A national television commercial for Google's Nexus 7 tablet features a middle school student who has "glossophobia." His fear of public speaking is magnified because he has to deliver the speech in front of a girl he has a crush on.
That girl is played by Fresno's Emily Grace, a 13-year-old middle school student who is the daughter of Feleena Sutton and Jason Hickingbottom. Emily has been acting since she was 7 years old, but the national television commercial is her biggest job to date.
"I was terrified that I was going to mess up and they would kick me off the set or make make fun of me," Emily says. "But, my dad was there to calm me down and the boy I was working with was also nervous. So that also helped calm me down. It was my first big shoot and was really fun."
If you haven't see the commercial, the boy uses a device to research speechmaking, including watching the famous President Franklin D. Roosevelt speech with the famous quote, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." When the young boy gets through his ordeal, he gets a flirty look from Emily.
There were several endings filmed during the two-day shoot in Malibu three months ago, including ones of Emily clapping. It was Emily's first big exposure to the work, which can take days to film only a few seconds.
Emily started performing in ballet. But when her mother put her in an acting class at age 7, she discovered a love of acting. She has signed with local talent agent Carolyn DeVore. Along with the TV commercial, Emily's already had a couple of small roles in films shot locally.
She is only on screen for a few seconds in the Google Nexus commercial, but she has received a lot of attention from fellow Baird Middle School students. They may have more to talk about as Emily continues to pursue roles.
The ways to watch TV programming — even if you don't own a TV — continues to grow.
The Disney/ABC Television Group and KFSN (Channel 30.1) have just launched "WATCH ABC," an online service where viewers can access network and local programming at any time.
Along with being available on Comcast, AT&T U-verse and Verizon, the shows can be viewed through the "WATCH ABC" app available on iOS and Kindle Fire devices, as well as select Android devices such as Samsung Galaxy. Viewers also can access the programming at WATCHABC.com.
Cool kid?: Sprout, the 24-hour preschool network, has kicked off its "Kindest Kid Contest," a national contest to find the first "Chief Kindness Officer." Deadline to enter is 8:59 p.m. Sept. 30.
Families should send a photo and short description to sproutonline.com/kindness-counts explaining how their child helped the family, a friend, the community, an animal or the Earth. The winner — picked via voting at sproutonline.com. — will be announced Dec. 21.
The winner and their family will travel to Sprout's headquarters in Philadelphia to be Sprout's honorary Chief Kindness Officer for the day. While there, they will record segments about kindness, which will air in 2014 and be featured on sproutonline.com.
For each vote received Sprout will donate $1 — to a maximum of $25,000 — to a national kids charity.
Do you have a prayer of winning?: Auditions for the third season of the GSN's "The American Bible Challenge" have started.
To apply, go to gsntv.com/casting, call (323) 860-6744 or e-mail Biblechallenge2014@gmail.com.
Deadline to enter is Sept. 29.
One more contest: A costume contest is being held as part of the "Hub Network's First Annual Halloween Bash," to be broadcast Oct. 26. A panel of celebrity judges will select from a nationwide costume competition 50 semi-finalists — one from each state — who will head to Los Angeles to be part of the two-hour event. One winner will get $25,000 and a walk-on role on the Hub series "R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour: The Series."
For more information go to hubworld.com/halloween. The deadline to enter is Sept. 29.
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.