Winning Syd
Soap Opera Digest|March 16, 2020
Sydney Mikayla Earned Her Way From Sidekick To Centerpiece In GH’s Teen Scene.
Mara Levinsky

Performing is in Sydney Mikayla’s blood. Her mother, Sonya Shepherd, is an actress who has appeared on Broadway and in television and film, and “kind of got me into the business,” as 17-year-old Mikayla puts it.

When she started out, Mikayla associated work with pleasure — specifically, of the frozen yogurt variety. She explains, “Going out on auditions as a child, you don’t really understand what’s happening, but after, we would always get frozen yogurt, so I used to believe that an audition was, like, frozen yogurt time. I was just like, ‘Man, this is really fun!’ ”

Mom was never pushy about putting her daughter to work. “She was supportive, but she was always like, ‘You can stop anytime you want,’ ” Mikayla says. “And I just remember, at a certain age, wanting to continue to pursue it.” It didn’t hurt that the projects she booked were right up her alley. “My first role was YO GABBA GABBA! on Nickelodeon, which was really big for me because that was my favorite show as a 5-year-old. I was very excited.”

Other stand-out, pre-GH gigs include playing a young Gabby Douglas (and daughter to Oscar-winner Regina King) in Lifetime’s THE GABBY DOUGLAS STORY (“What a great experience to have, especially as a 10-year-old; that was one of the highlights of my life”), which earned her a Young Artist Award and a face-to-face meeting with the Olympic gold medalist, and the Nickelodeon series GAME SHAKERS. “We were, like, saving some people from these crazy robots or something. I really enjoyed doing that because I would never do that in real life.”

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