Monday, November 9, 2009

Nathan Foley

Nathan Foley.

Do I know who he is?


I have no idea.

I guess I'll go ask my old friend, Lord Wiki.

Funny. There's actually two Nathan Foley's. One is a football player. The other works on a kid's TV show.

Which one do you think I want to write about?

I'll give you a hint. It won't be the football guy.

And I love children's TV shows. My favorite right now is the new Electric Company.

The show that Nathan Foley was on was Hi-5. I have a song ("Three Wishes") on my I-Tunes from Hi-5, and I used it in some of our home videos. But I'm actually not sure if this is the Australian H-5, or if it comes from the American version of the show. Maybe doing this post will help me answer that question.

Actually, I have the answer already....I think. The people in the "Three Wishes" video don't look like the ones on the American website. So I'm going to assume the song comes from Australia.

Back to Nathan. He was born on 27 September 1979. He's two years younger than my little sister. He was born in Liverpool, which is a suburb in Sydney. It's a few minutes south of Cabramatta.

Foley started performing when he was ten. For seven years, he participated in a talent show sponsored by Coca-Cola.

In 1997, Foley graduated from something called the Talent Development Project. He would have been about eighteen then.

People audition for the program. It sounds pretty competitive. Then they do workshops, and stuff like that.

I don't think I've written about this before, but people I've researched in the past have been part of the program. Amanda Harrison and Angus and Julie Stone.....I'm not sure how I missed it.

This is interesting. The website says the auditions are open to any year 10, 11, or 12 students who go to PUBLIC school. I guess private school students are out of luck. Although those kids have Triple J and all that. What was that program that helped Missy Higgins get her start?

Ah! Kool Skools.

The Talent Development Project is actually sponsored by the government, so I guess it would make sense that they help kids going to government schools.

In his late teens/early adulthood, Foley did some TV appearances. By 1998, he was working with Hi-5.

He's won a lot of awards for his participation in that show...including an ARIA and Logie. Oh. And he won a Helpmann award too. Cool!

On 12 November 2008, Foley announced he was leaving Hi-5. He wanted to pursue a solo career. I wonder how that's going for him.

Now I'm going to read what Lord Wiki has to say about Hi-5.

It started in Foley came onboard close to the beginning. The woman who started it was the creator of Bananas in Pajamas.

The executive-producer of McLeod's Daughters (Posie Graeme-Evans) helped Mrs. Bananas-in -Pajamas with Hi-5.

It looks like all of the original cast members have now left. It's like McLeod's Daughters. Hardly any of the original actors were left at the end. But most of the Hi-5 people stayed for several years. They weren't scared away too fast.

Here's the official website for Hi-5. It has pretty colors, and a song that makes me want to jump up and dance.

That Chatterbox puppet looks a little scary.

Casey reminds me of my sister's friend Andrea. She has the same smile.

Jup Jup is cute. I wouldn't mind giving him a little cuddle.

The website has some art projects that kid can do. The pig bookmark is a perfect example of cookie-cutter art. The graduate school I went to was very much against this, and I pretty much share their views. Cookie Cutter art is lacking in creativity. If you go to your kid's classroom and see that her donkey plate looks just like the donkey plate to her left, right, top, and bottom....that is cookie cutter art. Instead of letting children be creative, it lets parents get excited. Ooh. How cute! My son made a ladybug that looks like a lady bug!

I do think that cookie cutter art has SOME place in the lives of children. Although it doesn't promote creativity (might even stifle it a bit), it's good for learning how to follow directions. It's good for skill building, and can give kids a sense of accomplishment. There can also be a sense of look at the cool things we can create with simple materials.

But I believe creativity is the most important aspect of art. And I think, for the most part, children should be given paint, crayons, pencils, scrap paper, and allowed to play around.

The website has some games. I'm going to check them out.

My goodness. This Chatterbox game is for preschoolers, and I can't figure it out. Maybe it's for Australian brains, and not American ones.

Okay. Finally! I got it.

I'm just not having a good connection with Chatterbox.

The Spaceship game is pretty cool. It's like a video version of one of those Montessori know where you fit the shape into the right slot. The game also has a bit of a Tetris feel to it.

Well, I've had enough of games for now.

Nathan Foley has his own website. It took a long time to load. I'm not sure if it's my computer, or the site. The website looks very un-Hi-5. I think Foley is trying to break away from that certain image. He looks all dark and brooding.

I think this is one of those sites where I can't link to individual pages. Sorry.

I'm reading some biography stuff now.

As a child, Foley liked Stevie Wonder, Lionel Ritchie, and John Farnham. One of my favorite bloggers went to a Farnham concert. I hadn't heard of him before she mentioned that.

When Foley was two, his family went on holiday. A band played at the place they stayed at. Foley jumped on stage to perform with them. How cute.

During his childhood, Foley's parents tried to find an activity that would fit him. They tried karate, soccer, football, etc. He did okay with all of them, but nothing quite clicked. I wonder if they were the type of parents who felt boys needed to be in sports. Well, I mean because all these activities are athletic. Although they say they were looking for an activity that would help channel Foley's high levels of energy. I suppose sports is a good place to start.

When Foley was five, he made his parents stop because he saw a Michael Jackson record in a second-hand music store. They bought him the record, and he played it obsessively. Was this before or after the karate, football, and karate?

Anyway, Foley started performing for his friends and neighbors. Then when he was nine, his mom found an audition for him.

In the vocal contest, Foley sang "The Wind Beneath My Wings". He loved being on stage, and the audience seemed to love him. He came in at second place. Pretty good!

Foley began using his singing for charity work. He sang for local senior citizens, and he sang for a cancer organization called Camp Quality.

When Foley was seventeen, he was offered a role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. He got the part of Asher, but also was the understudy for Joseph. The production company was going to tour around the world. It sounds like an exciting opportunity. Foley turned it down. He decided he wanted to finish high school.

I would have chosen the show....probably. But it seems Foley made the right choice. If he had been touring, he would have missed the auditions for Hi-5.

So everything worked out.

Nathan has a blog on his site, but it's not working for me. Oh well.

I'm going to listen to some of his music.

I think some of it is from when he was a least I hope so. Okay, it is. The Good Times album has songs from when Foley was ten.

I'm not sure that his music is my type of thing.

This article says that Foley got a part in Jerry Springer: The Opera. Foley plays one of the crazed audience members.

Ah! Here's some celebrity gossip. Foley was once engaged to another Hi-5 member....Kellie Hoggart.

This article has even more gossip. It seems leaving Hi-5 wasn't completely Foley's choice. Rumor has it that he left because he knew he was going to be replaced with someone younger.

Well, that's kind of sad. Pitiful actually....I mean if it's true. Children need consistency. For some of them, it's hard to deal with change. And it's also as if the show is promoting ageism.

The article says, The new yet-to-be-announced cast members are believed to be almost a decade younger than Foley and Hoggart and infinitely cheaper to employ for concert tours.

I vaguely remember reading some negativity regarding the set of McLeod's Daughters. Now I'm hearing stuff about Hi-5. It does make me wonder, but I'll TRY not to jump to any conclusions.

Here's more fun stuff. According to this article, Hi-5 performers had lifestyle restrictions. Now I can understand not wanting your performers doing porno movies, but it seems Foley was banned from riding a motorbike. Yikes!

They were also restricted from skydiving. What?!

And no tattoos. Once Foley quit, he got a few. Look. Anthony Field from The Wiggles has some tattoos. It didn't ruin their show, or corrupt any poor innocent children.

I'm going to watch some videos now.

Here's Foley singing about a rainy day. I like children's music.

Here's Foley going on an African safari. I like his voice better when he's doing kid songs. But it's probably best for him that he's off the show.

Here's Foley and another former Hi-5 guys doing a non Hi-5 performance. This was from July. It's in a place called The Basement in Sydney. They do a lot of talking. It's taking a long time for the song to come on.

I like Foley's singing here.

YouTube has this interview with Foley. I guess not many people know about it. It's had only
thirty-one views. It's from something called The Gallery. It looks like cable-access stuff.

Foley says his idol/mentor is Stevie Wonder.

Starting in year 8, Foley went to Newton High School of the Performing Arts. He liked that. He and the interviewer talk about how it can benefit kids to be with other kids who share their interest and talents.

Foley complains that Australian talent is not promoted enough. People are more interested in bringing folks over from overseas. Is that true? From what I've read, it seems Australia DOES do a lot for their performers. It seems like there's at least good programs for students.

I don't think they've mentioned Hi-5 yet. I wonder if this was done BEFORE those days....

Actually, it is. He talks about just graduating from the Talented Development Project.

How funny. This is history!

So maybe back then (1997)...Aussie artists WERE ignored.

Foley mentions that he's going to be soon doing a pilot for a TV show, but he can't say what it is. It's probably not Hi-5. That didn't come until later.

He said his voice broke at about age eleven or twelve. Tim and I were talking about that once. Jack's voice has always been fairly low, so we're wondering if it will still go through a dramatic change. This website says some boys go through a dramatic quick change, and some have a more slow change. Interesting....

Foley says his favorite instrument is the guitar, but he also plays the piano, harmonica, and a little big of the didgeridoo.

Foley sings "Georgia on My Mind". We lived in Atlanta from about 1985 to 1992. But I usually don't have Georgia on my mind. I usually have Australia on my mind, and if not that...NYC and Madison.

Here's part two of the interview.

Foley says that often singers think about the performance--their voice, their movements, etc. He believes instead they should pay attention to the WORDS of the song....get to the soul of it all. I agree. That's exactly what I do when I sing in the shower.

The interviewer says that a lot of people have only one talent. Foley has multiple ones.

I disagree....I mean not about Foley having multiple talents. I find that most talented people are talented in many areas. If they sing, they also dance and act. If they write, the also act and direct. If they swim, they're also good with horses. If they paint, they also sculpt.....

Well, I'm done for now.

I wish Foley well in his solo career. I hope he goes far.


  1. Nathan is way too hyperactive IMO, but the kids loved him.

    I think the dangerous activity ban came in after his co-star Tim, had a serious motorbike accident breaking almost every bone in his body and not being able to return to Hi-5.

  2. Missyboo,

    Sad about Tim. I can understand banning dangerous activities, but tattoos? And even with dangerous activities...someone can be hit by a bus while crossing the street.