All aboard the choo-choo train. All aboard the choo-choo train. All aboard the choo-choo train. All aboard. All aboard
I recently had the chance to interview Genevieve and learn more about her work with Disney, how she is incorporating sensory-friendly performances into her live tours, and what she has planned for the future.
Genevieve Goings talks Disney
Working with Disney would be a dream come true for many people (including me). How did your work with Disney start?
I began my career singing in bands and on hip-hop projects and found myself doing voiceovers for videos games. Choo Choo Soul was created by one of the creators of those games, and we had a blast making the album! That album, titled “Choo Choo Soul,” had many of the songs that the public knows and loves today on it. “Jump Jump,” “ABC Gospel,” and of course “All Aboard the Choo Choo Train!” Disney got a hold of it and loved it, and asked to meet me in person. I met them in a classroom filled with preschoolers, and with corporate execs in suits and cameras rolling, I entertained the kiddos with our Choo Choo Soul songs. The rest is history!
You have done many different things for Disney – hosting Choo Choo Soul, voice over work, the Disney Junior Network theme song, and Radio Disney Junior. What is your favorite thing you have done with Disney?
Wow, that is a hard question… If I could split that into two answers, I would say that my favorite thing I have filmed and recorded for Disney would have to be the “When You Wish Upon a Star” video. It is such a classic song and beautiful video. I am honored every time I see it or get to perform it live. My favorite creative project I have ever done for Disney is my work with their English Language Learning Program: “Disney English!” I have written and recorded over 100 pieces of music for Disney English, and it was an amazing experience as a songwriter and producer.
Geneveive on Sensory-Friendly Performances
What made you decide to offer sensory-friendly performances?
Kids are so precious, and everyone deserves to have fun. Unfortunately, it’s very hard to have fun when music is literally hurting your ears. The more I learn about sensory issues and sensitivities, the more I want to do for the children who need slight modifications made for them to be able to process. We have always offered special meet and greets for children who are on the autism spectrum or with special needs, but I always wanted to be able to offer something bigger. The Bushnell in Hartford, CT and other venues that are open to offering these types of shows are really groundbreaking and forward-thinking venues. It takes a special artist to offer these concerts, but also a special venue and promoter. I really hope that there are many more shows like this in the future.
As a performer, how is it different to do a sensory-friendly performance?
As a performer, it is quite a bit different to perform with a lower sound level. You can hear folks talking, for example, and maybe even hear little things like your shoes tapping on the ground. The lighting is more stationary (less flickering and moving lights) but overall is really the same show from our perspective. I think that we were so excited to be able to offer a show like this that we were really looking forward to it already!
How did your audience respond to the sensory-friendly performance?
They loved it! We saw so many happy faces and heard a lot of excitement from the crowd. A few times during the show we had fans that were screaming out, and their parents were trying to calm them down. I stopped in the middle of the show and said “We don’t mind them screaming! Everyone have fun and be yourself!” They surely appreciated that. I heard a lot of very special thank-you’s from parents after the show, some of them tearful.
Do you have any more sensory-friendly performances on your schedule?
At this point in our 2016 roster, many shows are already booked, and we hadn’t yet ironed out what a sensory-friendly option would be when booking them. We are now offering this in our contracts as an option for promoters, and we hope more venues will come on board. I am working on some new songs and videos specific to this, so there will be more Sensory-friendly media coming from me!
Genevieve on What’s Next
So, what’s up next for you? Maybe a vacation to Walt Disney World?
Ahhhhh, I love that!! I would love to visit Disney World and actually did visit on my honeymoon last November. (I’m a Disney girl at heart!) But, I am actually working on some new video content for Radio Disney Junior, where I will be teaching some music lessons, doing dance challenges, and more. I have a blast on the production side of things and it feels like a vacation to be home producing content.
Some fun with Genevieve
What is your favorite Disney movie?
Who is your favorite Disney character?
Can I say, me? Just kidding! Actually it is the new princess, Princess Elena of Avalor. She is coming out July 22 – can’t wait for you all to meet her.
What is your favorite Disney song?
This one is silly. But it’s from Aladdin…”One Jump Ahead” – Look it up on YouTube.. and try not to sing along. Bet ya’ can’t!
Video Credit: Disney on Broadway YouTube Channel
Thank you for talking with us, Genevieve! We look forward to watching your work on Disney for many years to come.
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