions?

M: I had to jump through several hoops to land the role of Kenzie on Nickelodeon’s “Game Shakers.” It was about a 6-month process, but honestly, it was the best thing that has ever happened to me! To prepare for auditions I study the script and begin developing the character.

 

R:  What is the best thing about “Game Shakers?”

M: The best think about “Game Shakers” is the amazing cast and crew that I get to work with and call family.

 

R:  Tell us about your up-and-coming movie “Geezer” and about your character Salome.

M: Geezer is about the struggle that Perry (Billie Joe), a former punk rocker, encounters. His band has been on a ten year hiatus and he is kind of experiencing a midlife crisis. He believes his wife (Selma) and his daughter (moi!) forgot his birthday. He decides to throw himself a pity party at a fancy NYC hotel and bumps into an old crush while there. I don’t wanna spoil everything for you guys, though. I play Salome. She is a normal girl who loves playing her guitar and is family oriented. The movie comes out in September, so plan to go see it! And you may even see me singing and playing guitar in the movie!

 

R:  What was it like working with such an amazing cast?  Did they give you any advice?

M: The cast of “Geezer” was awesome. Working with Selma and Billie was such a learning experience. They are both insanely talented. I mean, Selma has basically mastered the craft of acting. And it was such an honor to work with Billie. He is literally a living legend. He is so humble and so down-to-earth. He actually taught me a few little tricks on guitar. I have to say he’s someone I will always look up to.

 

R:  You have been on TV shows, movies, theater, and voiceover work.  Which one do you enjoy the most and why?

M: I enjoy all of them equally. I love performing and getting into character in any setting.

 

R:  Tell us about the Niemann-Pick Disease Foundation.  Where can people get more information on the topic and what should they do if they want to help out?

M: The Niemann-Pick Disease Foundation is an organization that promotes and supports cures for Niemann-Pick Disease. I’m very passionate about this organization because my cousin died at 2 years old from Niemann-Pick. It’s a rare disease and we need to raise awareness. Anyone who is interested in learning more about the organization should visit their website at www.nnpdf.org.

 

R:   I read that you sing.  Would you like to make a CD in the future?

M: I do plan to release a CD in the future. I actually recorded a 6 song EP when I was 10 years old. I co-wrote the songs as well. I never did anything with it but it was definitely a fun learning experience.

 

R:  What are some of your future goals?

M: I want to go to college and study neuroscience. I’m obsessed with medical science.

 

R:  What advice would you give teenagers these days?

M: I would say be a leader, not a follower. Don’t feel like you have to dress a certain way, talk a certain way, or do certain things to fit in. A true friend will not pressure you. Always believe in yourself and follow your dreams.

 

R:  Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have been asked?

M: (laughs) Probably on Instagram when random guys comment “will you marry me please?” I mean, hello, I’m 13!

 

R:  What are five things people may not know about you?

M:

  1. I play several instruments. I play guitar, ukulele, keyboard and a little bass.
  2. I have 3 younger brothers. Sawyer is 9 years old, Caden is 6 years old and Jesse is 3 years old.
  3. I love fitness. I’m really into cycling and kick-boxing right now.
  4. I have a bucket list and working with Sandra Bullock is at the top of the list. She is so inspiring on so many levels and is my idol.
  5. I’m scared of heights. So, cliff jumping or bungee jumping is out of the question.

 

R:  Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses? Do you have an official website and/or YouTube page? 

M: I am on social media. My Instagram is maddiemoo_hoo. My Twitter is maddiemoohoo. And my Snapchat is madisynshipman. I’m actually pondering the idea of a YouTube channel so stay tuned, guys!

 

R:  Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

M: Always remember to be true to yourself. Never change just so people will like you. Your true friends will love you just the way you are!

 

R:  Madisyn, thank you for the interview.  It was an honor.  Have a great day.

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Picture source: Brett Erickson

Chit Chatting with Actress Brighid Fleming

Written by:  Jill Sheets

 

Picture credit:  Ashley Noelle

Picture credit: Ashley Noelle

Recently I had the honor of interviewing actress Brighid Fleming.  Continue to read on about her career, what charities are close to her heart and five things people may not know about her.

R:  Tell us about yourself and how you got into acting?

 

B:  When I was little, we went to New York and I saw a Broadway show.  It was Seussical the Musical. I was immediately enthralled by the lights and the music. All I new was that I wanted to be a part of it, any part. Later on my mom asked me, “Would you like to meet the cat in the hat?” I replied, “No. I want to be the cat in the hat.” from then on I was doing kiddie theater, then real theater, then tv and movies.

 

R:  Tell us about your new movie “Labor Day” and about our character, Eleanor.

 

B:  Labor Day is a edgy, romantic movie that stars Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin. My character Eleanor is very smart and witty. She wants to go to a private school but is forced to live with her father. Then she meets Henry. For the rest, you have to see the movie.

 

R:  What was the audition process like for this role?  How did you find out you got the part?

 

B:  The audition process was pretty cool. I sent in a tape which honestly I didn’t even think would be seen. About two weeks later we got a call saying I had a callback! A while after that i had a chemistry read with Gattlin and another boy. About a month later I was at the mall getting Panda Express when my mom got the call. She was very cool and handed me the phone and said it was for me. My manager then told me the news. I then started dancing. in the food court, in front of about 70 people.

 

R:  You got to work with an amazing cast.  What was it like and did they give you any advice?

 

B:  Kate didn’t give advice, but she did give hugs.

 

R:  What was your favorite part about filming the movie “Labor Day?”

 

B:  My favorite part was probably when we shot the scene on the rocks. I kept falling down and hitting my legs but it was still pretty fun trying to walk on the rocks and say my lines. That was challenging.

 

R:  Tell us about your short “Territorial.”

 

B:  Territorial is a cool little short i did a little while ago where me and my family are held hostage by two guys. I had a ton of fun filming it and the ending is pretty awesome if I do say so myself. One cool thing was Efrin Ramirez from napoleon dynamite was also in it, so I loved meeting him. We made some silly movies on my computer between takes. He’s very funny. Later, I found out that he and I both studied with David Wells. LA is such a small town.

 

Picture credit:  Ashley Noelle

Picture credit: Ashley Noelle

R: Tell us about A.B.S.

 

B:  I’m so glad you asked about A.B.S! A.B.S is a short film I wrote when I was 11 and directed when I was 12 it is currently in festivals and on youtube . I love it so much. It was great to be on the other side of the camera for a change and get to see what production is like. I created my production company, Phish Tank Philms, to do it. I got the SAG paperwork for it. I put it on breakdowns and cast it. I hired a crew, mostly of recent graduates from AFI. It was a great experience and is now my baby!

 

R:    Do you have any charities that are close to your heart?  If so, which ones and tell us a little bit about them.

 

B:  I am interested in melanoma research. My father died of melanoma and I have had it also.

 

R:  What is your favorite song to belt out in the car?

 

B:  Now this is my kind of question.  Right now I am a big fan of Elephant by Tame Impala and Where is My Mind by the Pixies.

 

R:  What are five things people may not know about you?

 

B: I do roller derby. My derby name is Phish Mercury.

I collect vintage mint tins.

I am the youngest person to receive an individual OVATION! Award (Best featured actress for The Nether). The Ovations are the only peer juried theatre award in LA.

People annoy me when they talk and text at the movies.

When I was little I wanted to be a snowman when I grew up.

R:  What are some of your future goals?

 

B:  I want to go to Tisch (NYU).I want to spend a semester in France.

 

R:  Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

 

B:  Why aren’t you smiling? I HATE that question. I have a sad face, but I’m happy.

 

R:  What advice would you give teenage girls in general?

 

B:   Be comfortable with yourself and don’t try to validate yourself through the eyes of others.

 

R:  Are you on any social networking sites?  If so, which ones and what are their addresses?  Do you have an official website and/ or youtube page?

 

B: My official twitter is brighidfleming1, my Instagram is phishmercury, my youtube is brighidfleming, and my website is brighidfleming.com

 

R:  Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

 

B: I’ll just say Happy Holidays and enjoy Labor Day.

 

R:  Brighid, thank you for the interview.  Have a great day.

Chit Chatting with Actress Brec Bassinger

Written by:  Jill Sheets

FlyGirl Photography - Debi Patton

FlyGirl Photography – Debi Patton

Recently, I had the honor of interviewing actress Brec Bassinger from the new hit show from Nickelodeon, “Haunted Hathaways.”  Continue to read on and learn more about her new show, about her character Emma and learn more about her.

R: Tell us about yourself and how you got into acting?

 

B: I was born and raised in a small town west of Ft. Worth, Texas. I live with my parents and two older brothers. I started doing pageants when I was 3. A pageant judge who was a film maker noticed me and asked me to be in one of his films. I was 6 and I loved it! That was when I knew that I wanted to be an actress. I immediately started taking classes and never stopped!

R: Tell as about your show “Haunted Hathaways” and about your character Emma.

 

B: The Haunted Hathaways is Nickelodeon’s show about a mom and her two daughters moving into an old New Orleans’ house that is haunted by 3 ghosts. After a rocky beginning they all decide to try to live together! What happens when you live with 3 funny and creative ghost is hilarious. My character, Emma is Taylor’s somewhat ‘ditzy’ friend. Taylor and Emma are on the school gymnastics team together!

R: Are there any similarities between you and Emma? What are some of the differences?

 

B: Well we do look alike! I think Emma and I both are naturally kinda goofy but I am not as clueless as Emma. I’m actually kind of smart. Oh, and we definitely have different tastes in fashion, for sure!

Picture credit:  Shelley Bassinger

Picture credit: Shelley Bassinger

R: What was the audition process like? How did you find out that you got the role?

 

B:  It was crazy! I auditioned for Emma in L.A. right before I flew back home to Texas. When I landed I found out I had a callback so I flew right back to L.A. the next day. My manager picked me up and took me to my callback. The next day my agent called and said I was released to go back to Tx. I was so sad but flew back home. When I landed I found out that I had actually booked the role so back on a plane to LA the next day and I immediately went to the set!

R:Tell us about the show “The Goldbergs” and about your character Zoe?

 

B: “The Goldbergs” is a new half hour comedy on ABC. It is based on the real life of Adam Goldberg when he was growing up in the 80’s. My character, Zoe works as a waitress at the Waffle Hut and she is the ‘crush’ of Adam.

R: If you could make a guest appearance on any show, what show would it be and why?

 

B: Grey’s Anatomy because I think all the actors on it are amazing. I have loved the show for a long time!

 

Picture credit:  Shelley Bassinger

Picture credit: Shelley Bassinger

R: Do you have any more up and coming projects?

 

B: I am still filming episodes of Haunted Hathaways and hopefully more on The Goldbergs when they start back filming. I haven’t had much time for other auditions!

 

R: Who has been your biggest influence in your life?

 

B: My entire family! They have always taught me you can do anything if you work hard and never give up.

R: Do you have any charities that are close to your heart? If so, which ones and tell us about them.

 

B: The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is important to me.  I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was just 8 years old. J.D.R.F. works towards finding a cure.

R: What are some of your future goals?

 

B:  First, to continue acting! I would love to do some films and be a series regular on television. Also I work hard in school and would really like to go to college when I graduate!

 

R: What advice would you give someone who wanted to become an actress?

 

B: It is important to take acting classes. You should train and really learn the craft. Also, never give up. It takes time to get started and you hear a lot of no’s along the way but use them to motivate you to keep working.

 

Picture credit:  Shelley Bassinger

Picture credit: Shelley Bassinger

R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question?

 

B: The questions that I have been getting a lot are:

What kind of food do they have on set?

Do you get to keep the clothes you wear?

And my favorite…..What does the outside of the house look like?

 

R: What are 5 things that people may not know about you?

 

B:  1. My dad owns and operates a Koi fish farm.

  1. I had a naked mole rat for a pet.

  1. I play the ukulele.

  2. In 2009 I was crowned ‘World Our Little Miss.

  3. I love to cook!

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses?

 

B: Yes! My Instagram is ‘princessbrec’ and my twitter is ‘Brecmarie’!

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

 

B: Always go for your dreams and NEVER be afraid of being YOURSELF!

 

R:  Brec, thank you for the interview.  It was on honor.  Have a great day.

Chit Chatting with Megan Goodman

Written By:  Jill Sheets

megan goodmanRecently I had the honor of talking to Megan Goodman, who plays Susan on Haunted Hathaways.  Continue to read on and learn more about her character, about what movie she would like to remake and to learn more about this talented actress.

 

R:  Tell us about yourself and how you got into acting?

 

M:  I am 15 years old and I have been doing musicals at The Norris, my local theater, since I was 9. I knew I loved acting from the first curtain.  I studied acting skills both in and out of school and was lucky enough to get picked up by my agent, then manager.

 

R:  Tell us about your show “The Haunted Hathaways” and about your character Susan.

 

M: The Haunted Hathaways is a hilarious new Nickelodeon show about a family who moves from New York to New Orleans into a house inhabited by a friendly ghost family. The show is about the two families living together and experiencing fun adventures along the way. My role, Susan, is a gymnastics teammate and friend of Taylor Hathaway. Together, we are on the Fighting Inchworms team at Kirshner Middle School.

 

R:  What are some of the similarities and differences between your character and you?

 

M: Susan and I are both loyal friends.  Susan is also smart and pragmatic, which isn’t too different from me.   The biggest difference is that I am really grateful to be a part of this team and genuinely support the success of all these new friends I have made. Susan can be a little less supportive of Taylor when she starts acting a little crazy.

 

R: What was the audition process like for this role and how did you find out that you got the role?

 

M: Haunted Hathaways is my first TV role.  Only one week before the shooting of the pilot, I was called in for the role of Susan. Like most other auditions, the room was filled with tons of other girls. After that first audition, I got a callback, and not too long after, I was offered the role. My mom told me the news as she picked me up from school. I was so incredibly excited and grateful for the opportunity.

R:  If you could remake any movie, which one would it be and why?  What character would you play and who would you like to play opposite of you?

 

M: Even though it was recently redone, I would love the role Ariel in the movie version of Footloose.  I played her character onstage and loved the dynamic of old verses young, and finding her way to heal the divide in her family and community by trusting her instincts.   I would have Justin Timberlake play my opposite because he is my role model, and I would love the opportunity to work with him.

 

R:  What singers and bands do you listen to?

 

M: I love all kinds of music.  Depending on my mood, I might listen to country music with favorites The Zac Brown Band or Hunter Hayes.  I also love to listen to Muse, Train, and Cold Play.

 

R:  What are some of your hobbies?

 

M: I guess you would consider me a theater rat.  I love singing and dancing as well as acting and I take classes to keep improving.  For the past 4 years, I have been part of a singing and dancing group at our local theater.  It has taught me a lot about stage presence, composure, and ensemble performing.

 

R:  Do you have any charities that are close to your heart?  If so, which ones and tell us about them?

 

M:  I do!  I was fortunate to be raised in a family that values helping others and making a difference in the world.  I am inspired by the work of the Make-a-Wish foundation.  Annually, I participate in One Voice to pack and distribute food to those in need.  I have also participated in fundraising and promoting awareness for Hadassah.  This is a women’s organization that helps women and families across the world in many ways.

 

R:  Who has been your biggest influence so far and why?

 

M: I can’t pick just one!  I am so lucky to have had many teachers and mentors in my life that have helped me believe in myself and make choices that have made me who I am today.  My parents have always told me to follow my passion and work hard doing what I love.  That has brought so many amazing influences into my life.

 

R:  What are some of your future goals?

 

M: Right now, I’m enjoying every day building my acting career and staying committed to being a good student at school.   Professionally, I would love to try other roles in both film and television that allow me to grow and push myself as an actor.  I truly love performing and know I will continue to do this.  I also plan to go to college because learning is part of growing and I believe it is so important for anything I do.   There are many role models of successful actors who have successfully valued their academic education as well.  Natalie Portman, Jodie Foster, James Franco and Anne Hathaway come to mind.  I would love to follow paths like theirs.

 

R: What advice would you give teenage girls in general?

 

M: I would say that everything happens for a reason. There is always a good to the bad. I truly believe in this. Bad things happen to open the doors so that the good things can come in.  Stay true to yourself no matter what anyone says about you or tells you to do.  Use those tough moments to find the greater good of remembering to believe in yourself.  Also, parents can be annoying, but usually they are giving good advice.

 

R:  What are five things people may not know about you?

 

M: 1. I have three awesome brothers

2. I like making birthday cakes for my friends

3. I am an Honor Roll student and speak French

4. I love to wakeboard and jetski in the summer

5. I have performed on a cruise ship (which was amazing)

 

R:  Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

 

M: I always laugh at the question “What’s it like to live with 3 brothers?”  It’s strange to me because I don’t know what it’s like to grow up without 3 brothers!

 

R:  Are you on any social networking sites?  If so, which ones and what are their addresses?  Do you have an official website?

 

M: Overall, I can’t say I spend a lot of time on the networking sites.  I am on instagram, my username is megan3_goodman, and I just recently got a twitter, @ms_megangoodman

 

R:  Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

 

M: Fans? Really?  I think I’m a little new to say I have fans, but thank you so much for the love and support the people who know who I am have shown me on Instagram and

Twitter, it means so much to me!

 

R:  Megan, thank you for the interview.  It was an honor.  Have a great day,

 

M:  Thank YOU for your support of the “Haunted Hathaway”s.  I am privileged to be a part of the cast.