From PEOPLE Magazine Click to enlarge
PLAYS
WEB SHOW STAR CARLY SHAY

AGE 16

HOMETOWN
LOS ANGELES

How did you first get into acting?

I was one of those kids who was jumping around, singing. I used to sing Grease songs all the time because I loved that movie. Anyway, we were at this food festival, and a talent agent asked my mom and dad if I wanted to join their agency. I was 3. I didn't even know what I was doing. I did a commercial on the beach for Mello Yello soda. There was a sand castle that they spent all this time creating, and it was supposed to look like I was making it, except I kicked it over. I guess I wasn't good at taking direction.

Do you have a nickname?

Oh, yes, and it's horrible. My mom used to call me Randy all the time, and that was fine, that was okay. But now she calls me Randall, which I really don't like. And she calls me it all the time in front of people. So it's embarrassing. That is a total guy's name. Have you ever met a girl named Randall? I just don't like it. And she loves it because she knows it bugs me. My old math tutor used to call me Murmur. I think that was really cute. I wish my mom would switch to that.

What's the general age range of your iCarly fans?

From about 5 to about 16. My friends like it when 16-year-old boys who are fans approach me, but I always like the little kids. They'll repeat their favorite lines, or they'll ask me to say lines from the show. They know a lot about the show, and they get really into it. Their parents are really cool too.

What would you do if you weren't a successful actor?

I used to always say I wanted to be a marine biologist. I'm actually going to take marine biology this year in school. I've always been really interested in the ocean, and I love going to the beach. So I would probably end up doing something like that or working with animals. Little kids always say they want to be a veterinarian, but I still haven't given up that.

What grade are you in?

I just finished 10th grade. I'm homeschooled, and I just missed the prom. All my friends were joking and saying, "Who would go to a homeschooling prom?" They expected everyone to be really dorky with glasses and standing in the back, not dancing, but I think it sounded kind of cool. I'll try and go next time for sure because I've never been to prom other than with my friend for her school.

What TV shows do you like—besides your own, of course?

[Laughs] I like SpongeBob a lot. I loved Gilmore Girls. And The Secret Life of the American Teenager, I won't miss one episode. I actually know the star Shailene [Woodley] just from seeing her at auditions since we were little. And I like Freaks and Geeks. I just got that on DVD.

You're really into making music too—how do you come up with songs to write?

One of the songwriters I had been working with told me to keep a book, like a journal. So every time I have an idea or a fun experience, I write it down so that I can remember. It's like a diary but with songs in mind. It actually works. I also play guitar. One of my best friends is really into music. She plays drums, and she'll come over to my house, and we'll write about some crazy thing that happened to her at school that day. And I write about boys. That's usually what most of the songs are about.

How do you remain humble in Hollywood?

My friends have a lot to do with that, because I have a lot of friends that I have known since I was in kindergarten. They never thought acting was a big deal. I'm always hanging out with all my friends, and we'll go see movies together. I don't go to that many Hollywood parties or anything like that.

If someone gave you a plane ticket to go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Probably Paris. I really want to go there because I've been taking French in school for the last two years, and I want to test my knowledge of the language.