Stefanie Scott, star of the Disney Channel series "A.N.T. Farm," spends a lot of time interacting with fans through social media.
It's a nice way to connect, but the 16-year-old actress also loves talking to fans in person. That's what she'll get to do Saturday, June 15, as a special guest at the Fresno Grizzlies game against the Salt Lake City Bees. Along with a smaller meet-and-greet before the game, Scott will throw out the first pitch and sign autographs.
There's no set time for how long Scott will be at the stadium, but Grizzlies management promises to make every effort to give fans a chance to meet the actress. The signing, starting around 7:15 p.m., is free with game admission but tickets can be purchased at the stadium for the smaller meet-and-greet before the game.
"I try to do appearances like this a couple of times a month," Scott says. "It's a great way to get feedback on the show."
That feedback's important this year because the third season has some major changes. Scott's character, Lexi, and the class of gifted A.N.T. (Advanced Natural Talents) Farm students have moved to a boarding school, which means new characters. Scott's character has gone through a major transformation with the revelation that the cheerleader is a math whiz.
She laughs when asked which group she belonged to when she was in school. Because she started working when she was in the fourth grade, there was little opportunity to become part of any one group. Since then, Scott has been home-schooled, where she's developed a real love of writing and math.
Scott's comfort with meeting fans — and often their parents — is a big switch from when she was a young girl growing up in Melbourne, Fla. She was so shy that at one point, when she was 10, her mother teasingly asked if she would like to be part of a talent showcase coming to town. She surprised her mother by saying yes.
"I practiced my dance routine all night. It was that showcase where I broke out of my shell and then I started doing school plays," Scott says.
"A.N.T. Farm," which airs at 8 p.m. Fridays on the Disney Channel, is her biggest job to date. Her past work includes the films "Flipped," "No Strings Attached" and "Beethoven's Big Break," along with guest-starring spots on the television shows "Chuck" and "The New Adventures of Old Christine," for which she was nominated for a Young Artist Award.
When she's not working, studying or chatting with fans, Scott supports charities, including "Cookies for Kids' Cancer," a program in which bake sales are held to support pediatric cancer research.
Scott's is the first of four planned appearances by Disney Channel actors at the stadium this summer. Coming up are: Alexandria Deberry, "A.N.T, Farm," July 7; Peyton List, "Jessie," July 20; and Raini Rodriguez, "Austin & Ally," Aug. 17.
TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at (559) 441-6355, firstname.lastname@example.org or @RickBentley1 on Twitter. Read his blog at fresnobeehive.com.