Degrassi High begins its second season: Melissa McIntyre focuses on her character

Degrassi High begins its second season: Melissa McIntyre focuses on her character:[Final Edition]
Joan Scapillato. Tribune. Welland, Ont.: Sep 18, 2002. pg. 3

Full Text (395 words)
Copyright Tribune (Welland) 2002)

PORT COLBORNE – Really awesome! Amazing! That’s how Melissa McIntyre describes her life now that she’s back in school and back on the set of CTV.’s Degrassi High, currently shooting its second season.

“I love it,” she says in a telephone interview. “The fact that I’m so busy and there’s so many things going on.”

For the 16 year old grade 11 Port High student these things include learning the script and keeping up with school work while pursuing her musical interests.

The classically trained vocalist, who after years of performing in the Festival of the Arts and in several musicals has evolved into a pop singer, no longer takes lessons.

Rather she is trying her hand at writing music (“kind of jazzy” she calls it) with the intention of one day putting out a demo.

“If that works I’d be the happiest person in the world.”

Her main focus at this time is her portrayal of Ashley, one of the leads in the popular weekly show.

Last year the cast shot 15 episodes in 4 months. This year, due to the success of the series, 22 episodes are being shot over a period of six months – from April to November.

The fact that she’s Melissa for one half the year and Ashley for the other is not a conflict for this talented actor. She works at keeping them separate.

“I try to keep a big difference between the characters. I try not to make her the same as me.”

Returning to the studio this past spring was an exciting time for Melissa. Reconnecting with the cast, learning what will happen this season (she’s not a liberty to say), seeing the direction Ashley will be taking.

Everyone was in the mood for this second season she says.

“It’s like going home.”

It’s not that she’s given up her home town. In fact just the opposite is true. Although she and her mother live in an apartment in Toronto while the series is in production, they do come back to Port Colborne every weekend. With good reason, Melissa says.

“So I can connect with my friends and family.”

Ashley and Spike, and perhaps some other members of the Degrassi cast, will participate in the AIDS Walk in Welland on September 22.

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