Movies & TV

On the big screen or on your TV screen, we love to watch our favorite celebs. We fill you in on the best new flicks and TV shows that you just gotta tune in to. There’s nothing like a night in front of the screen!

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



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