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GET TO KNOW SECRET LIFE STAR KEN BAUMANN! PDF Print E-mail

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Ken Baumann can be seen gracing our television screen every week playing Ben on the hit ABC Family series The Secret Life of The American Teenager. But before he landed that coveted spot on the tube he went through the very rigorous process of becoming an actor in Hollywood that every small town kid dreams of.

Ken's passion for the arts struck a match when he was in his single digit years. At 9 years old he wrote his first novel which burned an instant flame for his need to be creative. He began participating in a variety of school plays which really sparked an interest in becoming an actor so much that his mother suggested he enroll in one of those actor/model searches that came through his hometown of Abilene, Texas. After putting some thought into this choice, Ken agreed to attend the event and wound up booking his first agent out of New York City when he was 12 years old.

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After booking the agent, Ken moved to New York City for a few months to give acting a try, auditioning for several commercials. His very first audition was for a commercial for Microsoft. That audition solidified Ken's need to pursue this career and after three months of learning the ropes in New York, he moved back to Dallas where the opportunity began to knock on his door.

Ken worked for several years on his craft and booked several small roles in film and in television before landing his currently role of Ben Boykewich on one of the hottest and most talked about series on ABC Family, The Secret Life of the American Teenager.  Over the course of the past two seasons, Ken has noticed a shift in Ben's character.  "Ben has become a little more self-aware and a whole lot more reckless," he noted.  "It's definitely been a lot more fun to play recently just because it is quite a bit more dramatic from the beginning."

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Photo Copyright: ABC Family

Since the show began production two years ago, Ken has formed a close bond with his co-stars and has become known as the resident prankster on set.  "We are all idiots and bring out each other's stupidty and childishness," he jokes.  "It's impossible not to be cracking a joke or making fun of eachother."  While the cast gets along equally well with each other, Ken does admit that he shares to most laughs on set with Daren Kagasoff and Greg Finley.  The guys hang out a lot off set and after our interview with Ken he had plans to have dinner with Daren.

Keep reading to find out a little more about Ken and see what he had to say about his character Ben on Secret Life!

Do you remember your first audition? I do remember my first audition. It was a commercial audition. I think it was for Microsoft. I was supposed to be a kid sick in bed and he gets his homework delivered to him, and I remember the casting director saying, “OK, I’m going to walk in and I’m going to hand you these papers and you can do whatever you want with them, just look angry or upset or whatever.” So, he walks in and he hands me the papers. I remember I took the papers and I threw them all over the room, just threw them up in the air and scattered them everywhere. I think I was definitely pretty theatrical back then (laughs). And consequently, I didn’t book the job, no surprise! That was my first acting audition outside of school plays, of course.

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Photo Copyright: ABC Family

Can you talk a little bit about audition process for Secret Life and who you screen tested with? You know, it was a pretty painless audition process. I had the first audition with the casting director. I got called back and I remember Brenda Hampton was in the room for the call back. At the call back, I met Shay (Shailene Woodley) and Megan (Park). And then I screen tested. It was funny because I’d screen tested with my really close friend who I did a movie with Ricky Ullman. It basically was down to being him and I. At the screen test, I also met Greg (Finley). I remember talking with Greg and cracking jokes in the first screen test and that helped ease my nerves a lot. That's it. I didn’t meet Daren (Kagasoff) and I didn't meet Francia (Raisa). In the final screen test I had a scene with Shay, and it was the scene where I proposed so that was pretty fun and nerve-wracking.

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Photo Copyright: ABC Family

Can you talk a little bit about your character Ben and the changes that he has over the last season and now going into the new season? I think Ben started off as kind of a nebbish very honest kid who, I think the number one priority was to lose his virginity in high school and he starts off as a Freshman. I think he is probably severely geeky and socially awkward. Through the course of the trials and tribulations with Amy, Shay’s character, and Adrian, Francia's character, and his trips in Italy and everything, I would say that Ben has become a little more self-aware and a whole lot more reckless, and a bit more severe. I think he has moments where he flips between not really understanding the gravity of the situation and really, really investing himself in people around him, and trying to be the best of everything and be the best person he can. It’s definitely been a lot more fun to play recently just because it is quite a bit more dramatic from the beginning.

What can viewers expect to see coming up from Ben? I would say that Ben definitely a couple of really key decisions regarding who he chooses to spend his time with. That’s about oblique as I could possibly be, which I know is obnoxious (laughs). But, he definitely has to take a minute and ask himself who he needs to support, where he needs to spend his time and how to be the best, not only for himself, but for others, primarily now.

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Photo Copyright: ABC Family

Do you have a favorite episode that you’ve filmed so far or a favorite scene from this season? I tend not to watch myself or try not to, but I think this last episode was the New York episode and I would actually be curious to watch because we got to film on the Warner Brothers main lot, the back lot and everything. It felt like a pretty huge production. I think that’s a pretty fun scene, too. Ben is so incredible pathetic in that scene (laughs). He blows it, he just blows it. That was a lot of fun to film. I’d probably say that scene.

We will post more excerpts from our interview with Ken Baumann every week before the show! Be sure to check back to read more and tune into Ken's Official Twitter (@KenBaumann) for the latest news on this multi-talented young star!


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JUNE 6-9, 2013


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