Shona’s Adventure in Odyssey

The studio recording light flashes red. Shona K. looks to her right and sees Connie Kendall, er . . . Katie Leigh. Across the room Jess Harnell (aka Wooton Bassett) studies his script from behind a black baseball cap.

Shona blinks. Can this actually be real?

“At first I am starstruck,” Shona admits. “I’m kind of staring at them. I mean, I’m meeting Connie and Whit and all these people.”

"Get in the Show" winner Shona K.

Shona and her sister Katrona (in blue)
loved meeting the Odyssey actors.

But Shona does more than meet the cast of Adventures in Odyssey. She acts with them.

The 12-year-old California resident beat out more than 5,500 kids to win the “Get in the Show” contest. Through nine months and several auditions, Shona had shown her acting ability to become the newest voice in Adventures in Odyssey. Now she’s recording an episode for Album 57: A Call to Something More.

The first scene goes by in a blur.

“It was incredible,” Shona says. “I was tripping over myself in the studio.”

She must have been “tripping” on the inside, because from the outside her performance is fantastic.

“You sound great,” Jess says. “I can see why you won. You would’ve beat me.”

Shona laughs. Actually, she does a lot of laughing as Jess brings Wooton to life.

“It’s hard not to laugh. Everything he says is hilarious,” Shona says. “I try to be as far away from the mike as possible when I laugh.”

Later in the day, Shona has to play a more emotional scene with Katie. It’s just the two of them in the studio and director Paul McCusker talking with them from the control room.

“You’ve got to flatten out that one line,” Paul says to Shona. “Not quite so expressive.”

Shona tries it again. And again. And once more. Finally, after five tries, she gets it just right.

“That was it,” Paul exclaims as applause erupts from the control room. “Beautiful. Wonderful. You’re wonderful—both of you. We’ve got that scene.”

"Get in the Show" winner Shona K.

Shona sounded great in the studio.

Shona nails all of her scenes during her day in the studio. And while you’ll have to wait until September to hear her on Odyssey, you can read about her experience in Hollywood right now:

Clubhouse: How long have you been an Adventures in Odyssey fan?
Shona: When my sister and I were younger, we used to wake up and listen to it on Saturday mornings. I think I was 4 or 5.

So how was it acting with Katie?
I was so nervous and excited. But she was really relaxed about it. She was really encouraging. But it was incredible saying the lines with her. It was the most incredible thing I have ever done.

How about Paul as a director—pretty tough, huh?
I really appreciated everything he was telling me and all the tips he gave me. He would say, “Can you say it like this?” And I would think, Oh yeah, that makes total sense!

When did you start acting?
My mom did it for a very long time, so I think I got it from her. But I officially started acting when I was 7. I was an old lady munchkin in The Wizard of Oz at a local theater.

Are you musical as well?
I do sing. I also play piano and snare drum. I’m a snare drummer in a 17th-century colonial band. Our band has performed at Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm and even Colonial Williamsburg. We also do Civil War re-enactments.

How did you find out about the “Get in the Show” contest?
A family friend heard about it on the Christian radio station K-WAVE. My sister, Katrona, and I both auditioned at Family Christian Stores. And it was a lot of fun.

What was it like getting the call and finding out you were in the Top-12?
I just remember being so excited. I was crying. And my sister was so excited for me. I love her so much.

How are your parents helping you through all this?
They support me in everything I do. God has really blessed me in that. We don’t have television in our house. We have a DVD player, but we’re very careful what we watch. We do a lot of reading. Right now, we’re going through Adventures in Odyssey’s 90 Devotions For Kids. We’ll have a family devotion in the evening. They help me so much in my walk with God.

What did you learn in this process?
I learned that God has a purpose for everything. He’s the ultimate casting call-er. God got me through all of this.

Copyright © 2013 by Focus on the Family. Used by permission. Photos by Jesse Florea. Illustration by Gary Locke.