With a nervous giggle from me and an exuberant “Hi” from my son, we got on the phone with Kiki, Marina, Shout, and Twist, aka The Fresh Beat Band. I was given a unique opportunity to interview The Fresh Beat Band over the phone since they were in New York filming “The View” and I’m on the West Coast. Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer (Kiki), Tara Perry (Marina), Thomas Hobson (Shout), and Jon Beavers (Twist) greeted us excitedly while my son jumped up and down wanting to talk to them. After polite and friendly greetings were made, we got down to business. Here is a recap of what we talked about over the phone:
Q – As a TV band, do you have dreams of becoming a real band and touring on the road?
A- Yes! We’re already touring on the road. We had a concert at Sesame Street, Mall of America, and recently the Festival of Books in Los Angeles. And we’re planning on releasing a Fresh Beat Band CD.
Q – On the show, you’re best friends – do you guys hang out in real life?
A- We’re actually really good friends in real life. We go to the movies together, we have dinner and we hang out as much as possible.
Q – What do you do when you’re not taping the show? Hobbies, interests, etc?
A- We don’t have too much time to have fun. On the weekends we have to record. But when we’re not taping, we do our usual stuff:
Thomas – I love to travel and see other parts of the world. I think traveling really helps me with acting on the show. I also love watching movies. The latest movie that I saw was Super 8 and I’m proud to say that I laughed, I was scared, and I cried.
Tara – I love to watch movies. I like fishing, and spending time with friends and families. The last movies I saw were Super 8, Xmen, and Green Lantern. I’m a big sci fi nerd.
Yvette – I’ve been putting together an album – Spanish and English album. And the last movie I saw was Xmen. I loved it!
Jon – I like to make my own music. I like watching TV, and playing basketball – I grew up in Iowa so being as tall as I am, playing basketball wasn’t a choice – it was expected. I love to Rap. I play Chess. I love watching old movies in my trailer on the set. The latest movies I saw was Doctor StrangeLove starring Peter Sellers. I love actors who are real. We were on the set after filming the 3rd season and we got the opportunity to sign the rafters on the Paramount Studios.
Q – Tara– you’re the new girl on the show. How has your reception been since joining the cast and replacing Shayna? How has the cast and fans reacted to the sudden change?
Tara – The reaction has been good. Kids don’t see it as a difference yet. They just see the costume and a red-headed girl and everything is good.
Thomas – Adults have had said something mean though in a debate over Shayna and Tara. It’s just unnecessary to be so judgemental over a new actress playing the same character.
Yvette – We love having Tara on the show and we love her accent. Tara is from Arkansas.
Q – Tara – Marina’s character has a specific personality on the show, but I notice that you play it a little differently than Shayna did. Did you put your own personality into the character or were you told to play it exactly as the character should be?
Tara – Before joining the show, I watched all the previous episodes. I brought my own personality into Marina– I was trained in Improv so it’s really helped me with the character. I also trained with Jon doing Improv.
Q – You all play instruments and sing on the show – do any of you actually play instruments or sing on a daily basis?
A- Yes, we all play instruments on a daily basis. We all enjoy music in our own way.
Jon – I rap all the time because it’s what I do. I’m also planning on my own CD coming out soon.
Yvette – When I auditioned for the role of Kiki, I brought my violin and guitar and I said to the producers, “okay, so which instrument would you like me to play first?”
Q – Can you tell me anything about the upcoming episodes? Anything your fans should look out for?
A- On Season 3 there will be a lot of special guest stars. So look out for them.
Tara and Yvette – Stay tuned, a lot of great episodes are coming up.
Yvette, Tara, Thomas, and Jon were as gracious in real life as the characters they portray on The Fresh Beat Band. I was surprised to know that they are just a bunch of normal, hard-working, and fun-loving kids (although I probably shouldn’t call them kids), but they were super nice and incredibly real. No fake “Hollywood” actors here, guys!
So by now all of you should have watched their new episode, “Cool Pool Party”, right? Wasn’t it great! My son and I are definitely looking forward to the new season and the puzzles, excitement, and fun that comes with them!
The Fresh Beat Band airs on Nickelodeon and you can watch certain episodes on the Nickelodeon’s website: http://www.nickjr.com/the-fresh-beat-band/.