by Janis Brett Elspas
From the minute we drove through the iconic gates of Paramount Studios on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood, we were treated like stars. That's because last week we were invited to spend the afternoon here with just a handful of other bloggers and their families for a behind-the-scenes media event on the The Fresh Beat Band set.
No sooner had the cheerful and polite attendant valet parked our family-sized Ford Expedition, did the kids' eyes widen as if they'd walked into a fairytale. Paramount, they realized immediately, was a self-sufficient mini city within the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles that even has its own Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf store. Important looking studio executives in suits milled around on the lot's trailer-lined narrow streets winding between the sound stages. Actors and actresses could be seen roaming freely, without having to worry about fans hounding them for autographs while other talent and Hollywood types were eating lunch outside the famed studio commissary.
At the press check in table we were greeted warmly by the show's media relations team. Inside the press kit mom found information about The Fresh Beat Band show, the cast and crew as well as details on the special FBB episode for Earth Day tomorrow . Inside, too, was the 411 on the band's upcoming live free public musical performances at the Los Angeles Book Festival on the Target Children's Stage on Saturday and Sunday April 24 - 25.
Jamba Juice Slushies, courtesy of The Fresh Beat Band. The biggest thrill of all, though, was when they saw the Nick CD among all the fun stuff we received. It was the final cut of "Bubble Blast," the FBB episode that airs this week. Since we've already seen it, I can simply tell you, that your kids are in for a treat. Luckily, Nickelodeon gave me a few clips from this episode that they've permitted me to share in advance with all MommyBlogExpert's readers and their children.
Though The Fresh Beat Band series which airs on Nickelodeon is geared toward kids from 3 to 8 years old -- and my triplets almost 13, and big brother, 14 were by far the oldest kids there -- each of us felt captivated by something different during this visit. Above is a picture of the Fresh Beat Band cast in a scene from the brand new April 22 episode for Earth Day.
Our 14 year-old was absolutely fascinated with just about everything electronic and technical that is used to produce the show -- cameras, monitors, lights, cables, and all manner of set gadgets, while his triplet brother was taken in by the sets on the sound stage, their design and mechanics, and how they can be completely changed in 10 minutes or less for a new scene. The older triplet girl just loved seeing the talent working and getting to meet them all, especially because her clarinet teacher Dave Wilson, a professional musician, is good friends with Yvette who plays "Kiki" on the show. At the same time her middle triplet sister couldn't get enough of an eye-full of all the wonderfully colorful costumes, accessories, makeup, and hair styles -- she was particularly enamored by the hot pink high top sneakers that Kiki wears in every episode.
In my own words as a mom of triplets plus one more and as creator of MommyBlogExpert, the blog you are now reading, I think Fresh Beat Band can best be described as a High School Musical-type program for younger children that also has appeal for tweens, and possibly early teens. In fact, I personally believe that the program's initial success can be attributed largely to its wholesome musical format featuring age-appropriate original pop songs and instruments along with an important message.
What makes Fresh Beat Band even more of a stand-out in children's programming is that it helps kids grasp the fundamentals of music while at the same time modeling positive character traits for kids to emulate. This is a great way to teach children about friendship, working together, and respecting what makes each of us unique individuals. I can't think of another program on any cable channel or the major networks that comes even close to filling that sort of niche.
You'll be hearing more about my kids' first-hand accounts about visiting the set when they've finished writing their own blogposts at a later date. Please be patient though, since they're home schooled and enrolled in a gifted independent study program that is offered by our school district and they have a lot of classwork to catch up on. I'll post their mini reports to MommyBlogExpert as soon as I possibly can.
So, stay tuned for these child eye-witness reports to The Fresh Beat Band set, as well as an online scrapbook filled with pictures mom took with her iPhone and each of the the kids took with their own digital cameras, too.
About The Fresh Beat Band
A new FBB episode called "Bubble Blast" will be broadcast tomorrow that was created for Nickelodeon's green-themed Earth Day programming. This special edition of the show can be viewed on Thursday, April 22 at 12 noon ET/PT on Nickelodeon.
The Fresh Beat Band, airs weekdays on Nickelodeon, regularly at 1:30 p.m. ET/PT
This kids' program is the brain-child of co-creators Nadine Van Der Velde and Scott Kraft, a husband-wife team raising two daughters of their own: Bea and Gabi. This duo, two parents who sincerely advocate for appropriate programming for youngsters, also serve as the project's executive producers.
Filmed on the lot at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, California, this show features a brilliant cast including: Kiki (Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer), Twist (Jon Beavers), Marina (Shayna Rose), and fall guy Shout (Thomas Hobson), all who do comedy, acting, dancing, singing and playing of musical instruments in each episode. FBB, which brings a different but important message to kids in each week's episode, is presently in production on their second season. The band's first two singles -- "Great Day" and "The Fresh Beat Band Theme Song" -- are currently on iTunes.
Stop by the show's official website on NickJr.com 24/7 for lots of fun activities you and your kids can do online together, like desktop wall paper downloads, arts & craft ideas, coloring pages, themed recipes, videos and more.
FTC Disclosure: For this story and several other related posts, MommyBlogExpert and family were invited to a behind-the-scenes tour event at Paramount Studios where The Fresh Beat Band is filmed as well as received the opportunity to view an advanced copy of the final cut of FBB's "Bubble Blast" episode. We further disclose that we received autographed pictures of the cast, coloring pages, and stickers on set. However, MommyBlogExpert and family did not receive any payment or other compensation to write this review. See complete FTC Disclosure information that appears at the bottom of MommyBlogExpert's main page and at the bottom of every individual post on this blog, including this one.