Sunday, June 5, 2011

Random Question: Gonna Watch Switched at Birth?

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

If you watch ABCFamily, you may have noticed that they have a bunch of new shows coming up. The first of which, Switched at Birth, premieres tomorrow. I'm pretty excited about it, as the premise is a bit different, usually reserved for television movies. The idea is that two girls were mistakenly brought home by the wrong parents when they were born. When the girls are in high school, the error is discovered. One family (mom-dad-daughter-son) invites the other (mom-daughter) to move into their guest house in an attempt to give great opportunities to their birth daughter as well as the girl they've raised as their daughter. Add in the fact that one daughter is deaf and we've got a pretty interesting piece of television here. I'm really excited about how this will bring diversity to television and raise some awareness about deaf culture as well.

Last week I took part in a Q&A with Vanessa Marano, who plays Bay (third from the left in the image) in Switched at Birth. I learned some great things about her and about the show, and wanted to share a few with you.

- Vanessa enjoys watching The Real Housewives franchise, in addition to older shows like Arrested Development and Flight of the Conchords.

- She's also taking classes at a community college, where she's technically a last-semester sophomore. She started early, and the balance of coursework with acting has been really hard, though she says it's great that she can sometimes take one class a semester or take a semester off if she needs.

- The most difficult role for Vanessa was playing a young girl who became a quadriplegic in The Brooke Ellison Story. She believes it was the most amazing and challenging experience that she will ever have. [and she may be right!]

- Playing Bay is difficult for Vanessa because the character isn't exactly happy and light, yet she's still a protagonist rather than an antagonist. She also has never played a role like Bay, despite her vast background in diverse characters. She has found ways to relate to Bay, though she says she's not like the character at all.

- Vanessa is learning to sign on-set since they have a lot of actors who rely on sign language to communicate.

If you're still on the fence about whether you should catch the new show tomorrow night, check out this extended clip:

So, for today's actual question: will you be tuning in?
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