Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Lewisville ISD student featured on Nickelodeon TV show Every Witch Way
Now that the first season has wrapped, Andino said the cast and crew are waiting to see if the show is picked up for a second season.
LEWISVILLE For nearly half of the year, Paola Andino becomes a different person. From June through December she is a regular high school student, but for the first half of the year she’s a teenage witch -- or at least she plays one on television.
Andino, a sophomore at Lewisville High School Harmon, plays Emma Alonso in the newly premiered Nickelodeon series Every Witch Way, which airs weeknights at 6:30 p.m. Andino’s character is a 14-year-old who moves to Miami and discovers she has witch powers. The show follows Emma, her crush and boy next-door Daniel, his ex-girlfriend Maddie and the clique she leads. Maddie is an evil witch and the leader of the Panthers.
Andino won the role of Emma after auditioning in December 2012 at a Dallas agency.
“I definitely relate to Emma,” Andino said. “She’s a really honest girl, and I’m really honest too. Emma is a pretty easy character to bring to life.”
Andino lived in Miami from January through May last year while shooting for Every Witch Way. During that time, the cast shot the entire first season.
“I loved Miami. It reminds me of Puerto Rico where I lived until I was 3 years old,” Andino said. “I had a great time shooting the show. This is the first time I’ve been a series regular, and this is the first show for most of the cast. It’s really exciting. I’m glad we get to go on this crazy journey together. We all get along pretty well.”
Producers kept the cast on a tight schedule, shooting Monday through Saturday. Andino balanced her two lives -- one as an actor, the other as a high school student -- by using tutors to keep up with school.
“My mom came to Miami with me, and tutors helped me keep up with school. I didn’t want to fall behind,” Andino said. “Even though we were working most days, it didn’t feel like work. It’s something I love to do.”
Andino said she was able to relate to her character and found that Emma was enjoyable to play.
“I think Emma and her friends go through situations that a lot of other teenagers go through in high school,” Andino said. “Because I stayed in the same housing as the other cast members, we were able to get together and run lines. They’re now my second family because of how much we were together.”
Prior to taking acting classes at Denardo Talent Ventures in Lewisville, Andino danced on a competitive dance team. She said she has always loved performing but really fell in love with acting.
“Once I started taking acting classes, I knew it was for me,” Andino said. “I’m still with the same acting studio I started with, and it’s been amazing growing up with the same people and celebrating each other’s accomplishments.”
Prior to landing the role on Every Witch Way, Andino appeared in Hallmark Hall of Fame’s TV movie Beyond the Blackboard with Emily Van Camp, who now stars on Revenge.
“It was really amazing to work on that show and with Emily,” Andino said. “It was the first big thing I did, and she was so amazing to me. I was very nervous, but she was so great and helped me get past that.”
Andino said ultimately, her career goal is to be consistently working in feature films. She said she would prefer to go after more dramatic roles in films.
Now that the first season has wrapped, Andino said the cast and crew are waiting to see if the show is picked up for a second season. While they wait, Andino has returned to Lewisville and resumed her life as a high school student.
“I’m back in school, but I’m still auditioning. I’ve been really lucky to be able to enjoy typical high school experiences. I was even on the homecoming court, but I am aware that I might have to make some sacrifices,” Andino said. “I’m so lucky to have amazing friends, who don’t act any differently toward me. They’re my true friends and help keep me grounded.”
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