Harry Gold started out as a child actor in New York, doing his first Broadway at the age of twelve. After he moved his family to LA, his daughters also became child actors. Harry soon left acting to become an agent. His daughter Brandy gave up acting at the age of twelve, and soon decided she would follow in her dad's footsteps. They are now both agents at the agency Harry founded over 30 years ago, TalentWorks.
Sheryl Levine casts the current Disney Channel shows "Bizaardvark" and "Stuck in the Middle." She started out as an actor in New York, but after college she found that she preferred working with the actors she loves so much to being one of them. She became an agent, then a manager, then found her true calling as a casting director.
Björn Jeffery is the co-founder and CEO of Toca Boca, an international company that makes immensely popular apps for kids. Björn tells Mike how the company started, about the importance of listening to kids when making things for kids, and why there are great and not-so-great things about living in either Sweden or the U.S.
If you grew up in the 80s, Aaron Simpson’s story may be familiar to you, especially if you grew up wanting to make movies.
He’ll tell us about the animated shorts he made by co-opting his dad’s 8mm camera.
He’ll tell us how he switched to making ridiculous live-action videos with his friends once that technology became available… by co-opting his dad’s video camera.
And you’ll also hear how he made a lot of connections in the animation industry through the blog he published about a new tool called Flash animation.
He met a lot of people that he later went on to work with by interviewing them for his blog.
I’m particularly interested in that part myself.
The "Captain" part of Todd Forman's stage name might be an affect, but the "Doctor" part if 100% true. Mike tries to convince the horn player for the popular family-friendly Jelly of the Month Club band to write a book on time management or personal productivity after hearing that he is not only a professional musician (with Sublime and Sublime with Rome in addition to JOTMC), but also a practicing physician with his own family medicine clinic, a teacher who is deeply passionate about arts education, and a former college baseball and water polo player. Come to think of it, maybe he is actually a captain, and he and Mike just didn't have time to discuss it in this conversation.
A piece of Mike's longer conversation with Josh Lehrman and Kyel Stegina about how their original show, "Paige & Frankie," eventually evolved into the popular new Disney show "Bizaardvark." Perfect for curious kids!
Unlike their fellow participants in Disney Storytellers, Josh Lehrman and Kyle Stegina didn't come into the 20-week writing program with an idea for a show. But by listening to the feedback of their mentors at Disney, they were able to create (and recereate) the show that eventually became "Bizaardvark," a workplace comedy on a network that doesn't do workplace comedies. Josh and Kyle tell Mike their contrasting philosophies on social media, the discovery that writing a kids' show is at least as hard as writing a grown-up show, and how they cast an incredibly brilliant actor as Paige's dad in the original pilot, only to later cast him into the gutter for their own amusement.
Shane Portman was writing stories meant to be read aloud and creating characters meant to annoy his younger sisters for years before he realized he had been preparing himself for a career writing children's television. Shane now works on Amazon's Emmy-winning preschool show "Tumble Leaf," as well as for "Moonlight Story Time" on the Curious World app. Check out his website and learn more about how such a quiet guy can have so many characters and stories rolling around in his head.
Before becoming the producer and story editor of "Wabbit," the Bugs Bunny relaunch on Cartoon Network and Boomerang, Matt Craig had a rich history as an improvisor at theaters and on cruise ships all over the world.
Danny is the creator and host of "Treehouse." From the Treehouse Facebook page: "Danny LaBrecque is bringing a human voice back to children's media. A real human voice. Danny Joe's Tree House is a classic live-action children's series that teaches social-emotional learning in the digital age."
In this episode, Mike & Danny talk about how he's bringing that voice back to children's media, how he's inspired by Fred Rogers while finding his own voice, and the ways in which Treehouse is constantly evolving.