Look for a 17-year-old from a family of four in Myrtle Beach on the next episode of “Modern Family.”
Madison Iseman, who moved in February 2013 to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career, with her mother, Susan Iseman, helping as a roommate, will have a small part in the episode of the ABC sitcom airing at 9 p.m. Wednesday on WPDE-TV 15, as well as WCIV-TV 4 of Charleston and WWAY-TV 3 of Wilmington, N.C.
Iseman’s father, Dr. John Iseman, who established the practice at Myrtle Beach Dental Associates, said with this appearance on “Modern Family,” a series that debuted in fall 2009, she hopes this represents a “jump start.”
Other projects have included some movie shorts such as “She Will Be Free,” “Ticket to the Haunted Mansion” and “Miss Virginia,” co-hosting a weekly “Mahomie Madness” series on Awesomeness TV, a YouTube channel, as well as music videos and TV commercials.
Although her father realizes the “Modern Family” cameo is a small role, with just a few lines, “it is network TV and a great show, a perfect resume builder,” he said.
Madison Iseman gave a brief description of her cameo: “Basically, I play Sam. I’m a senior in high school, pretty and popular. When Manny starts to pursue me, Gloria gets overprotective.”
Amid a busy week of work commitments last week, the graduate of Brighton Hall, a private school in Burbank, Calif., also squeezed a few moments for an update on her life.
Question | How do the pace, the patience needed and any level of anxiety differ among the processes for filming movies, music videos, commercial spots and, now, the latest notch for your resume, a broadcast network’s hit situation comedy with “Modern Family”?
Answer | A lot of people don’t notice being an actor is probably one of the hardest professions there are in our country. The majority of acting is waiting, being patient and being told “no” over and over and over again. For me, I find the pace, the patience needed and the level of anxiety is all pretty much the same for every project. I try to treat every project as if they had the same importance. In some sort of way, every single project you do introduces you to new people, new connections and new discoveries. This way, every project, big or small, is a victory.
Q. | With your taking part in a sitcom, how many laughs ensued in the days on camera, with the out-takes and all that we viewers might never see, save for bonus features on DVD collections issued?
A. | Ha-ha, this one I’m not too sure about. I don’t know what footage they keep and toss after the shoot is over. All I know is, after the last take, everyone was still dying of laughter as if they were hearing the dialogue for the first time, which is always a good sign.
Q. | What star on “Modern Family” entertains you the most as a viewer, and especially since you worked with the cast, as you tune into future episodes and reruns that will air for years in syndication?
A. | Oh goodness, I don’t even know how to pick. While I was in school, “Modern Family” was the favorite “family TV-time” show in the Iseman household, so having the opportunity to work with the cast that inspired me to pursue my career in acting was absolutely unreal. The majority of my scenes were with Ed O’Neill, and he was just so awesome to work with. I look up to him so much as an actor; he’s extremely talented. So, if I had to pick, it would probably be Ed.
Q. | When you think back to school days in your hometown, what particular play or show stands out as that beacon in your brain where the acting bug really bit you? Was it a certain song or role in which you saw the light?
A. | There are, oh, so many, I can’t even count on my fingers. I was always the kid growing up who made horror films and entered film competitions in school instead of participating in sports or dance classes. My first memory was sometime around kindergarten when the first couple of “Harry Potter” movies came out. My friend Jayme McCrackin and I would spend days on end re-enacting scenes from the movies over and over. I remember being in the car with my mom one morning and saying, “Mom, one day I’m going to be Hermione.” That was pretty much the start of it.
Q. | Going from East Coast to West Coast, to which so many aspiring actors and musicians might relate in making such a personal kind of voluntary earthquake to crown that next step in a career: What was the biggest adjustment you learned to make for more comfort in everyday life there, and what do you look forward to doing most on your next homeland visit?
A. | Moving from the East Coast to West Coast was a little difficult for me. Leaving my friends and family was the toughest part. It wasn’t like I was moving three hours away, for it’s a good day’s worth of travel to make it back home.
The biggest adjustment I had to learn to make was how to meet people. Growing up in Myrtle Beach, I’ve been around the same people since before I could walk, so going into a brand new high school as a senior was a bit of a challenge. But as time passed, I had more friends than I could even count on my fingers.
What I like about Los Angeles is it’s a big melting pot; it’s full of people from every inch of the country who never really “fit in,” and it gave them a home where they can be weird and creative and accepted. I like to think of it as the land of the misfit toys.
My next trip home is Christmastime, so I can’t wait to decorate the Christmas tree with my dad, spend some long overdue time with my mom and brother, eat some good Southern cookin’ and celebrate the birth of a son who brought hope to our world with the people I love most.