Where are you originally from? What do you miss most?
I’m originally from Long Island, New York. I grew up and went to high school there, and then I moved to New York City for 11 years. What I miss the most about Long Island is my block. I come from one of those blocks where everybody, kids and adults, are friends. We’d all celebrate the holidays together, taking turns hosting at each other’s houses. It was a really special block to grow up on.
Were you a shy or outgoing Sproutlet?
I was a super shy Sproutlet, except when my sister and I were at home together. We would put on these huge musical productions with our stuffed animals. Sometimes we’d turn them into movie musicals with the family camcorder.
What are some of your favorite hobbies?
Riding my bicycle! It’s my favorite part of the day! And making music in any way I can, too! Either by myself writing a new song, or playing cover songs with friends. I also just love to get moving – mostly dancing. I just started taking breakdancing lessons, and I’d really like to be able to spin on my head. It’s a goal for 2014.
Have you worked with kids before? How did you get into it?
Yep! I’ve been making music for and with kids for 7 years. During my senior year of college, I took a class in which volunteering was required. I chose to volunteer at a homeless shelter for women and children, where I ended up working in the nursery, playing with kids and feeding kids. One day, I showed up after a band rehearsal, and I had my guitar on my back. The director of the shelter saw it and asked me if I could play for the kids. So, the next week, I learned some kids’ songs and wrote one of my own, and put on a little concert. It only took 2 minutes for me to realize that was what I wanted to be doing with my life. Since then I’ve been putting on concerts, and teaching music in preschools. That’s why I started my band Tim and the Space Cadets too. I want kids and their families to be able to listen to music with positive messages that celebrate the adventures and imagination of childhood, and I’d like to be a part of that.
When you first auditioned for this show, what were you most excited about?
Working with Chica! Hanging with characters like her is pretty much exactly what I’ve been hoping to do, and The Sunny Side Up Show has a similar spirit to some of my favorite shows that I grew up with.
What happened during your audition?
For my first audition, I pretended a teddy bear of mine was Chica. I asked her questions and waited patiently during the silence. Chica’s got a lot to say if you’re willing to listen.
What was your reaction when you got the job?
I was pretty much in shock. I had just finished playing a preschool music class in New York when I got the phone call, and before I called anyone or told anyone, I went for a nice walk to breathe and take it all in that my life was changing.
What was your first meeting with Chica like, and are you nervous to be working with such a famous chicken?
Chica had no problem being sassy with me right away. I remember the first thing I said to her for our audition was “Say hi, Chica!” Of course she responded with “Hi, Chica!” and had a nice laugh about it. I’m not nervous because she’s a pro.
Did the current hosts of The Sunny Side Up Show have any words of encouragement?
Carly told me to wait a year until I feel really comfortable doing the show. That’s something to look forward to.
Did you get to choose your wardrobe?
It was a joint effort. Sprout tried to work with my current style, but put it in the barn. I’m wearing a whole lot of vests and suspenders, which are some of my favorite accessories outside of the Barn too.
What is your favorite part of The Sunny Side Up Show?
Birthdays! They are such a special day for Sproutlets, and I’m so happy to be a part of that celebration. In New York City, I performed at over 650 birthday parties over a span of 7 years, and I love being able to join in with the fun of that day.
What are you most looking forward to as a host on The Sunny Side Up Show?
Singing songs! Celebrating birthdays! And seeing Sproutlets at live events!
What are you most nervous about hosting for the first time?
I’m nervous about crafts! I’m a pretty clumsy dude, and when it’s live TV and I have some glitter, there’s a really good chance glitter will end up everywhere.
What will you be bringing to the show?
Music! I pretty much need to listen to and make music every day.
How did you get into music?
I loved music when I was a Sproutlet, but it wasn’t until elementary school, when I was given a saxophone, when I got to really make music. It was through school that I really developed a love for music, and then I started making rock and roll in my friends’ basements. I also fell in love with musicals. Songs with stories or within stories are always special to me.
What would you like to tell the (awesome!) Sprout fans?
Let’s make some music together!