Did you enjoy part 1 of my interview with Trish, yesterday? Trish’s enthusiasm for Hi-5 is infectious, and I hope you had as much fun reading about how much she loves them as I had talking to her about it.
Today we’ll take a look at what sets Trish apart when it comes to fandom. Many fans are content to admire from afar or maybe start a little local club or something. Most fans never have any sort of impact on the person or group they admire. Trish has not only followed Hi-5 through the years but has actually developed relationships with its members (and perhaps influenced their performances!), and her Hi-5 MySpace is considered the go-to location for United States Hi-5 news.
Clearly Trish is in the mob. Oh, wait. That’s not it. Clearly Trish has gone the extra mile to both network with other fans and make connections with the group itself, and I’d like to point out that I doubt it’s a coincidence that a busy mom was able to make such a mark. You go, Trish!
Still think that Hi-5 has a modest fan base? Read on….
Toy Box Mommy: You mentioned finding a Yahoo! group online dedicated to Hi-5 as your first foray into finding other Hi-5 fans.
Trish from Memphis: After that first time Zoe and I saw them on television, I looked up Curtis on the internet and found CurtisCregan.com. Then I found a group on Yahoo! with about 30 members, all adults who were just as infatuated with Hi-5 as me. The Yahoo! members all wanted to learn more about Hi-5 and the five cast members we watched on TV each day. At the time, the only information on the ‘net was about an Australian group with the same name but a totally different cast.
After two years, the original Hi-5 Yahoo! Group has grown to 7,000 members strong and sprouted 6 more Hi-5 Yahoo Groups
TBM: Six separate discussion groups? Really? What do you… do there?
Trish: As fans, we talk about Hi-5 to everyone so much that many of our friends and family feel that we are over the top with how devoted we are about spreading the word. I have been labeled “obsessed” a “stalker” and a “crazed wannabe groupie” — and that’s all from my husband! (He actually limits my “Hi-5 Time” so I can get my other work done!)
The Yahoo! Group “Boardies” have donated Hi-5 videos and DVDs to schools, hospitals and libraries. We’ve also distributed Hi-5 stickers, Hi-5 autograph cards, Hi-5 promotional DVDs and we’ve just finished hanging posters around town advertising the new Hi-5 DVDs. We work hard but, honestly, we love doing it.
The cast of Hi-5 enjoys the attention and adoration from their fans and appreciates the work we put into spreading the word out about the show. Every time I’ve been to a “meet and greet” session after a Hi-5 concert, every member would thank me for the work I did for them. Shaun is so sweet he says it like a million times!
TBM: So the group is aware of the discussion groups and your MySpace page?
Trish: Definitely. Recently, several PR people behind Hi-5 have joined our Yahoo! Groups. They’ve seen my Hi-5 MySpace and seem to have been listening to what the fans want — whether it’s merchandise or tour dates and venues. It’s really great to see an entity like Hi-5 pay attention to the consumers and strive to make us happy.
I often include a Captain Puffy Pants statement in my signature when I send posts to the Yahoo! Groups. The cast and “the powers that be” read the boards and they actually included the skit in the Move Your Body tour two years ago. They knew I’d go nuts (and I did)!
Hi-5 has a great PR team working hard to get them the national recognition the show deserves. Of course, there is much more that could be done… and that’s where the fans come into play.
TBM: Right, fans like you! Tell me about starting your Hi-5 MySpace.
Trish: There used to be a music MySpace for Hi-5 last summer. It didn’t have much information and the songs didn’t work half the time. It was taken down in August and a few weeks later I put my Hi-5 MySpace together. It sat for about two months, in private mode, with just a few pictures and a little info. One by one the hardcore fans started to find me and I would add them as friends.
After hearing that Hi-5 was going to release two new DVDs, I stayed up until 3 a.m. perfecting the site. I try to keep on top of all the latest info as well as the latest Hi-5 sightings and video clips of appearances, concerts and promo ads. I try to include lots of information about former members Karla and Shaun and their endeavors after Hi-5, as well as info about newest members Yasmeen and Sydney and their careers prior to Hi-5.
TBM: Wow, I bet the cast loves it.
Trish: If you check out my Hi-5 MySpace, you’ll see that Jenn and Kimee both sent me video “thank you”s for the page… and gave their approval. They are such sweet people.
TBM: Well I have a feeling it would be hard not to like you, Trish. Just a hunch I have. So what’s next for you and Hi-5?
Trish: I’m really looking forward to the new tour kicking off February 17th. Here’s hoping that they make a stop near Memphis this time. It’s been almost 2 years since I’ve seen Hi-5 and I can’t wait to meet Yasmeen and Syd!
Many, many thanks to Trish for talking to me about Hi-5, her MySpace page dedicated to them, and the world of Hi-5 fandom. I really enjoyed my little peek into her world, and encourage all Hi-5 fans to stay tuned to her Hi-5 MySpace for the latest Hi-5 news.
Hi-5 fan group
American Hi-5 fan group
Jennifer Peterson-Hind fan group
Karla’s Hi-5 Korner
Shaun Taylor-Corbett fan group
Curtis Cregan fan group
Yasmeen Sulieman fan group
Sydney James fan group
Kimee Balmilero fan group (Trish runs this one)