One of the biggest draws for the 2017 Southern Women’s Show is a man.
Keegan Allen, star of the television hit series “Pretty Little Liars,” is an actor, photographer and musician who will make an appearance at the show. He doesn’t mind spending his time around hundreds of women.
“It’s such a fun thing,” Allen says. “I’ve been doing it for a while. It’s always really great to be there and see my fans.”
Allen’s appearance at 1 p.m. March 26 on the Fashion & Entertainment Stage will wrap up the three-day show.
As always, the Southern Women’s Show, set for March 24-26 at the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center, will offer shopping, food, fashion, health and beauty. There will be hundreds of exhibitors with items and services for women of all ages, with exclusive retail and boutique shopping, fashion shows, how-to demonstrations, gourmet cooking with celebrity chefs, free health screenings, beauty enhancement services and more.
The show returns for its 14the annual year. Some highlights of the Southern Women’s Show include:
• Friday is Girls’ Night Out, with a complimentary mini-cupcake bar from Gigi’s Cupcakes; complimentary blowouts and styling from Roots Southern Salon; and a free glass of Little Black Dress Wines with a printed coupon.
• Saturday is Sip & Shop, with the “Happy Injectable Hour” with Savannah Plastic Surgery and Dr. Barbara Davies; complimentary wine tastings from Little Black Dress Wines; and hourly winners of money to spend at the show.
• Sunday is Mother-Daughter Day, with a braid bar from Roots Southern Salon; a mother-daughter look-alike contest with 98.7 The River; a painting class with Painting with a Twist; and a cake decorating contest with Gigi’s Cupcakes.
And, of course, a celebrity. At 27, Allen is known for his role as Toby Cavanaugh in “Pretty Little Liars.”
Based on a series of books by Sara Shepard, “Pretty Little Liars” is a teen drama, mystery-thriller television series that premiered in 2010 on ABC Family.
Born in California, Allen landed his first paid acting job at the age of 13 in a small, non-speaking role in an Animal Planet documentary.
In 2002, Allen played the parakeet owner’s son in a short film, “Small Emergencies.” Next came Nickelodeon’s “Big Time Rush” in 2010, the same year he starred in a short film, “As a Last Resort.” In 2011, he also appeared in CBS’ “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.”
In Savannah, Allen will meet fans and participate in question-and-answer sessions.
“With social media, I’m always disconnected from my fan base,” Allen says. “This way, I get to see fans face-to-face and talk to them.”
In 2015, Allen’s photography book, “life.love.beauty,” was published by St. Martin’s Press and is a national bestseller.
“I’ll also be signing copies of my book,” Allen says. “I always have a great time. I walk around and learn a lot from the booths.”
Fans always have lots of questions for Allen.
“A lot of the questions are show-related, and if they’re not about the show, they’re about the book,” he says. “There are certain photos in the book that people always want to know about.
“I get a lot of questions about a secret page in the book,” Allen says. “It’s a pretty powerful story and inspires some inspiration.”
Photography caught Allen’s attention before acting did.
“When I was about 9 years old, my dad had a very nice photography camera,” he says. “He would kind of show me his photos over time.
“I got obsessed by how beautiful the photos were and how the lighting turned out, how beautifully they showed people and captured memories of your life. With social media now, that’s an hourly thing.
“Back then, when you took a photo, you had to wait a week to get it and it was expensive,” Allen says. “I got sucked into that realm of photography.”
But once Allen was bitten by the acting bug, it was what he wanted to do as a career.
“I didn’t get close to acting until the end of middle school when I was in ‘Bye Bye Birdie,’” he says. “My dad is an actor and I felt natural and easy on stage. I enjoyed the process.
“I learned other people were making a living by acting,” Allen says. “I decided I really love acting and I think I can do it. From there, I started getting into film and television.”
Not that Allen has given up photography.
“Photography is very much my passion,” he says. “I’m an actor and that’s where I’m spending most of my time, but my passion of photography has never been shaken and it is my hobby. It makes me feel connected with people and the world.”
After a good run, production of “Pretty Little Liars” has ended.
“We finished filming last year in November after seven years,” Allen says. “The fan base has been amazing. The series afforded me the ability to follow my other passion of photography and to bring it to a wider audience.
“Because of that show, a lot of creative avenues opened up to me,” he says. “People responded to my vision.”
Recently, Allen played the role of Jake in an episode of the Fox sitcom “I Hate My Teenage Daughter.” He’s working on a film, “Bukowski,” that is produced and directed by Hollywood star James Franco.
“Acting for film feels more like something on stage than a television series,” Allen says. “It takes lots of preparation. You don’t just show up on set.
“I do enjoy that process,” he says. “It is a little bit different but still enjoyable and inspiring.”
There is even more on the horizon for Allen.
“I’m in the process of a couple of other projects I can’t talk about until they’re finished,” he says. “The way the industry is, I would be crucified. But it’s always fun when the secrets are out.”
With fame comes some loss of freedom and privacy.
“People take photos of me while I’m eating,” Allen says. “They come up and say, ‘Take a photo with me.’
“I feel that’s part of the job. I signed up for this by becoming an actor.
“It’s definitely not a job for an introvert,” he says. “That’s why I love these shows. I get to meet fans personally and connect with them without feeling awkward. I’m really excited to come to Savannah.”
IF YOU GO
What: The Southern Women’s Show
When: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. March 24, with Girls’ Night Out starting at 5 p.m.; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 25; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 26
Where: Savannah International Trade & Convention Center, 1 International Drive
Cost: $8 adults/$5 youth in advance online; $7 adults at Walgreens stores in Savannah; $10 adults/$5 youth at the door; free for ages 6 and younger with adult; $5 parking