Kay Panabaker in a scene in Generation Fame! which came out on Sept. 25. Photo: MGM Studios
Kay Panabaker who plays Jenny in Generation Fame! had the opportunity to share with us how easy acting comes to her, given how much energy she has. The interview was done by e-mail through MGM Studios' publicity team. Kay is probably well-known for her past role as Nikki in Warner Brothers' Summerland TV show--which was visited by Zac Efron as a guest star. She also had leading roles in two Disney Channel films Life is Ruff and Read it and Weep. Finally, Kay had a guest role in Disney Channel's Suite Life of Zack and Cody starred by Dylan and Cole Sprouse. Her older sister, Danielle, also is an actress with past roles with the Disney Channel and in other projects.
Kay and Danielle Panabaker at Fame's premiere at the Grove in Los Angeles on Sept.23, 2009. Photo: AP/Chris Pizzello
Ashley Tisdale from Disney's High School Musical was one of the guests at the Fame! premiere on Sept. 23, 2009. Photos: AP/Chris Pizzello
Pennie, Naturi Naughton, Asher Book and a guest at the premiere. Photo: Casey Rodgers/AP Images for LG
Kherington Payne and Twitch Boss at the premiere. Photo: Casey Rodgers/AP Images for LG
Mario Lopez from Saved By the Bell and Courtney Mazza at the premiere. Photo: Casey Rodgers/ AP Images for LG
How old were you when you started acting?
I was about 8 when I started in community theater when I was living in Georgia. I got my first movie role when I was 10 in Dead Heat starring Kiefer Sutherland and Anthony LaPaglia.
What made you want to act? Did your older sister, Danielle, influence you?
She and I both kind of started at the same time. It was just an extracurricular hobby that has since escalated into more of a career.
Did you feel your parents played a very important role in your career in Hollywood?
None of my success would have been possible without my parents love and support.
When you first moved to Hollywood, did you have to take classes every day? Did you have a voice/diction coach?
My sister and I took acting classes 7 days a week, sometimes 2 classes a day. Our mentality was that if we were going to give acting a serious chance, we needed to take it seriously.
Even now, are you still attending acting/voice classes as an adult?
I took many singing lessons to prepare for Fame. When the travel for Fame promotions dies down, I'll finally find a new, adult acting class.
Do you feel it’s tough memorizing so many different scripts since you were in so many roles for TV shows and films? What about memorizing Jenny’s lines? Was that difficult?
Memorizing lines comes very easily to me. It usually takes about 5-10 minutes in the morning when I first get to work to learn a scene, regardless of length. Even for Fame, I would usually learn my lines while I was getting my hair and make up done.
Was it mentally, emotionally and physically demanding to work such long hours during shooting and rehearsals for Fame?
While the work schedule was grueling, I did not find it draining because it was all fun and I enjoyed every second of it.
When did you realize you became a celebrity?
I still don't think of myself as a celebrity. I simply have a job that puts me in front of millions of people. This doesn't make me anymore special than anyone else.
Did you ever wonder what your life would be like if it weren’t for Hollywood?
Of course! I have multiple back up plans and other career paths I would equally enjoy. Acting is just what I happen to be doing with my life right now.
What organizations/companies are you endorsed with--other than Starbright Starlight Foundation?
I work with Children's Hospital Los Angeles and Young Storyteller's Foundation are 2 organizations I still work with--besides Starbright Starlight Children's Foundation.
When you had to work through the night for Fame, did you feel overwhelmed?
Not at all. I actually LOVE night shoots and get even more hyper, if that's possible.
What was your experience like rehearsing/shooting for Fame in CA and New York City?
I have loved working on Fame, whether it was rehearsing or shooting, in LA or in NYC. I liked being able to travel and still work. :)
What future projects should your fans be looking for such as new roles in future films?
I did an independent film over the summer in Michigan called "The Lake Effect." It's a really interesting drama and the production company is hoping to get it into film festivals, but I don't know anything for sure.
Fans can keep updated with Kay's new projects on MySpace at this link: www.myspace.com/kpanabaker.