Being a child star isn't easy. When you start out with a successful career in the entertainment industry before you're even a teenager, you're setting the bar pretty high for yourself. While some stick with acting and milk that cash cow all the way to the bank, others opt out and follow their pursuits elsewhere. Tami Stronach, known for her role as the wise Childlike Empress in the 1984 movie The Neverending Story, spoke to us exclusively about her exciting new business venture that is sure to delight moms everywhere.
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Mother to a 7-year-old daughter, Maya, Tami forged a name for herself as a successful choreographer before recently launching children's entertainment company, Paper Canoe. The venture aims to bring parents together with their children by producing innovative digital, print and TV and film content. 45-year-old Stronach co-founded the company with her husband Greg Steinbruner after wanting to strike a better balance between motherhood and working - and it's been a hit. But this is no simple kids company, Tami is keen to point out.
"Paper Canoe was to create an umbrella that held seemingly contradictory things, to create high calibre art with professional musicians. Not all of the people that work for Paper Canoe are 'kid's artists'. They're all working musicians, but I wanted to bring in the top saxophonist in Brooklyn and put him on the album." It's vitally important to Tami that parents be just as into the music as the children, and she believes that art is fundamental in helping reconnect with the playful side of the parent-child relationship.
"Art is a really valuable tool. In some ways, there is something that is highly undervalued in both parenting and art. Paper Canoe is really about creating a space where we value those things, where we say that these things are really important. The kinds of projects that we're making are really about bringing kids and parents together in an active, interactive engagement space," Stronach explained.
Paper Canoe put on live performances complete with workshops, and released original music that has been hailed for its genre-crossing ability to keep parents actively listening and enjoying along with their children. "Beanstalk Jack", a retelling of the famous fairy tale in song form, has garnered the company a 2018 Family Choice Award, as well as a 2018 National Parenting Products Award - not bad at all for a budding company.
You can keep up to date with Tami's latest exploits by following her on Instagram.