On this special edition of the INTERVUE, Dean on the Scene has traveled to the land where he and hundreds of fans were invited to meet the members of the club that’s made for you and me M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E! The Mouseketeers from the Mickey Mouse Club has come back to Orlando for three fun-filled days of Mousekememories in the epic MMC30, the Mickey Mouse Club 30th Anniversary Reunion! Its Day 2 of the festivities and I got the chance to live out a dream of mine: to meet and greet the Mouseketeers before the “Mousketeers & Memories” event at the World Showcase at Disney’s Epcot! These sets of interviews is so long that we had to divided into two parts. Enjoy Part 1
First up is Blain Carson who served in the club from Season four to season five!
So, what are some of your fondest memories of being on “MMC?”
Too many to mention. I love working with the people, working with all of the crew and the cast, the mischief we got into. If you were at the session earlier, you would have heard about some of the mischief we got into.
I’ve heard a lot about the mischief and more than I can care too. (laughs)
It was getting away with something. That’s what we had to do. We were kids, this was our childhood too, right?
It was, absolutely. And tell us, for the folks who want to know what you are doing now. What are you doing nowadays?
So, I’m still a singer/songwriter. I’m still in Nashville, but I work with non-profits. I help my customers understand their data so that they can report to policymakers, and senior/disabled people. To help that community, I really love it. It’s what I do; I’m passionate about it.
Next I am talking to Jason Minor, a mouseketeer from the third through the fifth seasons and native of Bowie, MD
How did you get involved with the MMC? Tell us your story.
So, I auditioned for a lot of stuff in New York, because I grew up in the D.C area.
Really? I’m from the D.C. area!
Ok, well I grew up in Bowie, MD.
I went to college in Bowie, MD!
Bowie State? That’s awesome!
Yes! Oh, my God, we are kindred spirits! Yes!
That’s right! PG county, right? So, I did that and I was on tour doing a show, Gypsy, that went to Broadway. And Max Cassella, who we talked about, he called my manager and said, “I’m in Dallas. If Jason’s close to Dallas…” Literally I was coming into Dallas. And then, I just auditioned and it just kind of matriculated from there, then made the show. It was like a whirlwind of six months.
Oh, my goodness. And what do you miss about doing MMC?
I really do miss—this is going to be so cliché.
Go for it.
I really miss the camaraderie with everybody. The creativity with everybody was always going and then just the fun. It was like our own little clique, I guess, really of creative, dorky, cool kids all at the same time.
What do you want to say to all our D.C. peeps out there who are watching? What do you want to say to them?
Man, you know what? If you watch the show or anything like that, understand it took a lot of work, but it was a ton of fun. And I said earlier in the Q&A at MegaCon, you’ve just got to constantly hustle. You can’t stop. You have to constantly hustle if you want to get to what you want to do.
Following Jason, is the sensational Jennifer McGill. I have interviewed Jennifer a couple of years ago when she released her EP Unbreakable.
You were one of the three who made it from the pilot to the end. What are some of your fondest memories?
I actually love finding out who the new cast members would be that year. I love returning to my older family, but it was cool to see who was going to be there, like how we were going to diversify this year, and then finding out what they like to do talent-wise, and just getting to know people, you know?
Because that was really my world. That was my new friend for the year. That was my new family member for the year, and so finding out who our new cast members were was one of my favorite things. And find out the song list for what I was going to get to sing, and what we were going to do for music videos, because the music was my favorite part.
Well, speaking of the music, what was your favorite song to sing when you were on the show?
I do love “Home” from The Wiz; I love “The Hate To Wear The Stupid Costume Blues.
I love that song!
And we do have a surprise later regarding that. It’s not what you think it is, but it is regarding that. And I love Hanging On For Dear Life.
A sleeper hit was I’ll Wait.
Because I sang it angry.
I was almost graduating high school and I sang it angry.
Coming up is DeeDee Magno Hall. She was a Mousekeeter from 1989 – 1991. During the third season, she was part of the MMC music group, The Party. Now, she is the voice of Pearl on Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe.
You have done it all. You’ve done MMC: you’ve done Broadway: you’ve done the cartoon world. Do you have time for anything else?
I have time to talk to you!
That’s right, you do. So, how did you get involved with the MMC in the first place?
I auditioned like everyone else. I auditioned in Los Angeles, and then finally I got to the screen test here in Orlando, and gosh, 1989 I guess. I remember getting the phone call from my manager, and it was surreal, it was surreal. And my whole family packed up their whole lives and moved to Orlando so that I could be on the Mickey Mouse Club, and it’s one of my biggest regrets that I didn’t bring my parents, my brothers, and sisters, here tonight because I honestly would not be here without them. So, I just owe it all to them, really.
Next is Lindsay Alley. She is one of three cast members who have been through club for all seven seasons.
How are we doing tonight?
I feel so good. I’ve cried so much this weekend already for feeling so overwhelmed, emotionally. I’m barely hanging on.
You’re barely hanging on? I’m barely hanging on just interviewing you.
I’m so excited to be here.
So what is it like to see all of your cast members for this weekend, years later?
Oh, my gosh! It’s surreal! It really is surreal. It’s amazing how many memories come flooding back the moment you see a certain person. I was just saying to Roque today when I hugged her, “you even smell the same!”
She was wearing the same perfume, and it just warmed my heart on every level. So it’s just wonderful to see everybody. We were really a family.
Absolutely, and you’re still a family to this day. In fact, later we’re going to see Blood, Sweat and Mousketeers.” For those who have not heard of the play, tell us what it’s all about.
Well, you kind of just have to see it. It’s a little musical memoir of my experiences on The Mouse Club and beyond.
I’m going to leave you with that very cryptic message.
Well Lindsay, thank you so much! It’s been an honor to have you here.
Next we have the ravishing Roque Herring who has been with MMC for the first two seasons!
So, how does it feel to see all of these people? Fans thirty years ago still today, here this weekend to meet all of you. It’s got to be mind-blowing.
It is mind-blowing, because we didn’t really have an opportunity to interact with the fans thirty years ago; not during the show that I was on. So, to see how many people love this show and support this show, I am really blown. I really am.
What are some of your fondest memories of being on MMC?
I loved doing musical numbers. I loved doing the skits. My favorite times is working with Lindsay and hanging out with Lindsay. We would hang out all the time. So after everything, we’d be on those golf carts running over the sets and everything, because the tour is coming and we can’t be seen by the tours. And we’re trying to get out of there. It was hysterical!
RH: I’ll never forget that. Fun times.
Well, Roque, thank you so much.
Next, we have the two mouseketeers who made it all possible for us to be here, Chasen Hampton & Dale Godboldo. Chase was on the show from 1989 – 1991. He was a member of The Party and came back to host in the final season. Dale served from Seasons four to season seven.
How are you both doing today?
CH: Oh, amazing!
DG: So good.
CH: It’s like a dream.
It is like a dream. I can’t believe we are all here. Thirty years, it has been exciting. How does it feel to see all of these fans come out here to Florida to meet all of you?
CH: It’s highly emotional.
DG: Yeah. I’d have to echo that. I mean when we embarked on this journey, you never know, right? I mean, nothing like this has ever been done before, and so Chasen had this idea, a crazy idea of “look, if we’re going to do the 30th, we gotta do it.” He called me and I said “I’m in.”
CH: We jumped off that cliff and here we are.
What are some of the fondest memories you had about working on the show? We’ll start with you, Chase.
CH: I’d have to say the relationships we built. I don’t know if you saw us talk at MegaCon, but just the fact that we became best of friends and are still friends to this day. We still support each other. It’s the most amazing family we could have. It’s amazing.
And you, Dale?
DG: I would say the lessons learned. So much of who I am today, being socially conscious, so much of the way everyone here is today being socially conscious was born under that time period as Mousketeers and Mickey Mouse Club.
And tell us about the two charitable organizations that are benefiting here tonight.
DG: Absolutely. We’re benefiting One Pulse Foundation. We’re also benefiting Give Kids the World, and we couldn’t be more excited about that. They’re central Florida based and we’re looking forward to doing our part a little bit.
Well, I’m sure the two organizations are going to be great today, so thank you two so much for putting on a damn good reunion.
Wrapping up the first part of the MMC30 is one of my personal favorite Mouseketeers, the tenacious Tasha Danner!
How are you doing?
I’m dong so well! I’m running on adrenaline and sugar right now, but this has been a very long day. I am so happy to see all these people come together.
Well, you are not the only one running on adrenaline here.
Oh, we all are. Every single person here. We’re all in good company.
So, what are some of your fondest memories of being on MMC?
Oh, so many. Just the dancing and the singing. My favorite was actually the music videos, because we got to go to different places, like warehouses and apartment buildings and fields and just everywhere and singing and dance in different places. I got to ride a horse and sing at the same time, which is a first, so yeah, the videos.
So, tell us what you’re doing nowadays.
I am doing so many things. I’m in school for political science. I work in a non-profit. We help families with homelessness, and I’m still singing and dancing in musical theater.
Awesome. So, now that you’re here with your cast mates, what does that feel like? Especially since you probably haven’t seen some of them in years, at best.
Oh, man. It has been so great to see everyone. Everyone is doing such a good thing in the world. Like, this guy’s a philanthropist, we’ve got Dale, Chase; people I haven’t seen in twenty-six years. But they look exactly the same!
Yeah, they do!
TD: It’s like Disney injected us with a youth serum, right?
If you think Part I is great. Wait for Part II in a few days! See you real soon, why because we LIKE YOU!