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Questions and Answers

Comment: Even though you don't seem to appreciate the show the way several do here, (I've only seen a few episodes myself) you've enticed me to want to watch it even more than anyone ever has!

it's not that I don't appreciate the shows, it's just that I got cable about 3 years after it went off the air, and I only saw a few (when I was in canada shooting, and my own, of course)

Question: It says on IMDB that Road To Avonlea was the only show/movie you have been in. What kind of work do you do now?

I'm not acting professionally, I'm doing some community theater and I went to school for acting in New York one year. It's a REALLY hard industry to break back into.

Even though ImdB says I'm only in RtA, I was also in Unsolved Mysteries (I played a little deaf girl, I was 4... it is on about once a year, i still get checks) and on E.N.G for one episode. My real work (and money) was in commercials. I was in over 50 commercials from age 3 to age 10. Some of the more memorable ones were things like Burger King (I was in the original "Kids Club" commercials w/ beetlegeuse toys), Fruit Loops, and White Castle. Now I work as a secretary for my dad. (it's kinda a slow monday, hence the ability to write all this today... shh... don't let him know!)

Were you six years old in "Of Corsets"?

I was five in "of corsets" and 8 in "old friends." My birthday is in october, and we shot the first one in August, and about a year and a half later, we shot "old friends" (in january)

You said that you still live in Ohio, so I'm curious...how did you hear about the auditions?

well, I've lived here since I was one and a half, but I was born in toronto. My dad is canadian too, and we have family up there. My mom was one of the top models in Canada in the 70's, and when we moved to Ohio, she kept modeling. Well, she had three girls (I'm in the middle) and figured we should start young. She had us all modeling before we were in preschool, and they started using me for commercials too. Well, they found out I could act (or was a smart enough kid to memorize the lines, which at four IS acting) and promptly decided Columbus wasn't a big enough city for me. They took me to New York to the Ford Kid's division, but they said I'd have to live in New York to get any real work. Well, my family didn't want to move because of a four year old, and it was a 10 hour drive to New York, so they decided that Toronto was much closer, and I had family there. Well, we went to Toronto and I got an agent, and they got me a national Burger King commercial. One of the Avonlea directors (or producers or something) saw the commercial and decided I was what they HAD to have as Dora. My mom and I stayed with my Aunt during the filming of the shows.

Which school in New York did you go to? Was it AMDA or another?

I went to the School For Film and Television, for half of the 2 year program. I didn't really like it. oh well. (hopefully) next winter I'll be going to AMDA, which is much more me, as my dream is broadway, not really film or TV. Don't get me wrong, I loved working on the show, but altogether, it's not quite as thrilling as a live audience, and you can learn so much more by playing the same role over and over until you get it the way you want it. On a TV show, you get the script a week ahead of shooting, and after you memorize the whole thing, they cut scenes, add scenes, change lines, and so forth. Sometimes (even at five!) you'd get the final scene about 30 minutes before they were going to film it. You'd barely have time to remember your lines, let alone make an acting choice. (granted, they'd stop and do it over if they didn't like it, but some of the older actors and actresses would get annoyed if you spent like 2 hours on one scene 'cause the little kid was stupid) .

Whcih do you prefer: stage or TV/film?

so, yeah, definitely stage.

What is your most memorable moment?

When we did the scene in "of corsets" where Mrs. Lynde falls down after Davey tied her sholace to the table. It took forever to get right, without anyone laughing, and Patricia not actually hurting herself.

Why was a new Dora chosen?

You'd have to ask Kevin. Somehow, they never really told me I'd left, I just realized one day there was a new dora and i wasn't getting calls. I think the 'official' reason was I got too tall, and Kyle and I didn't look like twins anymore.

What was it like filming 'Old Friends, Old Wounds,' with Marilla being gone?

It was hard to film 'Old Friends' without Colleen. There was a woman who played her body double (in such scenes as when Davey discovers Marilla, and one or two other places) but she was not as nice, and it kind of was weird having a different 'marilla' when you really just wanted Colleen. Plus, everyone was slightly down the whole episode. There wasn't as much joking or having fun as in the other episode. Even though I only knew her for two weeks when I was five, she was someone I really liked alot.

Do you remember why you and Davy (Kyle) were chasing Mr. Harrison's buggy?

I have no idea why we chased the buggy... I remember doing it, and such, but I couldn't tell you why. I have the original script around here somewhere... it was probably some scene they cut. I could find out for you.

What was it like to work with Colleen Dewhurst?

Well, when i did work with her (the two weeks) I was five years old. I pretty much just thought she was a really nice older lady who liked to play with me on breaks. Even though I was five, I knew that I was working and that it was serious, and I needed to do my best. But, it wasn't until after she died that I knew she was as well known in the theater world as she was. But she was sweet, and funny, in a sarcastic way. She was also pretty patient with kyle and I, since we would always do something to delay the scenes... (aka, forget a line, forget blocking, look at the camera, etc)

What was the line you had the most trouble with?

definitely the line in Old Friends where I say "serves him right, he stole my dolly" about Davey falling in the slushy mud. I knew it sounded fake, the whole thing. Where in Dora's character would such a sweet girl wish her brother to be mocked and laughed at by all the boys in school? And how would she care so much? Dolly was fixed. All in all, I had a hard time with that scene....

another line I had trouble with (even though it wasn't mine) was the line in "of corsets" where Davey says "it didn't make the pig go poof!" because I had to look upset, and all I really wanted to do was laugh. We weren't stupid, we knew what the corset was. We knew that the pig wasn't really all fat... Kyle and I kept screwing up the scene by laughing... alot... and there were like 10 people in it... which kind of made us feel bad... Plus the other kids had been teasing him a bit at lunch, going "Poof! Poof!" and that made it hard.

Were there any funny technical difficulties that happen on set?

It was SO cold out... and we had such crazy clothes that don't keep you warm (wollen stockings and high button shoes are really really thin...) and for some reason they thought that my hat shouldn't cover both ears. We used to wear gloves under our mittens with hand warmer things (those little packets that you break up and they provide warmth, usually used by skiers) and we'd put them in our boots too... but your toes still froze and your whole face was numb. I don't know how people used to do it. The undergarments were all authentic as well as the dresses (or authentic replicas, really) and quite thin (and scratchy)

One thing technical difficulty wise I remember was that in "Old Friends" they really did destroy half the set when we "destroyed" the house so Mr. Harrison wouldn't want it. Therefore, when the banister breaks, it really breaks. It was the only banister, so we HAD to get it right the first time. We practiced without the bannister a few times, but when it happened, we really had to make sure we had it right. That was hard, but I think it ended up looking good.

Were your body doubles older than you and Kyle? Why were they sometimes used instead?

I think someone asked earlier about body doubles. Well, all the scenes Kyle and I did when we were riding in a buggy were done by the doubles. At least, mine were, and I think his too. They didn't seem to want us near those horses. Alot of the running was done by doubles too. Like I said earlier, Kyle didn't wrestle the pig, or tumble down the hay (except right at the end, so he could end up in the hay with us) I think the doubles names were shelly and daniel? that's a guess... they were only there a day or two.

what was Johnathon Crombie like?

he was really sweet to us kids, but I was pretty much in my own little world, not really paying attention. He spent alot of time catching up with the older cast members (those who were in Anne, I suppose) and was only on set for a few days (they shot all his scenes in a row, so he wouldn't have to stick around the whole time) Mostly, I remember him on set, very professional, always consistently good. (all in all, i thought of him kinda how I assume dora would've thought of Gilbert... a nice, older man who seems to know all the adults in her life, even though she's never seen him before... coincidence?)

Do you like to go home and forget about work (acting work that is) when you're finished, or do you long have fans recognize you everywhere you go?

I've never had the experience. I'm not sure how I'd feel if people recognized me on the street. I daresay, it would be fun. I mean, crazy fans who stalked me would be not fun, but if I was really famous, I wouldn't complain. No, in general, I wish acting was my job, and that I could spend all of my time acting and performing. In general, only about 5 or 6 people in Highschool knew I was a professional actor (my best friends I'd known since then and a few people who had seen the show, or seen a commercial) It didn't bother me for people to know, but how do you bring it up in casual conversation without sounding like your bragging?

noticed on your website that you enjoy reading... so I was just wondering if you'd ever read anything by L M Montgomery?

When I was five and got the part of Dora, my mom bought Anne of Green Gables on tape, and we listened to it together on the drive up to Canada. When we got there, my Grandma gave me all the Anne books (I think all...) which I didn't read right away. My Grandma was an Anne fanatic. She named my aunt Shirley Anne (after Anne Shirley) and read the books out loud to all her girls (she's my dad's mom, so neither parent knew the stories before I got the part) I think I read Anne of Avonlea when I was about 9, but it kinda made me mad, because every mention of Dora was so short and in passing, I knew no one really liked her in the books, and I somehow took it that no one really liked me. (I was a strange kid) I haven't read any of the other ones, though I've wanted to as I've grown up. I can't find my copies, and haven't bought any others.

Random Thoughts and Stories

Each episode of RtA takes approximately 2 weeks to shoot. (that's including rehearsals, etc) Almost all of the 'indoor' scenes are done on a soundstage in Toronto. Alot of the "scenes" you think of would be shot at a million different times (such as, someone approaching the house, someone inside noticing, etc) because they would need to be shot both outside and inside.

Well, one of the things I remember was Kyle (Davey) hated that frog from "Of Corsets" and whenever we weren't shooting he kept handing it off to a crew member. Now, being a little girl, I hated it even more, and most of my "sadness" at the funeral is really being scared that somehow that frog would jump up out of that grave and get me.

During lunch, us kids (Zach, Kyle, Harmony, Sarah, Gema and I) would sit around playing this game. One person could do anything they wanted while you had to stare straight at them and you weren't allowed to laugh. Only rule, they couldn't touch you. It was one of the better games, and I think it really helped us not laugh when a funny/serious scene was happening.

In my two episodes ("Of Corsets and Secrets and True, True Love" and "Old Friends, Old Wounds") Kyle had a tooth thing going. Obviously, everyone knows about the tooth he "lost" in "of corsets" but, since he hadn't lost any teeth, they just blacked one out, with this stuff that looked and (according to him) tasted like mascara. Once Patricia had her tooth "pulled" on the show, Kyle had to swallow it. They used a marshmallow designed to look like a tooth. It was interesting, they had this whole bag of marshmallows in different sizes and different colors. They kept holding them up to the "tooth" to see which one was the right color/size. They chose a pretty big yellowish one. I remember they had only a few, so he had to practise with all the wrong ones first. Well, in "Old Friends" he had actually lost a tooth. But... he wasn't supposed to have lost one... because it was the one he'd "lost" in the last show. So he had this special retainer with a tooth attached so it looked like he had all his teeth.

Colleen used to swing me around and around as a fun thing, which they decided to shoot into the show (originally, she was smoking a cigarette) (seen when laundry is being hung up in "of Corsets")

I knew my "fake" crying was fake during the funeral in Old Friends, but I had been told to cry, and that was all I could do. Don't think I'm a bad actress b/c of it... it WAS bad acting. :/

the doll in "old friends' had a snap off leg, so kyle could 'break' it, without effort.

Kyle and I are both allergic to hay, so during the hayloft scenes in 'of corsets' they had to keep stopping so we could go outside for fresh air. Alot of takes were ruined by our sneezing

kyle didn't chase that pig. His body double did. His body double also rolled out of the hayloft.

In Old Friends, we weren't even allowed to ride in the buggy. our body doubles did that. I was jealous.

In Old Friends, the farmhouse of that old man (I can't remember his name) was really some old man's farmhouse which we used for shooting the scene. He was about 95 and had white hair growing out of his ears. His house was heated by a wood stove. It was authentically just like the house they wanted.

I used to sit in the Make-up trailer when Sarah and Gema got their make-up done and just watch and listen. I wanted so much to be like them when I grew up. I know they used to talk about the different guys in the cast, and which crew members they thought were cute, and so forth, but I don't really remember.

When season 3 wrapped, I went to a 'cast' party, and Harmony was there, but for some reason, she was creating drama. I don't think she had done anything, but for some reason, everyone was ignoring her, and my mom wouldn't let me talk to her. I have no idea. I didn't get to stay long, because my sisters were along, and they had to wait in the car. When I heard later that she had been let go, I figured it was around that time. Now I know I'm wrong. I don't know....

All of us with bit parts had these itty bitty little trailers, about 6 to a truck. Imagine if you will, a regualr mac truck trailer, with five doors and five tiny rooms in it. Pretty much, it was a bathroom, a tiny kitchen, and a table with two benches that could turn into a bed if you needed a nap. The leads had trailers about 3 times the size, with bedrooms also. But Sarah had a Motor Home, which was just the coolest thing. I got to take naps in there, cause it was always the closest to the set, and I was the youngest kid.

In Old Friends, Gilbert says Anne didn't come to the funeral b/c of something with the kids (scarlett fever or something?) but the real reason was that Megan Follows wouldn't come back for the episode. She wanted more money than they had to pay her. Everyone was slightly bitter about it. I mean, it was practically like missing Colleen's real funeral.

Again, all credits go to Ashley. Thank you so much for letting me put this on my site!

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