you guys! i can’t even believe that this happened, but by some stroke of good luck, i found myself getting to sit down and interview both julie andrews and her daughter emma walton hamilton last friday! together, they wrote and produced a new show which julie is starring in, called julie’s greenroom coming out on netflix this march for preschool aged children celebrating all things around the performing arts! josh and i were able to sit down and chat with them all about the process, what it’s like working together as a mother/daughter duo, and hear some incredible stories about how julie introduced and encouraged emma from an early age into the arts.
i have to tell you, i was so fidgety and shakey before the interview began. i kept pacing the room waiting for them to walk in and josh, who was with me, kept being like, “you okay?!” haha. but both women are so incredibly endearing and warm, within a matter of seconds after meeting them, all the nerves went out the window as we sat down to chat.
i asked them what advice they might have for parents trying to share their love for the arts with a younger generation? “exposure!” julie said immediately! “just expose them to the arts. the arts are for everyone. they are attainable, not elitist.” i loved that. i shared with her how as a mother who has a background in the arts with three little ones, i’m thankful to be in a city where we are surrounded by so much art and performances to share and introduce our children to. but what about if you’re outside a big metropolitan city, or what if you don’t really know much about the arts yourself let alone how to introduce your children to it? she said that because there are community theaters everywhere, that is a place to start. there is something for everyone, you don’t have to love being on stage, but the stage craft behind the stage is just as important! both emma and julie agreed that they hope their show will encourage little ones to want to go see a performance. “we hope a child will say, ‘can i go see that?’. if they say that, then we’ve done our job.”
speaking of exposing little ones to the arts at an early age, julie and emma shared with me that they co-authored their first story together when emma was only 5 years old. emma loved writing, which is something julie also loved as a child. julie told me that she encouraged emma to write her first story, which she helped her with, and her father helped her illustrate. it later turned into one of their early collaborations, “simeon’s gift.” julie said that she and emma’s father were divorced, but she helped her write it, and then had her take the book to her dad’s house to illustrate it (as he is an artist) because she knew how special it’d be to emma to have that be not just “their thing,” but a “family thing.” since then, emma and julie have co-authored over 30 children’s books together since that first book years ago.
i also loved learning that when walt disney first came to julie to offer her the role of mary poppins, she said she’d love to do it, but was pregnant with emma at the time. he replied, “that’s alright. we’ll wait.” !!!!! and gosh aren’t we all so glad they waited for her?! (ps. do you remember when josh and i were bert and mary poppins for halloween our first year of marriage?!)
i still can’t believe i was invited to sit down and chat with someone i have looked up to since i was a little girl. just the other night, i sang every song i knew from the sound of music to my three little ones as they fell asleep in the nursery. conrad might only be two, but he tries to keep up with the tune and repeat the words as best he can every time i sing “a few of my favorite things” and it makes my heart so happy. the arts are such an incredible way to bring inspiration, joy and purpose to life, and in times like now where things often feel more chaotic and disheartening, i know we need them now more than ever. such a special afternoon that’ll i’ll never forget! ah!
anyway, i’m looking forward to checking out their new show with my kiddos. it premieres on netflix march 17th! i always love finding new enriching shows for my kiddos and after hearing about all the guest stars, musical numbers and emphasis on the beauty of the arts this one has in store, i think it’s going to be something pretty special.