Drum roll… We’re so excited to share our exclusive interview with actress, musician and longtime glasses lover Madisyn Shipman! Maddie stars as Kenzie Bell on the hit Nickelodeon show Game Shakers, which is currently filming its second season. We caught up with her on the set—right after a long day of filming—to chat about growing up, her glasses obsession and what she likes to do when she gets a (rare) day off!
First up, what do glasses mean to you?
So, I’m the only kid on Nickelodeon that has glasses, which is really cool and I always try to embrace! I always have my glasses mirror here in my dressing room. I do want contacts one day, but honestly feel like my glasses make me unique and they make me me! You just have to embrace it because it’s what makes you unique.
Do you feel like you look like a different person without your glasses?
Oh yeah! We had a scene in one of these past episodes where I didn’t have my glasses on and everyone was like “You look nothing like yourself. You look totally different!” So, it was cool having a different identity i guess, but i love my glasses. I love them!
How old were you when you first got glasses? And how did you feel?
I was in third grade when I first got them and, funny story: I actually faked an eye exam because I really wanted glasses! I was like, I’m just going to say I can’t see, and I got the glasses! Then, I told my mom that I faked it and she was like “Maddie, you can’t do that!” About half a year later, I actually did need glasses and my mom thought I was lying again, but I was like “seriously, I can’t see!” Then when I got them, I didn’t want them any more. Over the four and a half years that I’ve had glasses, you just learn to love them because they’re amazing!”
What’s your favorite Funoogles color combo?
I love the Seaglass Blue temples and the Flamingo Pink brow.
What would you like to see next from Funoogles?
I think it would be cool to have patterns! For the front, keep it plain but for the temples it would be so cool to have little patterns.
Did you always know that you wanted to be an entertainer?
I mean, I’ve always definitely been a kid who wanted to perform. When we lived in North Carolina, which is where I’m originally from, I would always put on little shows for my grandparents and just dance around and sing and play. It just made me happy! And how I got into it was, I actually heard a radio commercial about an audition. I asked my mom but I was only five at the time, so we waited a little bit. I just kept on, and kept on, and kept on, and eventually they got me an agent in North Carolina. We went to a convention for new actors, and I got an agent out in New York. We moved to New York and the rest is history!
How are your parents involved in your career and how do they support you?
They’re super involved! I mean, they literally moved across the country, quit their jobs and everything for me, which is really nice of them. My brothers moved schools and left all their friends behind. I really want to thank them because they’ve always been very supportive, no matter what.
What advice would you give to other kids who are thinking about pursuing a career in entertainment?
Always follow your dreams. That’s a big thing, because I feel like you shouldn’t be able to let other people knock you down. Just always go after your dreams because the only person who can tell you “no” is yourself.
With social media now, how do you handle other kids behaving like bullies or being mean online?
I mean, my mom and my dad have access to my Instagram account and they have it on their phones. So, when I’m on set filming, they’ll go through and delete mean comments and report them, which is really good because there’s so much negativity and I personally hate having negative vibes around me. I like having positive vibes ALL. THE. TIME! My parents are always looking out for me. Sometimes I ask my mom to show me some of the comments but since I’ve been doing it for a year, I don’t care any more. Those people don’t know me personally, and I know myself and know what’s true and what’s not.
What do you like to do in your spare time? Do you even have any spare time?
Our only free day is Sunday; we work six days out of the week—Monday and Tuesday we film, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday is rehearsal and run-throughs, Saturday is school for five hours and then sometimes we have ADR which is pick-up lines for the show. So, on Sundays, I go to church in the morning and go to youth group. Then, I just like hanging out with my brothers, swimming, having sleepovers and just trying to be a normal kid! I like going to the mall and shopping—I just do my normal things.
Do you have anything else exciting coming up, besides Game Shakers, of course?
I have a movie with Billie Joe Armstrong coming out called “Ordinary World.” I am so excited for you guys to see it! It comes out on October 14th!