09/01/2009

Sharayah Daves lands big role in Alan Jackson video

Sharayah Daves lands big role in Alan Jackson video
By:  Barry Courter/Chattanooga Times Free Press
Friday, August 28, 2009

Less than a month ago, Sharayah Daves was a 5-year-old looking forward to her first day of school at Brainerd Baptist School.

As of last Thursday, she was the co-star of Alan Jackson's latest video for his song "I Still Like Bologna."

Tuesday, she was sitting on her mother's lap, burying her face in mom's neck, demanding that we not tell anyone about her video experience. There is a cute scene in which she steals a kiss on the cheek that I think has her worried.

It's too late for keeping it a secret. The song is in regular rotation on County Music Television after it debuted on CMT.com last week.

Sharayah's mom, Jada, said her phone rang off the hook last week.

"It's been quite an experience," Daves said.

In the video, Sharayah portrays Jackson's wife, Denise, as a young girl. Five-year-old Jet Jurgensmeyer plays Jackson. Both are featured prominently throughout the song about holding on to simpler days in a high-tech world.

Sharayah landed the role at the end of July after a short audition she almost missed, according to her mother, who is an author and speaker. It was Sharayah's first audition.

"She'd never been in front of a camera," Daves said. "We actually missed the audition, but the agent called back and set up another one. I canceled a meeting and we drove up to Nashville.

"We weren't there 30 minutes. The audition lasted seven minutes, which was a lot longer than others. (Other auditioners) walked in and walked out. The producer (Scott Scovill) told me, 'I really like Sharayah.' I figured he told everybody that."

Scovill wasn't just being polite, apparently, as he called Daves that night to say Sharayah had the part and would need to be back in Nashville the next day to begin shooting.

She was there three days, wrapping Aug. 1.

"I had no idea how she would do, but she did marvelous," Daves said. "They hired a personal assistant (Bailie Herring) for her, and that was the key. She kept her loose, and they had a play room and took ample breaks."

Scovill also had a friend bring over a puppy for the kids to play with.

"That was my favorite part," Sharayah said.

Sharayah also became attached to Herring.

For some of the shoot, Scovill let the young actors be themselves, keeping the cameras rolling, and it shows. While the cupcake fight and ironing board scenes were staged, the action was ad- libbed, Daves said.

"They had cupcake all over them," Daves said.

"They had to throw the carpet away," Sharayah said.

Ironically, the only scene Sharayah had trouble with involved the song's title.

When I asked if she likes bologna, the answer was quick and firm.

"No."

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