Now, just a few years later, Shipman is loving her life playing the role of Kenzie Bell on Nickelodeon's hit live-action original comedy series Game Shakers. The show revolves around Shipman's character and her friend Babe who start a multi-million dollar gaming company.
But getting this role wasn't exactly a piece of cake for Shipman, it took a lot of hard work and perseverance, and she ended up auditioning for the role three times before she landed it. After that, she packed up and moved to California.
#YouShouldKnow, a feature that showcases rising talents, had the chance to chat with Shipman about her preparation for her role, what it's like to be on Nickelodeon and more. Check out part one of the interview below!
How did you first fall in love with acting?
I've always wanted to be involved in the performing arts. When I was about 4 years old, I told my mom after I heard a radio show announcement for an audition that I really wanted to do it. I think she thought I would outgrow it, but I never did. I was obsessed. I kept bugging my mom and, finally, she said we could try it. I went to AMTC which is an acting convention and I got an agent out of New York, moved to New York and lived there for 7 years after I booked a Broadway show called Enron. Then I booked Game Shakers later on and moved to California three years ago. To know that I've accomplished my dream after so much hard work and at a pretty young age is pretty awesome.
How did you become involved with Game Shakers -- how did you hear about it? What was the audition like?
It was just a regular audition, like every other day. She [Kenzie Bell] is the nerdy one, but that's who I am. I tried out for it, and I was originally turned down for the role, like three times before I ended up booking it. The first time I got turned down, I didn't really care, I would have liked it but I didn't get it. Then they called me back in for another read, and I wasn't quite sure why we were doing this again, but my agent wanted me to try it again. So, I did, and I got rejected again. By that point, I was upset, I was crying. I had already gone in with a chemistry read with Cree, but they said we were too similar. The very last time I read they made it Untitled and changed the names of everything, but we still kind of knew it was the same role. I was refusing to go back out on this, I knew I was going to get rejected. But they kept on pushing for me to read again, and I did and after multiple screen tests in LA and waiting a while, I booked the show. It was so much hard work for that one role. It was a sigh of relief but also a lot of happiness. I didn't process it at first, but then I started crying. I thought they were pranking me.
Season three is on the way -- are you excited?
I'm so excited! I'm excited to see what the writers have in store. I'm hoping we get a special guest star on -- Erin Sanders. I've pitched this numerous times. I really want her to be my aunt or my sister, someone related to me on the show. We're both the nerdy ones, and I just feel like it would be a lot of fun to have her on an episode. That's my dream guest star, but who knows what will happen.
What's your favorite thing about working with Nickelodeon and everyone on Game Shakers?
Working with the cast and the crew, everyone is so supportive and nice and caring. If we're ever in a time of doubt or in trouble or something, they're always there for us. They're always watching our backs. They're always finding something that can help us in the long run. The kids -- we're all best friends. We're always looking out for each other, and pranking each other and having a lot of fun and making the best of it -- it's just us four and then the 'Henry Danger' kids, but they're either in school while we're on lunch, or we're in school while they're on lunch. You never really know who you're going to see. We're always having fun and making the best of it.
What do you do to prepare to take on the role of Kenzie for the show?
I don't do anything personally, since it's been going on now for two years, moving into a third, Kenzie is like half of me and I'm half of her. At times, we're the same person. She's made me say things that she says, and she's said things I would say. I feel like we're kind of the same person at times. At the beginning of the show, I was getting really prepared and going over my lines every week, numerous times, for hours and hours. Now, I don't need to look at lines on the weekend very much, only occasionally. By Friday, I try to have every scene memorized. We can also kind of predict what they're going to say because we know our characters.
How is working on Game Shakers different from being on a movie set, like you were for Ordinary World?
The time that you spend on set is different. For a movie, you might only be there for a month or maybe a month and a half. You fall in love with so many people, but then you may never see them again. Whereas on a TV show, if you get multiple seasons, you're working with that cast and crew for a while. You still meet wonderful people. It's hard leaving people in the movie district and leaving TV people. It's just different.
What do you think are some of the biggest challenges of working in the acting world?
That's hard. Probably going out of your comfort zone and thinking outside of the box for different auditions. While we're on hiatus we still have auditions, but sometimes it's not exactly Nickelodeon style. You've got to be very mellow, and it may not be as upbeat as Nickelodeon is. You have to tone it down and be normal. That's probably the hardest part because it's a pretty drastic change. Sometimes you can't make the changes quick enough -- so, between the changes, you have to change your mindset. I have to think 'I'm not Kenzie anymore, I'm not Nickelodeon.'
Visit #YouShouldKnow to watch a exclusive interview with Game Shakers star Madisyn Shipman!
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