Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Beach Buddies

Meet the cast of Nickelodeon's new show, from left: Glenn McCuen as Aloe, Tiffany Espensen as Piper, Taylor Gray as Bucket, Dillon Lane as Skinner and Ashley Argota as Kelly.

Hey, surfers! Get ready for Nickelodeon's latest series, Bucket & Skinner's Epic Adventures! The show focuses on two 14-year-old surfers named Bucket and Skinner and their search for the perfect wave, school year and girl—in Bucket's case, at least.)

The series premieres July 1. It is currently in production on a Hollywood set made to look like a typical Southern California beach town. On a recent morning, the set was bustling, even though it was only 9:00 a.m. Cast members were getting their hair and make-up done to be ready for an afternoon camera call.

On the Set

The set was bursting with color—pink, yellow, green, orange, everything tropical. There was a fake beach, and flowers were painted on the walls. By the looks of it, the room felt like it should be 80 degrees, even though the air conditioning was on high. In between tutoring, hair and make-up and blocking practice, where the actors work with the director to figure out their movements and positions for each scene prior to filming, the cast talked about what it's like being on Nickelodeon's newest show.

"It doesn't ever feel like I'm at work here," says Ashley Argota, who plays Kelly, the super-popular surfer girl that Bucket has a crush on. In real life, Argota will be attending New York University in the fall. "I'm with friends all the time, and we're all goofing off and having a great time," Argota says of her castmates.

Tiffany Espensen, who plays Kelly's little sister Piper, agreed. "The hardest part is during a scene when there's a super funny line and you can't laugh," she says.
Kid Reporter

Epic Fun

The two best buddies on the show, Bucket and Skinner, are "really good friends" in real life too, says Taylor Gray, who plays Bucket. "We once spent every day for one month with each other!" In their rare free time, the pair loves to goof off and play pranks on the unsuspecting cast and crew.

"On April Fool's Day, Taylor and I had this idea that we'd put a sign on every door that said, 'Please Do Not Use,' or: 'This Door is Broken,'" recalls Dillon Lane, who plays Skinner. "We worded it really well so that it sounded legit. We had a run-through that day, and everyone was walking around the building trying to find what door to go in," he remembers, laughing.

The cast members "try to hang out as much as possible off set," says Argota. "We go to lunch, sometimes, dinner. We'll play basketball outside. We have a good time. I love our cast."

They also perform special bonding rituals together. "Right before we're going to run out and present ourselves and bow to the [studio] audience, we all put our hands in and say 'Epic!,' on the count of three. It's pretty cool," says Glenn McCuen, who plays Aloe, the surfer who is jealous of Skinner's surfing talent. "It reminds everyone that it's a team effort; it brings us all together so we know we're in it all together and that it's everyone's show."

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