Chatting up the hot Wiggle
As a veteran journalist, I've interviewed a few celebrities over the years. Willie Nelson on his tour bus. The Godfather of Soul James Brown at a South Carolina funeral home. (He gave the eulogy. Very surreal.) Rosalyn Carter. Andie McDowell, a fellow college alum. In all those encounters, I always acted no differently than if I were talking to the local county administrator. It was a job, and I was a professional.
But that was before I got the chance to interview Anthony Field, the guy in blue in the preschool super group, the Wiggles. I'm told some Mommas call him "the hot one." (Note to husband: Honey, I had no idea of that before the interview.) Here's the real reason I was so excited: He and his bandmates make my son so happy.
Every morning my 2-year-old watches as the Wiggles sing and dance on the Disney Channel. Sometimes we have to watch the same episode over and over. Before school one day, he hugged and kissed his Wiggles DVD cover before putting it away.
I wondered, who are these four middle-aged guys with their bright-colored shirts and silly songs and exaggerated facial expressions? I started doing research and learned three were former preschool teachers who started the band as a project in college. They based their material on what they learned in school.
"I get to talk to a Wiggle," I bragged to the teachers at my son's day care.
Field didn't disappoint. He was as gracious and kind off camera to an adult as he is to the kids on screen. No doubt I was one of many interviews that day, but he acted like I was the only one. I resisted the urge to tell him all my Wiggles stories and say things like, "You know that time, when you ate too much fruit salad? That was awesome."
I did tell him I was the mother of a 2-year-old boy but tried to leave it at that. At the end of our interview, he surprised me by asking for my son's name.
"Is the recorder still running? he asked. Then he left a personal message.
It was for my son, but it might as well have been for me.
We'll be at the show this weekend. I won't be working, so excuse me if you see me acting as giddy as a preschooler.
-- Lisa Buie, Times Mom