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Happy Go Lucky: MTV’s “Happyland” Star Katherine McNamara

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McNamara With Maniac Magazine
     Looks like the perfect person was cast to be a star of the upcoming MTV series, “Happyland,” because Katherine McNamara exudes joyfulness. Talking to this beautiful redhead recently felt more like talking to a motivational speaker as she is incredibly positive, upbeat, and cheerful.
     The series, “Happyland,” which premieres this summer, is about a group of people who work at a theme park of the same name. Katherine describes the series as a dramedy since it includes lots of laughs, but the plot has lots of twists, turns, and intensity. The rigor of the series is nothing this triple threat can’t handle though. Known for her acting, singing, and dancing, Katherine is excited to tackle work on the small screen.
     Despite having just begun work on “Happyland,” McNamara says the cast is already like family with her co-stars as her unofficial siblings including Bianca Santos who plays her best friend. Here’s hoping they are like most actual families (except more attractive) with lots of dysfunction to create a show that reflects real chemistry and tension. Katherine says she is excited to play her character, Harper Monroe, who she describes as a “fun, flamboyant, girl who is still trying to figure out who she is.”
     In addition to her work on “Happyland,” McNamara worked on a film for Cartoon Network’s “Stop Bullying: Speak Up” campaign called Contest, which is now being integrated into the New Jersey school districts’ anti-bullying curriculum. “One thing I loved about this film is that we didn’t make the bully a one-dimensional monster, people are complicated, and it showed in this story,” she says. Katherine says she experienced bullying firsthand growing up. Incredulous, I didn’t think someone like her would ever experience the torment of a bully. “I did!” she promises, “I had my face planted into a water fountain, believe me. People can be so cruel.”
     Katherine’s experience with bullies made her passionate about informing people on how to handle harassment. “I try to inform people how to handle bullying, in addition to trying to prevent it,” she says. “There will always be bullies, but if people learn they do not have to put up with it, it’ll help them.” She suggests telling someone if you’re
being harassed and maintaining a network of strong friendships can help combat bullying. She even wrote what she calls an “anti-bullying anthem,” called “Chatter.” “Because that’s exactly what a lot of bullying is—chatter. It’s just white noise,” she says.
     Katherine’s career has taken her far from the days of water fountain face-plants. She is a triple threat who has tackled a variety of musical and acting projects during her career already. She says, “I want people to know that I am also working on original music, so stay tuned!” McNamara is enthusiastic about her projects, and is willing to learn new things for the sake of her career. For example, she added “hula-ing” to her dance repertoire when she was in a little known musical called, “13 Daughters.” She laughs about her acquired skill, but it speaks to her dedication to continuously learning.
     Katherine’s passion about education doesn’t end with dancing. She graduated high school at fifteen and has since gotten a Bachelor’s degree in business. “I have always loved learning. I used to wake my mom up in the middle of the night so I could do math homework!” she exclaims.
McNamara might be passionate about her career and education, but she is also skilled in the not-so-high-minded art of selfies. Since she is prolific in selfies, I asked for some tips. “The key to a good selfie is lighting,” she says laughing, “You’ve got to spin around 360° to get it just right.” She also recommends taking dozens until you get it right.
     It also doesn’t hurt that McNamara has the best hair around. Her long auburn hair is thick and luxurious and has just the right amount of curls. She says she got luck in the hair genes department, but she swears drinking tons of water and eating right helps give it a healthy glow. As gorgeous as she is, her true beauty can be seen when she says her favorite thing to do is grow her hair and then cut it and donate it to the cancer survivor charity, Locks of Love. “My hair grows really fast, so I love when I can cut it and donate it to someone who needs it,” she says.
Even though Katherine makes it look easy, this ebullient and enthusiastic entertainer loves her work and is excited about the journey her career is taking. And we’re just as excited about being along for the ride.
     Follow Katherine McNamara on Twitter.com/Kat_McNamara and visit her official site, www.katmcnamara.com.

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