We met actress Madisyn Shipman when she was in Manhattan recently. She stars as Kenzie Bell on the Nickelodeon show “Game Shakers.” We loved that she brought her new puppy to sit with us during the interview.
What advice do you have for kids who aspire to be an actress just like you?
Always follow your dreams, because you can do anything you put your mind to. That is what I always go by.
How has “Game Shakers” changed your life?
I think me and Kenzie Bell have more similarities throughout the years. This is the third year coming up, and I feel Kenzie has become a part of me and I have become a part of her. She is kind of like my other half.
What made you want to become an actress?
I always wanted to be a kid in the performing arts. I asked my mom when I was about 4, and she just thought I was going to outgrow it, but I never did. I just kept asking and asking, and we went to a convention for aspiring actors, and I got an agent and we moved out to New York, and I lived here for seven years. When I booked “Game Shakers,” I moved out to LA.
Is there any other Nick show that you enjoy as much as “Game Shakers”?
I really love “School of Rock,” because it is all musical, and I love music. I play guitar, ukulele, bass, keyboard and I sing.
Is acting your first job?
My first job was acting. I was 6 years old when we came here. I was just a normal kid in kindergarten, and I asked, and my mom and my dad have been very supportive ever since. They helped me get to where I am today.
Whom do you get along best with on the show and why?
Thomas [Kuc] is my number one best friend — I love him to death. I feel we have a special bond because I had the biggest crush on him in Season One. Mind that, I don’t have a crush on him anymore; he is my best friend! He sees me like a sister and I see him like a brother, so we are cool.
What do you do for fun when you are not working?
I go to the skatepark with my brothers. I have three younger brothers. I am always hanging out with them or having sleepovers with my best friend Molly, who lives across the street from me. Or I am having pool parties with the “Henry Danger” kids. I go the mall. I am just like a normal kid.
What is it like watching yourself on TV?
I hate watching myself. I always critique myself because my Southern accent does come out. And then I say, “I don’t like how I said that. I don’t like how I did that.” You just have to deal with it, but there are some episodes where I force myself to watch this because it was a fun episode. Then there are other times when I say, “I’m going upstairs to watch ‘Grey’s Anatomy.’ ”
What was your first role?
My first TV show that got picked up was “Game Shakers.” The first movie that I did was “The Peanuts Movie.” It was an animated movie about Charlie Brown. My first commercial was for Blue Cross Blue Shield, and my first and only Broadway show was “Enron.”
Can you tell us about the National Niemann-Pick Disease Foundation?
It is a disease where fat accumulates all over your organs. It is really sad when it happens to kids, because it normally only happens to adults, but occasionally it happens to kids. My cousin Zoe died of N-P disease at the age of 2. It was just really sad, and since that happened, it has always stuck with me. I wanted to do whatever I could to help that organization find a cure.
Which of your works are you most proud of?
I am also working with No Kid Hungry, which is another organization. Their motto is giving food to kids who are less fortunate and who don’t have the chance to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Is there any actor that you wish could be on the show with you?
There are two. Sandra Bullock, because I look up to her so much. I aspire to be like her. She is so sweet and so caring. She also does a lot of charity work. And then there is Erin Sanders [“Zoey 101” and Camille from “Big Time Rush”] because I feel like we are both nerdy. . . . I am hoping that it happens at some point. I want her to play like my aunt or my sister.
What is your biggest fear and how do you deal with it?
My biggest fear is heights. I am fine with roller coasters. I can never go skydiving, and I could never jump off a cliff. I can’t jump off a high dive. It scares me so much, and I don’t know why.
Do you ever give ideas for the show?
Yes, we do. I really want a boyfriend on the show, and everyone on set knows this. [“Game Shakes” creator] Dan [Schneider] has said maybe. But we all pitch ideas, and sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Working with such an amazing cast and crew and meeting all the fans. Especially when little kids come up to me and say that I inspired them to do this, or “You inspired me to do that.” Working with Dan — that is amazing. He created shows like “Drake and Josh,” “Sam and Kat” “iCarly” “Victorious,” all the shows that I loved to watch. He is such a legend. It is just awesome. I love working with the cast, we have created such a special bond and we are all such good friends.