Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
American High Home
When's it on?
Meet the Students
Message Boards
Behind the Scenes
Whatnot

The Coca Cola Company
Chats E-Cards Yearbook
ChatsBack

TRANSCRIPT FROM CHAT WITH SHANNA AND ABBY (5.30.01)



american_high_host: Hi everyone! Welcome to our American High chat. This week our guests are Shanna and Abby -- two Highland Park alums featured in American High. They'll join us at 11 p.m. ET. ...So stay tuned! And keep sending in your questions...You can find out more about these two at the American High Web site at pbs.org/americanhigh/. Just a couple more minutes to ask a question, use the 'ask a question' box at the bottom of the screen. Hear how Shanna & Abby's friendship has gone the distance. Now's your chance to ask them how they've remained so close. Just a few more minutes...Ask them about life, love, family, friendship, school ...anything under the sun. Just a few more minutes til you can chat with Shanna and Abby from PBS' American High. Welcome Abby and Shanna. We're happy to have you join us this evening.

Abby: Thank you. Hi guys. Hi Shanna.

Shanna: What's up, everybody? Hi, Abs!

prinrally2000: How would a young,intelligent girl like me....go about getting known as an actress

Abby: Follow your dreams and just do what you want with your life.

us_armysister: Hey how does it feel to be on television

Shanna: It's kind-of strange. Not at all what I'd expected. It doesn't feel like anything different. I don't feel any different than I did before.

Abby: I think it's really cool and fun to see some of the fun times that were documented with my friends. It hasn't really hit me that it's nationwide. It's still like it's on video and we're watching home videos. It's still weird, I guess.

rustyhalo18: What's it like to have a camera in your face all the time?

Abby: It gets annoying, obviously. There are times when you want privacy, but for the most part, the people behind the cameras, and everyone else were able to make such a strong friendship and relationship. It's not as bad having a camera in front of your face when you like the people behind the camera.

Shanna: The beginning, it was very odd. Not comfortable at all. But after a few weeks, they became our friends. The cameras became almost invisible. It was like our friends were standing there and life went on.

Abby: It was easier because there were 2 of us ... Shanna and I were together in front of the camera. Us together made more of a comfort zone.

Shanna: I agree.

iimsoul: Can you describe a typical day with the "American High" crew following you around?

Abby: Basically, they would pass in and out. They were always checking in as to what plans I had that day, what significant event may come up. They were with me in a few classes almost daily. They came to my house before school a couple times. Had dinner a couple of times. They popped in and out during the day.

fancrew007: do you think the show helped you realize things about yourself??

Shanna: Yeah. I think the show helped me realize a lot. It was a great outlet for me to be able to open up, especially with the video diaries. Going back and watching them, you realize so much that you had no idea about before.

Abby: I think it's helped me because not many people are able to see themselves from another perspective. I was able to do that when reviewing the tapes. That was strange in a way because it made me realize that sometimes you're not always who you think you are or who you think people perceive you as. There's another you. Another viewpoint.

mya992001: ok i watch the show but im wonderin if your life has change since you"ve been on

Abby: Absolutely. It's a whole year later. Sometimes .. I know in my case .... at the time, I thought there were horrible days. I couldn't get into college or whatnot. Now that I'm in college, I think ... what was wrong with me? It's life. Things move on. Good things and bad things happen. You have to take it for what it is.

acer304: do you have any regrets about the show?

Shanna: I don't have regrets about being on the show. I guess I think I should have thought about my every day ......I wish I would have thought a little more about exactly what this product was going to turn into. Because at the time, it was just a project in all of our minds. Little did we know it would end up on national tv. I think I also put a lot more trust in the actual show than I now think I should have. I think I should have thought about it a little more.

bradbaby_99: How Did the relationships with your friends go during the show? Did they get better or worse?

Shanna: During the show, a lot of our friends weren't too happy about it and didn't want to be on camera and that caused conflicts. Afterwards, everyone loosened up and everyone accepts it now.

brentmcguire2001: Did you or do you guys get paid at all for any of this?

Abby: No, we should have!

Shanna: Unfortunately not.

shortiegirl85: are you two still really great friends or have u become more and more distant

Abby: Oh, my God! No show could never ever ever ever put a dent in our friendship.

Shanna: Of course being so physically apart -- distance wise -- obviously you're not as close the entire year. But I'm sure when I go home this summer, we'll be together all the time. Wherever we left off, we'll pick up again. Right?

nikole03: Did the show bring you close to any people that you wouldn't have gotten close to otherwise?

Abby: Yeah. I think it made all the participants closer to each other because we had something to relate to.

mmiz6_1999: If you had to go through this whole process again (them taping your life) would you?

Abby: Yes. It was therapeutic and a great experience to have your senior year documented.

partygirl0899: Did this experience make either of you want to be actresses?

Shanna: No.

CDs4You2: Hey Abby it's Cheech here and I just wanted to say that I love the show!!

Abby: :)

nikole03: Abby, What ever happened between you and Brad? You don't seem as close as you were before.

Abby: Well, Brad is at my house right now. It's just how the show was edited. We ended up resolving that argument and moving on, if not closer.

relissamochelle: who are the other people from the show that you guys were friends with? did you guys know suzy, kaytee, gus, pablo, etc....

Shanna: Kiwi, Robby, Sarah, Brad.

Abby: We were acquaintances to all of them. We all became closer because of the show.

american_high_host: Hey everyone, we're chatting with Shanna & Abby from American High....Send in your questions and see what they have to say!

iimsoul: How does one get chosen for "American High?" Where can I get more information on being selected?

Shanna: They did an interview at the beginning of the year for anyone from our high school who wanted to be in it. And they chose the people from there.

djelement9: Do you feel as though the producers tried to create a drama instead of truly making a documentary?

Abby: I think it would have been impossible for them to use footage that would exactly portray me. Just because the pieces that they showed were radically significant in my life, but there were other significant events that took place. But they couldn't use it all.

iimsoul: Were you able to review the tapes before they aired so as to remove material you may not have wanted to be presented to the public?

Abby: We weren't allowed to review them ..... We were allowed to see them, but not to pick and choose what we wanted and what we didn't.

Shanna: There were scenes that if we really felt strongly that they would harm us, they would remove those. The producers did a really good job of picking scenes so they wouldn't be harmful.

Abby: They were really respectful.

kaia22_2000: How did you afford your trip to the Bahamas?

Abby: We worked and saved up.

Shanna: Yup.

jademonkey_67: What did your parents think when they saw the spring break episode?

Abby: I don't think either of our parents were naive. They knew a little of what we would do. I don't think my parents were that embarrassed by my actions there. It was what they expected.

madridjonz: Abby, you seemed so upset about the college acceptance deal. How did all this pan out?

Abby: Yeah, I was really upset at the time. It was hard being around everyone getting into college but in the end, I could never have pictured myself as happy as I am so I guess things work out.

csfan74: Are you fans of other reality shows (Real World, etc.)?

Shanna: Yes. Real World. Survivor. Temptation Island is my favorite.

Abby: Yes. Also a fan.

ImInTheMOE3: Hey- Abby, how long did it take you to make that scrapbook? that totally sounds like something i would do for one of my friends.

Abby: Oh my gosh! I spent day and night on that scrapbook!

Shanna: I still have it with me right now!

Abby: And I still make them. All the time.

drja87: Do you think they producers did a good job making the show?

Abby: They did the best they could.

Shanna: I think with the material they had, they made of it what they could and it ended up being really good.

tvjunkieus: Do you girls have boyfriends?

Abby: Nope.

Shanna: Yes, I do.

mya992001: who was the gurl on last weeks episode with the very short hair who dressed like a skateboarder and has the gay friend i relate to her? plz tell me if ya know

Shanna: Jackie.

mabellz: Do you think some crucial parts of the show were edited for better storyline?

Shanna: Um .... yes.

Abby: LOL.

Shanna: The part with me laying on my bed, looking like all my friends were partying around me and I was watching them ... those were 2 different rooms and 2 different days. I was probably about to go to bed in that scene.

mithkah1: Was Spring Break accurately perceived by the cameras?

Abby: It looks like Shanna is in the room with me and she's not. In a weird way ......

Shanna: The most they were allowed to film, they did, pretty much.

mya992001: how old are u guys and has the experienced changed ya

Shanna: We're both 18. The experience has changed me because it's allowed me to open up and get another view of myself as well as it's got me very interested in tv production.

xela_00_2000: Why was American High taken off from FOX?

Abby: I think because it was in competition with the other reality shows so it was hard to do.

Shanna: It was up against Big Brother and Survivor.

relissamochelle: who's your favorite survivor? i thought colby was hot....

Shanna: I liked Elizabeth. I thought she was awesome.

Abby: I didn't really have a favorite .....

drja87: Shanna I think you are the coolest

Shanna: Thanks!!!!!!!

acer304: who is in you cd player right now?

Abby: It's just a CD I made.

Shanna: Dave Matthews band.

CrashRaid: Sox or Cubs?

Abby: I'd have to say I'm a Cubs fan.

Shanna: Me too.

paris_love_2001: Hi, My name is Kayla I love to watch your show because I relate to it it's also my sister's birthday can you Say Happy Birthday to her! Her Name is Ashley! Does this show effect you life style in any way at all?

Shanna: Happy birthday, Ashley.

Abby: I have people recognize me on the streets ... more so around home. At school, people really don't. It's more around this area.

Shanna: That happened twice here because they're airing it in one of the English classes in this school.

american_high_host: Hey everyone, we're chatting with Shanna & Abby from American High....Send in your questions and see what they have to say!

Abby: Extremely strange. It was VERY strange. I didn't answer them when they asked me. My best friend had to answer.

Shanna: My mother.

Abby: I have way too many.

pipobel: Have you watched the Dukes of Hazzard????

Shanna: LOL! No.

baby_stressedout69: have u been honest with the people who are asking u questions?

Abby: Yes!!!!

Shanna: Yes!

Mallard003: what do you think your greatest moment in the bahamas was

Abby: it was walking off the plane and seeing that beautiful water that I thought never existed.

Shanna: My greatest moment had to be the first night in the Bahamas, staying up all night and watching the sunrise. Probably the great sunrise I ever saw.

leigh1113: hey abby...just wanted to let you know that I loved the episode! You're a sex pot!

Abby: I'm a sexpot??? Just kidding! :)

jbelle33: Was there anything that was taped, that you wished would have been aired on T.V.?

Abby: I think there were definitely a bunch of good times with friends that were not shown.

Shanna: A lot.

Abby:Especially with me and Brad. They tended to focus on the dramatic, intense things.

relissamochelle: where did you guys end up going to college and why didn't you go to the same school?

Shanna: I'm at Ohio State University.

Abby: I'm at University of Illinois.

Shanna: I think the reason we ended up at different schools is I ended up wanting an enormous school.

Abby: And I wanted to be closer, I think.

paris_love_2001: What High School did this Take place?

Abby: Highland Park High School

trckgddss: after just watching the episode that just aired it seemed like you two were drifting apart are you two still as close as you were?

Abby: No television would never become between us.

brentmcguire2001: Did you guys have to sign your life away to be on the how? ie: Contracts or something?

Shanna: We had to sign a pretty heavy release. It said that anything they filmed, we could put on the air.

drja87: Shanna and Abby are you going to show the episodes to your kids?

Abby: That's interesting. Maybe after they've reached my age in the episodes. I'll show it to them ... I think they'll appreciate a video of how I was at their age. Yeah, why not. I'm not ashamed of anything that went.

Shanna: Yeah, I'll definitely show the episodes to my kids. I have nothing to hide on those episodes.

fancrew007: Can you tell Brad I think he is cute??

cecgymnast1: AMERICAN HIGH ROCKS MY WORLD!!!!!!!!

paris_love_2001: How old is Brad (He's Pretty cute)

Abby: Brad is 18 also.

pooh_megs: so do u like being on tv

Abby: It's weird.

Shanna: Yeah, it's strange.

thescreechdude19: what is the show all about

Shanna: Growing up in today's world.

REDBARONO9: how did they pick your high school and you?

Abby: Research, I guess. And interviews. Why they picked me over other students .... I continued to ask them that throughout the year, and really, we'll never know.

Shanna: I have the same answer to that as Abby. To this day, I have no idea.

partygirl0899: Are either of you reconized at your school?

Shanna: Like I said before, it's happened twice.

Abby: No, just the people who know that I was in it.

paris_love_2001: 4 this show did you guyz need to rehearse lines or Was it just whatever came out?

Shanna: Whatever came out.

Abby: It wasn't rehearsed. Real life. It's American High!

ImInTheMOE3: shanna- i know exactly hwo u feel about wanting to your own thing. i get a lot of crap from my friends about it.. they dont understand why i dont always want to be around people

Shanna: With the situation in the Bahamas, it ended up that I found the people who were looking to get the same experience as me.So I ended up having the time of my life and not worrying about what everybody else thought.

american_high_host: Hey everyone, we're chatting with Shanna & Abby from American High....Send in your questions and see what they have to say!

ImInTheMOE3: Is it just me or does brad look like justin timberlake?

Shanna: Shanna - LOL! I've heard a lot of people say that about Brad before. I think he's slightly, slightly similar

Abby: Yeah, definitely!!!!!

acer304: what kind of music do you listen too?

Abby: Actually, I listen to all kinds of music. If you were to look in my CD book, you'd find the most mixed variety.

Shanna: I also listen to everything and anything. I'm a huge fan of music. All kinds.

erinhobbs: Guys if you had to pick Nsync or BSB?

Abby and Shanna: Oh, Backstreet Boys. They're much better performers! :)

mya992001: american high is a show that helps teen deal with everyday life and events that we go through so thats why i like its the only show that shows these things that others afaid of why?

Abby: That makes me even more happy that I participated in such a project, when people like you say what an impact it had on your lives.

bieniscool: boxers or briefs

Abby: Boxers.

Shanna: Oh, boxers!

CrashRaid: you guys are great...CUBS! True northsiders

Abby: :)

trckgddss: so brad is with you right now watching you answer questions?

Abby: Yeah, Brad is with me. He's going to get me some gummies right now. He says hello to all. I'm at my house, talking to someone who types in what I say.

trckgddss: so brad is with you right now watching you answer questions? when is he ever going to go on a live chat? or has he?

Abby: He has in the past, but I don' t know if he'll do it again ....

relissamochelle: Abby, I think it was you, brad and robby in somebody's bedroom. Anyway, Robby was filming and asking if you were attracted to brad and all that. Then he turned off the camera because he had to tell you guys something. What did he have to tell you? If that was even you in the room....

Abby: All 3 of us only wish that he remembered what he had to say when he turned the camera off!!!!!!!!

darth_fader_2g: I'm over here in California and I haven't seen the show yet, what part should I look out for?

Shanna: Prom.

Abby: And graduation, maybe.

Shanna: Yeah, Prom & Graduation.

you_know_who47: do you miss being around each other all the time?

Abby: Yes, most definitely.

Shanna:- Yes, of course we do.

tvjunkieus: Shanna- you are hot! hot! hot!

Shanna: Thank you! I appreciate that!

drja87: Are you guys enjoying college?

Abby: So much.

Shanna: Yes! I'm having the time of my life.

atarco2002: what year was the filming?

Abby: It was a year ago.

Shanna: 2000.

Shanna: Our senior year.

mya992001: DO ANY OF YOU GUYS BELEIVE IN SEX BEFORE MARRAIGE AND WHATS YOUR THESIS ON SEXUALITY

brentmcguire2001: This isn't a question, more of a statement but I think all of you that did this rock! Finnally people can see what real teenagers are about. This is an awesome awesome show!

Abby: Thank you! I appreciate that.

madridjonz: Do you think your parents trust you enough, too much, not enough?

Abby: Do they trust me?

Shanna: I think they trust me enough, just as they should.

Abby: I think my parents trust me.

angelsweet24_7: Abby, come on, fess up! did you ever have a crush on Brad??

Abby: Actually, Brad had a crush on ME first.

anae17: So with the prom episode next week, did the event live up to your expectations?

Shanna: We had a great time at prom. It lived up to my expectations, I'd say.

Abby: Me too.

brentmcguire2001: If you could could sum up this whole experience in one word what would it be?

Shanna: "Interesting"

cberator: The name of this show is American High....do you think HPHS is representative of the American High School experience?

Abby: I would have no idea. I think I definitely dealt with some of the typical high school dramas.

Shanna: I think a lot ..... the high school is a very diverse high school, so I think it's pretty representative of other high schools around the country.

meliss5227: did you two ever talk to the girl with the glasses that always had the guitar in her hand

anae17: what's the best concert you've ever been to?

Shanna: I'll say Billy Joel & Elton John.

Abby: I have no idea.

acer304: seen any good movies lately?

Shanna: No, I haven't .........................

Abby: Keeping the Faith

drja87: Did you guys get to go to the beach alot living in chicago and all?

Abby: Yeah!

Shanna: Once it gets warm out, we're at the beach all the time.

karbear313: Tell Abby I say hi, i'm her sister

Abby: Hi!

drja87: Shanna do u like Dave Matthews?

Shanna: I am a HUGE fan of Dave Matthews. I love him. I'm sure we'll see him plenty of times over the summer.

gem3301: I wanted to Thank Abby especially because she helped me real life realize that i don't have to always do as my friends do.....thanks!

Abby: Awwww ... thank you!

lily_beanpole: will there be reruns in the summer? and will there be a new cast next year?

Shanna: The show is going to run through the summer. Is it until October? But we don't know as far as a new series next year

Abby: Yes, the episodes run again.

creagan21: curly hair...why?

Shanna: Because it was humid!

baby_stressedout69: do you guys have any religons u belevie in?

tvjunkieus: Shanna-it's your father. When are you coming home? we miss you!

Shanna: OOOHHHH! Hi, DAD !!! I miss you too! I'm coming home in a week!!!! :)Hi, Jim!!! I'll talk to you after the show!!!!!!

mya992001: SHANNA HOW HAS YOUR LIFE CHANGED?

Shanna: My life has changed in that I'm able to be a lot more open with people. I learned a lot about myself and I think that's basically it .....

soulman74_2000: Billy and Elton are on Jay Leno tonight

Shanna: Shanna - Thank you! Oh!! Hi, uncles! I'll call you after the show!

binti60035: Shanna_ This is your favorite Auntie!! We love you!!

Shanna:I love you too! I miss you!

american_high_host: OK any final questions? We're winding down?

xavier703: shanna its your cousin, when am i going to get my money i lent you

Shanna: Never! LOL! :D

ashes_232002: how do you like it at ohio state?

Shanna: I love it and I'm having the time of my life. Couldn't ask for another school.

american_high_host: Thanks for your great questions everyone! Abby and Shanna any final comments?

Shanna: I want to thank everyone who came onto the chat and watched the show tonight. It only gets better!

Abby: I appreciate everyone's comments and everyone coming and talking to us. Thanks. I wish everyone the best.

american_high_host: Thanks for your great questions everyone! Thanks and good night to everyone!!!!!! And thanks to Abby and Shanna for joining us. Join us again next Wednesday at 11 p.m. ET for another American High chat with Anna. And don't forget to check out the American High Web site at pbs.org/americanhigh/