Interview with Alex and Emilie of Signing Time

Uploaded by SigningTime on 08.04.2011

I am Emilie. And I'm Alex.
This is my mom. And who am I in terms of
"Signing Time!"? She's the co-creator of "Signing
Time!", along with Rachel Yep.
I'm that other co-creator when you see "co-creator."
[ Laughs ] And Alex is one of the original
stars of "Signing Time!" and my oldest son.
Well, yes, she did, but we barely ever call her by her
actual name. Yeah, it took us a while to name
our daughter Eliza. That's her name.
Apparently, somebody wrote in and said, did our new baby ever
get a name? Her name is Eliza.
And, yeah, what do we call her? [ Meows ]
Well, before she had a name, we just called her Kitty, and that
just stuck. Yeah.
We would be like, "Oh, hi, Kitty."
This is fabulous, 'cause Eliza's 6 months old, and I know that in
the next couple months, she's gonna be signing, so every time
I nurse her or feed her, we sign "milk."
And she recognizes the sign when I sign it.
She gets all, you know, kicking and excited and happy.
And I'll hold her little hand, and she starts to kind of look
at it. But she hasn't really, I don't
think, made the connection, or just maybe motor-skills-wise,
she's not, you know, ready to do it.
But I know within the next couple months, she's gonna be
signing. And we're excited about that,
because you can see wheels turning in her brain, you know?
It's like she has all these things she wants to say as she
babbles and coos. And we're just really thrilled
to get that first sign, 'cause we know after that, bunch more
signs. What was it like working
together on "Signing Time!"? Do you remember?
You've pretty much being doing this your whole life.
What'd you think? It was pretty cool being on a
show that my mom created along with my aunt and my cousin.
Yeah? We joke around about "Signing
Time!" is sort of like the family farm, you know?
Because in the olden days, families would work on the farm
and the kids would help and, you know, the mom would work on the
laundry and the daughters would be sewing and the sons would go
and plow the fields. And this is kind of our
modern-day version of the family farm, 'cause Alex has to do
voice-over, acting and Zach has to do voice-over or singing in
the kids' choir and I'm, you know, writing or helping produce
and grandpa's working there and Aunt Rachel and Uncle Aaron and
cousin Leah. And so, what do you think?
Kind of like a family farm? Mm-hmm.
Would you rather be plowing or acting?
I would much rather be acting. There you go.
I think I get paid better for that.
So, I think it was pretty funny. Like, Alex and Leah were so
young, and they were toddlers when we first started.
And I remember getting so frustrated with Alex, because he
wouldn't follow directions. And I'm like, "He was 4.
He was 3 and 4 years old and 5 and 6."
And so, I remember Rachel and I realized -- we're like, "Wait a
minute. They don't know how long they're
gonna be here, like, you know, how many scenes they have to do
or how many days of filming." So we started, like, telling
them specifically. "Okay, you've got 10 scenes, and
when they're done, you're done." And then we would go to
Toys "R" Us and get LEGOs, remember?
Yeah. They got paid in LEGOs.
[ Laughs ] So, we would, like, you know,
tape a dollar to the side of the camera, and, "When you get this
scene right, you get your dollar."
And it was just funny to realize, you know, they're
little kids, and we know that we're doing this and there's an
end in mind and it'll end. And they're little kids and
they're, like, playing and they're going, "Okay, wait.
At some point, this isn't fun anymore."
And so we had to learn to think like a kid and make it a game
for them so that they could enjoy the process and know that
it wasn't they're just gonna be filming for the rest of their
life. For the most part, you know what
was the highest motivator for you guys?
What? You tape dollar bill on the
front of the camera, and we're like...
Yep. And then you wanted to go to
Toys "R" Us and buy LEGOs. Mm-hmm.
Both of you.