I am so excited to be hosting Lygia Day Penaflor as part of the Meet the Newbies debut feature, organized by the one and only Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books! Stay tuned for an interview with Lygia + a giveaway!!!
Author Most Photographed With Her Knee Bent
Nickname: 2Lygit (planned if ever a rapper or DJ)
First Day of School: August 23, 2016
Homeroom: Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan
Grade: YA Contemporary
Extracurricular Activities: Car Singing 1st place trophy, Varsity Nap Champion, Flip Phone Diehards President, Carry-on Bag Packer Gold Medalist, equestrian breeches collector, Roller Rink Preservation Society Founder
Favorite Class: P Classic Sitcom Theme Songs (peer tutor)
Favorite Quote/Motto: “You can’t make me quit! EVER!” –LUCAS 1986
Welcome to my blog Lygia! I’m happy to say that I’ve already read and really enjoyed your book. I’m so happy to have you on the blog now! 🙂
What advice would you give to actors/actresses who are in Joss’s shoes and are being forced to do something they don’t want to do?
Don’t keep your feelings to yourself because I’ve seen some issues get resolved quite simply. Be clear and specific with your parents and studio teacher about exactly what bothers you about the scene. Sometimes a minor adjustment can make all the difference. You have a say. You have a voice. No one wants you to be unhappy. Address your concerns before the scene is set up and the cameras are rolling. The pressure will be too much at that point. Also, trust your gut. Always recognize individuals who are on your side on set, whether it’s your teacher, your costars, or an AD (assistant director). They’ll have your back.
What’s your favorite food?
On set? Rice pudding. It’s a good day when there’s rice pudding.
Why did you decide to write about a 12 year old girl? Do you think that UJB should be classified as Young Adult or Middle Grade?
It was important to me to portray a girl who is painfully aware of her expiration date as a child star. Twelve can be an age of high anxiety for a kid on the verge of puberty who has built a career on cuteness as much as talent. Joss is reminded every single day that time is not on her side. She worries if she’ll be employable a year from now, six months from now, three months from now. That’s a lot on her shoulders. As a writer, I felt that if I could capture this particular point in time, readers would better understand how difficult the industry really is for these kids and respect the challenges they face.
Although Joss is twelve, she lives and works in an adult world. There is no “kids’ table” in Hollywood. Children are exposed to everything, from cursing and partying to romances between cast and crew. Most people don’t curb their behavior just because there’s a child on set. I wrote this book to reflect that, so a lot of the content classifies UNSCRIPTED JOSS BYRD as YA.
Since you’re an academic teacher for young Hollywood stars, I’m sure that it was extremely important for you to make sure that all of the facts concerning the industry were correct. What was one thing that you think would surprise people about the industry?
It might surprise people to know how hard child actors work. They have to work twice as hard as adults since they’re required to complete a certain number of school hours on set. While their adult costars are running lines or resting or socializing, the kids are with their teacher doing schoolwork. It’s a very demanding schedule.
Are you currently writing anything?
I’m working on an exciting new YA. I hope that I can tell you about it soon!
What inspired you to become an academic teacher for young Hollywood stars?
I can’t remember exactly what sparked the idea for me to be a set teacher. But I love the kids and the creative environment. I enjoy being a part of a big project. I also like that the job changes so often. I get restless. Thinking back, I do remember seeing an interview of the Olsen twins where they gave a tour of the Full House studio and showed their classroom. But I’m pretty sure I had the idea to teach child actors even before that.
About the Author
Lygia is a private academic teacher for young Hollywood stars. Her students have included the young casts of Gossip Girl and Boardwalk Empire, as well as I Am Legend. She enjoys writing about teens and has kept true to her teenage self by marrying her high school sweetheart and remembering her locker combination (32-18-12). She lives on Long Island where she is an avid equestrian and old-school roller skater.
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