Jeff "Swampy" Marsh left a corporate job to pursue art. Three months later, he found himself learning animation by drawing backgrounds for a fledgling show in its second season called... The Simpsons. After trying for over ten years to get it on the air, he and his creative partner Dan Povenmire got their dream show on Disney, Phineas and Ferb. Spoiler alert, people liked it. A LOT.
Besides now acting as the showrunner for Pete the Cat on Amazon Prime, Swampy also devotes a lot of time to a charity called "A Walk on Water," which provides surf therapy to children with special needs and their families.
A new Pete the Cat Christmas Special arrives on Amazon this Tuesday, November 20th.
Along with his creative partner Jamie Salka, today’s guest Lee Overtree founded Story Pirates in 2004. For the last 14 years, they’ve taken kids ideas for stories and brought them to life on stage. In the last few years, they’ve expanded their output to include a radio show, a podcast, a book called “Stuck In The Stone Age,” and an album called “Nothing Is Impossible.”
In addition to his work with Story Pirates, Lee is also an award-winning writer and director.
Alitzah was a child actor. Then she grew up and was a member of the girl group Nobody’s Angel. Now, she’s come full circle and is performing for children, as her musical alter ego Twinkle. She’s continued acting all along, including a recurring part on General Hospital. She is also the President of the Young Entertainer Awards, which are celebrating their third year.
Jeannine Glista is the executive producer of the PBS show “Biz Kids.”
It uses sketch comedy and profiles of young entrepreneurs to teach kids (mostly in the middle school range) how to start their own business, grow that business, run that business, and how to manage their money.
You know, all those incredibly useful skills that no one has taught me yet in my 40s.
The process of getting the show produced and on the air was quite a feat of entrepreneurship itself.
Thanks to Shelby Burford with Biz Kids for introducing me to Jeannine.
Thanks again to Jeannine Glista for her time and her stories, and thanks for this very exciting bonus:
Jeannine has offered me a few copies of the book from the creators of Biz Kids, “How to turn $100 into $1,000,000.”
It’s a road map for young people to take to learn how to achieve financial freedom, and you can get your very own free copy.
Tell any kid you know who has started their own business (or at least tried to) to go here.
Send us an email with the story of your business, whether it took off and became a huge success, or whether it crashed and burned or just fizzled out, we’d love to hear about it. Include your address, and the first few stories will get a copy of the book.
Thanks for listening!
Beth Blenz-Clucas is a PR rep and Publicist working mostly with family-friendly musicians. She lives in Portland, but her clients and the work of her firm Sugar Mountain PR extend across the US and Canada. She represents many of the biggest names in the kindie scene, from The Lucky Diaz Family Jam Band, to Justin Roberts, to Raffi, to Lisa Loeb, to The Pop Ups, to Alphabet Rockers… it’s a very long list of really great people.
I talked to Beth via Skype about how she went from getting a Masters in English Lit to a 20 year career in children’s music We talked about the importance of knowing who you are as an artist, and about the importance of setting realistic, reachable goals for yourself.
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.
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.