Jane by Design - Erica Dasher Q&A Transcript by daet

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									            ABC Family’s Q&A Session with Erica Dasher – Jane By Design

Moderator           On the show a lot of your scenes with Andie MacDowell are either on the phone

                    or on a video screen. How is it different doing those scenes versus when you

                    get to actually work face-to-face?

E. Dasher           The great thing is Andie is always on set. At first they set it up like that because

                    she lives in North Carolina, but after the first episode she came and got a place

                    out in L.A. while we were shooting so that she could be on set. She does all her

                    off camera dialogue. Even if I have to look at her in the office somewhere and

                    she has nothing to do with the scene and I’m just supposed to be watching her

                    walk somewhere, she’ll do it. She’s incredible.

Moderator           Also, in the show we see Jane franticly switching between her school and her

                    work like. Do you go and switch back and forth between those two different

                    scenes or do you film all of your work scenes one day and all of your school

                    scenes another day?

E. Dasher           Usually we’ll have days where it’s half the week we’ll be on one stage, which has

                    the house and the school, and the other stage has Donovan Decker, which is this

                    grand, beautiful set. But no, there are days too where we’re literally running

                    back and forth across stages, the whole cast is. So it’s fun. It’s a bit of a

                    character setting.
Moderator   Well the show is such a success. How are you finding your newfound fame?

E. Dasher   Good. I mean I feel like I can still walk down the street so it’s nice. I’m getting a

            little taste of it. It’s really felt very encouraging and good seeing the

            overwhelming support on Twitter and Facebook, but I still feel a little removed

            from it. It’s a surreal experience.

Moderator   Was there instant chemistry when you began working with the cast?

E. Dasher   Yes, actually I was cast first and our creator, show runner, and network had me

            come in and read with all of the other characters. So they really wanted that

            chemistry to exist with Billy and me, and with my brother and me. So I think

            that was a really smart thing that they did to go through that process and make

            sure that we connected from the very beginning.

Moderator   This past episode we saw Jane go to Paris - what was that like for you


E. Dasher   Awesome. It was great. We shot mostly in L.A. We have stages up in Santa

            Clarita and then we did a few days in New York in order to make our New York

            shots feel a little more authentic. It was just great.

            Our producer didn’t want to put me in front of a green screen. They want each

            episode to feel like a movie. The show really does feel like a romantic comedy
            in a lot of ways, and I think what makes it special is that it’s on this grand scale.

            I live in Westchester. I work in SoHo. We travel to Beverly Hills. Eventually we

            go to Paris.

            I was really happy we got to go. It was awesome because we ended production

            there. We did three or four days of shooting in Paris and then production left

            and I stayed for five days on my own and wandered around the city. It was an

            incredible way to end my first job.

Moderator   Is it true that you broke your ankle when you were auditioning for Jane?

E. Dasher   That is very true. I had gone through the first part of the process, the pre-read

            and the call back and right before the test I was at a café, writing, working on

            my own stuff. I hadn’t heard anything so I figured it wasn’t happening and I got

            a call from my manager that I was testing for the show. I didn’t even have the

            part yet. I had never tested for a show before so I got very excited and I wanted

            to step out of the café to be nice to the other patrons, since I was being loud

            and obnoxious.

            As I walked outside there was a step into the parking lot and I fell over. I was

            still on the phone with my manager and I was like, “Oh my gosh, I’m so excited.

            Oh gosh, my ankle really hurts.” It started swelling and I went to the doctor and

            he had them put me in this big boot to make sure that I could walk around
            during the test the next day. They still cast me, fortunately, but it was definitely

            broken and the first episode was a challenge.

Moderator   What do you think Jane is drawn to and admires about each of the men in her

            life—Billy, Nick and Jeremy?

E. Dasher   She and Billy have been best friends since childhood. There’s a lot of love there.

            They know how to push each other’s buttons. I think she really likes that Billy

            marches to his own beat and she’s very much the same way even though she

            wants to fit in. They have very similar nature.

Moderator   What do you love and enjoy about working with Nick and Matthew and Rowly?

E. Dasher   They’re all so great and I’ve become such wonderful friends with them. Nick is

            so much like his character Billy on the show. He really treats women like they’re

            princesses. He’s such a wonderful friend. When I was broken on the pilot he

            would carry me around. We would have very long days sometimes where we

            were shooting 14-hour days. I code red for chocolate around 3 p.m. every day

            and he’d bring me a piece of chocolate. So he’s great. He takes very good care

            of all of us.

            Matt, who plays Nick, is actually very similar. We just got very lucky. We have

            very nice, well-raised boys. Matt is from the South and he’s very polite. He’s

            And then Rowly, he’s a little bit older. He’s so charismatic and he’s really

            comfortable on set. It’s fun to watch him work. I think he’s really talented. And

            in real life he’s a lot like his character. He speaks Japanese and French, and

            obviously he’s British. He’s very much like a sweep-you-off-your-feet kind of


Moderator   What is your advice to fans that are wanting to fashionable but are on a budget?

E. Dasher   I love vintage shopping. I actually don’t spend a lot of money on clothes at all. I

            live right around the corner from a little vintage shop and I do a lot of

            rummaging around, those kinds of places. I think the quality of the

            craftsmanship in vintage clothes is hard to come by unless you’re able to buy

            higher-end labels nowadays, and I think you can find a lot of higher end labels

            that are more affordable in a vintage shop.

            But in college too we would go to Goodwill to get costumes for theme parties or

            whatever. I think if forces you to be more creative. If a dress doesn’t quite fit

            you find a belt that works. But I love vintage and resale stuff.

Moderator   I read that you’re from Houston, Texas. Do you miss it terribly?

E. Dasher   I miss my family, but I do not miss the humidity. I’ve really grown to love L.A.,

            but I do miss my family a lot. I’m able to visit them a lot, and they come out here
            too. I have an 11-year-old sister so it’s really important for us to see each other

            as often as possible. They just figured out how to do Skype so it’s been very

            exciting. We Skype like every day.

Moderator   Jane by Design is all about fashion, and as a lady you probably keep up with the

            latest fashion trends, but did you have to do any special research into the

            business side of the fashion industry to credibly portray your character Jane?

E. Dasher   I did. I had been an assistant at different points so I had done a little of pre-

            research, but yes. Our costume designer, Olivia Miles-Payne, is a genius and

            she’s exposed me to a lot of young designers. I think the thing about fashion is

            the industry moves so quickly. A lot of it lives online as well so it’s easy to keep

            up with it, but you have to sort of stay educated in order to do that. I spend a

            lot of time reading blogs and stuff online and listening to Andie, because Andie

            grew up in the fashion industry.

Moderator   Being on this show, has it inspired you to maybe to some more work in the

            fashion industry in the future?

E. Dasher   I really like fashion. The show certainly has an effect on my personal style,

            which is still evolving. Yes, fashion is a form of a creative outlet and a form of

            self-expression. I can see myself staying involved in a way. I’m going to Fashion

            Week next week in New York. It’s just another way for me to learn about that

            whole world. I’m really excited.
Moderator   There’s a lot to admire about Jane in both her worlds. What strikes you has her

            strongest quality?

E. Dasher   I think she’s a really genuine person. I don’t think that she has any airs about—

            obviously she’s lying about her age in order work in the fashion industry, but I

            think she’s really vulnerable. She makes a genuine effort to do the right thing

            and to help out and is willing to take on any challenges. I think that’s where her

            likeability lies and that she is not an inauthentic person at all.

Moderator   If you could have anyone guest star on Jane by Design who would it be and what

            role would you want them to play?

E. Dasher   Oh my gosh. We had some great cameos this year. We had Betsey Johnson and

            Patricia Field and Nanette Lepore and the editor-in-chief of W and Teen Vogue

            and Lucky Magazine. So it’s like we’re already very spoiled. It would be really

            fun to have Lagerfeld on the show because I think it would add a very fun

            energy on the set. But I think selfishly, I want Sarah Burton to come on the

            show, who is the designer for Alexander McQueen, because she’s my favorite

            and I always want her to design a dress for me.

Moderator   Do they ever incorporate some of your own style to some of Jane’s?
E. Dasher   I think some of my own style lives in Jane even more than it does on the red

            carpet right now. ABC Family has these incredible in-house stylists that will

            dress me for the red carpet. Right now on the red carpet, it’s about taking risks

            and finding out what I like and what looks good on me in photographs.

            Sometimes I really like it and sometimes I feel like it’s a miss, but I’m learning.

            I’m learning how to do that.

            With Jane, I say this all the time, but Olivia Miles-Payne, who’s our costume

            designer, is a genius, and I think part of her genius lies in that she knows there is

            magic in collaborations. So she really works with what looks good with our body

            types and what colors look good and what we’re naturally attracted to while still

            building distinct personalities for each of the characters.

            But Jane has these sort of like tutu-y things, these tiered skirts. That’s sort of

            how I pictured her and it’s what I wore to all of my auditions. That became

            incorporated very quickly into the show. I felt like it was really fun and feminine

            and flirty, and I think that’s a large part of Jane’s style.

Moderator   You’ve done a documentary called Speak Easy. Is there a release date on that

            yet? I know it was pending the last time I read it.

E. Dasher   We’re in closed production for it now. What we’re probably going to do is finish

            it in the next couple months and do festivals with it. Hopefully we can get a TV
            station or someone to pick it up. I mean it would be amazing if it could go to


            My best friend and I met doing speech and debate. We used to go to speech

            camp together because we were really cool, but we decided to make a movie

            about it. We shot it in school and then we graduated and then we both

            immediately got—she’s a producer now in New Media and I got caught up with

            Jane, but we’re in picture lock. It’s almost done. It’s being composed. The

            music is being done right now and it’s being animated. But I have a feeling we’ll

            take it to festivals.

Moderator   What I love about this show is that I know absolutely nothing about fashion, but

            yet I’m like addicted to it already. How has the fan response been? Have you

            come across people that don’t know fashion but are drawn in and what do you

            think makes this show appealing to audiences?

E. Dasher   I didn’t know that much about fashion going into it, but when I first read the

            script I fell in love with it. I fell in love with Jane. I think she’s a very relatable

            character. Again, I think she’s genuine and vulnerable and passionate and

            makes a lot of mistakes, but her heart is always in the right place.

            I was drawn to the relationship that she has with Billy. I think the male/female

            best friendship is a unique one. I like that she lives with her brother. I think the

            relationships are what makes the show appealing.
Moderator   You guys seem like such a fun cast. What do you guys like to do when you’re

            not filming on set?

E. Dasher   We all got together to watch the show, the pilot, but we’ll go out to eat. We go

            to the movies. We do karaoke. India, on the show, kills at karaoke. She’s very

            good. But yes, I’ve become friends with everyone in the cast. It’s been a really

            special, positive experience. We’re very lucky.

Moderator   Do you think it’s possible for girls and boys to be just friends like Billy and Jane?

E. Dasher   I think so. When Harry Met Sally is one of my favorite movies, so that could

            probably answer it better than I can. The thing about Billy and Jane is there’s so

            much love in the relationship that you never know what that love could turn

            into. But I do think it’s possible. I have some good guy friends.

Moderator   What’s been your favorite moment filming so far?

E. Dasher   It’s hard not to say standing under the Eiffel Tower doing a scene. It was the last

            scene we shot and at 8:00 the Eiffel Tower lights up and starts glittering. It was

            a pretty incredible moment.
Moderator   Last night we saw Billy and Jeremy were both bending over backwards to help

            Jane find the Lookbook. How does Jane get these guys to do everything for her,

            like drop everything to help her out?

E. Dasher   I don’t know. I need to figure that out too. I think she’s making such a genuine

            effort. You want to help her out. It’s a magical quality that Jane has. It’s one

            I’m very jealous of.

Moderator   How would you say this experience is different from filming like a web series like

            you did prior?

E. Dasher   It’s a lot bigger and the hours are a lot more intense. I remember when I was

            first cast I was so excited, and then a couple of days later I was like, “Oh my

            gosh, there’s going to be huge stages and hundreds of people and there are

            going to be cranes.” It’s surprising how intimate it still feels even though there

            are a hundred people watching you do things, but you’re in the moment and

            you’re acting. But yes, I don’t think anything could have prepared me.

            Plus we had very long days. We did like 12 or 14-hour days and we were doing

            11 pages. So it was a really intense process. I completely cut out my social life

            and everything else and often would stay in a hotel right near the studio so that

            I could even cut down my drive time. But it was like all Jane all week and then

            over the weekend I would work with my acting coach on the scripts and start all

            over again. It takes an incredible amount of focus.
Moderator   Could you tell us any behind the scenes moment that has stood out to you or

            that our fans could appreciate or hear about?

E. Dasher   A behind the scenes moment, I will share one. Andie and I went to Fashion

            Week in the middle of production over the weekend for two days and I was—

            it’s a really overwhelming experience. I had never done it before and I

            continued to be surprised by how generous everyone has been to me and how

            well they take care of me.

            Andie—everybody’s there from backstage, L’Oreal executives. She’s been the

            face of L’Oreal for 25 years. She introduced me to everybody and everyone

            wanted to take pictures with her and she pulled me into every photo and into

            every interview. It was a really lovely thing. She’s a great role model. And also

            there was a lot of dancing on set. Like they would call “Cut,” and people would

            put—LMFAO, for some reason, became this sort of set band. They’d play it on

            their phones. There was a lot of dancing in between takes.

Moderator   Then I also wanted to know if you could sort of tell us how you are similar and

            different to your character of Jane.

E. Dasher   I think Jane and I are in a similar place in our lives because she’s getting to live

            her dream in the fashion world and I’m really getting to do that in the acting
            world. It’s scary and amazing and exciting, and so I think that passion we really

            share. She’s much better dressed.

Moderator   What’s it like for you, seeing yourself on posters and being a role model? Is that

            something that you wanted?

E. Dasher   Seeing myself on posters is totally weird. My parents were so cute. They came

            into town over Christmas and we drove around to literally every single billboard

            in the city and took pictures. So it’s just surreal and very funny. It’s sort of an

            out of body experience.

            As far as a role model goes, I look at it as a great privilege. My sister is 11 years

            old and it’s really cool for me to be on a show that she can watch. I sort of have

            a microphone in my hand to talk about things that I think are important. I look

            at is a privilege.

Moderator   What was it behind your decision to stay in school before you decided to start


E. Dasher   I think my parents must have done some subtle ninja parenting. I felt like it was

            by decision, but there was always a lot of great value placed on education in my

            house. I really felt like I wanted that experience of going to college because you

            learn so much in college that’s outside of the classroom. You learn how to deal

            with ego and authority and finding yourself and making mistakes. You’re not
            under a microscope the way that you are when you’re sort of in the

            entertainment industry. I felt like I wanted to do that first. I feel like it was my

            decision, but it must’ve been some good parenting because I’m sure it’s there.

Moderator   Is there anything in upcoming episodes that you would like for the fans to look

            for, that you would like them specifically to see?

E. Dasher   Well next week, I think, is a really, really fun episode because India and Jeremy

            come to the high school. I won’t say why, but they come to the high school.

            The worlds are colliding big time, and I think it’s a really fun episode. It’s a really

            heavy episode for India. I think she’s so strong and so beautiful, but she’s so

            funny. I think it’s a really fun episode.

            And then in episode eight there’s some drama, which I think is cool. You saw a

            bit of that in four, but I think the characters really get to grow in episode eight.

            And then in nine and ten I think we kill it. I think nine is really strong and funny,

            and then ten, I think people will be very happy and excited for the end of the


Moderator   Has there been anything that’s been difficult for you to do so far?

E. Dasher   Honestly, I’m so supported by the cast. Really it’s such a fun set and I think that

            has a lot to do with our show runner, our Executive Producers April Blair and

            Gavin Polone. They’re really even keeled people and they’re both really
            passionate about the project. Everyone’s prepared and on time and

            memorized. Everyone really cares about the material. I think when you have

            people at the top that are cool, good people it trickles down.

            But I think the hardest thing was, again, the hours. And for the writer too for

            our show, she was doing the same thing. She’d stay in a hotel near the studio.

            She was doing rewrites late at night and we were not doing a lot of sleeping. So

            I think that was it, but it’s fine. It’s like we’re making a TV Show. We couldn’t

            be happier.

Moderator   Jane lives the double life between her work and high school. What do you think

            her biggest issues are with the high school side of her?

E. Dasher   I think she’s never felt like she fit in, in school. I can relate to that. I never felt

            like I fit it. And I think there’s a lot of pressure to do that as a teenager. You

            want to be unique, but you don’t want to be ostracized, and I think sort of

            straddling to those two worlds and also becoming an adult and still being a kid

            and dealing with your parents. Jane doesn’t have that as much because she has

            a brother. She just lives with her older brother. So I think there are just a lot of

            gray areas in high school and I think that’s what makes it difficult.

Moderator   Do you think in the end she will maybe end up breaking out of that in the

E. Dasher   I think we’ve already seen a bit of that. As she starts to gain confidence from

            being recognized for stuff that she’s passionate about in the work world she

            brings that back to high school, and that’s why Nick Fadden starts to notice her.

            She suddenly has a sort of different air about her.

            One of the first things that the show runner said to me that attracted me to the

            project was that there are so many things she wishes she could tell her younger

            self now that she’s an adult. Jane gets to take those lessons from the adult

            world and bring them back to high school with her the next day. I think that’s

            really cool.

Moderator   What’s the biggest thing that has changed about your life since you got the

            show and it’s been airing?

E. Dasher   Not a lot just yet. The publicity side of the job is a big change. I do a lot of

            events and talking to you lovely people. That’s been the biggest change. It’s

            just like, you know, you getting photographed and going out and realizing that

            like where I am online, on Twitter, people are looking at it and reading it. So I

            just have to be a little bit more conscious, at this point, about what I’m putting

            out into the world.

Moderator   Then my last question for you is how did you get involved in acting? Was it

            something you had a passion for since you were a child?
E. Dasher   Yes, I was a really precocious, obnoxious kid. I had a teacher that stuck me in a

            theater class so I started doing theater very young. Then I did speech and

            debate, and the speech side of speech and debate is like competitive acting. I

            did that from sixth grade all through high school and went to speech camp. I did

            theater all through high school and then I studied theater in college. So I’ve

            always wanted to do it. I didn’t start auditioning professionally until I

            graduated, but it’s always been a part of my life.

Moderator   You mentioned LMFOA. Can you shuffle?

E. Dasher   I think I can shuffle pretty well, yes. I pretend to shuffle. They would be a fun

            cameo to have.

Moderator   I think that would be a good prom band maybe.

Moderator   Yes, amazing.

M. Ward     What are you watching on TV these days.

Moderator   I love Modern Family. When I broke my ankle, that’s like the only thing that got

            me through it. I would just watch Modern Family on Hulu all the time. I love

            American Horror Story on FX and Justified. I actually used to intern at FX when I

            first graduated and started auditioning. They were cool with me if I had to leave

            and go to an audition. It’s been really fun to go back. I went back the other day
to say hi and they had been rooting for me for a little while. So I like those two

shows. What else do I watch? I love Mad Men. I’ve been watching Pretty Little

Liars too on ABC Family. I think it’s a really fun show.

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