Her family didn’t want to go. But Shona couldn’t be stopped. The 12-year-old just knew she had to audition for Adventures in Odyssey’s “Get in the Show” contest.
“I forced everyone to do it,” she says. “I felt like it was something God wanted us to do.”
Her older sister, Katriona, remembers that day well. “Shona felt a call on her heart. She’s kind of the prayer warrior in the family.”
Both sisters were already into acting. In fact, they had parts in “The Sound of Music” at a local theater. Opening night started in one hour.
Shona’s mom drove them to a Christian bookstore near their home in Lake Arrowhead, California. The sisters ran inside, videotaped their auditions and made it to the theater in time.
A World of Dreams
A few months later, Shona found herself onstage at Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Adventures in Odyssey staff had watched more than 5,000 audition videos. Then Shona had been voted as one of three finalists.
Now the final test: Shona had to read a scene in front of nearly 1,000 people.
Shona was used to performing for a live audience. She had practiced the scene. But she still felt nervous—very nervous.
Acting alongside Odyssey favorites Katie Leigh (Connie), Andre Stojka (Mr. Whittaker) and Zach Callison (Matthew), Shona controlled her nerves and
delivered a great performance. Following a live vote, Shona was crowned the 2012 winner of “Get in the Show.”
“I was so happy for Shona when she won,” Katriona says. “As an older sister, it’s a blessing to see your younger sister working in her gifts.”
As the winner, Shona got to record an episode of Odyssey in Hollywood. She did so well that she was cast again… and again.
“The idea was to allow the winner to do a small part on one show,” says Adventures in Odyssey Executive Director Dave Arnold. “But after working with Shona, we knew we had to get her back in the studio. We cast her as Connie’s half sister, Jules, because she deserved to be an important piece of the show’s history.”
Shona at her first recording in 2012 (left) and today
Since winning “Get in the Show” in 2012, Shona has appeared in 15 episodes. She still feels some nerves when she walks into the studio, but she also feels confident—very confident. She knows she’s using her gifts to honor God.
“I don’t think I ever had the expectation of becoming a professional actor,” Shona says. “This experience has opened up a whole world of dreams that I never thought would come true.”
Songs and a Prayer
One of those dreams was singing professionally. At her first recording session, Shona and her sister started singing with Will Ryan (Eugene) in the break room. As an accomplished musician and songwriter, Will was shocked that the girls knew so many “vintage” songs.
“We grew up listening to that kind of music,” Shona says.
Will invited Shona, Katriona and their mom to sing with him around the country. The sisters will even be singing in New York City this Mother’s Day in a tribute show for classic sister acts. They also recorded a special musical episode of Odyssey called “Legacy.”
Shona and Katriona love being part of Adventures in Odyssey.
“We all cried when we heard the episode,” Katriona says. “The first time our mom ever heard Adventures in Odyssey played on the radio, she prayed, ‘Lord, can I somehow, some way, be a part of Odyssey?’ She was just married back then and living in Australia. God’s timing is so perfect.”
Shona sees God’s hand all over her experience as well.
“After five years, it’s amazing to see how God has brought us so far,” she says. “We never in our wildest dreams could have imagined what happened.”
It’s Your Time to Get in the Show
Focus on the Family is once again launching auditions across America to find the next Adventures in Odyssey voice!
Kids ages 6 to 15 can win a trip aboard the Focus on the Family 40th Anniversary Cruise in November. As part of this amazing trip, our 2017 Get in the Show grand prizewinner will perform in the Adventures in Odyssey Live Show. Get all the details at WhitsEnd.org/GetInTheShow.
Starting in June, Christian bookstores will help kids record and upload audition videos. That’s what Shona did.
“I auditioned in a store, and I think that was a really good idea,” Shona says. “It gave me more confidence, because it was a new place and I felt I could start a new thing.”
Auditions must be received by June 16.
The Odyssey team will choose the top 50 finalists. Then everybody gets to vote for their top picks. Three finalists will be flown to Colorado Springs for the Get in the Show finale on August 12.
Go to WhitsEnd.org/GetInTheShow and see how you’ve got a part to play in God’s great adventure!