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Kidsday interviews actress Chelsea Kane

Kidsday reporters, from left, Michael Seigies, Gabby Hansen,

Kidsday reporters, from left, Michael Seigies, Gabby Hansen, Ashley Hansen and Katerina Bogdan with actress and "Dancing With the Stars" finalist Chelsea Kane at Planet Hollywood Credit: Newsday/Pat Mullooly

We met actress and “Dancing With the Stars” finalist Chelsea Kane when she visited Planet Hollywood in Manhattan recently.

Is your character Bea on “Fish Hooks” like you at all?

Bea is an exaggerated version of what I would like to be. She has no problem expressing how she feels at all times, and she makes the smallest problem very dramatic. That’s really fun as a girl to kind of play and be over the top girlie, and she wants to be an actress. She’s always playing different parts. I could relate to her in some sense. We both want to be actresses. But I think she’s a little crazier than I am.

Have you ever felt like just giving up because you couldn’t dance?

There were a lot of times where I felt like giving up. I think it’s a combination of learning something new and it’s hard and when you’re tired and you’re cranky and you just don’t want to do it anymore. There are a lot of times where you just want to go home and go to bed. But I think those are the times that it’s most important to keep pushing yourself. That’s when you learn the most and decide just what kind of a person you are and I’m really glad I pushed through those moments.

Did you ever dance before “Dancing With the Stars”?

No, besides with my friends or at a school dance. But I did some musical theater growing up. So I would kind of move around the stage, but nothing like ballroom dancing.

On “DWTS,” do you get to pick out your costumes and do you get to keep them?

We do get to design our outfits, which is pretty cool, but unfortunately, we don’t get to keep them afterwards. You can buy them, but I got to wear them once. I don’t know where you can really wear those outfits anywhere else in the world either without people looking at you like you’re crazy. Actually all the outfits that we design go to this big warehouse where other ballroom dancers can purchase them to take to real ballroom competitions. That’s pretty cool.

Did you ever get stage fright?

Of course. I was nervous every week. The first week was the worst just because there’s so many people watching. It’s hard to wrap your idea, your head around the idea of 20 million people. That’s a really hard number to visualize. You kind of get scared not knowing how that pressure will affect you if you will just forget everything, you’ll just go completely blank. It’s really scary. I wasn’t sure how I would handle being so nervous. But once you get through the first dance it gets a little easier. Every week you’re nervous because you want to make sure you do your best and don’t mess up.

What do you have planned next, movie, singing, TV show?

Well I’m still working on “Fish Hooks” right now. So I’ll go back to work on that. So that will be fun. And “DWTS” has opened a lot of doors for me and it’s been really busy, so I haven’t had time to go and see what each door has to offer and which door I like the most. But I’m excited to get home and figure out what’s next. Hopefully, it’s something you guys get to watch.

Do you have a favorite Jonas Brother?

It’s so hard to pick because we’re all really, really close and love all of them, but probably Nick. I love him.

Why did you change your name?

Kane is my middle name and I always liked it. Actually most of my friends call me Kane and it actually means Little Battler. So I kind of liked that. It’s sort of fitting to my personality. So I decided to change it.

Which do you like better, animation or real-life acting?

Animation is really fun. But I think I like real-life acting more just because I get to use different parts of my body to express how I’m feeling as opposed to just my voice, but I hope that I get voice characters. It’s a lot of fun.

When did you start acting?

I started acting when I was 6 years old. My first play was in Arizona and it was a show called the “Reluctant Dragon,” and I had one line, and I had audition for probably 10 plays before I even got that one. So it took a little while. I started when I was 6 and I kept doing theater up until the time I was about 15.

Did you think you were going to win the competition?

I didn’t. Whenever you’re in a competition, you hope to win. But I think it’s important to do your best but never to expect things from other people. You always want to do your personal best, but it’s not always about winning. But I think what I learned from this competition is I gave it everything I had every single week as if it was my last performance. I never knew when I was going home. It could have ended week 1, week 3, week 6. And to make it to the finals was a pretty amazing feeling. That was definitely enough for me.

How is working with Mark Ballas?

I love Mark Ballas. Mark, he’s a really great guy. He’s become one of my best friends. It was hard at times because he never treated me like a beginner. He never let me get away with anything, never cut any corners. He always made sure that I was doing the best and could keep up with the pros. And that was frustrating because it was much harder, and there were times when I wanted to fight him and punch him. But he’s a great guy and I’m glad he pushed, me because we made it to the very end of the competition.

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