What is it really like to entertain kids? Jimmy Rees from Giggle and Hoot spills all the beans.
Jimmy Rees is being hailed as the ‘next big thing’ in children’s entertainment in Australia. As one half of ABC 4 Kids Giggle & Hoot show, he has the profile and the talent to be just that.
He’s Jimmy Giggle. Hoot’s the owl who loves to sing along with him. But there’s only one question I want to ask him.
Does being a children’s entertainer turn you off having kids?
It makes me want to be a parent. In fact, my wife’s pregnant now. We’re expecting one in April and then I’ll be able to relate to everyone.
What’s the best thing about being in children’s entertainment?
I think it’s the kids. You see the smiling kids and it just lights up your day. They’re the best audience. They’re honest. They’re also full of joy. On the same token they’ll be asleep in their prams if they’re not interested.
What's the hardest thing about being a kid's entertainer?
We've been out to some hospitals. It’s really tough. We’ve been in some pretty heartbreaking moments. It’s tough but it’s realy rewarding as well. Bitter-sweet, just seeing the smiles on the kids facing adversity.
How did you get into children's TV? Was it a goal or an accident?
Yeah, it just sort of happened. I was looking to get into the industry and an opening came of nowhere. ABC were auditioning for people to be on ABC 3. So I went through that process and got short-listed. I didn't get through to the last round but then they asked met to do Giggle and Hoot.
How did they explain the concept to you. "It will be you, and an owl..."?
It was funny. I think they knew what they wanted. It started off as humans against a green screen like they do on Saturday Disney. They thought of how to bring that to the preschool market and thought, how about we make it a character and make it a puppet.
They were talking to the head of the children's department so it sort of evolved and evolved and evolved.
Did they ask for your input?
No. No input here.
What is your favourite animal, besides owls?
I love penguins actually. I got a penguin toy from my aunty. She got it for me as a baby and my dad named it on my behalf. he called it Shivers. Go tit for me as baby. Dad named it on my behalf. Called it Shivers.
I lost it a couple of years ago. I was devastated.
What are your personal aspirations and career goals?