Sunny Side Up
I was the Supervising Producer/Show Runner and Director for NBC’s weekly morning interstitial block at 30 Rock Studios, in New York in 2014/2015. A LIVE daily program with four hosts and a Chicken named Chica. The cast reached their audience at home through music, dance, storytelling, sketches and crafts, with the occasional celebrity dropping by to join in on the fun. A show that celebrates all the small, but meaningful moments in a pre-schoolers life. I’d been part of this show 8 years earlier when called down to Philly as a creative consultant and puppet instructor, when Sprout was just getting started.
After “The Sharing Show” finished airing for 5 years on Sprout (a different afternoon block I created/directed) the department needed a new afternoon block to promote homemade videos that kids sent in of their special every day moments. I created “Sprout Shorts” which aired on weekday afternoons. The concept – a dog and a goat running all of Sprout from their very own master control room. Inspired by the flavour of the Muppet Show, calling to an environment where almost anything strange could happen. I wrote, executive produced and starred in this show as well along with my co-host Joe Sabatino, who played my hilarious sidekick, M’Goats.
Gisele’s Big Backyard
TVO Kids’ flagship Preschool Program. A Polka Dot Door, a bunch of puppets and a veteran host equal a Gemini Award winning show. Gisele and crew connect with kids at home through music & laughs. I play Jay, the Blue Jay. At the moment, Jay has a reoccurring segment called “Jay’s Family Jam” where she and Gisele rock out and interview Canada’s finest Musicians. I write and compose music for this show as well.
At Kids’ CBC I was a puppeteer, writer, composer and producer. I created & puppeteered “Mamma Yamma,” a Yam who lived in Kensington Market. She danced, roller-skated and sang with some of Canada’s best musicians. Joel Plaskett, Tegan & Sara, Bobby McFerrin, Serena Ryder, Great Lake Swimmers, Kathleen Edwards, Dallas Green, Amy Millan and more. Strombo & Jian were Mammas boyfriends. Mamma appeared before films in the movie theatre, had her own record and traveled around Canada hosting music festivals. After six years and 3 Gemini nominations as Mamma Yamma, I decided to leave the program in 2013.
On Zerby Derby, I was a composer. An adorable preschool program airing on TVO, TFO and Sprout. Cars, boats, helicopters and trucks “Race, Dig, Build & Play”, learning through their mistakes by always “trying again”. Christine Bougie and I wrote the shows Theme Song & Entire Score.
The Chica Show
Three chicken puppets. One host. One coop. A costume shop. A bunny. Musical Numbers. Learning. Comedy. Antics. On season two of this program, I was lucky enough to manipulate Chica’s Mom, “Mrs. C”.
The Sharing Show
Afternoon interstitial block that I wrote & directed. Talented cast also came up with amazing creative through tons of improv. Ricky the Rabbit, Patty the Pig and Curtis E. Owl play along with the kids at home, sharing music & laughs, celebrating preschoolers everyday achievements.
The Lets Go Show
Two good buddies hit the cardboard road in their cardboard car in search of adventurous preschool music and foods. The ultimate, crafty preschool road trip. I played Banjo, the pink floppy eared dog. My co-host was Milton Barnes, who looked pretty rockin’ in a vest.
Preschool Musical on a Stick
A US christmas special I directed. All the characters were cardboard cut outs of their original felt selves, on sticks. The cast was five star and the musical score ruled. Sleds, skating, presents, longing, fake pies and snow. Oh – and sticks. Lots of them.
This show was insane. Twisted. And so, super funny. Aimed towards teens & aired on Nick Jr. The puppet cast was community of characters that worked or hung out inside of a mall Food Court. I played Goth Girl, an American Princess named Ashley and a variety of kooky mall dwellers. The best thing about this show was it’s writing. Surreal and eccentric. A chicken might come to life and dance the hula, or the food court might be suddenly be stormed by a parade of monkeys. There were also aliens. Obviously.
The Mighty Jungle
A super cute show. Aired on CBC. Filmed in Halifax. Talking Jungle animals acting out real stories told by real kids. I manipulated Rhonda the Rhino for season one.
Whoopi Goldberg plays the Mayor of a town that’s run by kids and animals. Aired on Nick Jr. Filmed in New York. I puppeteered sheep, ducks and chickens. Kids wearing cop outfits would sometimes write me tickets for being from Canada.
Might be one of my favourite shows I worked on. Was all about discovery, emotion and beauty. The sets, characters and creative vibe on this team made for a unique & special project. I got to play a variety of goofy backyard characters, Mona’s mom, a warm next door grandma and doubled as Russell the Dog.
Ooh, Ahh & You
Set was designed by Wayne White, the dude who designed Pee Wee’s Playhouse. Aired on Fox Family Channel & filmed in Los Angeles. Three puppets & three human hosts. I got to play myself. We introduced cartoons and re-created the same kind of laughs we had when we were in our teens, watching cartoons and eating chips in our parents basements. I traveled and interviewed peeps like Eddie Murphy and Justin Timberlake, which was nuts.
First TV job ever was on YTV, as a host. I was 22. Co-hosts were Shaun Majumder & Peter Oldring. Weekend morning hosts for 4 years, introducing shows like Earthworm Jim, Dexters Labrotory and Spiderman. Great thing about doing this almost 20 years ago, was that the station was fairly new then, so the vision was pretty true to connecting with its viewers. Instead of having to sell or promote too much of anything, we were encouraged to connect with kids at home about things we truly cared about or found funny.