As the first original live-action series from Amazon, found through their open-door submission process, “Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street” scored high with ratings and audiences, even earning an Emmy nomination during the first season. Bringing the traditional wonders and experiences of childhood and growing up to the sitcom, it grabbed viewers of all ages and hasn’t let them go.
Sloane Morgan Siegel plays the title character of the series, the “hero” on Normal Street, an “all around good kid.” He cares about those around him, is respectful, and tries to do what is right constantly. And when life on Normal Street is anything but normal, he still pushes to be his best.
Renewed for a second season, which will have 13 of the episodes ready to binge-watch on Amazon on October 30th, Sloane shares his feelings when he found out there would be a second season. “I was ecstatic to receive the great news,” he says. “It felt awesome to get ‘the band back together’. To have eight more months and 26 new episodes together was beyond my wildest imagination. I can’t wait for the world to watch our team grow u on Normal Street together.”
Normal Street is known for its “magical” experiences and crazy adventures. Sloane has one crazy hobby that he loves to do. “Like most kids, I have hobbies that can be considered somewhat dangerous. My personal favorite is zip-lining!” Sloane tells Teenplicity. “While I have done this many times around the country, my favorite one is in San Luis Obispo, California.” Talking about his exciting adventure, Sloane says, “We zipped down two lines over a canyon at tremendous speeds and heights for almost a mile. Then for a finale, we had to hike up a mountain several hundred feet above ground level, and over an 1800 foot line we soared 168 feet high over a vineyard. It was thrilling, epic, and smelled wonderful!”
Back on Normal Street, however, we will get a bigger glimpse into who Gortimer really is and what’s inside.
“The storylines are somewhat top-secret for the next 13 episodes until October 30th, but there certainly are more trails for Gortimer, and more issues that all teenagers must learn to live with,” says Sloane of season two. “In the coming episodes you will see a more vulnerable side of Gortimer as well as a heroic one.” The proclaimed good kid will also be put to the test. “His moral compass will be tested in many ways during the season, and you will see just how far he will go for his friends and family.”
Compared to programs on competitive cable network shows, “Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street” is constantly praised for its accurate portrayal of childhood, as well as its smart comedy.
“I’m honored to be a part of a series that brings back childhood memories and creates new ones,” Sloane says of the show. His fondness of the series grows as he continues on to say, “I feel blessed to stretch myself to ‘keep it real’ in each and every episode. To be a part of a show that critics say is a one of a kind is a true bonus. We believe that Amazon is changing the way children’s programming will be delivered in the future. We feel like the pioneers in the new golden age of television.”
It is definitely shown as, what feels like a rarity in children’s programming today, both parents and kids enjoy “Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street”. It has captured the hearts of viewers of all ages, containing humor that all members can enjoy, and episodes that will leave you wanting more.
“The show was designed to be for the 6 – 11 year old audience,” Sloane says, following up with, “it’s become more of a family show in lieu of a kid’s show. So far, Amazon has gotten almost 6,000 comments over the net from viewers, and I’m proud to say our ratings are 4.7 out of 5.0!” The impressive numbers showed a positive point for Amazon’s open-door submission process, which was where “Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street” came from. It has opened the doors for future series, while also showing Amazon that a children’s show can very much be done in a way that everyone enjoys.
“The awesome news is most of those comments are from adults who say they love to watch the show with their kids or grandkids, and use the morals at the end to have serious family discussions. It’s actually helping families communicate with each other while they can enjoy a show together. This show was not originally designed for all ages; however, I always thought that it would have a broader appeal, and it does. I am so very proud of our work and the results we get each week on the screen.”
One of the greatest things about being a young actor on a television show is the inevitable growing up that both the actor and the character will be doing together. As Sloane tells us, Gortimer is doing that exact thing.
“Gortimer is literally growing up on-screen before the audience, and experiencing everything a teenager could experience in a lifetime. I want to see him build on the Gortimer/Abigail relationship,” Sloane teases, sending a “wink, wink” as well. “The situations he’s been put in actually have prepared me for many things that I will deal with or am presently dealing with in real life.”
Of the many adventures and things to learn from “Normal Street”, Sloane’s favorite aspect is the friendships. “That’s a though one as I love it all,” he says of the series. “But I really love the bond of friendship between Gortimer, Ranger, and Mel. Theirs is a friendship that all people would love to experience once in their lifetime. However, I’m a huge fan of the moral at the end of every episode.”
With a hit series on Amazon, a busier work schedule is inevitable. “My days and weeks are long ones,” says Sloane of the filming schedule fitting into his everyday life. “Balancing school, family, and friends with work is always a challenge. Working with the talented family on Gortimer has really spoiled me a little for my future endeavors, and I’ve learned so much from our awesome crew, cast, and guest stars that have different experiences than I do,” praises Sloane. “The situations that I’m allowed to portray have really helped me already in my real everyday life.” Speaking of his growing stardom, he says, “Of course as the show gains momentum, I do get recognized more, and I continue to grow my fan base which is awesome.”
However, his schedule is what Sloane states is one of his biggest obstacles.
“My biggest obstacle is managing my schedule. I’m in high school now and my studies are much more intense with pre-college courses. To keep pace with my responsibilities, I have to budget time to do homework, learn lines, work, carry my weight at home with chores, and make time for my family and friends – oh yeah, and sleep. Thankfully, my parents, cast mates, and friends support me totally, and they are always there for me.”
Although he tries to fit sleep into his schedule, Sloane learned he can “function on much less sleep than I thought I could!” One more thing he learned over the past year is, Sloane says, “How to truly build a character from the bottom up. At this point, Gortimer is me and I’m Gortimer.”
What is especially unique about “Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street” compared to other shows in its demographic is that new episodes don’t air on a weekly basis but, due to Amazon’s streaming service, one entire half of a season is readily available on one date.
“I love it!” says Sloane of the ability to binge watch half a season on one day versus waiting weekly. “Of course when our show launched we binged it, but now when we watch other Amazon shows like ‘Bosch’, we find ourselves binge watching, and there is a sense of accomplishment or closure when you do it.” Joking, Sloane continues on to say, “We binge on other competitor services too, but won’t name them in this interview out of respect for Amazon.”
Over the past year, Sloane has been named one of Variety’s Youth Impact Honorees which he called an unexpected but huge honor. “I was honored along with many friends of mine and it’s nice to see us progressing at the same pace as far s recognition goes. I’m very proud and thankful for the recognition.”
Also, he was the winner of the 2015 Young Artist Award. “This past year was my first nomination for an award in my young career. I felt totally blessed to be nominated with the talented group of my peers. I knew I was a winner for just being there rocking a tuxedo with my mom, dad, manager, and friends, but when they called my name, I was stunned. Being recognized for what I love to do was a true blessing.”
Sloane thanks his fans for recognizing his hard work in what he does on a daily basis. He says to his fans, “Thank you for being a fan because without fans, I would not have a career.” He goes on to say, “I put my whole heart and soul into each and performance for [fans] and for me. Pick your passion and follow your heart. If you stretch for the stars, you might just land on the moon.”
You can follow Sloane Morgan Siegel on social media at “@SloaneSiegel”!
The first half of season two of “Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street” premieres on Amazon on October 30, 2015.