If you wander through Sinking Ship Entertainment during the summer months, you might think you’ve entered into an episode of Odd Squad, where the characters from multiple children’s TV show posters lining the walls have come to life in young adult form, working entry-level jobs right in front of your eyes.
But your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. The unmistakable redhead sitting in the accounting office with laser focus is indeed the grown-up version of Daniel Cook, whom the world fell in love with over a decade ago when he starred in Sinking Ship’s very first show, “This is Daniel Cook”.
And the teenager with impeccable fashion that you see working away in the editing department is indeed the star of the show that took home the Daytime Emmy Award for best preschool program – Trek Buccino from Dino Dan: Trek’s Adventure.
The most convincing clue that you’re in an episode of Odd Squad, however, would be “Agent Oscar” (or Sean Kyer) sitting in the middle of the production department, working away with the same zest he had as the quirky scientist at Odd Squad’s headquarters.
But there’s more – if you were to step onto the set of Dino Dana, you might catch the sight of Annedroids star “Anne” (Addison Holley) shadowing various directors, or Annedroids’ “Nick” (Jadiel Dowlin) checking in on episodes he wrote (yes, you read that correctly, a teenage scriptwriter!).
Daniel was the first to return to Sinking Ship, and partner J.J. Johnson could not have been more thrilled that the little boy who inspired the start of the company was now “coming home” to work there as a young adult. Since then, J.J. has delighted in welcoming back several former cast members and helping them discover their passion. These talented young adults could be doing anything (including acting; in fact, 3 of the 5 mentioned are Emmy-nominated actors!), yet they have chosen to lend their talents behind the scenes, where they have a unique perspective and expertise to share. J.J. is not unconvinced that they’ll all be running the place some day!
See below for insight from 4 of these individuals on what surprised them from going in front to behind the camera, and some of their thoughts on children’s TV content!
Colleen Russo Johnson, PhD; Co-Director, Center for Scholars and Storytellers
*In addition to her role as co-director of CSS, Colleen Russo Johnson is also the Director of Research at Sinking Ship Entertainment and married to Sinking Ship partner J.J. Johnson.