Hangout with Aislinn Paul!

Degrassi had it’s first ever Google+ hangout with Aislinn Paul today! Fans were able to visit Degrassi’s Google+ Page and submit their questions. 5 winners were chosen to chat live with Aislinn, while everybody else was able to participate by watching the chat live on YouTube!

If you missed the live chat, Epitome has posted the entire video to YouTube. It’s over an hour long, but definitely worth watching for all the Aislinn fans out there! Check it out on Epitome’s YT Channel.


Degrassi Shoot Experience!

On May 14, Epitome Pictures (Degrassi) invited fans to participate in a unique filming experience at Canlan Ice Sports.

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My friend Amy and I went to the Degrassi shoot yesterday and it was an awesome experience being an extra! It was Amy’s first Degrassi event, so I think I was even more excited for her that we were there! We got there around 11:30, and waited in line until they let all of us in. I was surprised at how many people were there already! When we were waiting in line to get into the arena, we saw Krista and I talked to her for a bit. Around noon, they started to let people in and we went and went to our seats in the arena- which was thankfully cold since all of us were wearing winter clothes!

There were a lot of cast members there (Annie Clark, Munro Chambers, Lyle O’Donohoe, Olivia Scriven, Chloe Rose, Justin Kelly, Shanice Banton, Demetrius Joyette, Craig Arnold and Dylan Everett) and all they showed up at different points during the day. I don’t even think Munro or Annie were filming, but it was nice to see they came out! Plus, I’m sure Munro wanted to skate on the ice- which he did!

I didn’t take any pictures during the day, but I’ve seen some pictures floating around the Internet- especially Tumblr!

Throughout the day, Annie and Munro would come out and give out prizes (through the raffle tickets). Some of the prizes were signed scripts, a signed Degrassi poster, a TeenNick mini ping pong table, Degrassi DVDs and the grand prize- a day at the Degrassi set with a walk on role! Also, people from the crew came around in the audience and were giving out Degrassi Soundtracks!

I won’t say anything about what happened during filming- but there’s something very surprising that happens! I don’t want to spoil anyone, but I was definitely shocked!

It was really cool to see how Degrassi was shot. I definitely didn’t know that it took so many takes and shots to get the scene just right! I knew that there was a lot of work that went into the show, but it was interesting to see how everything was put together!

Even if we didn’t get to see any of the cast members, it was still an awesome experience, but towards the end of the shoot, I asked Krista if anyone was going to come out, so that my friend could meet someone from the cast. She asked who Amy’s favourite was (since I mentioned that it was Amy’s first Degrassi event) and Amy said Justin Kelly. She said she’d see where Justin was at with filming and would see if she could possibly bring him over. We weren’t really expecting anything, since we knew that it’d probably been a long day for him (and everyone), but after Justin was finished filming she brought him over to see us so we could get pictures with him, which was the nicest thing ever! I probably thanked Krista a million times- she probably thinks I’m nuts, and I don’t even know if she remembers my name. We also met Munro too and my friend got a picture with him.

After a long and exciting day, we headed home!

I just want to thank Epitome for giving fans the opportunity to participate in the filming of Degrassi! It’s definitely something that doesn’t happen everyday and I’m glad that I was able to be apart of it.

If anyone has any other questions about the day (since this was a very brief summary), you can tweet me @ashleyshimski


Degrassi Fans: How Degrassi Has Impacted Our Lives

Last week, I asked the Degrassi community to send in your stories about how Degrassi has impacted you. As someone who has watched Degrassi since the age of 12, I know how much this show means to me. I watched Degrassi throughout high school and university. It taught me so many important life lessons when I was younger, and I love watching how it continues to inspire the next generation as well. It seems that many of you feel the same way. Here are a couple of the amazing responses we received from Degrassians all around the world:

Grade 9 student Andrea talks about how My Body Is a Cage led to an unlikely friendship and made her re-evaluate some of her actions:

Last year when I was beginning high school I just wanted to fit in, and we had this trasgender kid who came to our school. He was bullied on all the time and I didn’t want to be unpopular, so I would tease him. Then I was flipping through the channels one day when I stumbled across TeenNick and they were doing My Body Is A Cage…at first I just continued watching because I thought the older brother was hot. Then they showed all the issues, and how hard it is to be a trans kid. I felt so bad for the way I had treated the poor kid at our school. After that Degrassi has also become my favorite show and it’s just so amazing because it deals with so many issues. And after that I also stopped teasing the kid and began talking to him. I’m now about to be a 10th grader and me and him are bestfriends. I also may not be the most popular kid at school but I don’t care because I made the right decision.

19-year-old New Jersey resident Colleen has been watching Degrassi since she was 9 years old. She sent us a beautiful email, talking about how Degrassi has respectfully portrayed young people living with mental illness:

As I got older Degrassi was not just a show I watched to prove that I was mature or a show I watched to see cute boys or be entertained, it was a show I watched because the characters were real and relatable and it taught me so much. Like back in season 4 with Craig’s bipolar story line – it really hit home for me because my cousin is bipolar. A few years later, Craig’s storyline became even more important to me. During my sophomore year of high school I started not getting a lot of sleep. I was becoming very irritable and not acting like myself. I would have so many thoughts going on at once, and would not be able to concentrate along with getting very angry which was very out of character for me. It turned out that I was bipolar. If Degrassi was any other TV show, Rick Murray would have been depicted as the character to be bipolar, but instead they choose Craig who was a beloved character (even though some people might not have thought so with the whole Ashley/Manny thing). Degrassi showed that you anyone can suffer bipolar disorder, and live a normal life, and not be some school shooter or murder. It was hard and still can be to have a mental illness that was so misunderstood, but the fact that I knew other people, like Jake Epstein’s character, were getting by with this disorder gave me hope that everything would get better. Degrassi gave a face to my illness, and played a part in educating people about the truth behind it – that people who are bipolar have a treatable illness and are not horrible people.

Knowing that Degrassi is willing to talk about subjects that most other shows wont in an honest and real fashion is why I love this show. And I am so happy that it helps so many different people feel better about whatever problem it is they may be dealing with, as well as educating others about those problems. Now I give talks to teens about my struggles and overcoming them, and I am in school studying social work to hopefully one day play a part in helping others in working through their issues and accepting themselves. And I have Degrassi to thank for giving me hope when I needed it most and giving me the strength to be the best and make it through.

Thank you for these amazing responses! You can still send your stories to DegrassiTalks@gmail.com.