An Interview with Mathew Clarke from "Convos with my 2-year old"

I can’t tell you enough how thrilled I am to be bringing this to you!! In fact I can barely contain myself and I almost posted this immediately following its arrival in my inbox.

BUT… you know the amazing people behind Convos with my 2 year old??!! Well they are based here in Vancouver and the amazing Mathew Clarke (father) was super happy to answer some of my questions.

You can imagine how start struck I am currently, not to mention incredibly proud that they’re here in Vancouver!!  So let’s just to it:

1)  Firstly I think everyone wants to know the moment in which this whole idea was “birthed”, what were you doing?
There really wasn’t one defining moment when the idea arrived. It was somewhat gradual. As anyone who spends any amount of time with children has experienced, you are always having these crazy, hilarious exchanges with them. I had a moment where I kind of stepped back and thought, “If she were an adult there is no way she would be getting away with this right now, but because she’s 2, nobody blinks an eye.” This struck me as funny, and so over the next while I started recording the conversations and started envisioning how to turn that idea into a web-series.

2)  Watching the episodes they seem like a hoot to work on, how much fun do you guys have creating the episodes?
Yeah, it’s a total blast. The great thing about this whole project is that it started out as a fun experiment. We all just looked at it as a fun idea, something that we could have fun making over the weekend. We never approached it from a place of trying to make a “hit.” We were just trying to make ourselves laugh. And we’ve tried to keep that intention about it. I always think that if we’re laughing, we’re on the right track.

3)  How much time does it take for you to create an episode?
Well, first I have to sit around and wait for my daughter to say or do something hilarious. LOL. After that, it’s typically a solid week to film, edit and release.

4)  How do you manage the juggle of family life and your show?
The great thing about this show is that it kind of is my family life. Everyone’s very involved in it. And the material only comes from spending time with my daughter. So if I want to keep making episodes, I don’t have the option of being a workaholic. The job actually requires me to turn work off and spend time with my kids. It’s the greatest job in the world for that.

5)  Did you have any reservations at first about putting your family in the public eye?

Well truthfully, at first, there was no public eye. LOL. I thought that our family and friends and maybe a handful of strangers would see it. I never expected this many people. So it was just a fun, interesting way to share our experience of parenting, and also archive these great, fleeting moments in a quirky way. After it started getting really popular, I did worry a little bit about that. I obviously don’t want my family to be exploited or anything like that. But the truth is it’s all in good fun. And it’s a very controlled situation, we’re making the series ourselves and are very conscious about it. It’s not like we’re trying to make the family famous or anything. It’s not a Kardashian or Honey Boo Boo situation. This series is more than anything a tribute to Coco. I think she’s awesome and hilarious. It’s kind of my way of showing the world how great she is without looking like I’m bragging. It’s very Canadian. 😉

6)  What has been the most surprising thing along this journey?
This entire journey has been one huge surprise. I hadn’t expected to spend this summer doing interviews with media outlets from all over the world, or having meetings with major TV producers, or planning a second season of this web-series, or being stopped in the street to have my picture taken with people. The whole thing has been an amazing, wonderful surprise.

7)  What do you want to see for the shows future?  What are your hopes?
Well I’d like to keep doing the web-series for as long as it’s still funny. There seems to be an endless supply of material, so that’s very encouraging. Everyone tells me “Convos With My 15-Year-Old Daughter” is bound to be even funnier. LOL.
Beyond that, like I mentioned above, there has been significant interest in turning it into a TV show. So that’s very exciting. Who knows what will happen there, but it’s a lot of fun to explore that world.
I’m really open to anything and everything at this point. The whole thing started as a fun experiment that got totally out of hand, and so I just want to keep an open mind and see where this rocket ride takes us.

8)  What has been the hardest part about putting this show together?
This may sound cheesy, but honestly, the hardest thing has been dealing with my own self doubt. When you create something for essentially just yourself, and then it becomes popular, and you have an audience with expectations, waiting for what you do next, it’s easy to be intimidated. It’s easy to second guess all your decisions against, “Are they going to like it?” So I have to constantly remind myself to trust in myself, my instincts and my collaborators whom I have great faith in. It’s been a great opportunity, not only professionally, but personally, to grow and challenge myself. Okay, cheesy part of the interview is over. 😉

9)  What are some of the best and hardest parts about working here in Vancouver, B.C.? 

The best part about working here in Vancouver, BC is definitely the people. This city is full of such incredibly talented people. Everywhere I turn, there’s someone gifted to work with and help you make your project better. I actually know more amazingly talented people than I am actually able to work with. That’s an amazing problem to have. And I’m honored to be part of such a talented community.

The hardest part is the industry itself I think. The film industry here is removed from the hub of Hollywood, and yet so reliant on it at the same time. So much of the film work in this city is Hollywood productions filming here. As a local actor, I often feel like I’m fighting over the crumbs from Hollywood’s table. That’s why I feel it’s so important to create your own work, like this web-series. And a lot of local artists are creating incredible work everyday. I really think the industry here needs to make stronger efforts to be more self-sufficient, needs to be more supportive and encouraging of local filmmakers. There’s a lot of talk about tax-breaks and incentives to lure foreign productions to this town, which I understand is very important,  but there is much less talk about efforts to support and grow the local scene. Which is a shame because so often, all that great talent I mentioned above goes untapped.

10)  What has been the biggest life change since starting the show?
Well, when we made the first 2 episodes, my wife, Leila was pregnant with our second child. Shortly after, she gave birth to our first son. So that’s been a pretty amazing change. He’s awesome. And hilarious… already! I’m sure he’ll soon be brimming with comedic gold. LOL. I feel so unbelievably lucky to have this family. I’m luckier than I probably deserve to be. So whenever I get stressed or overwhelmed with all of this craziness, I just take a moment with them, and it all comes back into perspective.

Make sure you guys go follow them all over they’re AMAZING!!

5 Comments

  1. So funny! I never heard of these guys (we’re not as hip here in the Midwest as YVR) but am now a big fan. Glad to hear he just had a boy, too, as that will provide endless episodes about poop and butts! :)

  2. I’ve never heard of this show either–after 5 kids I can just imagine how funny it would be (of course we are in our final season of our own convos with our 2 yr old right now.)

  3. What is great about “Convos with my 2-year old” is that they are as hysterical to my 19-year old daughter as they are to me. I can ALWAYS get her to come running if I yell, “A new Convos is here.” These videos are so funny because after raising three children, I can relate to almost everything…however, my favorite is the episode about The Pants. I love how much we laughed at that craziness of a battle that all parents have experienced. It’s nice to sit back and relish how insanely humorous those early years can be. I can’t wait for more!

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