Cassidey Fralin plays young Aisha on one of our favorite Disney Channel shows, Sydney to the Max, but as a triple threat as a singer, dancer and actress you have probably seen Cassidey on many other shows, in music videos, as well as listening to her singing. Cassidey is truly talented and we had the opportunity to talk to her about her career and learn a little more about her.
BSCKids: Cassidey…Tell us a bit about working on Sydney to the Max, what character did you play? Do you feel like you had anything in common with your character?
Cassidey Fralin: On Sydney to the Max, I play the role of Young Alisha, who appears in the show’s flashbacks to the 1990s. Alisha is lots of fun – she loves to watch wrestling and play pranks – but she is also sweet, compassionate, and even a bit of a romantic. I honestly couldn’t imagine a character closer to me in personality than Alisha, and I’m reminded of this every time I read the script for a new episode: Alisha and I both challenge ourselves academically, and love science and math! We share a passion for the arts, and each of us loves to roller-skate (though I can assure you that you’d rather run into Alisha than I at the rink, since I can’t be counted on to not become distracted while dancing and remain upright at all times). In fact, I remember identifying with Alisha before I even auditioned for the role, when Sydney to the Max was still just my two younger siblings’ favorite show. Having yearned since I was little to be a pediatric surgeon, I gravitated towards Alisha the minute I learned she was a doctor; the bond I felt with Alisha only strengthened as I learned more about her during the audition process, and even today I discover more commonalities between the two of us.
How is it interacting with Jackson Dollinger, Ava Kolker, and Ruth Righi?
Ava, Ruth, Jackson, Christian, and I all have one thing in common, and that is our shared love for the arts. At lunch every day, we blast Sza, Giveon, and of course, Justin Bieber and sing our hearts out. I love them all so much and our daily jamming sessions.
Sydney to the Max has taken the time to address social issues for their audience, how do you feel about that and being part of that?
On Sydney to the Max, many of our episodes work to address social issues like microaggressions or discrimination against Black hair in an entertaining yet educational and understandable manner which is something I really adore about the show, and makes me proud to be on a Disney Channel show.
You also worked on Maroon 5’s music video, how did that go?
I really enjoyed appearing in the “What Lovers Do” music video. It was one of my first experiences being in front of a camera on such a big project, and having to run freely around – appearing uninhibited while internally I was awed at the scale and at getting to work with stars like Mr. Levine and SZA (a true goddess) – was a real exercise in not letting what’s happening on set influence my performance.
Singing, dancing or acting… Do you have a favorite and which one do you find the hardest?
That’s a tricky question! I’d have to say that I am most passionate about acting, because as an actor I can stay as true to life as possible. My goal is to portray any specific situation so convincingly that the viewer can feel the universal emotion undergirding the scene: you may not have pleaded with your mother not to relax your hair for Picture Day, but you may well have felt that adults were preventing you from being your truest self. However, music and dance and school can also tap into and allow us to fully express our deepest emotions, so I am reluctant to rank any of those passions before I simply say that acting, music, and dance are different ways of getting to the same place and I love doing them all.
If you could guest star on any current running series which one would it be and why?
One of my biggest inspirations in life is Ellen Pompeo. I admire everything about her. I haven’t watched 343+ hours of Grey’s Anatomy for nothing, haha. Ellen truly inspires me every single day. I mentioned earlier that what I love about acting is the opportunity I get to communicate with people of all demographics in a loving and educational way. Ellen communicates the motif of acceptance in every single episode of Grey’s Anatomy, through her flawless on screen acting but also behind the scenes when advocating for important topics to be represented respectfully in her show. She goes about everything with poise, and I don’t think I will ever not fan girl when she is brought up in a conversation. This brings me to my answer, if I could guest star on any current running series, that series would be Grey’s Anatomy, hands down!!
What has been the funniest behind the scenes experience you can tell us about?
I have sooo much fun on set that it’s really hard to narrow down one specific moment. We all have such a good time together and are always laughing so much so that it can be difficult to pull it together when the cameras start rolling. I film most of my scenes with Jackson Dollinger, who plays Young Max, on Sydney to the Max. Throughout Season 3 he does a lot of ridiculously funny things to impress Alisha and I’d like to disclaim that the majority of my reactions are very much real. I remember one moment in particular where Jackson and I just couldn’t look at each other without uncontrollably laughing about the hilarious attire he was in. Shortly after, we would look around to find the majority of the crew and everyone else on set laughing too. I am reminiscing about that moment as I write this and am giggling again!
Who do you think has taught you the most in your career?
When I first began acting, my mom made it very clear that “rejection is redirection” – that I would hear a lot of “no”s as an actress, but that those “no”s would guide me to be the best artist I could be. Everything happens for a reason, right! I keep that simple phrase in the back of my mind so that I can learn from my failures and disappointments, move on, and work even harder to reach my dreams. Because of her, being an actress has been a fun and enjoyable ride, but also a ride in which I know I’m always supported.
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
In my spare time, I love to watch movies and television – from Dr. Who and Grey’s Anatomy to random ‘80s horror films – as much to analyze other actors’ work as to entertain myself. Something many people don’t know about me is that I’m equally passionate about other performing arts: I sing, I dance, and if you’re a fan of my performance on Sydney to the Max, be sure to tune in to tomorrow’s reenactments of Les Misérables and Hamilton, performed in my mirror! (I’ll be playing Cosette and Angelica Schuyler). I also love doing research about a wide variety of rare medical conditions in preparation for my medical career.
Anything else you have coming up you can tell us about?
Well, with a rigorous course load lined up for the school year, I’m going to have to refine my time management skills! But I am currently auditioning for all sorts of projects, exercising my passion for acting at any opportunity, going live on my Instagram (@iamcassidey), and recording ukulele songs for what will maybe possibly hopefully eventually be a full-length album not in my Voice Memos app haha. Stay tuned, because I love to stay as busy as possible!
Thanks to Cassidey Fralin for taking the time out of her schedule to speak to us on a whole bunch of fun and important issues!