Clarksburg's Emily Shaffer To Appear on Tonight's Episode of "Covert Affairs"
By Julie Perine on July 24, 2012
In addition to Piper Perabo, Christopher Gorham and other regulars, viewers may catch a face familiar to the area.
Costarring as Debbie Green is Emily Shaffer, daughter Joe and Suzanne Shaffer of Clarksburg.
A 2004 graduate of Robert C. Byrd High School, Emily’s previous TV castings include Heidi on MTV’s “Epic Fail” and the recurring role of Brianna on HBO’s “How to Make It In America.”
She’s also filmed a couple of commercials, but neither has made it to the American small screen. A made-for-TV ad for Axe body spray was shot in Buenos Aires and has aired on Argentine networks and others around the world, but not in the states. And a Super Bowl 2011 hopeful featuring Doritos also featured Shaffer, but the commercial didn’t win a spot in the broadcast.
Even before her small screen debut, Emily has had a long-time stage presence. She grew up in the theater, appearing in productions sponsored by Jigsaw Theatre and West Virginia Public Theatre and went on to venues such as the Gladys G. Davis Theatre and the New York Theatre Workshop.
Emily is a graduate of West Virginia University, having majored in fine arts acting and minoring in dance. She continues to train in both acting and dance in New York City, having also served as assistant and guest artist at NYC’s Spence School for the Arts.
“Covert Affairs” features Gorham as August “Auggie” Anderson, a CIA military intelligence/special ops officer who was blinded while serving a mission in Iraq.
Emily’s dad, Harrison County Prosecuting Attorney Joe Shaffer, was already a fan of the show. But tonight, he and the rest of the family will tune in with new enthusiasm.
It’s a small part, but he is very proud. He’s also pulling for his daughter, who has dreamed of a career in the performing arts for quite a long time.
“This all started when she was about 10 years old and she visited New York,” Shaffer said. “She initially went on a school trip and liked it so we started visiting.”
While attending the long-running Broadway revival of “Grease,” Emily was swept up on stage by Joe Piscopo for an impromptu dance.
That’s when she was really bitten by the stage bug, her dad said.
Back home, Emily took dance lessons with Michael and Bonnie McGowan and pursued voice training with Pam Krall.
“She’s the hardest-working person I’ve ever met,” Shaffer said. “It takes a lot of skill, but also a lot of good judgment and a lot of love.”
Emily has lived in New York City for almost four years.
“She’s done quite a few small things and has gone to a lot of auditions,” Shaffer said. “It takes a lot of determination and persistence.”