1) Can you tell us about your Disney XD show “Walk the Prank?”
Walk the Prank is a really funny show about four kids who have a popular online hidden camera show where they prank people. What makes it different is that we prank REAL people, so the show combines scripted comedy and real-life pranks.
2) How would you describe your character Bailey?
Bailey is edgy, tech-savvy and sarcastic. She is one of the guys but definitely think girls rule the world!
3) What are the similarities and differences between you and your character?
Actually, I’m pretty much just like Bailey but maybe a little less sassy. She calls the principal by her first name—I would never do that!
4) What has been your favorite episode to film so far?
My favorite episode was “Blind Date,” where I find out that Uncle Will has a date with my mom. Bailey is NOT happy about that, so it was fun for me to act nervous about the possibility of him being my stepdad.
5) You’re also a musician, can you tell us about your music?
I come from a very musical family. My parents have a band, and I started doing a few songs with them around age 9. I got a guitar last year and a ukulele this year, and I love to play both. I also enjoy songwriting and I’ve starting working on some original music that I hope to release at some point next year.
6) How would you describe your sound?
I’ve always had a raspy speaking voice, so my singing voice has a little bit of grit in it! Most people are surprised when they hear me sing, because I sound older.
7) Where do you post your singing videos?
Recently I started a YouTube channel (Jillian Shea Spaeder) for my cover songs (and hopefully my originals at some point!). I also do some 15-second versions occasionally on Musical.ly.
What are your social media accounts?
Facebook: Jillian Shea Spaeder (music); Jillian Spaeder (general)
Jillian Shea Spaeder broke on the scene this year with Disney XD’s Walk the Prank. The show scored huge with Disney’s coveted demographic of kids 6 to 13, garnering 35 million viewers overall. The show is currently in production on a second season and Jillian Shea Spaeder is busy building a brand on Instagram, and spreading her gorgeous voice with covers and songs on the social platform.
Trending All Day caught up with the budding star as she preps for what is likely another big year.
Spaeder’s rising star is one of those fairy tale stories. Spaeder says her agent encouraged her to come out to Los Angeles from the east coast to try out pilot season.
“We came for just two months as a trial… At the very end of our trip, I had the audition for Walk the Prank. It went so well that we had to cancel our flight back home (to Philadelphia) and ended up staying another month waiting to test for the role of Bailey. A few weeks later, the producers called to tell me I got the role.”
Spaeder is the only girl in the five person cast of Walk the Plank, but she likes being in the boys’ club.
“Being the only girl also means some plot lines are unique to females, so that’s fun. I guess the downside is not having another girl to hand out with on set, but I am so close with my cast mates that I rarely notice that.”
Spaeder says she’s been a performer for as long as she can remember. Her parents are in a cover band that she has been performing in for years so a stage presence comes naturally to her. Albeit, watching Spaeder sing makes one feel they are in the presence of an old soul.
Her musical influences reveal her wise beyond her years soulfulness as well.
“I would have to say the Beatles are my biggest. They were incredible songwriters and musicians. With acting, I am inspired by my peers in the industry. Watching what they are doing both professionally and personally to make their marks on the world gives me great role models.”
The refreshing does still manage to take time to be a kid.
“Most weekends I usually have some time to get together with friends and go to the mall, hit an amusement park, or just hang out.”
That doesn’t mean that we won’t be seeing a whole lot of Spaeder in the new year.
“I’ll be filming Walk the Prank until March, and I’m hoping we’ll get more seasons of the show. I’ve also been auditioning for different projects, including some movies, and I continue to work on guitar, ukulele and singing. I wrote and recorded my first original song in the studio recently, and I’m continuing to work on new songs, so I hope to release an album at some point.”
With pipes and maturity like Jillian Shea Spaeder’s we can’t wait to see everything she’ll accomplish as she continues to grow.
When it comes to pranking someone, Jillian Shea Spaeder is probably one of the hardest targets out there. This is because she’s usually the prankster, and knows exactly what to look for. The 14-year-old is one of the stars of Disney XD’s hit series Walk the Prank.
As Bailey, the only female lead on the show, Spaeder gets to think up and pull off exciting, albeit some startling hijinks. Now she’ll be back for more, as the comedy was picked up for a second season by Disney XD.
We got Jillian on the phone to discuss what to expect in season two, how she got her pranking start, and whether she’s got any pranks up her sleeves for the holidays.
You guys are heading into your second season of Walk the Prank, but how did you get started in this? Do you remember the first prank you ever pulled on someone?
Oh yeah! So, when I was little, my brother bought this creepy clown head for Halloween. And one year, probably like five or six years ago, my dad decided to hide it in my mom’s bed. Ever since then we’ve all been hiding it in different places, like showers, we hide it everywhere. (laughs). My mom cried.
The show is very different from the others on Disney XD, being a mix of scripted comedy and real life scenarios. Why do you think it’s important for this show to be part of Disney’s programming?
I believe that it’s important for exactly what you just said! The fact that it is something different, the format is so different from any other Disney show. I think it makes it more appealing to more broad audiences.
Does it make it harder for you as an actress to be constantly switching from your character Bailey to your real self?
No, it’s actually way more fun! (laughs) Because in the pranks, I get to play lots of different characters. Sometimes I get to be scared, at times I’m a jock, it’s all so different. It’s so much fun. It’s great.
You’re the only female on the show, in a cast of boys. What do you hope young girls watching take away from your performances?
Well, my character Bailey is best friends with three boys. But she doesn’t let them run her, or be in charge of her. She just does her own thing, and I’m hoping that girls will do the same, and realize that boys aren’t in charge. THEY (girls) rule the world.
Absolutely. From your character, have you changed personally at all in your real life?
I’m just so similar to my character that, I don’t think much!
You’ve said on social media that you’ve run into people you’ve pranked before. What is it like when that happens?
(laughs) Yeah, we’ve pranked so many people that I even ran into a target last night! We’re always constantly running into our targets. We all just go up to them, say hi, they start crying again. It’s great. They’re always way more relaxed because they know us now, and we’re always taking pictures with them. It’s so fun. They trust us now. (laughs).
You guys have built plenty of props for pranks, and use them to decorate the shop. Which one has been your favorite so far?
My favorite is probably sitting on the steps of the front entrance, and it is the giant muffin suit. We did a prank where a muffin crashed through the door, and we got a grown man to scream louder than I can scream. It was just an evil muffin.
Are there any props you’ve taken home with you, or plan to take home at some point?
Aww, the big props we aren’t allowed to take, in case they reuse them. But we always steal the bouncy balls from the set. They just have bins and bins of bouncy balls, and we just steal them. (laughs) They also have candy. We take the candy too.
It sounds like you’ve got everything you need on set!
Yes, we do, it’s our favorite place.
So what can fans expect in season two?
There’s a lot of new stuff coming in season two. There’re some new characters coming, and some new romances coming in. The pranks are just getting better and better and better. So it’s going to be great.
What does it mean to you that you guys were picked up for another season and you get to keep doing this with these people?
I honestly don’t even think of it as work anymore. I just go in to have fun every day. So when we got picked up, I was just like “Oh, cool! More fun every day!” (laughs). It’s great, we get to prank adults and not get into trouble.
What have you come to love most about coming in for the fun every day?
I just love everybody who works on the show. My cast is great, the crew, it’s just everyone’s so amazing and enjoys it just as much as I do. It’s just so great to be on…it’s a big family. We’re all so tight. We all just love each other so much.
You mentioned a lot of new stuff happening this season, what are you most looking forward to at this point?
I’m looking forward to the pranks. We pranked the last three weeks, for the first half of season two, and they got a lot scarier, some of them funnier. They’re just going to be a lot of fun to watch on TV.
After working on this show, do you consider yourself harder to prank?
Oh, way more challenging! When I walk into a room, every time I see a mirror, I hold a flashlight up to it because I’m convinced there’s a camera behind it. (laughs) I can spot cameras from a mile away.
This year, Walk the Prank held a special “Pranksgiving” event. Do you have any pranks planned for your family this holiday season?
Well, my mom’s right next to me, so I can’t tell you! She’s right next to me giggling.
Outside the show, you’re very into the arts and singing. Can we expect more of that as the holiday’s approach?
Yes! I have some original songs that I’m planning to release at some point. We’re just waiting for a good time, and we’re working on lots of new stuff!