Interview With Joey Award-Winning Actress Katelyn Mager

By Ruth on June 21, 2016 in Interview, movie, television
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While I have been a When Calls the Heart fan from Day One, I sometimes lose track of the actors who were a part of the cast in seasons one and two. Thankfully, I am connected with a superb network of Hearties who keep me abreast of such things, and recently, that is exactly what happened. Katelyn Mager, the actress who is fondly remembered as Rachel from When Calls the Heart, has matured into a lovely, young lady whose star is quickly on the ascent. Not too long ago, I had the supreme honor of chatting with this JoeyAward winning actress about her memorable past roles as well as her extraordinary experience with Charlotte’s Song, an independent film that has given her thunderous acclaim.

photo credit: Mark Brennan

photo credit: Mark Brennan

RH: What was it that inspired you to become an actress?

KM: Ever since I was very young, I’ve always loved performing for my parents and in shows. I always wanted to be out there performing for people–singing, dancing, doing plays. I remember I’d always stand in front of my TV as a little girl, and I would act out scenes from my favorite movies. So all that inspired me to become an actor because being an actor allows you to be that outgoing, inspiring, positive person you are.

When you’re filming, how do you manage your schoolwork?

Once we determine how long we’re going to be shooting, depending on the length of the film time, they may have a tutor. So if I do happen to have a tutor, then my tutor and I will work on my schoolwork together between takes or when we have lunch breaks. But if there isn’t a tutor, I’ll just do the exact same thing I would if there was a tutor except that my parents help me then.

So does this mean you do go to a regular school?

Yes, I do go to a regular school. My teachers are really understanding about my being an actor and missing school and being able to make up work.

Do your friends treat you any differently at school?

Most of my friends have known me since grade five, so it’s just a thing that they’re used to. And no one really makes a big deal out of it because we have one other girl, I think, who’s an actress as well, but she’s only been doing it for a year. But basically everyone has accepted it, and they know me really well, so they don’t see me as somebody who acts in movies. They just see me as their friend.

Well, at least that gives you some normalcy in your life, so that’s great.

Exactly.

When I brought your name up for fan questions, many of the Hearties (When Calls the Heart fans) still remember you fondly and think very highly of you. Many of them wanted me to pass on the message that they would still love for you to return to the show.

Another of Katelyn Mager's many characters was that as fan-favourite Rachel Stonelake in the Hallmark Television Series ‘When Calls the Heart’ (2014-2015).

Another of Katelyn Mager’s many characters was that as fan-favourite Rachel Stonelake in the Hallmark Television Series When Calls the Heart (2014-2015).

Well, I remember them. That’s so sweet of them. They are the sweetest.

You were on the show for the first season, is that correct?

Yes, and the second season for a little bit.

What was your experience like on When Calls the Heart?

It was amazing. It was one of the best experiences of my life.  Everyone was so kind, and if you ever needed anything, you could ask anyone for help, and they would be completely willing to take time away from what they were doing and even time out of their day just to help you and to help answer any questions you might have.

So do you still keep in touch with any of the people you worked with on the show?

Mitchell Kummen, Sean {Kyer}, and Darius {Zaviceanu} and Lizzy Boys are all good friends–not just from When Calls the Heart. I’ve known them since before that TV show. But Sean and I have been best friends since we were six, so we’re very close. It’s incredible. I’ve had the experience a few times to work on sets with a few of my acting friends, and it just makes the experience ten times better.

Katelyn Mager as Young Thalia | 'Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters'

Katelyn Mager as Young Thalia | Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (Courtesy of percyjacksonmovies.com)

Now, you were also in Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. What would you say is the biggest difference between being on a feature film like that and a weekly television show?

The biggest difference between working on a television show and a big feature film would definitely be the way that people film.

Courtesy of percyjacksonmovies.com

Katelyn Mager as Young Thalia | Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (Courtesy of percyjacksonmovies.com)

The way in which it is filmed is very different, too. It’s kind of hard to explain, to be honest. But there’s just a different kind of feeling and a different energy on the set.

Let’s talk about your film, Charlotte’s Song, for which you did win a Joey Award. Now, I understand that this film has only been shown at film festivals so far.

Yes, that is correct. It has not been officially released yet, and we don’t know what’s happening with that yet because they’re kind of keeping it on the “down-low.” But they do have something in the works.

I did get to see the trailer for Charlotte’s Song, and the trailer was really intense.

That was really different than When Calls the Heart.

So how did you happen to get this role in Charlotte’s Song?

Well, they were looking for an eighteen-year-old to play this role. It was an open call audition, and they were auditioning people who were younger because they didn’t know exactly what they wanted, but they had an idea of what they wanted.  But they just weren’t really quite sure. So when I went to the audition, I was the youngest person there. There were seventeen through twenty-year-olds at the audition, and I was only thirteen. When I went in to audition, I was nervous, and normally, I don’t get nervous during auditions. But I was nervous because I was the youngest person there. But the moment I went in, I had complete connection with the director and the producer. Everything just clicked.

That is phenomenal that you got the role and beat out all the older kids for the role. As this role is probably your darkest role to date, how were you able to get into character for it?

Photo: Tom Belding Photography Done Four Production's Charlotte's Song

Photo: Tom Belding Photography
Done Four Production’s Charlotte’s Song

I know a lot of actors, especially a lot of the actors involved in the making of this film, are believers in method acting. But for me, I have tried method acting before, and I do think it can be very helpful for certain people and roles. But for me, for this character, I didn’t use method acting. I just was myself, and then as soon as they said, “Rolling!” I got into character. And for me, that is the easiest way to do it. I don’t know why, though.

Photo: Tom Belding Photography Done Four Production's Charlotte's Song

Photo: Tom Belding Photography
Done Four Production’s Charlotte’s Song

Well, I think that’s called a gift. Not everybody can do what you described.

It’s funny because at first when I was on set, I would crack jokes and be laughing right before it was time to film an intense scene that involved crying. The people on set and the director were like, “Is she being serious right now?” Then once the camera started rolling, I started bawling my eyes out in character.

What you are describing is not the typical thing I hear from actors. I am thinking that with your gift you definitely have an incredible career ahead of you. You’re already incredible. You’re only going to get better.

Hopefully, yeah.

(Back left) Lindsey Mann & Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin, Principals - Done Four Productions | (Sitting) Iwan Rheon | (Front) Katelyn Mager | Photo credit Tom Belding Photography

(Back left) Lindsey Mann & Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin, Principals – Done Four Productions | (Sitting) Iwan Rheon | (Front) Katelyn Mager | Photo credit Tom Belding Photography

You will. I don’t think there’s any “hopefully” about it. But I can already tell you are not letting all this success go to your head. So how is it at the age of fifteen that you are able to remain this grounded, level-headed, humble, sweet person?

Definitely, it’s because of my parents. From a very young age, my parents taught me to be very humble and to be kind to others. And just because you have done something a little bit bigger than someone else’s role doesn’t mean that your role is more important than their role. Every single person involved in the making of the film or TV show is important and necessary, and without every one of them, the project wouldn’t be able to happen.

When you are not acting, what do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, I do many things. I’m a huge sports person. I don’t really watch sports, but I play them. I’m very busy with sports all the time. I also hang out with my friends. I love to read books, so I read a lot of books. I love going to the library, going through the shelves, and picking out stacks of books to read later. I like to go swimming or go on my trampoline. And I like to visit animal shelters. And at home, I have a dog and two cats. I love animals.

(Note: Katelyn’s skills in Charlotte’s Song haven’t gone unnoticed. The actress is currently in contention for more than one very large role and has promised to let My Devotional Thoughts know the moment that she can release the news!)

At the Leo Award (from left to right): Cory Grüter-Andrew Havana Guppy Mitchell Kummen Sean Kyer Katelyn Mager

At the Leo Awards
(from left to right): Cory Grüter-Andrew, Havana Guppy, Mitchell Kummen, Sean Kyer, Katelyn Mager

When I interview industry professionals, especially young actors like Katelyn, I pay very close attention to how they conduct and present themselves within the industry. I am quite sensitive to those who are quick to deflect sincere compliments, and I often ponder their motivation behind such a gesture. While false modesty is sometimes difficult to detect in those who are consummate actors, young people like Katelyn are often not adept at such a deception. And what I will say is that Katelyn is one of the most genuinely humble people I have ever had the privilege to speak with, and I mean that on every level. Not only does Katelyn have an engaging personality that instantly connects with whomever she is conversing, but she is quick to give credit where she believes it is due (not to herself). In her mind, she is continuing to better herself and has never arrived nor ever will. Moreover, she consistently strives to improve her skills and is always ready to tackle whatever new challenge is at hand. While keeping a level head, she accepts praise with grace and generosity while following the advice her parents have instilled within her. As she is now fifteen, she is still virtually unspoiled within this sometimes sordid business that seeks to produce jaded individuals who monopolize all the glory for themselves. As long as this sweet beauty continues her courteous tone, maintains her positive outlook on life, and never loses her inner drive, it can be assumed that her magical talent will only continue to increase at a staggering pace, and there is no doubt she has a phenomenal career ahead of her. Be sure to follow her via all of her links below, and don’t forget to watch out for the next step of her unbelievable journey!

IMBD: nm3393791 |Facebook: Katelyn.Mager |Twitter: katelynmager_1 |Instagram: mager.katelyn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth

43-year-old single mother of an active 14-year-old girl
Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA
Entertainment Writer
Available For Interviews and Reviews
Substitute Teacher

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