I loved watching the Wiggles. In fact, I loved them so much that I took my two older kids to see them perform live three times over the course of five years. Now that Jeff, Murray and Sam (and Greg) are retired, and have passed their shirts on to the next generation of Wiggles, I'm excited to continue watching them entertain children everywhere, including my two-year old daughter.
I first heard of The Wiggles following the birth of my oldest son, Zack (he is now 10). From the moment we watched their first DVD (which ultimately led to watching ALL of their DVDs) we immediately knew why this group was such a phenomenon. Their Early Childhood Education training, catchy music and interesting songs have all contributed to their giant success around the world. And to top it off, they are super nice guys doing a job they love (and it shows).
I had the opportunity to meet the dynamic foursome: Anthony Field
(blue), Jeff Fatt (purple), Murray Cook (red) and Sam Moran (yellow) in prior to one of their live performances. I then interviewed Anthony a couple months later. Here is what he had to say about living a healthy lifestyle:
Andrea Donsky: You seem to be in excellent shape. How important is working out to you and what do you do to keep healthy and fit?
Anthony Field: For me working out and diet go together! My workout routine is a little bit different than most as I use the strength of my own body weight to get into shape (and not weights). My routine is exciting because it has me hanging off rings and swinging off bars and this helps to condition my body. I decided to go online to learn more about what body weight exercise is out there and what I could do to get into shape.
As for my diet, I recently changed it to include whole, unprocessed foods, fruits and vegetables. I reduced my intake of carbohydrates such as white bread and pasta and eat very little dairy. I never used to live by the Wiggles “Fruit Salad, Yummy, Yummy” theme. But now I do and I feel better for it.
Andrea Donsky: Do you or anyone in your family eat organic food or use organic products?
Anthony Field: In Australia, we grow our own organic tomatoes and fruit trees (lemons, dates and figs). My wife is great. She is first generation Greek-Australian so she is still uses her hands (laughs). We have organic fruit whenever we can get it and eat it as much as we can. I’m all for organic food. We also eat free range eggs and healthy oils. She believes in putting oil on toast instead of butter! We eat a lot of fish and vegetables (my wife likes to catch flat-head fish herself).
Andrea Donsky: Who was your role model as a child who set the stage for who you are today as a father and a children’s entertainer?
Anthony Field: My dad was my role model and a great father. He never put his foot wrong and if he did, he told us he did – which in my opinion never made it wrong. Basically, he always told us when he made mistakes and took responsibility for his actions. He was a pharmacist and used to give lectures in Australia about drugs and drug abuse. I learned a lot from him because he was a great entertainer when he was on stage giving his lectures.
Andrea Donsky: How do you maintain balance in your life while at home and on tour?
Anthony Field: We are on the road between 7 and 8 months of the year so maintaining family balance in hard (it’s not as balanced as it should be).
While on tour, I exercise excessively so I don’t get depressed. As far as eating and drinking are concerned, I refrain from drinking any alcohol and soft drinks (I’m not a fan of the high fructose corn syrup). All of this helps to keep my mind focused and balanced.
When I’m at home, I spend as much time as possible with my family so I can remember who I am. I also live by the water, so I spend time on the water which helps to balance me and connect me with nature.
Andrea Donsky: One memory I can’t shake from the last time I met you, was that there was a little girl with Down Syndrome whose mother flew her all the way from across the country to meet you (and the other Wiggles). The little girl was so happy she was crying the whole time she was talking to you. Her mother told all of you that The Wiggles is like the Beatles to her. How does that make you feel and what type of charitable work do you do when it comes to helping children?
Anthony Field: As a parent, it brings me back to earth and makes all of us feel grounded. While touring, we meet children every day who are seriously ill or have special needs. We meet them before the show and take pictures with them and their families. Our “Meet and Greet” gives us the opportunity to meet the wonderful parents and families who have been hit with the challenge to stay positive when their children are sick or disabled. We love doing it and we get much more out of it than we give.
Andrea Donsky: I have now seen the Wiggles perform live 3 times over the past 5 years and from what I could tell you’re all having a great time on stage. It’s inspiring to me. What tips for success can you share with us?
Anthony Field: There are a few things.
- You cannot take yourself too seriously. In Australia you’re in trouble if you do. It’s a real Australian thing.
- Gratitude. We have the best job in the world. I am grateful to the others in the group – Murray (Cook), Jeff (Fatt), Sam (Moran) and Paddy (AKA Paul Paddick or Captain Feathersword) and for the team we have put together.
- Team work & Encouragement. We are always trying to better ourselves and become more skilled. When one of us learns something new, we ask the others to join in and learn it to. For example, many of us do handstands on this tour and even hang on the rings.
- Constant Improvement. We always try to make the show better and because of that the shows keep getting better and better.
- Having Fun. We enjoy doing a great show and if the children are enjoying it, we feed off that. The kids are our audience and making them happy is our #1 priority.
Andrea Donsky: In my opinion, one of the Wiggles greatest accomplishments is that in many cases the parents are just as excited to see your performances as the kids. The show I saw had a sign in the audience that read: “Murray is my mommy’s favorite Wiggle”. The best part is that Murray read it aloud and started to laugh.
Anthony Field: I can relate to it because I recently went to the Dorothy the Dinosaur show and brought my 3 children with me. It was amazing because I was able to see it through their eyes and share in their excitement. For most parents, they get to know us through the countless times their kids are watching our DVDs so when they come to a show, they know all the words and can share in the excitement because they see how excited their kids are.
Andrea Donsky: Thank you for doing what you do and making kids around the world feel special.
Anthony Field: Thank you.