Sunday, January 1, 2017

Best of 2016: EXCLUSIVE Actor Spotlight: 'School of Rock' Jade Pettyjohn

Photo Credit: Nickelodeon
Written By: Founder/Editor David Mills
Jade Pettyjohn is a beautiful talented fifteen year old actress who stars in the Nickelodeon series 'School of Rock' as Summer Hathaway.

'School of Rock' is about misadventures of Dewey Finn, a rocker who poses as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school as he teaches his unconventional and overachieving students to play and love rock 'n' roll.

In the March 19th episode, Summer asks Tomika for help to become the lead singer.

Jade has starred in several TV series ans movies such as 'All I Want for Christmas' (TV Movie) as Megan Farley, 'Henry Danger' (TV Series) as Chloe, 'The Last Ship (TV Series)' as Ava Tophet and 'McKenna Shoots for the Stars' as McKenna Brooks among other roles.

Our founder/editor David Mills had the opportunity to interview this fifteen year old actress on her acting, education and more. Here is what she had to say.

When did you start acting?

I started acting when I was seven years old, however, when I was around four years old I figured out that actors are the ones who play make believe for a living. That sealed the deal for me, and I knew I wanted to act.

Was it your dream to be an actor?

Yes and that dream is still there! I'm in love with the art form. Everyday I find new things to love about it, and new things to learn from and challenge me.

Are there challenges pursuing a acting career and being a normal young lady?

Of course in any career one decides to pursue, there will be challenges. I think the key is just balancing everything, which is working for me so far.

Do you remember your first acting job, tell us about it?

The first role I ever got was a co-star role in the CBS show "The Mentalist". It was great! I got to work with Simon Baker who is absolutely amazing. Both the cast and crew were so sweet and welcoming! It was a great experience.

You play Summer on the Nickelodeon series 'School of Rock'. Tell us about your character, Are you like her in real life?

Summer is a perfectionist and the band manager/songwriter of the group. She has a “boss" kind of attitude that I love, but she also has this sweet girly aspect to her.  My character Summer and I, are definitely different. when she wears cardigans and pearls, I wear doc martins and a band T-shirt. Summer and I do share the love of academics. We are both very much into learning.

Are your cast members easy to work with?

Absolutely! I couldn't have asked for a better group to work with!

What do fans have to look forward to in upcoming episodes of 'School of Rock'?

There will be lots and lots of music from old and new, rock to pop. There will be comedy. There will be action. There will be romance. Make sure to watch on Saturdays at 8:30 to tune into the craziness that is school of rock!

How does the cast get ready for scenes?

When we start filming a new episode, we get in a huddle and get each other pumped which is great. As for each scene, we usually run the lines together and say tongue twisters when we have a large amount of dialogue.

Do you have any advice for those wanting to start a career in acting?

The best advice i could give is to really dedicate yourself and work hard. I know it might be said a lot, but its so true!

Surround yourself with people who love and encourage you and work hard and you will get where you wanna go.

What do you hope your fans can take away from your acting?

 Well each character I play will be different from the next. Each project I work on will have a different message than the next, so it will always vary with each piece I work on.

It's hard to find free time while busy on projects. When you do, how do you spend it?

You can find me on the biggest, fastest roller coaster. I LOVE LOVE LOVE ROLLER COASTERS!

Do your family and friends support you?

Without a doubt. I have the best friends and family and they are my cheerleaders just like I'm theirs.

Who inspires you with your acting?

Emma Stone and Dakota Fanning both inspire me so much! They are such talented individuals. But I think i get inspired the most by people in general. I observe the people around me. As an actress, i want to portray real human beings, therefore human beings inspire me.

What do you hope to accomplish with your acting?

I want to challenge myself as an actor as much as possible. One day I’m playing Summer on Nickelodeon's show school of rock and make people laugh, and the next I'm playing Bird in Girl Flu, an independent film, that is more along the drama route. I love to mix it up.

Is it hard for you to remember your lines? How do you remember them?

I have gotten pretty good at memorizing lines. the trick for me is saying the lines first in a deadpan voice, then fast, slow, with a British accent, in the from of a song, in a southern accent, as a pirate, or any other crazy voice. Then it sticks and I can work on actual character development.

Are you passionate about any charities, if so, why?

Yes, I do support various charities and I tend to gravitate toward the ones that help with education, the arts and underprivileged children. I’m currently working with a foundation to promote the arts that you will be hearing more about very soon.

Is education important to you?

Yes, Yes and Yes.  Having an education is the most powerful tool in life.   Learning to learn, as opposed to just passing a test is so important to me.

Do you have any other talents?

I am a musician as well as an actress. I sing, play guitar, and write. I am in love with music.

We want to thank Jade for taking the time to answer our questions and what to wish her all the best in acting and life.

You can follow Jade on Twitter by clicking here and check out her website here.

Finally, make sure to watch Jade Pettyjohn as Summer Saturday night at 8:30pm EST/PST in the Nickelodeon series 'School of Rock'.

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