Chit Chatting with Actress ViviAnn Yee


By Jill Sheets

Recently, I got to interview Los Angeles native, ViviAnn Yee. This award-winning American actress started acting, singing, and dancing roughly around the age of four, when her mom signed her up for a musical theater class. She has made guest appearances on Modern Family. She has many upcoming projects that I cannot wait to see. Read on and learn more about her upcoming projects, her top five favorite authors and books, and who has been her biggest influence.


R: Tell us about yourself and how you got your start in acting.

V: I was born in Los Angeles and live with my mom, dad, and older brother. I am very lucky because I have a wonderful family who supports me in everything I do. I was four years old when my mom first signed me up for an after school musical theater class at my new preschool. She thought it would help me meet new friends and give me something fun to do after school. Because of that, I fell in love with acting and singing. After about five years performing in local theater productions, I got signed with a talent agency and started doing commercials, movies, and television.


R: You have a lot of projects coming out. Let’s start with The Boss Baby. Tell us about the movie and about your character Staci.

V: The Boss Baby is a super funny and heartwarming animated movie that everyone can enjoy. The story follows a baby who is a secret agent in a war between babies and puppies, but it really has a deeper message about family. My character, Staci, is the assistant to Boss Baby (voiced by Alec Baldwin). She’s supposed to be Boss Baby’s official note-taker, but she’s not very good at it. However, she does come through later for Boss Baby when he really needs it. I am so thankful to director Tom McGrath and producer Ramsey Ann Naito, the two amazing and kind people who gave me this wonderful opportunity. It’s such a fun movie that I hope you all will go see.


R: Tell us about A Children’s Song and about your character.

V: This project was important to me in many ways. First, it’s such a wonderful story based on true historical facts of friendship between the Chinese and Jewish people. Did you know that in the 1930s and early 1940s more Jews went to Shanghai, China to flee Nazi Germany than any other city? I didn’t know that before working on this movie. Another great thing about this film is that I got to use my bilingual language skill of Mandarin Chinese. My character, Young Meizhen, shows the audience this story of how one friendship between two cultures all began. And most importantly, this film was made by an amazing team headed by famous producer Sid Ganis and actress/producer Jane Wu, so I got to work with and learn from the very best.


R: Tell us about some of your other projects that will be coming out.

V: I just finished playing the lead role in a film called Paper Daughters. This is a beautiful and moving story that, coincidentally, is also set in 1940s Shanghai. It’s about two sisters who want to move to America after their mom dies. The problem was that, at the time, the Chinese weren’t allowed to enter the United States because there was a ban on Chinese immigration. So the two sisters pretended to be mother and daughter so they could get in another way. This immigration ban is a factual part of American history that many people don’t know about and is really relevant to today’s times. The director Alexander Lu is a very talented young filmmaker and this is the second time I’ve been fortunate enough to work with him. He flew me out to New York from Los Angeles to work with him and his incredible team and I loved every second of it.


R: Not only do you act, but you also sing.  Do you have plans to release any music in the future?

V: I do have another really amazing project that will be coming out later this year. I’m not supposed to discuss any details about it yet but I can tell you that there will be some singing in it. So please follow me on social media for updates.


R: What has been your favorite memory so far?

V: My favorite memory is of all the great times with people I’ve met on sets. I’ve learned that filmmaking is kind of like a big jigsaw puzzle, where every piece is a person who has a very important job. We become like a big family who depends on and supports each other. We all work hard together to make sure everything turns out well, but we also try to find little moments during the day to joke around and have some fun too. On one set we held “staring contests” with each other in between takes to see who would blink first. Everyone got a good laughs out of that.


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

V: I would say that continuing to study and do well at school is really important. It’s also good to take acting classes, but it’s also equally important to just be a kid. Have fun with your friends, take on a hobby, or maybe learn a sport or musical instrument, and develop some really good work and study habits, because being an actor takes lots of hard work and discipline.

R: What is your favorite Bible verse?

V: Luke 6:31: “Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.” I think it’s important to treat all people with kindness and respect. So I always try to be mindful of others and treat them the way I would want them to treat me.


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

V: I really like to give back and help others whenever possible. I have volunteered for the Junior Blind of America since I was eight years old. I followed in my older brother’s footsteps on this one because he started when he was my age too, and now he’s a counselor-in-training for them during the summer. It’s a really great and important organization that helps blind and visually-impaired kids and their families. I’ve volunteered as a sighted “buddy” for several years now and the experiences there have meant so much. A few of the many others organizations I have volunteered for include my local church and Project Angel Food which prepares and delivers meals to those who are critically ill.


R: Who has been your biggest influence?

V: My mom has definitely been my biggest influence. She always told both my brother and I that our true character is what we do when no one is looking. She has been there for me every step of the way and is the main reason I’ve gotten to where I am today. I couldn’t ask for a better mom.


R: You are a member of Mensa. Would you mind telling our readers what it is and how you became a member?

V: Mensa is the oldest and largest high-IQ society in the world. You can get in if you score really high on an official intelligence test. I got in by doing really well on a gifted test they gave all the kids at my public school. So I guess you could say that it’s an organization of smart people. But I’ve realized that my proudest accomplishments happened when I worked really hard on something rather than just relying on my natural abilities.


R: I read that you like to read books.  Who are your top five authors and/ or books?

V: My top five authors and books are:

  1. Rick Riordan – “Percy Jackson and the Olympians.”
  2. J.K Rowling – “Harry Potter.”
  3. Suzanne Collins – “The Hunger Games.”
  4. Natalie Babbitt – “Tuck Everlasting.”
  5. Madeleine L’Engle – “A Wrinkle in Time.”

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

V: I play the cello.  I like to jazz and hula dance. My favorite color is periwinkle. My favorite animal is the panda. I am bilingual, so I am also fluent in Mandarin Chinese.


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?

V: Please follow me on

Instagram: @viviann_yee

Facebook: ViviAnn Yee

Twitter: @ViviannYee


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

V: I love to hear from you, so please write to me. And if you include a stamped, self-addressed envelope I’ll send you a signed photo (size of the envelope will determine the size of photo you will receive).

ViviAnn Yee c/o  CESD Talent Agency

10635 Santa Monica Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90025


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

V:  Thank you for having me! The honor was all mine!


Picture credits: DreamWorks Animation and ViviAnn Yee, ViviAnn Yee, Guy Pooles, and Jih-E Peng

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:
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 Sarah Grey

Written by:  Jill Sheets

“Allison Taylor Creative”

Recently I had the honor of interviewing up and coming actress Sarah Grey.  This talented young actress is in the movie “Power Rangers,” which opens on March 24th. Continue to read on about her, what people may not know about her and her hidden talent.

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

S: Well, I grew up on Vancouver Island B.C and initially wanted to be a singer! I didn’t really comprehend that acting could be a job when I was young, so it wasn’t on my radar. I fell into an acting class by a random series of events, and immediately fell in love with it. I have always had a strong curiosity for people. I think my love of performing and interest in people is the mix that got me hooked!


R:  Tell us about your TV movie “Story of a Girl” and about your character Caitlin Spinelli?

S: This film is based on Sara Zarr’s award winning novel “Story of a Girl”. It’s a powerful coming of age story, following the character “Deanna” who, at 16 is still dealing with the ramifications of a video with her and an older boy, that was leaked when she was only 13 years old. My character, Caitlin, is a popular cheerleader at school who takes pleasure in insulting Deanna, and receiving attention. Our director, Kyra Sedgwick, was absolutely lovely, as well as the rest of the cast. It was always good vibes on set! It made it challenging to play such a mean girl.


R: You are also in “Power Rangers” and “Last Night in Suburbia.”  Tell us the movies and your character.

S: “Last night in Suburbia” is an ensemble comedy about a group of friends spending their last fun night together, before they jet off to their various cities for College. All the while being followed around by a hilariously terrible undercover cop. I play “Hailey” who is dating “Spencer”.. another member of the friend group. They are kind of like the married couple of the group because they’ve been together since the beginning of highschool. They all get into a bunch of shenanigans but the movie can be quite touching and relatable at times. 

I also appear in “Power Rangers” which hits theatres this month (March 24th)! This film is based on the Power Rangers franchise that I think many of us have heard of/seen. I play the role of Amanda, another popular cheerleader type. ( I know it seems like a trend but I swear it’s just the two, laughs)


Picture source:  Allison Taylor Creative

R: What was it like being a Power Ranger? Did you have to do your own stunts? What was the hardest part when filming this movie?

S: It was fantastic being in Power Rangers. I was very excited because I would watch the T.V show with my sister when I was young (the odd time I actually woke up early on a school day). I didn’t have to worry about any major stunts. I think the hardest part was, again, having to be mean to the sweet Naomi Scott who plays the pink ranger. Playing a mean girl does not come naturally, which is a good thing I guess!


R: Our readers can also catch you on “Legends of Tomorrow.”  For those who have not seen then show yet, tell them a little bit about it and your character. 

S:”Legends of Tomorrow” is a DC Comic Series, that follows a team of time-travelling heroes and villains trying to prevent an apocalypse from happening. My character “Stargirl” shows up in season 2 with her “ Justice Society of America” squad. The two teams eventually start working together for the sake of good against evil. It is a blast to play a Superhero. The stunts were so much fun, and I can die happy now that I’ve flown- even if it was on wires. You can catch Stargirl in Episodes 1,2 and 12 of season 2.


R:  What are some of your future goals?

S: I’d love to travel for filming. Everything I’ve shot has been near or in Vancouver, which is nice and convenient, but I’d really like to see more of the world, and be earning an income while I’m at it! I’d also really like to be a lead on a T.V series. Writing for T.V is better than ever.


R: Do you have any hidden talents?

S: I can do the moonwalk.


R: What has been your favorite memory so far?

S: I have many favorite memories and inside jokes from filming “Last Night In Suburbia”. We would crack each other up constantly. Mackenzie Cardwell and I would improv rap songs on set. I’m still friends and keep in touch with many people from that cast.


R: Name five people you would like to work with.

S: Off the top of my head, Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore,  Charlize Theron, Gary Oldman, and Kevin Spacey.


R: Who has been your biggest influence?

S: I would have to go with my entire family. I can’t pick just one person! If it weren’t for them I don’t know if I’d be pursuing this career. They instilled in me the desire to follow my passion. I have an extremely inspiring, supportive family that has led by example.


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

S: I have an extreme love of hot sauce that is teetering on the line between delicious and dangerous. In elementary school, I could do a series of back walk overs that made me look like a slinky, so that’s what everyone started calling me, including teachers. Friends and their families still call me slinky to this day.  I play guitar and sing. I went on stage and did an impression of Cher for my moms 50th Birthday. I played Sandy in Grease in my first and only theatre production at the age of 13.


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

S: Try to love yourself more and care less about what others think. Knowing who you are is overrated, people are constantly growing and changing anyway. Try new things, do more of what makes you happy, and believe in yourself! 


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

S: It must be this one because I don’t think I have one!


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

S: Yes! 

Instagram @ sarah_grey8

Twitter      @sarah_grey8


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

S: Thank you for your support and love. I deeply appreciate it. 


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

S: Thanks for having me! Xo

Interviewing Actress Lindsay Lamb


Meet Lindsay Lamb, a talented  actress who has done it all: horror, comedy, stage productions, even superhero films! You can see her in Emma’s Chance, Apple of My Eye, Range 15, and again in Blue Line, which is soon to be released this spring. Read on to learn more about her.


R: When did you first get into acting? How did you get to where you are today in the business?

L: I first starting acting out when my younger sister was born and I was desperate for attention. But professionally, I started acting when I was 10 years old in a theater production of Annie. I performed in Florida theatrically and commercially until I was 18, then decided to move to Boston, Massachusetts for reasons that I’m still unsure of. I didn’t know anyone and definitely didn’t know what I was doing, but I ended up interning at Boston Casting and working on countless sets. I learned very quickly that I had a lot more to learn! Then I moved to New York where I worked for 3 years and went to Pace University before transferring to the University of Southern California and majoring in theater. I have been in LA ever since. 


R: What kinds of movies have you done in the past? Do you have a favorite film you’ve done? What is your favorite genre to act in?

L: I’ve done a variety of films, everything from family films to horror films to superheroine films. I think my favorite film thus far has been Apple Of My Eye because of everything I learned and being able to work with my best friend and favorite director, Castille Landon. My favorite genre in general is psychological thrillers. I love a good murder mystery that keeps you guessing!


R: Tell us about Blue Line. 

L: Blue Line was the first film that I booked after graduating from USC. It was such a great experience and definitely another one of those wow-I-have-so-much-more-to-learn times in my life, which is always very humbling, to say the least. We filmed in Cromwell, Connecticut in the dead of winter and I played Bunny Abbott, a cheerleader who gets held hostage by the two leads. The entire town and entire crew were so incredibly wonderful and it was an experience that I am forever grateful for. I’m so excited to see the final product when it’s released this spring!


R: What do you like to do besides acting?

L: I’m actually outrageously boring; there’s a rumor going around that I do a lot of fun things, but I really just hang out with my dogs and experiment with different food combinations in my kitchen! I also love a good vanilla latte and going to the Sleep Number bed store with my fellow weirdo Alana to see if my sleep number position has changed.


R: What are your future plans?

L: Career wise, I really want to get into television, so I’ll just put that into the universe! Personally, I plan on continuing to travel. As of January 1 of last year, I had never been outside of the US and I decided that that needed to change. So far I’ve been to six countries and I want to try to double that this year. I definitely caught the travel bug and I’m not mad about it!


R: Are there any charities or causes close to your heart? Tell us about them.

L: I adopted both of my pups, so really any charity having to do with saving animals is close to my heart. But more specifically, Bark n’ Bitches, where my family adopted our pup Winnie, and Wylder’s Holistic Pet Center and Rescue where I adopted my little girl Jovi (and since I mentioned Jovi, I have to mention my little cub, Scotch. He was found on the streets in downtown LA but now sleeps in a tempedic bed so he’s not complaining!), and of course the ASPCA and Best Friends Animal Society.


R: What advice do you have for young aspiring actresses?

L: I think the most important thing that I’ve learned is to find your “people”— likeminded individuals who are on your team. I think it’s so important, especially in this crazy industry, to have a core group of people who you can depend on to be consistent. With that being said, always make sure you are that consistent person for someone else. It goes a long way!


Written by Anna Tallarico

Photo credits: Ryan West


Chit Chatting with Actress Kelsey Scott


Written by Jill Sheets

Recently I had the honor of interviewing actress Kelsey Scott. She plays Sierra on the webisodes of  Passage, which is in its second season. Not only is she a talented actress, but she is also a writer. Read on and learn more about her, upcoming projects, and what the strangest question she has ever been asked is.


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

K: I fell in love with performing very early, and spent the greater part of my childhood on the stages of my hometown, Atlanta, from theater troupes to community choir, even a performing arts high school. Although I’m the only person in my immediate family who chose a career in entertainment, my mother sang and played the piano, my sister sings and plays eight instruments, and my grandmother was a passionate writer. I was always surrounded by creative energy and my family was fully supportive of my aspirations.


R: You are in the TV series Fear the Walking Dead: Passage. Tell us about the show and your character, Sierra.

K: Passage is the second season of the Fear the Walking Dead webisodes. It follows two women in a post-apocalyptic world who begin as strangers and are forced to become allies in order to survive. The series begins with my character, Sierra, who’s a shrewd and resilient survivor. She’s still reeling from an immense, personal tragedy that she refuses to talk about. As she’s making her way through an abandoned military camp that was bombed after being overrun with Infected, she encounters Gabi. Timid, injured, and barely surviving on her own, Gabi is Sierra’s polar opposite. Sierra has no desire to be responsible for another person. But when Gabi tells her about a tunnel that can get them both out of San Diego and into Mexico, Sierra reluctantly agrees to help her. Over the course of the trek, they face all manners of danger – in the wasteland the world has become, and inside themselves.


R: Where can people watch this series?

K: The episodes air Sundays on AMC, during commercial breaks of The Walking Dead. You can also find them online on the AMC website and through the AMC app, where you can watch the first eight episodes as one, uninterrupted broadcast.


R: How did you find out about Fear the Walking Dead: Passage?

K: My agent sent me in for, what I thought, was a commercial audition. The script seemed uncharacteristically dramatic for a commercial, though. So I figured it was probably a PSA. Even when I went to the callback (a second audition) none of the actors had been given details about the project. It wasn’t until I booked the role and received a call from the wardrobe department of Fear the Walking Dead that the truth came to light! It was a beautiful surprise. I’d been itching to do a gritty, action role and this was a perfect fit.


R: Do you have any other projects that are coming out?

K: I’m excited about a psychological thriller I shot called The Dark Red. I play a psychiatrist whose patient insists that her unborn child was stolen by a cult. I’ll also be making a couple of guest appearances in a juicy web series about actor-life called The Process, and I have a recurring role on How To Get Away With Murder.


R: What is the best thing about acting and the hardest thing?

K: They’re one and the same. You have the opportunity to become someone completely different from yourself, to step outside of your own set of experiences and embody a different individual. Living someone else’s narrative is not easy. Authenticity requires craft and consistency and public vulnerability. For me, it’s a delicious brand of difficult. I love it.


R: You are also a screenwriter. Tell us about that and what are some of the films you have written?

K: I think I caught the writing bug from my mother and grandmother. My mother was an English professor for thirty years and taught me the power and beauty of words. My grandmother loved to write and showed me that I could use those words to design worlds. I received my formal screenwriting training at Florida State University’s College of Film. Two of my more popular films are Motives and its sequel Motives 2: Retribution. I continue to write films on both assignment and spec, as well as provide feedback to writers and producers on existing projects.


R: What are some of your future goals?  

K: I’d love for my next role to be as a series regular on an hour-long drama. It was exciting to work on so many episodes of How To Get Away With Murder and have the opportunity to dive into the character over several weeks. My ideal scenario would be working on a series and then on eclectic films, between seasons. As a writer, I also have some “favorite” scripts I’m eager to see on screen.

R: It is hard being a teenager. What advice would you give them in general?

K: Trust yourself. It takes time and it requires that you listen to that small voice in your head – especially when outside influences want to drown it out. But I’ve found that the right answers are more obvious than complicated. If you err on the side of doing what’s right and what’s right for you, finding answers to significant questions becomes a smoother journey.


R: What is your favorite project you have done and why?

K: I have two. The first is How To Get Away With Murder, for the reasons I mentioned above. I also loved working with Viola Davis. It’s important to put yourself in the company of people who challenge you to be better. Some people challenge you just by being themselves and doing what they normally do. It’s even better when, like Viola, they’re genuine people with open hearts. The second project is a play I did in Atlanta written by the indomitable Pearl Cleage, titled What I Learned in Paris. Because it was the premiere production, I was the first actor to present this character to the world. I’d never had that honor before on such a large scale and I understand the importance of being chosen by the playwright to breathe inaugural life into her creation. Additionally, the character is nothing like me. I relished the challenge of finding her and then really being her, performance after performance.


R: What is the best thing a fan has ever said or done for you?

K: I’m a big believer in the majesty of words, so I try to be very deliberate with mine. I’ve been most flattered when someone reveals that something I said impacted him or her in a meaningful and memorable way, especially when it drives them to push forward in ways even they might not have known they were capable of.

R: Tell us about some of the causes that are close to your heart like WriteGirl and Kids in the Spotlight?

K: Art is a superpower. It is emotional and cathartic, medicinal to the spirit and melodic to the heart. Any time I have the opportunity to encourage people, especially young people, to discover and explore their creative side, I’m first in line. WriteGirl matches professional women writers with teenage girls. The women volunteer their time to help these young ladies find their voices and express themselves. Through workshops, mentorships and events, WriteGirl promotes creativity, critical thinking and leadership skills for a demographic that, in my opinion, is too often hushed. Kids in the Spotlight is a beautiful organization that enlists professional filmmakers to train foster care youth in writing, casting, and starring in their own short films. Each season concludes with an Academy Awards-like event in which the kids walk the red carpet, see their films on the big screen and connect with professionals in various aspects of the entertainment industry.


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

K: Someone once said to me, “You were a child actor. Why aren’t you messed up?”


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?

K: My website is and social media gurus can find me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook at @MsKelseyScott.


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

K: Achievement in the entertainment industry often requires a cocktail of time, resilience, and consistency. The same can be said for just about any career path. But success is still possible. For anyone. Unfortunately, it’s become a cliché to tell people to believe in themselves and follow their dreams — that they can do anything they put their minds toward. So I’ll leave you with a more tangible grain of advice that my mother always told me: “Never take a ‘no’ from someone not empowered to give you a ‘yes’, in the first place.”


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

K: It has been my absolute pleasure.


Photo credits: AMC Stills: Ron Jaffe, Publicity Photo: Scott Price

Meet 10-Year-Old Actress Alexa Nisenson


Who says you can’t start young? Alexa Nisenson made her feature film debut in Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life when she was only nine years old. Now, you’ll be seeing this talented young actress again in the upcoming comedy Fist Fight, starring Ice Cube and Charlie Day. The movie is set to release February 17, so don’t miss it!


R: Tell us a little about yourself.

A: OK, so I am ten years old, but getting closer to eleven (my birthday is in June, so not too far away!). I am an only child and live in LA with my parents and our dog. I am an actress, but I also love to sing and dance! I love hanging out with my friends, being with my family, and spending time at the beach. I know I am young, but I am a total beauty product junkie! I think from being in hair and make-up trailers a lot, I have learned to love beauty products, makeup, and fashion. I want to keep acting, and also one day direct and produce films.


R: How long have you been acting? When did you realize it was something you wanted to seriously pursue?

C: I think I have always known in some way that performing was something that was in my blood. People are surprised sometimes to learn that I was, and even still can be at times, a pretty shy person, but somehow, when I was singing or dancing or putting on shows for my family, I felt the most comfortable and happy, and definitely not shy! I didn’t first start auditioning for TV or film until I was eight years old, so it’s pretty new to me. I landed my first job when I was eight on a TV show called Constantine on NBC.


R: Tell us about your film debut Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life. 

C: Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life is a movie based on the best-selling book series written by the amazing James Patterson. Middle School is a family movie – it’s really something everyone can enjoy, appreciate, and relate to in some way. I play Georgia, the little sister of Rafe. Rafe is starting middle school. He is a pretty creative and artistic kid who sometimes finds himself in trouble with authority. In the movie, you learn about him and his family and why he struggles with these middle school years. It’s funny, but it’s also emotional – it really is an amazing movie. I worked with some of the most talented, kind, and loving actors in the business. Griffin Gluck and Thomas Barbusca as Rafe and Leo have become like big brothers to me. Lauren Graham plays the mom, Jules, and it was a dream come true working with her. She’s insanely talented and so sweet! Rob Riggle plays Bear and is honestly one of the nicest and funniest guys I have ever met.


R: Can you tell us about the movie Fist Fight?

C: Of course! Well, unlike Middle School, Fist Fight is not quite a family film! It is a rated R comedy starring Ice Cube, Charlie Day, Tracy Morgan, and Jillian Bell. I play Ally Campbell, the daughter of Charlie Day’s character. The movie is about two teachers who are very different and end up in an after-school fist fight to settle their differences after one of them gets fired at the hand of the other! It’s a hilarious movie, but it also has some really cool messages about schools, education, and how hard teachers of today have it. Ally, my character, is experiencing some bullying of her own and she and her dad both end up confronting their bullies and making peace!


R: What do you like to do besides acting?

C: I love to dance! I used to compete, but I don’t anymore because I chose to really focus on my acting. I loved competing, though, and I’ve had the chance to dance with some amazing dance studios. I also just started taking singing lessons — I love to sing and want to get better at that! I love fashion and makeup, and someday I want to design a line of clothing for girls!


R: Where can fans find you on social media?

C: Follow me on Instagram and Twitter. I don’t have Facebook or an official website yet, but hopefully one day soon! I am also on at @alexanisenson.


R: Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?

C: Yes! Thank you for your support and interest in my journey. I see all your messages and likes and tweets and it means the world to me! I know there are so many amazing and talented people in this world and the fact that you choose to support and follow me is a dream come true. And if I could just say one thing in general – be kind! Kindness is cool and kindness can save a life. Everyone out there is doing their best to do good in this world, and it’s hard as kids growing up with social media, cyber-bullying, and competition everywhere you turn. So let’s raise each other up and offer support to the people around us, because it can really go a long way! Let’s be kind to ourselves and to each other because even though we are young, we have the power to bring positive change to the world!


Written by Anna Tallarico

Photo credits: Alexa Nisenson press


Chit Chatting with Singer Ashley Brinton


Written by Jill Sheets

Recently I had the honor of interviewing the singer of the catchy song “All I Need,” Ashley Brinton. This native of Florida not only can sing, but she can act. She has been in national TV commercials for Banana Boat sunscreen and has had appearances on Animal Planet’s show World of Dogs and the movie Broken Vows. Read on to learn more about her, her music, and her advice for teens. Don’t forget to check out her new video that co-stars Tenzing Norgay Trainor, who plays Rooney on the Disney Channel series Liv and Maddie.


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

A: I am 15 years old and was born in Florida. I’ve had a passion for singing for as long as I can remember. I used to sing in my mom’s car and she’d say I ruined all her favorite songs, but today she begs me to sing along with all the artists. My two favorite things are my two goldendoodles, Healy and Jojo. I got into singing because when I was ten, I wrote a song and wanted to do a music video. I had braces and the video was corny, but I loved it. I then followed it up by doing another song at age eleven and one at twelve. I was then blessed to be discovered by Tommy Mottola, who introduced me to world famous producer Cory Rooney. Cory is amazing and has produced so many hits for stars such as Michael Jackson, J-Lo, Bruno Mars, and Destiny’s Child. I love working with Cory. Words can’t even describe how lucky I am.


R: Tell us about your song “All I Need.”

A: “All I Need” is a song about how you need a network of people in your life as a support system. Girlfriends, boyfriends, family to get you through, anything. I felt this is especially important being a teenager, since it’s not always that easy.


R: How did you come up with the idea for making the video?

A: My vision for making the video was to show a glimpse of that support system and film it in a magical city like New York.


R: Tell us about some of your other music. Do you have any plans on recording an album or EP?

A: I have been recording for the last two years and have some really cool music. We are just finalizing which songs will be on my EP and album. It’s so exciting!!


R: You are also a songwriter. Tell us about your writing process–do you start with the words? How do you come up with the ideas for your songs?

A: I am blessed to be working with some of the best songwriters in the business. I am in the studio with them learning every session and taking it all in so I can create with them. My goal is to one day to be as talented as they are. I always throw my ideas out for songs and then when we are in the studio the creative process just starts to flow!


R: Where can people get your music?

A: You can buy my music on iTunes and listen to it on YouTube.


R: Who are some of your favorite singers and what are your favorite songs by each one?

A:  My favorite singers and songs are:

Halsey – “New Americana”

Ed Sheeran – “Shape Of You”

Lana Del Rey – “Young And Beautiful”

Taylor Swift – “I Knew You Were Trouble”


R: Tell us about the movie Broken Vows and about your character.

A: In Broken Vows I played Daisy, one of the bridesmaids for Jamie Alexander’s character. It was so exciting because it was my first movie. I got to work with Wes Bentley and actually carry Jamie Alexander’s train on her wedding dress down the isle. These big stars were so nice to me and it was a great experience.


R: Would you like to continue acting? If so, who would you like to work with?

A: I would love to have acting be a part of my career. It would be amazing to work with Jennifer Lawrence. Her energy on camera is striking and she seems like a blast.

R: What are some of your future goals?

A: My future goals are to be recognized as an artist that inspires people. I want to be a good role model for teens.


R:  It is not easy benign a teen. What advice would you give them?

A: It’s not easy being a teen–that is so true. I would say, don’t listen to negativity from your peers. Bullying has to stop. This world needs to love. Be yourself and don’t let anyone try to change you. It’s ok to be different.


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

A: The strangest question I have ever been asked is, “What type of monkey do you want to be?”


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?

A: Socials are:

Twitter / Snapchat: @ImAshleyBrinton

Instagram: @AshleyBrinton


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

A: I would like to say I hope you enjoy listening to my music. I really enjoy making it. I love all of your support!


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

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, 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 and my social media links are:

Instagram:          @JillianSheaSpaeder

Twitter:               @JillianSpaeder

Facebook:           Jillian Shea Spaeder

Snapchat:           Jillbean1982         Jillian.Spaeder                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?


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 Actress Grace Van Dien


A few weeks ago, I had the honor of interviewing the talented young actress Grace Van Dien. The first time that I really noticed Grace was in the movie Sleeping Beauty. When I heard that she was going to be on the Netflix show Greenhouse Academy, I couldn’t wait. Read on to learn more about her.


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

G: Hey! My name is Grace. I first got into acting when my dad cast me in one of his features three years ago. We filmed Sleeping Beauty in Bulgaria, and that experience gripped my focus onto acting as a career. Since then, I have worked on multiple indie films, a pilot directed by Lena Dunham, and a Netflix original TV series.


R: Can you tell us about your new TV show Greenhouse Academy? Do you know the release date and where we can find it?

G: Greenhouse Academy follows the story of a group of teenagers that have the potential to become great leaders, but, of course, are faced with your average drama from relationships and school challenges. I’m not allowed to say much about the project, but it comes out in early 2017!


R: What was the audition process like for this show?

G: The audition process took a week. I met with the casting directors twice before meeting the writer, director, and producers of the show. After that, I met with different actors that ended up booking the show with me and we all got to fly to Israel together and spend months getting to know each other. I’m now best friends with one of the girls and dating one of the guys from the show!


R: I read that you are in the movie Riding Faith. Can you tell us more about it and about your character Grace?

G: Riding Faith is a Christian movie I filmed in February 2016. My character was originally named something else but was changed to Grace when I was cast. This was my second time working alongside an animal for the majority of a film, but the first time working with a horse. It’s important to connect to the animals you work with to help them feel more comfortable and natural with you when the cameras are rolling. To create that bond, I would arrive to set early or hang out with the horse in between takes. She had so much spunk!

R: Do you have any other projects that you are working on?

G: Another project that I filmed this year will be released on Lifetime in early 2017, under the working title The Bad Twin. I play both twins, Olivia and Quinn. This project was so much fun because I had to create two different people to become and hop back and forth between them. One is good, and the other not-so-much, but it’s up to the audience to find out which is which.


R: Who are five people you would love to work with and why?

G: Five people! Wow, that’s a lot. One person I would love to work with is Robert Redford. He’s an icon and so brilliant in his role in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I would love to work with my dad again. We’ve been father/daughter for three projects now and he’s my favorite person to work with. Each time is a treat. I also want to work on a project with my boyfriend. We met on the Netflix show in Israel, but our characters rarely meet so I’d love to do a project where I get to actually work alongside him a lot. He’s a very good actor. A director I would love to work with would be Tim Burton. My dad got my dream and worked with him years ago on Sleepy Hollow. He’s definitely one of my favorite directors because his style is so different and twisted. The last person would have to be Sigourney Weaver. She is the ultimate inspiration! Just the thought of working with her gives me the chills.


R: I read that you are writing or have written a novel. Is that true? If so, will you tell us a little bit about it?

G: I do write! I love to write poetry, short stories, and novels, usually dystopian. Recently, I’ve been getting into screenplays and it’s so much fun because I start thinking of how it would look as a movie. If I ever lose inspiration, I write or sketch in my journal.


R: Who has been your biggest influence?

G: My biggest influence has been my dad. He has a strong work ethic and is able to stay calm and collected through every situation. And he’s my biggest fan, which is a bonus!

R: What are your future goals?

G: I want to write and direct a screenplay. I think it would be amazing to create a different world and bring it to life to share with everyone.


R: What do you like to do in your spare time?

G: In my spare time, I love to read dystopian novels. I also love to paint the universe – I have an obsession with space. I go on adventures with my friends, like forest exploring, improv shows, skiing, etc.


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

G: I have the weirdest friends so we ask each other all the time, “would you rather do this or this?” It would be hard to pick the weirdest one. But usually the stranger the question, the harder the laughs are!


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

G: I just got out of being a teenager and have three younger siblings that are teenagers, so the advice I would give them is to try and keep a positive mind. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in negative thoughts and to be hard on yourself, but if you really focus on yourself and learn how to love parts of yourself, you’ll be so much happier. Remember that everyone is figuring out who they are, no matter how old they are, and the only person’s judgment that matters is your own. So judge yourself nicely.


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

G: I’m a huge cat person. A lot of my friends call me Kitty. I could eat pasta for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (and a lot of the time I do just that). I love Western and sci-fi movies, but I also have a soft spot for romance. My favorite music is classic rock. I love Billy Joel, Queen, and Aerosmith. And finally, I love to play tennis.


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

G: Yes!

Instagram: @gracevandien

Twitter: @GraceVanDien

Facebook: Grace Van Dien


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

G: Thank you for your support! You’re all so lovely.


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

G: Thank you!


Written by: Jill Sheets

Photo credits: Dan Brookman, Alivia Latimer, Will G. Macneil