We talk to Story Surprise, world-famous children’s entertainers
By Melina Byrne.
Lauren and Anthony, from Story Surprise, share some children’s songs and story-time sessions that will keep your children entertained. They also tell us about their favourite toys and musical instruments. Richmond Toy Library (RTL): Tell us more about Story Surprise. And congratulations on your podcast award nomination.
Lauren and Anthony: “Thank you, we are very excited about our nomination for the Australian Podcast Awards. Story Surprise came about as a bit of a happy accident. We are both actors and directors and when the pandemic hit, we lost all our work in the performing arts. To cheer up our nephews, we decided to video ourselves acting out a favourite picture book. They loved it and so we began sharing our videos with other families. Very quickly the project escalated and videos grew to include storytelling segments, craft segments and music segments. We began writing our own children's music and collaborated with Little Rockers Radio to turn Story Surprise into a podcast for kids as well. In early 2021, we took all of the kids’ content we created in the online space in 2020 and transformed it into a live show, which we toured to libraries in May. We're looking forward to getting Story Surprise back on stage again and continuing to grow! We love what we do. We aim to create an inclusive space for all children.”
RTL: What are your most popular YouTube videos?
Lauren and Anthony: “Our most popular YouTube videos are ‘Finger Family Song’ (we put a Story Surprise twist on a family fave) and our music video for original Story Surprise song, 'Holiday.' 'Holiday' is all about using your imagination to take you anywhere! We also wrote a song called 'Germs!'. This music video was shared widely by The Age newspaper. The video is all about making hand washing fun. The chorus goes for exactly twenty seconds, which is the recommended time to wash your hands. So, you can sing the song and scrubadubdub the germs away knowing you've done a great job! One of our personal favourites is our video 'The Tooth Tooth Train' - all about making teeth brushing fun. We've recently recorded our original song professionally and we're looking forward to releasing it soon. Our favourite complete Story Surprise episode that has been very well received is 'Simon and the Sad Salad.' We were very lucky to film this episode on stage at The Clocktower Centre in the Moonee Valley.
RTL: What’s your next video project? Lauren and Anthony: “We have three new songs that we've recently recorded and we're looking forward to sharing! One of these songs is an Aussie Christmas song, which we know the mums and dads will also enjoy. For this one, we have two members of the Story Surprise band joining us for the vocals. It's a lot of fun!”
RTL: What are your favourite toys? Lauren and Anthony: “Our favourite toy is of course.... the talking Story Surprise Teddy Bear - Mick! Although, don't tell him he's only a toy. He'll be very offended! Mick joins us for our podcast and lots of our videos. They are an integral part of Story Surprise and the kids just love them! Mick is always cracking jokes and keeping us on our toes. Mick is even a part of our live show!”
RTL: What are your favourite musical instruments?
Lauren and Anthony: “Here at Story Surprise, we love the banjo. Anthony plays the banjo and it's our signature sound. You'll hear Anthony's wonderful banjo skills in lots of our music and in the background of every podcast episode. Lauren plays the spoon pretty well too!”
RTL: Thank you for your support of our Toy Library. What do you love about toy libraries?
Lauren and Anthony: “Toy libraries reduce the number of toys that families feel pressure to buy. Sustainability through play is so important! It also helps teach little ones to value and take care of the toys and means each toy is loved and thoroughly enjoyed instead of sitting in a cupboard collecting dust or eventually contributing to landfill.” You can find more about Story Surprise at