We met actress and singer Keke Palmer who stars in her own Nickelodeon TV series “True Jackson, VP” when she was in Manhattan recently.
Do you ever dream of having another career?
Sometimes I’ve thought about doing other things. This would definitely be my first choice, but if I did have to do something else it would be a doctor.
What are your hobbies?
I read, stuff like that. I try to do my own music on my computer with logic, but it’s really hard to learn. I’ve tried though, but I’m not that good at it. I write, stuff like that.
You must be very busy with your acting career. Do you ever get spare time to do what you like?
Every now and then I get time to hang out with my friends, stuff like that. When I get a break I go to the movies, talk on the phone or go to Santa Monica pier and stuff like that. Just normal teenage stuff.
When you are acting do you ever get stage fright and how do you overcome this fear?
I don’t really get stage fright, but I do get sometimes nervous, and I turn it into positive energy and it really makes me do well because energy aside makes me go and do my best.
How does it feel to be on television?
It feels cool to be on television. I never like to watch myself because I get embarrassed when I watch myself. But it feels kind of cool.
Do to all the traveling you do, does it prevent you from seeing family and friends?
Yes, sometimes it does. I haven’t done a lot of traveling because I was in California doing “True Jackson, VP,” but I use to do a whole lot. It would get sad, I’d miss my family, but my parents do a good job in making sure they come everywhere they can with me. Or sometimes my Mom would go with me or my Dad would go with me. But if I’m going for like four months or so, my whole family would come.
Are you like the character you play in the TV show “True Jackson, VP”?
We are similar sometimes. True is a perfectionist like I am. She’s also optimist. That’s a quality I have. She is hard working. I’d like to say I was hard-working. She also has qualities that I don’t have. She gets a lot of things done in a quicker time than I can. She gets them done in 30 minutes. But all around she’s a great character. I like her. I’m not as great.
What does it feel to perform in front of lots of people?
Exciting. It gets my energy pumping. It makes me want to do very well because I know people are watching me.
How do you make your performance so remarkable that you earned the NAACP Image Award nomination for Best Actress?
I don’t know really how I did that. I worked really hard. I think I put my heart into it and I took one scene at a time, I think that’s the best thing you can do, put your all in every scene, you eventually come out with a bunch of great scenes, which are a great movie.
Do you think you would like to do another TV show in the future?
Yeah I would like to do another TV show. That would be cool. I would do “True Jackson, VP” and to do another show would be fun. It’s very organized usually if you do a TV show unlike movies sometimes it can be all over the place. So I have a lot of fun with the consistency of the TV show.
What was it like to be in the movie “Akeelah and the Bee”?
It was awesome doing “Akeelah and the Bee.” Some people started noticing me. The movie had such a great message and I felt proud to be part of something like that in spite of all kids.
We read online that you like helping people that need food and clothes. Is that true and what do you do to help?
Yes, I definitely do. Whenever I get rid of my clothes I usually give them to Goodwill or like a home, go there and give things that they would need. For the most part I work with Urban Farming. We go and plant in neighborhoods where many people don’t have enough money to buy plants, not plants, but to buy vegetables. So we plant them in a garden near their homes so they can go out and get healthy fruits and vegetables to eat. And also I’m involved with the Boys and Girls Club, and organization called a Be Smart. Telling kids that they should feel OK to be smart and not to be afraid that kids may call them dork or loser to let the light shine and not be afraid to use their minds.
What are some of your character traits and what kind of person are you?
I’m goofy, outgoing, I’m loud sometimes, I’m sensitive, I’m passionate, I’m loving, I could sometimes be a little bit of a know-it-all.
Do you find it hard to learn your script?
No, I don’t have a problem with learning scripts thankfully. I have good memorization skills. So I just look at it and learn it.
How did it feel to work with Jennette McCurdy?
She’s really cool and a very dedicated actress. I have a lot of fun with her on the show. She’s shared some of her secrets with me, how she does her roles and stuff. Because I’ve seen her in totally different things. I’ve seen her in a dramatic role in “Law and Order” and then I see her in “iCarly.” And when I heard what she actually does to change those characters. She actually lowers her voice to do Sam and she changes her posture. I was like wow I never realized she puts a lot into it.
Being a teenage star you must be very busy traveling how do you get your education and do you have any chance to go to college?
I definitely have plans to go to college. I just graduated. It’s really hard to do both acting and school, but my mom and dad make sure that I got the best teacher that I could and I thank them for that. But I think maybe a year or so I’ll probably go to a junior college for two years and then I’ll go to a four year.
What is your favorite game to play like sports?
I love double dutch and I love volleyball.
What sports do you play?
I’ve played a little bit of basketball. I’ve played football. I had to do a movie about it so I played some football. I play volleyball with my sister and then I played double-dutch. I did a film about that.
How did it feel to win a small role in the film “Barbershop 2: Back in Business” at age 9?
It was really fun. It was my first thing ever so I just felt really privileged. Like oh my gosh I get to do a movie with Ice Cube and Queen Latifah. It was like the best experience as far as thinking about when I first started I had the best time.
Do you have any siblings and do you get time to spend with your family?
Yes, I do have an older sister. She’s 21 and then a little brother and sister that are 9 and I spend time with them as much as I can because I’m usually out or going or doing stuff. So whenever I’m home, my little brother and sister usually sleeps with me sometimes. And my older sister, she’s actually in college right now doing school and stuff like that. But when she comes we like talk and I talk to her about everything that’s going with her in school and boys and stuff like that.