Rising teen Michael Campion dishes about Netflix's hit Fuller House, and filming in front of a live audience
Rising teen star Michael Campion dishes exclusively to We Blab Entertainment about Netflix's hit series Fuller House, and filming in front of a live studio audience. Also, Michael talks about studying martial arts.
Congratulations on the upcoming Season 3 premiere of “Fuller House” on September 22! How has your character, Jackson Fuller, grown over the course of the 3 seasons and can you tell us a little bit of what to expect from the families this upcoming season?
Jackson was younger and a little lost at the beginning of season one and now that he is getting older, he has learned a lot more life lessons and it has helped him mature. He has become more responsible too. I think the writers do a good job with my character because they write him like a real everyday teenager going through life and facing realistic everyday situations and learning experiences.
In season three you can look forward to seeing more of the family and original cast from Full House. The fans tend to love it when some of the old familiar faces show up. As far as for the families, Kimmy and Fernando will not disappoint with their crazy and hilarious antics this next season . There is also a lot of edge of your seat drama with the Matt, CJ & Steve triangle.
Full House started in 1987 and still has millions of devoted fans. How have the creators kept the spirit of the original series despite the changes of the times? What are some of the recurring themes and elements that have stayed in the show over the course of 30 years?
The writers have kept the essence of family and friendship which were constant themes in the original series and continue today. There is usually a situation where conflict occurs and then after misunderstandings and confusion, the characters work together and solve the conflict and stand together. The writing team really realizes the responsibility that they have to keep the shows themes consistent and positive. They work hard writing a family show where the themes and storylines appeal to a broad audience of both Full House and Fuller House fans.
Jackson Fuller is D.J. Tanner-Fuller’s mischievous teenage son. What have some of your favorite episodes been and why? What’s the craziest things you’ve had to do as this young troublemaker?
Jackson is not really as mischievous like he was in season one. Now going into season three he is just more of a typical teenage "goof ball". He also does not intentionally set out to be a trouble maker. It is his goof ball decisions and lack of thinking things through completely that somehow end up making trouble for him. In the end he always learns another valuable life lesson.
My favorite season was when Joey came over to babysit. We got to play with nerf guns, water guns, toilet paper guns and the whole episode was a total out of control blast. I also liked the season two Halloween episode. The director owns one of the largest collection of horror film props in Hollywood so he brought a ton of cool things to decorate the set. The craziest thing I probably had to do as Jackson was in this same episode when Jackson had to wear a silly and embarrassing bear costume. It was ridiculous and silly and a lot of fun at the same time.
You got to shoot an episode of Fuller House in Japan! What are some of the best memories from that trip and what is it like getting to film this show in a foreign country?
The best memories about working in Japan is hands down the fans. The Japanese people as a whole are the most polite and kind people I have ever met. We would go into our hotel lobby and the fans were always waiting for us. They would bring me little gifts and hand written notes and they were so polite and respectful about taking photos and asking for autographs.
Shooting in Japan was so fascinating and educational. Everywhere you looked and went, you were learning something new and different about a totally different culture. Nothing looked familiar and it was a great experience to see a whole new culture and way of life. I would go back in a heartbeat.
You and your co-stars, Soni Bringas and Elias Harger, go out and dance for the live studio audience of Fuller House. What is some of the greatest differences between filming in front of an audience and filming on a private set? Does it make it the job harder? How does the production keep some of the show’s spoilers under wraps?
When you film on a private set, you only have the crew and other cast members present. When you film in front of a live audience, there are a ton of more people present and they laugh out loud and clap and you get an instant reaction from them regarding what you are doing. I find it easier working with a live audience because their energy gives me more energy and it makes mw have to be "on" and helps me deliver a better performance.
The production team takes the cell phones from the audience before they enter the studio in order to avoid anyone recording anything. Also, they encourage the live audience to not tell outsiders too much about the storyline because it will spoil the experience when they eventually watch the show on Netflix.
You avidly study sword work, martial arts, and study being a magician. Tell us a bit about your training in those skills. Do you see those skills finding their way into Fuller House or other future projects?
I have taken extensive classes in stage combat. This is something many actors do and it comes in handy on action films and period pieces. I also take Krav Maga, a form of martial arts. When I am home in Orlando I take it with my dad and when I am working in Los Angeles I take it there by myself. The magic thing is something I have always enjoyed and studied. I started studying it when I was about 8 at a place called The Magic Dove where you go to actually learn about and study the craft of magic.
I hope to be able to use all of these skills on Fuller House some day and on other acting projects. As an actor, I think it is important to learn as many skills as you can because they can only help you in the future for making you skilled at things that may come in handy.
You worked on films such as Robo-Dog and Christmas Trade before working on Fuller House. As an actor, what are some of the greatest differences of working on a television series rather than a feature film? Do you have a preference between TV and film and if so, why?
When you work on a film, you have a starting date and a finishing date. You get to know people and then at the end you have to say good-bye. It is not long term. On a television series, if you are lucky to have a long run, you develop deep and lasting friendships. Your cast and crew become more like family. You also get to develop your character over a very long time ao that you really know this character inside and out.
I guess I prefer television because it is long term and it is more secure. You don't have to worry all the time about getting that next job because you come back week after week. As an actor, job stability is a blessing and I don't take that for granted.
What projects should we watch out for you in the future? What is a dream role you’d love to play or an acting challenge you’d love to take on?
You can see me as a celebrity contestant on the Nickelodeon competition series Paradise Run. I competed for a charity organization called Race to Erase MS. This is a cause that is near and dear to my heart ever since my older sister was diagnosed with MS. Not only did I get to raise awareness about a serious and important disease, I got a free trip to Hawaii and it was an absolute blast.
I don't know if I have a dream role but I would love to keep working with great actors and it would be amazing if one day I could work in a film with Johnny Depp. I think he is one of the best actors in film today. I would also love to eventually be in action films. I think action films are exciting, challenging and that to me would be incredible!
Watch the season 3 premiere of Fuller House September 22 only on Netflix.
Follow Michael on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Starlet Hayley Orrantia opens up about typical day on-set of The Goldbergs, her journey on The X-Factor, and writing lyrics
By: Daniel Hoyos | PHOTOS COURTESY TJ Manou
- Los Angeles, California
Starlet Hayley Orrantia talks exclusively with We Blab Entertainment Magazine about a typical work day on-set of The Goldbergs, and her journey on The X-Factor. Hayley also opens up about how she personally writes lyrics for her music.
Congratulations on the huge phenomenon of "The Goldbergs" on ABC, which, was recently renewed for seasons 5 & 6. Having grown up in the late 80's culture "The Goldbergs" reminded me of my own family with the fashion, and attitude. Can you take us threw your audition process for Erica Goldberg?
I actually was the first person they saw for the role of Erica! I received the audition from my agent while I was driving into California with my dad for pilot season back in February of 2013. As soon as we arrived I put myself on tape for it and soon after received a callback. The Goldbergs was also my first screen test ever so I definitely got lucky. The best part of this story is that I have heard that it came down to me and one other girl.
They originally went with her until an intern in the back of the screen test room fought for me. She apparently made a compilation of my personal YouTube videos where I was being my goofy self and the producers decided to take a chance on me despite my limited resume. I have been so grateful to work on such an amazing show for four years now and hopefully many to come!
You grew-up in Highland Village, Texas singing at the age of just nine years old R&B, and pop music which, eventually lead to writing with songwriter Jamie Houston from the (High School Musical series). How did you get started in the music business, and what made you decided moving to Los Angeles was your next step to stardom?
Music has always been a first love for me. It all started when a family friend heard me singing in the car along to the radio and suggested I take it more seriously. Over the next few years I performed all across the DFW metroplex and made incredible connections through my music school. Eventually those connections led me to Jamie.
Jamie introduced me to a bunch of labels in NYC and LA where they suggested I get some sort of "platform" to further my music career, like a television show. That is ultimately how I ended up acting and booked The Goldbergs. I happened to move to Los Angeles around the same time I booked the show. I really feel like it has all been fate the way it has worked out in my life.
The first time I personally became aware of your name was on the first season of "The X Factor", and I remember thinking Hayley is going to be a big star. Your appearance on The Which, eventually led to you be eliminated during the fifth week, but I'm sure it was a one of kind experience. What was your personal experience like being on the "The X Factor", and what did you learn from being on the show?
My journey on The X Factor is one I hope to write about someday. To sum it up, however, it was a whirlwind of emotion and excitement. I met some lifelong friends on that show and I learned so much about the way the industry works, good and bad. I learned that, as an artist, you cannot allow other people to dictate what kind of music speaks to you.
There will be countless people fighting to push you in one direction and while there are times they could be right about it, you have to follow your instincts because your journey to find your sound will come in time. It's been almost six years since my time on The X Factor, but i can still vividly remember my experience and treatment on the show. It shaped me into the artist I am today in so many ways.
On "The Goldbergs" set in yhe 1980's you play Erica Goldberg the older sister of Berry, and Adam whom is extremely popular, fashion crazy, mostly cares about boys, and loves to torture her brothers. What dose a typical day on-set look like, and how has your character evolved over the years?
A typical day on set requires about a 5:30 AM wake up call to be on set for an hour and a half of hair and makeup. After quickly shoveling breakfast and coffee in my face and memorizing my lines for the next scene, it's on to set where we put the scene on it's feet. We do one rehearsal before the crew sets up lighting and then we film that scene anywhere from 45 minutes to 4 hours, depending on the scene. Our work hours and be anywhere from 5 hours to 12 hours in one day. It's kind of crazy schedule, but in the end it's all so worth it! Erica has evolved in so many ways over the last four years. Erica is actually based on creator & producer, Adam F Goldberg's, older brother, Eric. Because of the age gap between the real life brothers and the fact he didn't have an older sister,
Adam didn't have as many stories to start the show off involving Erica. I am actually thankful for that because I believe it gave the writers a lot of freedom when writing about Erica. She's always been headstrong, wise and the-middle-man of the family, much like Eric Goldberg. However, the writers have since added her musical ability once they saw my interest in wanting to do both. I believe it has really worked in the favor of the show & definitely for my career to be able to do both music and acting. Now that Erica is headed to college and chasing her dreams, the writers have a whole new playground to work with on the show.
In 2011 you started in the independent comedy "Cooper and the Castle Hills Gang", where you played Penny the mean sassy older sister of Cooper who, comes-up with a devious plan to foil her little brother's quest to find a family heirloom. Do you have any memories filming in Lewisville, Texas and what do you hope kids who just discover the movie take away?
I think working on Cooper and the Castle Hills Gang was a perfect transition for me into the acting world, especially since it was filmed in my hometown. I was actually a junior in high school during filming which was difficult for my schedule, but I learned so much. It was such a well produced movie and everyone involved was so incredibly kind that I could not have asked for a better first experience.
I hope that when people watch it, it can be an enjoyable family friendly movie that brings them together. I hope they can appreciate all the time and love put into that project and also the features that the movie highlighted about Castle Hills. Overall it was a fun and educational experience that I will never forget.
One of my favorite episodes of "The Goldbergs" is Kara-te where Erica sings Pat Benatar's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" at the high school Holiday Talent Show. Can you tell us how the producers first let your character start singing on the show, and are you self-tough on the guitar?
I had a conversation with the producers one day asking that if they ever had an opportunity for me to sing on the show that I would be more an ecstatic. Luckily for me they gave me a shot with that first talent show episode. It went over so well that they continued to write Erica's musical interest into the show. Fun fact: I don't know how to play guitar! They hired a teacher to help me, but I REALLY struggled with it and even begged the producers to stop writing it in unless I could play piano. I guess I've made it look real enough that everyone thinks I can play. However, this summer I spent some time working with an amazing coach and I now can accompany myself a little better. We'll see if those skills are tested this next season!
You have an amazing singing voice, and your singles "Love Sick", and "Silence You" have a very indie country sound that you don't hear in most modern country songs. Can you give us some insight into how you go about writing lyrics? Are your lyrics based off personal experiences?
Lyrics to me are one of the most important elements of a song. A lot of people, I notice, just breeze by the lyrics and only tune in to the melody or production of a song, but I am so different. I love hearing the real story of the songwriter or artist played out in their song and the cleverness of a good line. My goal is to have someone listen to my song and be speechless with emotion because it truly hits home for them in a way that no one can explain. I know that when I go through something difficult in my life and I hear that experience reflected back at me in a beautifully written song, I feel more understood than having a discussion about it in person with someone.
All of my songs are based on a personal experience of mine. Even if I it's something I am not going through at that moment, I can tap back into that feeling or relate it to a time in my life when I did feel that way. I think that's where music and acting cross for me. It's very important to me to make sure that every line of my song is true to my personal experience. I believe this is what makes a song more relatable than anything else. If you share your truth honestly, it will resonate better with other people.
Since 2007 you have serviced as the ambassador for Texas Music Project, which raises awareness and funds for music education in public schools. What can you tell us about the non-profit, and how important is keeping music education in our schools?
When I started working with Texas Music Project, I couldn't yet appreciate the reality it would play in my own life. Music has always been important to me and while I am lucky enough to have been able to do it outside of school, not everyone can. During my time on The X Factor, I was a senior in high school and was forced to quit & take online homeschool courses to finish my education. Many states, including Texas, have a policy that does not allow the amount of absent days required to further a career in entertainment, despite your grades. Around the same time, my high school cancelled all future Musical Theatre programs due to minor complaints and issues. I was devastated that the next 4,000 kids to walk through that school would not have the opportunity that I did to appreciate the value of music & theatre classes. It has been my ultimate goal to change this policy and allow every child the same opportunity as I had whether it's a class for one year of high school or the beginning of a long lasting career. Many people view a career in entertainment as risky and short lived. However, from my experience, I know there are many levels to this industry, more than just being in front of a camera or behind a mic. I hope one day in the near future I can work with statewide school boards to discuss a change in policy.
The Goldbergs returns with season 5 this fall on the ABC network.
Notlim Taylor talks new NBC sitcom Marlon, prayer sessions before tapings, and working with Kevin Hart
By: Daniel Hoyos | PHOTOS COURTESY #twaintaylor
- Los Angeles, California
Fresh faced teenager Notlim Taylor talks about getting casting in the new NBC sitcom "Marlon", having prayer sessions before tapings, and working with superstar comic Kevin Hart. Also Notlim gives us advice for break-out into show business.
Congratulations on booking the role of Marley Wayne in NBC’s new sitcom “Marlon” which will premiere August 16th, 2017. Can you take us throw the audition process for Marley Wayne, and how did you feel when you got the role?
Thank you! When my dad told me I got the role, I didn't believe him? Then my agent called to congratulate me, I couldn't believe it. I was shocked, happy, and confused. I didn't understand what I did to deserve what God has blessed me with. I was thankful at the same time though. I'm so blessed and so thankful to be apart of such an amazing show with amazing people.
One of my favorite actors is the hilarious Marlon Wayans from the “Wayans Bros”, and “In Living Color” whose new sitcom is named after him. What’s it like having Marlon play your dad, and did he give you any career advice?
Where do I start!? Marlon is crazy but professional and he reminds me a little too much of my own dad. He makes the set a comfortable environment for everyone to work in. He is a great multitasker by the way, he advises me while collaborating plus checking the rollback plus cracking jokes and delivering his lines.
At the age of 4-years old you started doing local still photography, and just a few years later got the attention of Disney. Can you tell us how you got started in the business, and how your mom picked the name Notlim?
My father (Milton "Twain"Taylor) is an actor, my brother and I would watch him act and rehearse all the time. Then we started practicing commercials in the mirror at bath time that we'd seen on television, our dad decided to take a chance and let us audition for our first commercial which ended up being our first job. My name is MILTON backwards, my parents were expecting a boy so when they saw me they decided to just switch the name around.
What advice would you give a young actor who might be asking their parents to pursue a career in acting?
You have to be willing to put in a lot of hard work, you must stay focused, and you have to be patient. The business is tough, sometimes you'll get tired of auditions ruining your weekend or changing your family plans because you have to study but don't look at the constant auditions as annoying, look at them as opportunities.
In the upcoming series "Marlon" you play older sister Marley Wayne, with divorced parents, who are trying rising two kids. Can you tell us some details about your character, and how much you can you relate to Marlon?
Marley is a 14 year old book worm and a 4.0 student in her private school. She is extremely educated, mature, and she juggles a lot of responsibility between dealing with the divorce of her parents while helping to raise her little brother Zack and school work. She respects and loves both of her parents unconditionally. No matter how immature or over protective Marlon might act towards different challenges in her life, she is always going to be daddy's little girl.
I loved your performance in Kevin Hart's "The Real Husbands of Hollywood" where you played his adopted daughter Lola. I'm interested to hear any stories about working on-set with Kevin Hart?
It was amazing being able to work with Kevin, his jokes always went over my head. I remember one day on set Kevin complimenting my work in front of me and my dad. He said that my performance was great, he loved that I was exercising good comedic timing, and that I was gonna go somewhere. I thought that was so big coming from Kevin.
Just like your character in "Marlon" I heard you're a real bookworm in school, with a 4.0 GPA. How do balance school with your acting responsibilities?
When I was in public school, I would always make sure my homework was completed before anything else even before I studied my lines for an audition. Now that I'm homeschooled (for the first time) I get to move at my own pace. I make sure I stay ahead that way when I have to work I have nothing to distract me.
We have a lot of teenagers who would be interested to learn more about auditioning for network roles. Can you tell us what you do to prepare for an audition?
The entire cast have a group prayer before each show, praying lifts any fears or doubts that I maybe having, I love the audience, I can just feel the positive energy in the room. The audience is your added support or your cheering squad. My advice to those reading is to relax and have fun. You already got the job! You will really enjoy it.
Follow Notlim on Instagram, and Twitter.
NBC's Marlon premieres Wednesday August 16th, 2017 at 9/8C.
By: Daniel Hoyos | PHOTOS COURTESY Isaac Sterling
- Los Angeles, California
Actress Jennifer Schemke talks about Dirty Dancing remake, and advice for upcoming inspiring actors, Also Jennifer talks with us about how she learned to dance badly, and working with Billy Dee Williams.
You play Esther Feinberg in ABCs up-coming remake of “Dirty Dancing” airing May 24th. Can you take us through the audition process?
When I got the audition, I was in New York, so I had to send in an audition tape. My dear friend, Izzy, who’s also an actor, came over and read with me. I dressed with a hint of the 60’s, backcombed my hair a bit, and we did a few takes until we felt the magic. I didn’t hear back for a long while. I kind of forgot about it. Then, while I was visiting my parents in Northern California, babysitting my niece, I got the call that I booked it, and celebration ensued!
We all remember the original dirty dancing starring Patrick Swayze, and Jennifer Grey. How much dancing did you learn for the role of Esther, and was it difficult?
So, my character isn’t supposed to be a great dancer. My first day on set, we were shooting a scene featuring a group dance lesson and the director, Wayne Blair, came up and asked me if I could lose a bit of my fluidity. Basically, he asked me to dance badly. So, if when you watch it, you think I’m uncoordinated, then I’ve done my job!
You graduated with a BA and BFA in theater from San Francisco State and DePaul University. What’s the most difficult part about studying acting, and what lessons can tell people who are looking to take some classes?
Studying acting is great, because it gives you tools to navigate what can sometimes feel like an overwhelming task, creating and giving sincere voice to a character you’ve only just met. The nice thing, is that you come to the table with all of your own experiences and observations, so the tools help you to hear that voice you already have, and to stay relaxed and open to your scene partners. The most important task is to tell the story. Studying the craft helps you lose self-consciousness and do that. It’s always a good idea to study, even if you’re an accomplished actor. It’s a safe place to experiment.
You recently had a guest role on the series “Magic Funhouse”, playing the role of Gidget. Can you tell some more your character?
Brandon Rogers, who writes, directs and stars in the show writes me in as a different character each season. “Gidget” is the first of those. Brandon’s writing is outlandish, and this character fits that bill for sure. She’s a “Laughter Therapist”, a woman of manic optimism, with a searing darkness lurking just below the surface. She laughs to stave off these darker urges, and encourages her therapy group to do the same, to questionable result. A lot of the characters Brandon writes make you laugh, but have an element of the disturbing. My character on Season 2, though totally different from “Gidget”, is consistent with that sensibility. Funny, unsettling, unsettled.
You recently launched a new start-up called “CreativeTao”, which is aimed at connecting art teachers and students. What can you tell us about your new start-up for education?
CreativeTao was the brainchild of my former improv student in New Orleans, Mikeal Woods. He never considered himself creative, but is the father of a highly creative son. He found he had trouble finding a wide variety of teaching resources to help his son explore his creativity. Me, being a teacher at the time, sometimes found it difficult to market beyond word-of-mouth or flyers with those tear-off thingies hung in the back of cafes. So, together we decided to create a platform where both creative arts teachers and students could find each other on the web, as well as a place to find creative inspiration.
A large part of the audition process is rejection. How dose Jennifer personally handle rejection?
Oh, Lord. It’s the classic case of learning how not to take things personally. To ascribe to the rule of “Rejection is God’s Protection”, as my mom says. If you’ve done the work, and done your best, you have to remember that different projects are comprised of various aspects beyond your control. It’s also great to create your own work. You never know who you’ll meet when you’re consistently working and creating, and who will see your work. One of my teachers, Tom Todoroff always says that when you convince yourself you’re an artist, the world will also be convinced. Making your own art is a way to learn more about your unique voice, and keep you feeling powerful.
We always hear if you to pursue a career in acting move to L.A. Do you think people can still have an acting career outside of Hollywood?
There are so many great and smaller markets outside of L.A. Hollywood shoots all over the globe, and many of them hire some sizable roles locally. If you’re a tiny fish in a huge pond like L.A., it can be challenging even to get seen. It’s a very smart idea to build your credits and experience in smaller, but burgeoning markets, like Georgia or Louisiana, to name a couple. Make your life happy first, go for the opportunities in that locale, and when you’re ready to get in that big ring you’ll fight more like the champ you are.
In “Dirty Dancing”, you got to work along-side an all-star casting including Sarah Hyland, Abigail Breslin, and Billy Dee Williams. Can you tell us what it was like working alongside such powerful talent?
Every day was an ecstatic and humbling experience in this regard. I was surrounded by the best in the biz, on set and in the hair and makeup trailer. Debra Messing and Katey Sagal were both lovely to work with, and consummate pros. Nicole Scherzinger is such a sweet spirit, and an incredible dancer, and Abbie and Sarah were very friendly and supportive. My high school math teacher used to have framed headshots of Billy Dee Williams around her desk, and Tony Roberts (of Broadway and “Annie Hall” fame) went to Northwestern with my aunt, so that was a fun coincidence. I learned a ton about staying relaxed and confident among this company. I had to balance my inner fangirl with the the part of me that was there to do my work. It was invaluable experience and I owe all of these actors a great deal of gratitude.
Follow Jennifer on Twitter.
14 year-old teen sensation Thomas Barbusca blabs about Fox's The Mick, and playing Drew in American Wet Hot Summer
By: Daniel Hoyos | PHOTOS COURTESY April Mills, Kathy Hutchins,
- Los Angeles, California
14 year-old teen sensation Thomas Barbusca gives us the inside scoop on Fox's "The Mick", and getting into a physical on-set fight with co-star Sofia Black-D'Elia. Also Thomas shares his memories playing Drew in American Wet Hot Summer: First Day of Camp.
Congratulations we just got the news Fox's "The Mick", will be renewed for season two. Can you tell us about the audition process for the role Chip Pemberton?
I had just got back from filming the movie Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life in Atlanta and got a bunch of scripts and auditions. The Mick was one of them. The script was super funny and I ended up getting an offer for it.
"The Mick" is a fantastic hilarious sitcom about Mickey, a not so bright aunt who is forced to take care of her sister's three kids that live in a mansion. Can you explain to us what kind of character Chip is?
Chip is super entitled and spoiled. Money is no object and he thinks he can buy his way into any situation.
At 14-years-old you've already starred in the film "Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life." What was it like shoot the film with Griffin Gluck?
He's my best friend I had the best time filming with him.
One of my favorite scenes in "The Mick", is when Chip and Sabrina get into a physical fight over their parents' bedroom. Do you have any favorite on-set stories shooting with Sofia Black-D 'Elia?
That was probably my most favorite episode to shoot with Sofia. We were doing a lot of the stunts and having fun with it. I think we definitely had some bruises after that episode. She's just so cool and we get along so well. Just like my real sister.
Actors tend to get overwhelmed when seeking out representation. How did you find the right agent?
My mom found us the right team early on. My advice is just find a team that fits and that has your best interest.
You also played Drew in "Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp". What was your favorite memory of Wet Hot American Summer?
So many! Paul Rudd being super nice when we first met. David Wain was awesome and I got to work with him again on Another Period. I had the most fun on that set and ended up staying friends with all the kids on the show. It was like being at summer camp with my best friends.
Chip is not your average middle child. He's mischievous, a little high class, and enjoys tormenting his little brother Ben. How much can you relate to the character?
I'm pretty opposite of Chip. I don't have a little brother, I have an older sister who I probably torment a little.
Since the first season of "The Mick", recently wrapped earlier this year. Can you tell us what you like to do for fun outside of acting?
I love basketball and going to games, skateboarding, spending time with family and friends is most important.
Watch full episodes of The Mick on fox.com.
The Mick was recently renewed for a second season by Fox Television.
African American actor Echo Kellum, chats hit series Arrow, LGBT community, and working with starlet Sami Isler
By: Rachelle Henry | PHOTOS COURTESY Lesley Bryce
- Los Angeles, California
African American actor Echo Kellum chats exclusively with We Blab about his role on the hit CW show Arrow, and doing justice for the LGBT community. Also Echo share his memories working with young rising star Sami Isler on NBC's Sean Saves the World.
You grew-up in Chicago Illinois, and moved to Los Angeles in 2009 to pursue acting. How did you first get started in the business?
I was in the commercial realm and theater realm in Chicago and when I moved out to LA I really dived head-first into improv. Improv was something that blew me away and I fell head-first for it. It taught me that I wasn't just an actor, but a writer and director and that I had all these intricate parts to my art. I was so grateful for that and it's something that I really credit to an enlightening, or awakening, in my career.
During your lush career you've been cast in roles including Arrow, and Comedy Bang-Bang. Which do you find more challenging: Comedic or dramatic roles?
They both have their own unique challenging aspects to them. I think I would just say dramatic roles, only in terms of television, just because you shoot longer. Your days are usually longer and it's a more time consuming process. But when you do comedy, there's the pressure of actually being hilarious and funny, and delivering on lines with great timing and whatnot. In drama, you just really have to hone in on what's happening around you and touch deep with some emotions while 25 people are watching you and setting up the shot. So they both have their own difficulties.
You actually play the first openly gay superhero character on television. Do you feel any pressure to do that role justice for the LGBT community?
My entire life has been heavily influenced by LGBT members of my family and my friends, so I feel an obligation to play this character in a non-stereotypical way. People in the LGBT community have lots of different layers and they are all kinds of different people, so I definitely feel like I have to do it justice in that way of letting him be a human who isn't defined by his sexuality. He's a person first — none of us live our lives strictly through our sexuality — so I think it's important to play him as real as possible and not put any flourishes or anything like that on him and just let him be as realistic as we all are, because that's what people in the LGBT community are: they are all of us. They are your friends, sisters, moms, cousins, nephews. It's great that we have more characters like that on television and we haven't made it to the promised land yet, we're not all the way there, but it's great that we're making progress.
We often talk with up-coming actors who are interested in breaking into the business. What advice would you give aspiring actors/entertainers?
To never give up. You don't know when your time is going to come, you don't know what audition is going to change your life. Never give up. Continue with the craft, and if you do, they will find you. You might not make Will Smith's $20 million a film, but you can definitely find a place in this industry where you can do what you love and still live in a safe environment — a house or apartment — and just do what you love. So never give up.
Congratulations on the recent Netflix film "Girlfriend's Day" starring Bob Odenkirk. Can you tell us about your role as Madsen?
Madsen's a beat poet who really tries to help Bob Odenkirk's character get back into the field after his divorce and losing his job. He's there for support, he works with Bob's character, but he's really into beat poetry and being there for his friends.
In 2013 you co-starred in the NBC sitcom "Sean Saves the World", with one of our favorite actresses Sami Isler. Do you have any favorite memories of working with Sami on set?
Oh man, I really do and I've been thinking about this a lot recently. Thomas Lennon had a Tesla and I fell in love with Tesla. I want a Tesla one day! Sami was so cool... on my birthday she came up with a toy car Tesla that had my name on it and I was like "oh my gosh, this is the best!". I'm so proud to see her career blossoming and blooming, and seeing that she's getting recognition. She's definitely someone that I knew back then was going to be a star one day — and she was a star then — just that there are more and more people being able to take in her talent... I'm just so happy for her. She's such a great young lady.
Actors tend to get overwhelmed when seeking out representation. How did you find the right agent?
I did one of those casting workshops where you can meet a lot of agents. It was just by happenstance. I went in once and did a monologue about Katrina, and then this agent saw that I had comedy experience and said he loved my monologue! He came to see my show at UCB; he thought I had some talent and so I signed with him and was with him for about 6 years.
Disney actress Kimberly J. Brown, dishes on working with Debbie Reynolds, and recasting of Halloweentown
By: Daniel Hoyos | PHOTOS COURTESY LIz assitstant to Kimberly J. Brown
- Los Angeles, California
We Blab Entertainment Magazine, catches up with former teen actress Kimberly J. Brown about her memories working with the late legend Debbie Reynolds (Singing in the Rain), recasting of Marine Piper in Disney Channel's Halloweentown 4, and advice for breaking into Hollywood.
Most people remember Kimberly J. Brown, from the Disney Channel Halloweentown trilogy. Can you tell us how you got started in the business?
I started in NY w/commercials and print and eventually did my first of three Broadway shows at age 7. My parents had put me in a class in my MD hometown because I loved acting out pretend “plays” in my house, and I was one of the few students encouraged to try auditioning in New York. My parents always told me if I didn’t like it I could stop but I fell completely head-over-heels in love with it and here I am all these years later!
Halloweentown premiered in 1998 which, made you a household name with my generation. What was the audition process like for the role of Marine Piper?
I read a couple of times for the role. If I remember correctly, we did the scene in the beginning with Marnie arguing with Gwen about going trick-or-treating and the scene with Marnie telling Dylan about Halloweentown in her bedroom. I was so thrilled when I found out I booked it because I loved Marnie as a character and couldn’t wait to pretend to have magical powers :)
When filming begun on Halloweentown you were just 14 years old. How did your personal life change after the film became a hit on the Disney Channel?
It’s been amazing to watch the movies’ fanbase grow over the years. I’m so flattered by fans who still come up and quote the movie to me. It’s the greatest gift to have something you’ve acted in enjoyed by people, and have them tell you about it.
After two more successful sequels the Disney Channel chose to recast the role of Marnie. You originally voiced your disappointment; can you elaborate on the recasting for Return to Halloweentown?
Yes, I was disappointed for the fans but I’ve been doing this for over 25 years. My fellow actor friends and I have all had stuff happen through the course of doing this for a living that sometimes you just have to chalk up to being in a crazy industry.
The sudden death of Debbie Reynolds was a complete shock to the whole industry. Can you tell us what it was like working with the legendary Debbie Reynolds?
I can’t say enough about what an incredible human being she was. Getting to grow up with her and become her friend outside of the “Halloweentown” shoots was such a blessing to my life. She was the ultimate supportive, insightful, hilarious performer and friend and I will always miss her.
Also the death of Carrie Fisher who played Princess Leia in Star Wars was quite emotional. How did her untimely passing affect you?
It was quite shocking. She was such a strong, funny, bold woman. Her amazing talent and sense of humor will be missed.
We often speak to kids who want to enter the entertainment industry. What advice would you give someone if they wanted to pursue a career in acting?
People ask me that all the time and I always say to start with training, because it gives you a real idea of what it takes. Many people think that the industry looks fun because of what celebrity looks like on social media but it is work. Fun work, and work that I love and have loved since I was little. So I think taking classes first to see what kind of work it takes is a good start because that fundamental love of acting will drive you through all the ups and downs of the crazy business aspect of it.
Our readers are very interested in what you are currently up to professionally. Can you tell us about any future projects your working on?
I’m currently performing improv at UCB, and write & direct original skits and videos for my YouTube Channel. I also have a film called “The Wrong Side of 25” in post-production, with a couple other films in development. ;)
Kimberly will be appearing at the 2017 Cherry City Comic Con happening April 8th-9th in Salem, Oregon.
Follow Kimberly J. Brown on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
By: Daniel Hoyos | PHOTOS COURTESY Danielle L. Jackson
- Los Angeles, California
15 year old Atlanta native Myles Truitt talks about being cast in BET's The New Edition Story, bootcamp and, working with the real life Ronnie DeVoe.
Can you tell us how old you currently are, and what made you want to become an actor?
I am 15 years old. I wanted to always do something that was fun and different. I like making people laugh too.
The New Edition movie recounts the story of the popular 80’s R&B group from Boston. How did you end up auditioning for BET Casting?
I am a part of a theatre company called The Youth Ensemble of Atlanta. We had performed at the Trump Awards in Atlanta. The casting directors for the New Edition were there or heard about it (something like that). They asked about us and our director of the school asked us to audition. Then we had to go to a chemistry read…it’s to see who would do the best together. They would switch different ones of us up to see who worked better. We got a call that I was selected!
You played young Ronnie DeVoe in The New Edition Story. Did you sit down, and talk with the real Ronnie DeVoe before principle filming started?
Definitely. The real guys of New Edition were very involved. Ronnie talked to me about how he felt, how he lived and how it was being the last to join the group. He helped me make sure I was talking and walking like him too.
The choreography and, singing was spot-on from Luke James (Johnny Gill) to Algee Smith (Ralph Tresvant). Can you tell us about the New Edition boot camp?
Boot camp was rough at first. We worked really hard. We would be at the studio at 8 o’clock in the morning or earlier. We would dance and sing until like 1 o’clock. We got breaks and we still had to do school. But we finally got it and it wasn’t so hard. It was really a lot of fun. Leon (Leon Lee) was on us. He made sure we got it right. But we had a good time too. The last part of boot camp was cool because we went in the studio and worked with Babyface. It was amazing to hear your own voice on the song….
The New Edition Story premiered on the BET network to 29 million viewers, making it the most watched premiere since the 2012 season of the sitcom The Game. The three-part mini-series originally aired on January 24, 25, and 26, 2017.
What advice can you give to other kids who want to be actors?
You have to make sure you really want to do it. It is fun, but it is a lot of work. But if you want to do it, don’t give up. Ronnie could have been any other kid but I was blessed. You could be next.
The BET mini-series was the number one, trending topic on twitter during its premiere. How has your life changed after the huge success of The New Edition Story?
Well, my Instagram followers went way up (laughs) and sometimes people recognize me. I have had more auditions and more interviews. Other than that, nothing much.
What do you do for fun when you’re not acting?
I like to play basketball with my friends and my little brother. He’s only 6 but he is really good. I like to play on my PS4 too.
Can you tell us what’s next for Myles Truitt?
I have a movie coming out in Sept or October of this year. It’s a Sci-Fi really cool. Can’t tell you much quite yet. It’s going to be really good. I’m excited about it.
Lastly do you have a favorite New Edition song?
My favorite New Edition song is “Can You Stand the Rain”. I love that song. I love good singing. My mom sings, my grandfather sings so singing came a little natural (laughs). So I love to sing that song.
Follow Myles Truitt on Instagram: www.instagram.com/myles.truitt/