FAME star Kay Panabaker featured in The Courier Mail. Texas-born Kay on her early life: ‘Whenever we moved my mom always found some extracurricular activity for us. When we lived in Pennsylvania, it was soccer and cheerleading. When we moved to Georgia we were home schooled for a bit, so my mom was like, ‘well we should find something to keep them interacting with kids their age’, and we found community theatre.
Sometimes my parents would be involved, other times it was just me and my sister. My parents weren’t actors; my mom has crowd phobia and my dad’s a complete goober. It was just a lot of fun. And then it kind of just grew exponentially from there.’
On Summerland with Jesse McCartney and Zac Efron: ‘I do keep in touch with Zac, he’s a sweetheart. Jesse was actually the heartthrob first, when we were still filming he was the big name. I love them both. They’re both such great guys and still so sweet and so grounded. I’m so happy to have known them, especially Zac before all of his fame. Their success is amazing.’
On going to college as a 15-year-old:‘It was just kind of funny to me because my mom would drop me off for my classes, I still didn’t even drive. I don’t know if it was a handicap, I actually enjoyed it. You look at all the 18-year-olds and, while in Australia and London I think kids have a more worldly, mature sense to the world, teenagers in the US can be stupid and silly.
And at 18, college is the party life. I don’t know if I would have had the dedication to do the curriculum (if I was partying). I’ve always been very mature – when you work in the business, most of the jobs I’ve had, I’ve worked with adults. So I usually end up.. even on Fame, I always talk to the crew because they want to talk about things other than the industry.’
On living in The Valley by herself: ‘I live in San Fernando Valley now, it’s exciting. My apartment’s still a disaster area though. I’ve just accumulated so much stuff. I’m such a hoarder, I keep scripts and props and all these different things. I’m just never home, it’s pathetic how dirty it is.’