WHAT DO YOU DO IN THE INDUSTRY?
For the better part of 20+ years I have consistently been able to tell my kids that I have the best kids content job at Nickelodeon ever -- every day I get to go to work and look for really great projects, with really great people, from every corner of the world and under every rock imaginable. It's a really fun way to work because it keeps you young, makes you happy, and most of all inspires you to build and develop content that resonates emotionally with kids around the world. Basically, it's equal parts heart, fart, smart every day!
WHAT'S YOUR WORKSPACE SET UP LIKE?
I suppose there's no actual "set up" - and that's what makes it so much fun. I work in a space filled with orange, toys, books, and a lot of SpongeBob! And that's just my physical space because when I am not in the office I am on the road travelling to Rio or China or Europe or Bombay in search of great content that makes me happy and works for the Nickelodeon brand. When in my office in London I love to have all the silly objects around me to remind me not to take things so seriously. And it works! And when I am travelling, I have the opportunity to look at content much like global quilt making where I can connect the creative dots one global awesome patch at a time.
WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE YOUNG ADULTS GRADUATING TODAY?
1) Do what you love
2) Be passionate about what you're passionate about
3) Be driven
4) Look for good projects with good people
5) Do what you love!
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE TOY AS A CHILD?
Just like you listen to different music depending on your mood, I liked to play with different toys depending on my mood....
Happiness = Stretch Armstrong as it always made me laugh
Creativity = Play Doh as it always made me think and use my imagination
Love = Barbie and Ken who were forever getting married in big lavish parties in the Barbie Jet
Energetic = jacks...I loved to play (and win) a good game of jacks
Dot Connecting = Lego which always started from blue sky abstract thinking and ended with a concrete structure -- usually a super tall apartment building to house all My Little Pony's
WHAT TRENDS DO YOU SEE IN CONTENT THAT EXCITE YOU?
I am excited by the global trend across everything out there called uber customization. I love to think about how this trend is and will continue to effect content and content making. With everything becoming more and more bespoke how can we, as content makers, answer the ask while making sure that what we make works for everyone. These notions connect yet contradict and it's a wonderful puzzle to try and piece together -- with the clock ticking!
HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE KID'S TELEVISION INDUSTRY?
When I was in university, I became fascinated with global kids content and why some content worked in some places while other content did not. What made things local? What made thing global? I began asking myself these questions and wondered what made the global kid laugh? I looked at the Muppets at that time and realized that was the answer -- the Muppets made every kid laugh. And so I wrote to Jim Henson...and wrote to Jim Henson....and wrote to Jim Henson....until the day I graduated. And when I graduated from university, I wrote to Jim Henson yet again and asked for a job! And I got one! And that's how I began my journey to answer the question of what made kids laugh everywhere -- a question I am still asking today!
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
2) Blue Sky Thinking
3) A strong moral compass
4) A great moon rise
5) Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
6) A simple idea
7) The Hoover Dam
8) The 3D printer
9) Asking the question "What Does Success Look Like?"