published Friday, October 4th, 2013

Signal Mountain native stars in new 'Witches of East End' series

TUNE IN

Watch the premiere of "Witches of East End" at 10 p.m. on Sunday on Lifetime. For more information about the show, visit mylifetime.com/shows/witches-of-eastend.

Rachel Boston has come a long way from children's musicals at Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church and theater productions at Girls Preparatory School.

The Signal Mountain native and former 1999 Miss Tennessee Teen USA took her love of the spotlight all the way to New York City and then Los Angeles, securing a place for herself in Hollywood through guest appearances on TV shows such as "Grey's Anatomy," "ER" and "The Closer" and in movies such as "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" and Golden Globe-nominated "500 Days of Summer."

All that has led to a new starring role in the Lifetime drama "Witches of East End," which debuts Sunday at 10 p.m. It's inspired by Melissa de la Cruz's best-selling novel of the same name. Boston plays Ingrid Beauchamp and she says the show centers on her and her sister (played by Jenna Dewan-Tatum) who are witches but don't know it.

"Our mom (Julia Ormond) casts a spell on us so we don't actually know we have supernatural powers, but through a series of events, she has to tell us that we are indeed the next generation of powerful witches and we must step into our powers to fulfill our destiny," says Boston.

But the show's themes are deeper than that, she says, and it's "also a story about growing up and trusting your instincts, stepping into your power and coming together as a group to fight the dark with light."

When she was a child herself on Signal Mountain, acting was a full-family affair.

"Our family loved to put on musicals in the living room," the 31-year-old Boston recalls. "My mom would play piano, I would sing into a Fisher Price microphone, my brothers would dance and my dad would film the whole show,"

Her performance career started in the children's choir at Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church when she was 7 years old. At GPS, she studied with Suzanne Smartt and Catherine Bolden in the school's drama department and, when she was a senior, she moved to move to New York City.

Although Boston is far from her Signal Mountain hometown, she says ties to Tennessee and her Southern roots are still strong.

"I believe peace is an inside job, so I remind myself with all the traveling and new experiences that true peace comes from within. Growing up in Tennessee definitely helped prepare my soul for this journey," she says.

"Surrounded by nature, performing in church musicals and the incredible spiritual community I grew up in have kept me grounded. I do still have family in Tennessee and many of my childhood friends are raising families on Signal Mountain. Tennessee is so beautiful; the neighbors and friends I have there are kind-hearted and compassionate, and I have wonderful memories from living there."

Contact staff writer Mary Beth Torgerson at mtorgerson@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6642.

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