INTRO BY TAMARA CHAPMAN
INTERVIEW BY CAMI LIBERTY
Currently starring as “Madison Kelly” on the HIT TV Series The Quad is Michelle DeFraites, a young actress who has the drive and ambition to call the studio her home since she was just 12 years old. Keep on reading this interview to learn about what’s to come and what it’s like to be involved in this top-notch industry!
When did you first realize that acting was what you wanted to do?
MICHELLE: "I have been doing community theater with my family since I was very young but I remember realizing at about 12 or 13 that acting could be a real job. I was watching a show with my dad and I just remember saying 'I wanna do this!' Literally within the month we were trying to figure out how to go to LA to give it a shot."
Do you remember anything from your first audition? How did it go?
MICHELLE: "I remember my first big audition was for a pilot on Disney Channel and it was 9 pages and I was terrified! I actually did a good job and that proved to me that I was cut out for this career."
You currently star as Madison Kelly in BET’s The Quad. The show just returned at the end of January for its second season – what can you tell us about this season?
MICHELLE: "This season is a season of growth for my character in particular. She is definitely taking a few more risks personally and in her school career. There is a large activism storyline, inspired by what’s going on in the world around us, this season that is really great and I’m honored that Madison was allowed to be a part of it."
Do you find that you relate to Madison in any way? If so, how?
MICHELLE: "I feel like her development throughout the two seasons has mirrored by life while playing her. I love that she was a little more reserved first season because that’s exactly how I felt during filming. This season she is spreading her wings and I feel that has inspired and allowed me to do the same as well!"
Of all the projects you’ve done, which would you say has had the biggest impact on you?
MICHELLE: "My role on House was a big turning point in my career. It was the first time I had the opportunity to pay a dramatic role and I wasn’t convinced I could pull it off because all I had done up until that point was Disney. After experiencing that set and being proud of my work, that was the moment I fell in love with drama and was confident enough to try to tackle more roles like that."
Do you have a certain process that you do to get into character?
MICHELLE: "When I first get a script and a new character my favorite thing to do is to question everything. I feel like it helps me get into the head of the character so that when I play them for a long time I know them inside and out and then it becomes second nature. I’ll ask 'Why did she say that' or 'Why did she make that decision or choice'. There’s a reason for everything that someone does or says and finding out why is so important for character development."
You also will be starring in the upcoming film Crazy For The Boys. Can you tell us a little about this?
MICHELLE: "Crazy For The Boys is a super fun movie musical that tackles the bullying issue that is rampant in schools today. I love that we can tackle such an important subject while still making a great movie with catchy songs that will be stuck in your head forever! I literally had the best time shooting this and made some incredible lifelong friends and I thin that shows on screen."
Is there anything else we can expect from you in the future?
MICHELLE: "I have another film called All The Creatures Were Stirring, which is a thriller that takes place around Christmas. This was another first for me because I’ve never worked on a scary movie before, but it was so fun and I can’t wait for every to see it!"