We met actress Cree Cicchino, who stars as Babe in the Nickelodeon TV series “Game Shakers,” when she was visiting Manhattan recently.
What got you interested in dancing at such a young age?
Well, my mom did it so it was kind of like a pass-on through generations. Right when I started, I absolutely loved it. I just kept going with it.
How old were you when you first decided you wanted to be an actress?
I think I was around 11 or 12. I started really late. I never planned to be an actress. I was originally a dancer, but then I always loved performing so I thought I might try it. I was probably 12-ish.
Do you think you and your character would get along?
Probably. She’s fun, she’s wild, and we both have that New York vibe, which is good. I’d probably get along with her. She’s really fun, she cares about her friends, she’s got a lot of great qualities.
Is it difficult acting on the show while keeping up with your normal life?
No, I don’t think so because acting on the show, it’s fun, it’s kind of playing around with your friends and just having a really good time the entire day. And keeping up with regular life, I always stay in contact with my friends and that’s just become a part of the schedule now. It’s not hard but definitely a lot to do, but I enjoy it.
Have you enjoyed hip-hop and jazz funk all your life or was that developed over the years of acting or doing other things?
I originally started as a more classical dancer. I started with competition, so jazz, ballet and tap — all of that. I guess I’ve always been a really crazy performer kid and my mom would always sort of do hip-hop and always do that in my personal life, so then when I discovered that I can do this in my actual dance training, I really fell in love with it. I guess it was always there, and it really came into my actual dancing and competing a little later on.
Outside of the show, do you hang out with some of the other actors?
We’re all really close. We’ve slept over at each other’s houses, and we go places together and sometimes we just stay on the set really long after hours, after we wrap and just run around and play together.
What’s the most bizarre and strange thing that’s happened on the set?
I’ve been pooped on. There have been animals that pooped on me. Bizarre and strange things, I’ve done some weird stuff and it hasn’t happened yet but you’ll all see it soon.
Is playing your role any different than how you actually are?
It’s a little different. We both have that New York-ish type personality, we’re both a little wild, we both love our friends, and I’d like to think that I’m as creative and as hardworking as she is, but then again there is a toughness that I don’t really have and she’s definitely a little bit crazier than me. I’m a little bit less of a risk-taker than she is.
How do you like working and acting with other popular Nickelodeon stars?
I love it. When you begin working with Nickelodeon they really welcome you into the family with open arms. Like it’s definitely an amazing, really sweet team that I’m really glad to be a part of. I love working with the other Nick actors. It’s great to ask them questions and sort of see how their experiences have been. They’re all really kind and amazing, and I love it.
How hard is it to memorize your lines on the show?
Not hard. I’m surprised because it’s really not hard. I don’t do a lot of actual sitting down and studying. I just read the script actually holding it and reading it so many times throughout the week that by the time I actually have to shoot, it’s already in there. It’s really not hard, it’s just that it comes, which I’m surprised because I’m not a great memorizer for things that matter like tests and things.
The time you spend on the set, is most of it actual filming or do you play around a lot?
We have our moments where we’re all silly together and the crew is all silly with us, but there are definitely days where we do buckle down and work hard, but it’s always fun. And even when we are really just concentrating on the scene, the scenes are so crazy and fun that we are having fun anyway. It’s even between playing around and being silly, and really concentrating on the work. We do a lot of both of it, and it’s a really great balance.
You said you loved animals and you want to protect them with your voice against cruelty. Do you have a pet of your own?
I have two dogs. One of them is adopted — first we fostered him from a shelter and we just adopted him. I have a Morky and I have a Chihuahua, Clyde and Chino. I have two little baby dogs, and I’ve had hamsters, and my grandma had a cat and things. We’ve always had animals, but those are the two main pets that I have had for a long time.
If you could, would you start acting at an earlier age or do you think you liked how old you were when you started?
I think I liked how old I was when I started because my background and performing on stage and I competed with dancing and just how familiar I was with sort of performing — just in general in front of people — definitely helped me when I started acting and auditioning. I like when I just started and I don’t think I would have started sooner.
Do you still go to school while filming?
I go to independent school, which is basically the same amount of work except [instead of] somebody teaching me the lessons, I sort of teach myself, and there’s discs we used to watch and we have on-set tutors to come and help us if we have any trouble.
Say you got asked to do another show the same time while you’re doing this show. Do you think it would be hard or would it be just the same amount of work?
To do two shows at once? I don’t know. I’ve never done that. I’m not sure, but there’s definitely a good amount of work that goes into “Game Shakers,” which of course I enjoy doing. I don’t know. I’m sure it would be an interesting experience, but I love working on one show. A lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun, too.
Were you really nervous on your first episode or the casting of the show?
The audition process was really fun. I hadn’t been acting or auditioning very long but I always had fun. At my auditions I loved the character, I loved the script, all the producers and everyone was absolutely so nice. I wasn’t nervous. I was excited and I had fun and I really just enjoyed the whole experience.
Would you choose to be a different character if you could?
No. I like Babe. I think all the characters are very well played, but I like playing Babe. She’s crazy and fun, and I really enjoy portraying her.