The Pop Culture Road Trip

I get to interview some
interesting people during my travels, for my newspaper column, radio show or
even for my pop culture travel books. But not on the level of someone else in
our household– our 13-year-old daughter, Claire.

For two years now, Claire has worked as one of about 12 national reporters for Time for Kids magazine. She earned the job by
competing in Time
annual writing contest, after being an avid reader of the weekly magazine. 

My wife and I of course were very proud of Claire’s accomplishment once she got the news, but it
was sort of in the abstract–it’s hard to imagine at that point what the experience
will entail. That changed soon. Claire’s third assignment was to sit down for
one-on-one interviews with Vanessa Hudgens, Zac Efron and Ashley Tisdale before
the movie High School Musical 3
was released. This was heady stuff for a 12-year-old who was a
big fan of this particular movie franchise.

Claire with Zac Efron

Since then, I’ve watched Claire fly the Goodyear Blimp, ride a 500-foot-high zip line
and swim with Beluga whales. She’s spoken with Larry King, Miley Cyrus, Alex Trebek, writers, scientists and countless young actors and actresses. 

In addition to watching Claire grow and thrive throughout this incredible experience, we’ve also had the opportunity to see a side of celebrity that’s fairly unique – one-on-one interactions that reveal interesting sides of some of the most famous people on the planet. 

Claire with Emma Watson

I’m happy to say that as far as the high-profile interviews Claire has done, her subjects have been most gracious and giving. Whether it’s Zac Efron asking (as a former TFK reader) how Claire got the job, to Vanessa Hudgens complimenting Claire’s hair, to Larry King giving her tips on broadcast journalism, we’ve really gotten to see the good side of some people we all know. 

As I said, my wife are extremely proud of Claire. She works hard as a TFK reporter, and I think she realizes that the experience will forever affect her life for the better.

But we’re also thankful that the experience has shown her the positive side of people who, even though they are very famous, have not forgotten the importance of being friendly, open and engaging  – especially to a 13-year old reporter.

Here is Claire’s latest piece – an interview with the Jonas Brothers.

Claire with the Jonas Brothers

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