Skyline High School alumna tackles role in ‘Celebrity Ghost Stories’

December 4, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

Heather Refvem

For years, actress Dot Jones — feared Coach Shannon Beiste on the musical sitcom “Glee” — felt a supernatural presence, not a menacing ghost, but a spirit that watched over her.

Jones’ tale comes to the screen Dec. 8 in the BIO Channel series “Celebrity Ghost Stories” — a chronicle of celebrities’ paranormal experiences. Heather Refvem, a Skyline High School and Village Theatre alumna, portrays a young Jones in flashback sequences during the episode.

The episode marks the television debut for Refvem, a stage veteran since starring in local theater productions as a child.

Refvem started acting at age 9 in the holiday operetta “Babes in Toyland” on the Village Theatre Mainstage.

“It kind of got me hooked,” she said in a recent interview from New York City. “Ever since then, it’s been really the only thing that I ever wanted to do. I moved to New York after college and here I am, five years later.”

In college, she interned Off Broadway at a theater company and landed the role of Anita — girlfriend of Sharks boss Bernardo — in a New York production of “West Side Story.” (Refvem graduated magna cum laude from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design in New Mexico.)

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‘Celebrity Ghost Stories’

“It was a great opportunity,” she said. “It was like, ‘Here I’ve been given this opportunity. I guess that means I’m going to move to New York City right after college.’”

The accomplished actress and singer is branching out from stage roles into on-camera productions, including a recent batch of student films and the “Celebrity Ghost Stories” role.

The episode of “Celebrity Ghost Stories” also features supernatural tales from soap starlet Victoria Rowell, comedian Carlos Mencia and “The Exorcist” star Linda Blair. The series features personal accounts meant to chill and, in the case of Jones and Refvem, surprise.

“It’s all told in first-person narrative by the celebrities who feel they have had encounters of another kind,” Refvem said. “We, the actors, we re-enact the story. So, for example, Dot Jones tells a story about her father who died when she was about 10 years old. She always felt a presence.”

Refvem plans to mark the television debut milestone at home.

“I have a couple of friends coming over,” she said. “I live in a small apartment, so I’ve had to limit it to a few people. I’ve definitely spread the word to everybody with a television.”

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